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Game Preview: Arkansas State at Georgetown

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@saxahoya

Game 3: Georgetown Hoyas (1-1) vs Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1)

Series: First ever meeting

Where/When: McDonough Arena, Thursday 6:30 PM

TV: FS1

Line: Hoyas -23

Georgetown gets an immediate chance to bounce back from one of the more disappointing losses you can possibly have so early in the season by taking on Arkansas State in the first regular season game at McDonough since 2009. The good news is that Old Dominion isn’t in town and the likelihood of a blizzard is nonexistent.

Just as we saw last season, it’s really hard to beat even average teams when LJ Peak is glued to the bench with foul troubles Even with all of the guard additions Peak is the one Hoya that can get to the basket with any sort of regularity.

It’s natural for coach John Thompson III to still be feeling out his rotations and this will likely continue longer than normal as Bradley Hayes has yet to figure into the mix.

Of all the things that went wrong against Maryland the biggest issue was that Maryland was able to get good shots time and time again with dribble penetration a few passes around the perimeter. If Georgetown still can’t stop quality guards from getting into the lane we really need to see more zone. Arkansas State, a team KenPom thinks has just a two percent chance of beating the Hoyas, would be a good place to practice a variety of defensive options.

Getting to know the Red Wolves

Arkansas State, with first year head coach Grant McCasland, was picked 10th in the 12 team Sun Belt Conference. The Red Wolves have lost ten straight games against Division 1 opponents dating back to Feb 4 of last season.

Senior guard Donte Thomas is a local kid from Ballou High School in Washington, DC. Last season Thomas was one of four players in the country to average at least 11 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Thomas posted the third triple double in school history last season

Senior guard Devin Carter was picked to the preseason Sun Belt Conference first team after averaging 17.3 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range last season.

Opponents are only shooting 18 percent from three-point range against Arkansas State. Guards account for 56 percent of the total rebounds for the Red Wolves.

Arkansas State has a 2-4 record against current BIG EAST schools going 2-0 vs Creighton and 0-4 against DePaul.

Hoya Notes

Missing Sophomores: Marcus Derrickson’s minutes have been cut in half from a year ago and speculation is that he’s still recovering from a knee injury. For Georgetown to be an NCAA Tournament team Derrickson will be needed. As a freshman he had one of the better outputs from beyond the arc with 38 made threes yet so far he’s without a long distance make. Kaleb Johnson’s minutes were all over the place last season but he figured to get more run this season. His three minutes in the loss to Maryland were puzzling. Isaac Copeland and Pryor saw a lion’s share of minutes despite poor shooting efforts from the field.

Sharing is Caring: Rodney Pryor was never a big assist man at Robert Morris as his averaged a little less than two per game but he’s started his Georgetown career off with zero assists in two games. He had 13 such games for the Colonials and finished his two year career there with more turnovers than assists. For Georgetown, Pryor has the ball in his hands too much not to feed his teammates occasionally.

Reason to be delusional: It’s still early and it took a ridiculous amount of bad things to happen for Georgetown to lose by a single point on Tuesday. It’s best to get that kind of bad luck out of your system early rather than later. A home game on campus is just what the doctor ordered.

Reason to be cynical: It’s hard to get over such a tough loss so fast especially with a trip to Hawaii looming.

Final Thoughts: Two blowout wins before heading to Maui could give the team some confidence before playing a top ranked foe in Oregon but it seems like Arkansas State has a few guards that could give the Hoyas fits at times.

Georgetown 81, Arkansas State 65