Game 9: Georgetown Hoyas (4-4) vs Elon Phoenix (6-1)
Series: Hoyas lead 2-0
Where/When: Verizon Center, Sunday 130PM EST
Line: Hoyas -9
KenPom: Hoyas 81-71, 83 percent
After a one year break the BB&T Classic is back to doubleheader status this weekend at the Verizon Center. Unfortunately Georgetown is involved in the less appealing matchup as the Hoyas face the Elon Phoenix. The other game features Florida State and longtime BB&T participant George Washington.
Georgetown has managed to get even its record at 4-4 after a rough go of it in Maui and now get the chance to go above .500 for the second time this season. Instead of listing all of the career-highs and superlatives that we saw against Coppin State - a game that will live on in players media guide profiles forever - it is worth mentioning that even coach John Thompson III admitted that he was experimenting with things against the winless Eagles.
“Particularly the second half, we were working on different things that we have to work on,” said JT3 after the 96-44 victory.
“Different combinations with people in different situations. You go with that big lineup and tell them, two of y’all are guarding guards, figure out how to guard them. As we go forward we want to start switching everything. It was more so about getting our guys reps in different situations where they may not be comfortable or we want them to be more comfortable.”
The biggest things we saw JT3 tinkering with were the other night were more of the 2-3 zone and for the first time we saw the Hoyas jumbo package that included Marcus Derrickson, Akoy Agau, and Jessie Govan.
Getting to know the Phoenix
This is the best start for Elon in 29 years and as a result they are one of only two CAA teams ranked in this week’s CollegeInsder.com Mid-Major Top 25. The Phoenix check in at No. 23.
Elon doesn’t have what anyone would consider a quality win at this point but what they do well is they score. Through seven contests the Phoenix average 86 points per game which is good enough for twentieth nationally.
Luke Eddy is a name that will probably end up scaring you for most of your NFL Sunday afternoon. The reigning CAA player of the week is a senior guard that averages 12 points, 4.5 assists, and shoots 57 percent from deep.
Brian Dawkins, Steve Santa Ana, Tyler Seibring, Dainan Swoope, and Sheldon Eberhardt all make at least one 3-pointer per game as the Phoenix are 29th in the country in that department. This is clearly an area of concern for the Hoyas.
Why to Watch:
Copeland’s Return? JT3 was noncommittal as to whether Isaac Copeland would be available for the Elon game. If the junior forward is back it will be the first game in which everyone will be available for the Hoyas. If Copeland can snap out of whatever funk he is currently in we can see JT3 go with a lineup that has Derrickson at the five, Copeland at the four, Peak, Pryor, and then just someone else. Now I’m not sure what kind of defense that group could play in the halfcourt but it could be the most athletic option on the other end of the court.
Pick your PG: Jagan Mosely has kept his spot in the starting lineup but the other two options at JT3’s disposal seem to have their own strengths. Tre Campbell has been heating up from the field, particularly from deep, in going 6 for 9 over his last three games. Jonathan Mulmore, who still seems to be settling in at the D1 level, is able to get into the lane with ease at times. What he does when he gets there is a work in progress.
Fast Start: It’s early but Rodney Pryor’s 20.5 points per game would be the highest average in the JT3 era by almost three points over both Austin Freeman in 2011 and DSR in 2014. To put it another way, Pryor is currently on pace to have more points this season than Nate Lubick did in his four year career.
Reason to be delusional: The MEAC snack pack was just what that the doctor ordered for the Hoyas as they begin a winning streak for the ages.
Reason to be cynical: Elon is just the kind of team that beat the Hoyas last year and believe it or not the next two games for the Phoenix are UNC-Asheville and Radford. Sound familiar?
Final Thoughts: Copeland comes back and pushes the Hoyas across the finish line as for the second straight season Georgetown downs a CAA foe in the BB&T Classic. Hoyas 75, Elon 64