Game 2: Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (0-2) at Georgetown Hoyas (1-0)
Series: Hoyas lead 21-5, last played in 2009
Where/When: Capital One Arena, Wednesday 7pm
KenPom: Georgetown 78-63, 91 percent
In a way this game feels a bit like the start of the rest of the season as the Jacksonville game was almost more of a celebration of Patrick Ewing’s long awaited head coaching debut that frankly should have come years ago for some NBA franchise. Look, Michael Jordan came to watch the Hoyas play a team from the Atlantic Sun. It was an event.
So now that those first game jitters are out of the way for players and coach alike, the Hoyas must turn their attention to probably the second best non-conference opponent on the home schedule this season in the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers.
It’s not often a team from the Northeast Conference is a headliner opponent for the Hoyas but that’s where we are with this season’s schedule. Coach Jamion Christian led the Mountaineers to the NCAA tournament for the second time in his five years in charge and they won their First Four game. Christian was a dark horse candidate for the open Hoyas job this past Spring.
I’m not sure if it’s by mistake or what but Mount St. Mary’s showed up in the other’s receiving votes section of this week’s AP Top 25 Poll. For reference the Hoyas haven’t received a vote in nearly two years. The reason I say it might be a mistake is because St. Mary’s is currently ranked and those names are pretty similar.
Scouting Mount St. Mary’s: Coach Christian has some of the elements that have given the Hoyas fits recently. 5-foot-5 guard Junior Robinson is hard to contain as he leads a Mountaineers offense that wants to put up 35 3-point shots per game. Mount St. Mary’s is currently 10th in the country in long distance attempts per game (31.5) but has connected on just 28 percent. Christian is starting three freshmen for the first time in three seasons.
Dynamic Duo: Last year Georgetown could depend on Rodney Pryor and LJ Peak just about every game on the offensive end. That being said the Hoyas were at their best when a third player stepped up and that player was usually Jessie Govan. Govan – who earned his second ever appearance on the BIG EAST Honor Roll this week – and Marcus Derrickson each scored 20 in the Hoyas win over Jacksonville. This is something that Ewing will need from his juniors all season long. So who will be that third scorer? Mosely, Pickett, and Dickerson seem the most likely to be that guy.
Starters: Kaleb Johnson was a bit of a surprise in earning his fourth career start on Sunday afternoon. Johnson struggled by scoring just two points while fouling out in 11 minutes. Something we don’t yet know about Coach Ewing is how often his lineups might change. Most teams are at their best with certainty in their lineups and rotations but there are so many unknowns with this group of Hoyas that we can probably expect fluctuations with the starters throughout the season.
Last Time Out: Georgetown was never in trouble against Jacksonville as nine players logged double digit minutes in the Hoyas 73-57 rout.
Reason to be cynical: With so much fanfare for the season opener there could be a bit of a letdown in front of a likely sparse weeknight crowd.
Reason to be delusional: Georgetown is 47-12 all-time against teams currently in the Northeast Conference with the last loss coming in 1977.
Prediction: Georgetown 66, Mount St. Mary’s 59