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Game Preview: Georgetown at Providence

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Providence Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Game 15: Georgetown Hoyas (8-6, 0-2) vs Providence Friars (10-5, 0-2)

Series: Hoyas lead 44-24 but have lost 5 of the last 6

Where/When: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Wednesday 7pm

TV: CBS Sports Network

Line: Friars -2.5

KenPom: 71-69 Providence, 58 percent

Bowl season is all but over but if it were still in full swing tonight’s game at The Dunk would definitely qualify as the Desperation Bowl. Both teams are staring at a possible 0-3 start that would make NCAA tournament qualification nearly impossible. Providence has made the last three tournaments while Georgetown is trying to get back after a last season’s historically poor showing.

Speaking of historically poor results, Georgetown has started the season 0-2 in conference play for just the second time in 13 seasons under coach John Thompson III. The Hoyas have never started 0-3 in the BIG EAST since the league formed in 1979.

Georgetown’s path to success this season remains unchanged. Both Rodney Pryor and LJ Peak have to provide around 40 combined points per game. The Hoyas dynamic duo came through in their last loss against Xavier but with one hole plugged another few leaks sprung open. Georgetown was uncharacteristically poor from the free throw line in limited attempts and on the other side of the court the Hoyas sent the Musketeers to the line for nearly 40 attempts.

If the Hoyas want to give themselves and their fans a glimmer of hope a road win against Providence would go a long way. In the new version of the BIG EAST, Providence holds a 5-1 advantage over Georgetown including a perfect 3-0 at home.

Even bigger for Georgetown than just beating Providence is beating someone other than DePaul or St. John’s. Since that miraculous comeback last season against Creighton on Jan 26 in which the Hoyas erased a 70-59 deficit with 2:32 to play, Georgetown has lost 12 straight BIG EAST games against teams not named the Red Storm or Blue Demons. That’s not great.

Bounce Back: Georgetown has lost back-to-back games three times this season to make up its six losses. The first two times this happened the Hoyas bounced back in the third game. Tonight is the third game and in order for Georgetown to get back on track they will need something better than three points and three rebounds from Jessie Govan.

Friars Home Cookin: Providence is 9-0 at home with its best win coming against Rhode Island. After getting knocked around in their opening two BIG EAST road games the Friars will likely come out firing tonight. Even though Providence has four capable scorers in Rodney Bullock, Emmitt Holt, Kyron Cartwright, and Jalen Lindsey, the shooting numbers haven’t been there in conference play. In BIG EAST games Providence has shoot poorly from the field, three, and from the foul line.

Shake up the Starters: We’ve seen JT3 shuffle around the bigs in the starting lineup and now seems like the time to do so with he guards. It’s time to swich JM’s in the starting lineup as Jonathan Mulmore seems to have earned the right to start while Jagan Mosely could probably benefit from coming off the bench and seeing the game unfold a bit before checking in.

Reason to be cynical: Georgetown let the game get away from them against Xavier with poor decisions and poor defense. Can that be changed in a few days? Probably not.

Reason to be delusional: Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil are gone and if Georgetown is ever going to get this series going again in the right way, now is the time.

Prediction: I can’t pick this team again until I see some changes. The defense needs to show that they can defend without fouling - a problem that is now in its senior season.

Friars 72, Hoyas 68