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Preview: Georgetown at Richmond

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NCAA Basketball: Maryland - E. Shore at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 4: Georgetown Hoyas (3-0) at Richmond Spiders (1-4)

Series: Hoyas lead 6-2, last played in 1964

Where/When: Robbins Center/Saturday 6pm

TV: Stadium (FIOS)

Online: WatchStadium.com

KenPom: Georgetown 74-70, 63 percent

The level of competition is definitely stepped up from the ones that we’ve played before - not taking anything away from the other teams. – Coach Patrick Ewing on Georgetown’s trip to face the Richmond Spiders this weekend

Ewing’s quote on Friday morning perfectly sums up the current situation for the Hoyas. After a 3-0 start against lesser competition, Georgetown will get its first real test of the season by traveling down I-95 to face the Richmond Spiders. Even with Richmond off to a rough 1-4 start, playing a team from the Atlantic 10 on the road is certainly a major step up in competition.

Something else to keep is mind is that the Hoyas won’t take to the road again until the BIG EAST makes them on Dec 30 when they travel to Milwaukee to face Marquette.

Georgetown is led by a trio of juniors in Jessie Govan, Marcus Derrickson, and Kaleb Johnson. Between them they average 48 points and 26 rebounds. On Friday Ewing talked about how important it will be for other players to step up going forward.

“Everybody’s going to have to carry the load at some particular time,” Ewing said.
“Our freshman’s our key - our key to our success. So as fast as they can come up to speed the better we will be.”

So far freshman Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair have taken turns stepping forward for the Hoyas although Antwan Walker is also capable of contributing. Saturday will be the first time the freshman get to experience a hostile environment although many students will surely have traveled home for Thanksgiving.

There are a few first time in awhile situations going on with this game.

This is the first time since 2009 that the Hoyas aren’t playing in some Feast Week event. Yes the Hoyas schedule has been debated for months but we’re now living through it. Until conference tournament time this is probably the biggest week in college basketball with most of the big name schools playing two or three games in a row. Georgetown not playing has an odd feel to it and hopefully it won’t be the norm going forward.

It’s also the first time in quite some time that the Hoyas aren’t on mainstream TV. Georgetown games have always shown up somewhere on DirecTV - usually one of the MASNs or SNY if all else fails. Well, that’s not the case on Saturday and it’s probably due to the schedule coming out so late this season. Luckily this will be the only game this season that falls into this category.

Scouting Richmond: The Spiders have three main guys right now - Jacob Gilyard, Grant Golden, and De’Monte Buckingham. All three are good but not great 3-point shooters and each average double figures. The 6-foot-10 Golden was a force down low in Richmond’s lone win thus far against UAB with 26 points and five rebounds. Ewing noted that Richmond runs the Princeton offense but that it was different from the version that JT3 used. The biggest difference is that Richmond looks to push the ball. Asked if he’d try and slow Richmond down, Ewing responded with a laugh then said: “No I’m not going to be slowing it down. I want to be able to run the ball when we have our opportunities. When we have our chance I want to be able to post it. Just play our game.”

Testing Govan: Jessie Govan has come out of the gate strong this season by posting three straight double-doubles for the Hoyas. It’s exactly what you would expect from the junior big man against lesser competition. Against Richmond he’ll have the chance to go up against a formidable foe in Golden. Of course there’s some question as to how much man-to-man defense Govan will see from Govan.

“I’m not sure how much man defense they’re going to play,” Ewing said in regards to a possible Govan – Grant matchup. “They play primarily zone. It’s going to be hard to say that’s a matchup that’s going to be a big test for him. They’re going to try and take him out of the game with a zone even though it’s a matchup zone.”

Injury Updates: Grad transfer Trey Dickerson – who has missed the last two games with a concussion – is expected to be dressed out and available against Richmond. The former South Dakota guard had three points in 15 minutes in the opener against Jacksonville. The news for Trey Mourning is far different as Ewing said that he expects the senior to forward to use a redshirt after offseason hip surgery.

Reason to be cynical: The first real test of the season happens to come on the road only 48 hours after Turkey Day.

Reason to be delusional: It’s not too hard to imagine the Hoyas being 8-0 before hosting Syracuse next month. A win over the Spiders gets them halfway there.

Prediction: Georgetown 67, Richmond 64