Game 24: Georgetown Hoyas (15-8, 7-5) vs Seton Hall Pirates (15-8, 5-6)
Series: Hoyas lead 55-42
Where/When: Prudential Center, 7 PM Tuesday
TV: Fox Sports 1
So, just when you think Georgetown is the most desperate team on the court, the Hoyas travel to a desperate place to face a team that just might need a win more than the Hoyas. Yes we all know that the Hoyas have lost 3 of 4 but Seton Hall is in the midst of a seven game stretch in which they have lost five. Just three weeks ago the Pirates had an RPI of 17 but as of a few hours before tonight's tip, Seton Hall is stuck down at 54.
Now let's get back to what this game means for Georgetown. With the Hoyas reeling, a loss tonight would put the Hoyas on the bubble. Yes, the Hoyas have a lot of good numbers going in their favor between the SOS (3) and RPI (23) but a fourth loss in five games would leave Georgetown with a record of 15-9. That's not an impressive record. Neither is 3 wins out of 11 against the Top 50.
Crazy to think that with just six games left, the Hoyas season will probably be greatly shaped by four games with Seton Hall and St. John's. A win tonight would be a big step towards securing a tournament berth but it comes at a location that has recently been unkind. Seton Hall has won 3 of their last 4 home games against the Hoyas, with the last two being blowouts.
For all of the talk about the freshman, this team needs its best two players - D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Joshua Smith to play with more urgency. For Smith this is literally his final chance in a college career with multiple second chance opportunities.
So what do we know about the Pirates?
They are probably on the wrong side of the bubble but they still have time to fix their slide with a combined four games left with Georgetown and Providence plus a trip to Philly to face Villanova. A win would make sure that they stay even with the middle of the pack with six conference losses.
Pirate lowdown: Does Seton Hall have the best freshman class in the BIG EAST? You can easily make that case. Headlined by Isaiah Whitehead who is back from an injury, coach Kevin Willard also has great pieces in Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, and Desi Rodgriquez.
Seton Hall is still led by Sterling Gibbs and his 17 points per game. Gibbs is also the Pirates biggest threat from deep. That's something to watch out for as the Hoyas are unfortunately known for giving up wide open 3-pointers this season. Second year guard Jaren Sina is also someone to watch out for on the perimeter.
Last time out: Seton Hall lost at home to Marquette to continue their recent slide. That's a bad loss. Keep in mind that the Pirates were swept by DePaul. DePaul!
RPI: As mentioned earlier, they have dropped down to 54. That's not a good place to be unless you fancy a deep run in the NIT.
Now on to your Hoyas.
DSR: It's one thing to lose at Villanova. Besides everybody's obvious problems with losing to those guys, an L on the road against a Top 10 team isn't the end of the world. What was a problem is how little DSR was able to contribute. The star junior guard was just 1-of-7 from the field for 2 points. None of those numbers are encouraging but you'd at least like to see DSR go down swinging. And by swinging, I of course mean shooting.
L.J. Peak was able to get off 18 shots against Villanova, finishing with 15 points. I think we can all agree that DSR should never take eleven less shots than anybody on this team, especially if he's not getting to the line.
DSR's two points were his fewest in a game since going scoreless in 11 minutes at Marquette his freshman season. That was way back on Jan 5, 2013.
Turnovers: Well here we are going into game 24 and the Hoyas still have more turnovers than assists on the season. Turnovers are just another reason why you can't play Smith and Mikael Hopkins at the same time. The frontcourt duo combines for 41 more turnovers than assists. Not great.
Top Frosh: With Whitehead being the cream of the crop in terms of BIG EAST freshman, it will be interesting to see if either Isaac Copeland or Paul White has ideas of showing him up in their first meeting as collegians. Although it hasn't happened as of late, there have been times when both White and Copeland have looked the part of most complete frosh in the league.
Reason to be cynical: You traveled to the Villanova game.
Reason to be delusional: The last time Georgetown lost three straight to Seton Hall, Craig Esherick was the coach. That's not how we operate anymore.