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Game Preview: Georgetown Hoyas vs Providence Friars

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NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Game 19: Georgetown Hoyas (10-8, 1-4) vs Providence Friars (12-7, 2-4)

Series: Hoyas lead 44-25

Where/When: Verizon Center, Monday 9pm

TV: FS1

KenPom: Georgetown 72-66, 70 percent

Line: Georgetown -6

Fresh off of an impressive second half comeback victory over Connecticut this past weekend, the Hoyas are back in action on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day to face the Friars in the last game of the annual BIG EAST marathon. Yes, it’s a home game at 9pm but it’s the ONLY such game this season. Let’s hope the later than usual tip doesn’t deter the fanbase after what was a nice turnout against the Huskies.

So somehow before playing four other league foes - Villanova, DePaul, Seton Hall, and Creighton - the Hoyas are set to wrap up their season series with Providence before the end of January. There’s really no way around, if Georgetown wants to make a move and finish in the top half of the conference, they must leapfrog the Friars.

That won’t be any easy feat as Georgetown is currently in the midst of a program worst five-game slide against the Firars. Take a minute on that one.

OK, now that you’ve let that stat sink in remember that the Hoyas are still looking for their first BIG EAST win against an opponent not named St. John’s or DePaul since Jan 26 of last year. That’s 14 straight losses to squads with any kind of a pulse. Yes, Georgetown has flaws on both sides of the ball but this particularly streak is mind boggling and frankly a bit hard to believe without double and even triple checking the results.

Georgetown certainly has the roster to challenge the likes of Providence, Marquette, and Seton Hall for that fifth spot in the conference. Picking up wins at the Verizon Center against all of them is vital to moving out of the BIG EAST cellar.

Have you noticed that JT3 keeps changing his starting center only to play that game's reserve center more off the bench? This has happened a few times now. It might be time to stick with Jessie Govan and ride through his rough spots or even go with Akoy Agau. For whatever reason Bradley Hayes seems better off the bench.

First Meeting: Marcus Derrickson went off for a career-high 26 points but the other four starters combined for 32 points. Meanwhile the Friars had four players in double-figures and both made and attempted 14 more free throws than Georgetown. The Hoyas shot an abysmal 8 for 16 from the line.

Georgetown is just 1-5 this season when LJ Peak and Rodney Pryor both aren’t in double figures with the lone win coming against Coppin State. One of those five losses was earlier to Providence in what basically adds up to LJ Peak’s worst performance of the season in games in which he didn’t suffer a groin injury. Peak’s seven points on 2-of-12 shooting were second only to his output at Marquette.

Reason to be cynical: You read the Washington Post column and now the sky is falling.

Reason to be delusional: Georgetown came back from a 14 point second deficit against a Connecticut team that is probably better than their record right now. The sky isn’t falling, it’s the limit.

Prediction: Derrickson struggled finding his shot against Connecticut but I liked that he didn’t shy away. The sophomore forward needs to play aggressive on this team. MD finds his stroke Monday night. Hoyas 80, Friars 68.