With Georgetown beginning conference play at home on Wednesday night against Butler I thought it would be fun to see what some of the local experts have to say about where the Hoyas will ultimately finish once all the BIG EAST dust settles.
Now to be fair this is probably one of the hardest seasons to complete this exercise as the Hoyas have only faced one team to date that resembles anything close to what they will face over the next 18 games.
Just for the record, I’ve got the Hoyas matching last season’s 5-13 BIG EAST mark.
Obviously the Hoyas have a great frontcourt pairing in Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson but the team lacks overall depth and will likely struggle defensively, especially against penetrating guards. My prediction would put Georgetown a game over .500 heading into the BIG EAST Tournament and thus NIT eligible but not NIT likely.
OK now let’s take a look at what everybody else had to say:
Ava Wallace (Washington Post) - Predicted BIG EAST record: 7-11
I'm interested to see how Ewing does the second time around against the same opponent. The second game against Xavier at home looks particularly intriguing.
Gene Wang (Washington Post) - Predicted BIG EAST record: 6-12
Lack of true point guard and fluffy non-conference schedule conspire to doom Hoyas in Patrick Ewing’s first season of rebuild.
Ben Standig (NBC4Washington.com & Basketball in the DMV podcast)
Predicted BIG EAST record: 5-13
Patrick Ewing gets his first look around the league. The lack of familiarity combined with more road than home games early and limited depth doesn't give the first-year head coach much wiggle room. We expected challenges in year one. What matters most is whether there are signs of growth. That's the real scoreboard this season.
The good news: Outside of the top four teams, the Big East doesn't look a monster conference this season. That means if what we've seen from Jessie Govan, Marcus Derrickson and Kaleb Johnson is real, the Hoyas could pick off an extra win or three against the league's middle.
The bad news: Nobody can say for sure if the Hoyas are legit. Yes, they nearly took down Syracuse and finished non-conference play 10-1, but that's not much of a baseline to work with, especially when it comes to the looming figure on the sideline. Any injury to Govan or Derrickson could doom Georgetown. Same with persistent foul trouble.
Stephen Whyno (Associated Press) - Predicted BIG EAST record: 6-12
Georgetown has an uphill climb but can win a few games against some fellow Big East bottom-feeders to make this season feel respectable.
Patrick Stevens (numerous outlets including The Washington Post & The Athletic) Predicted BIG EAST record: 5-13
I'm still thinking Georgetown lands around four or five wins in conference play --- maybe an extra one if things break right, maybe less if there are injuries. The Govan/Derrickson frontcourt is going to produce its share of solid games and provide the Hoyas a chance to stick with a lot of teams, though the depth beyond them has the potential to be a factor. The level of success will ultimately hinge on a backcourt that's still mostly unproven at this level. Guys like Mosely, Pickett, Johnson and even Blair have shown some interesting flashes at times so far, but Georgetown probably needs at least two of them to play above average in most Big East games to have a realistic chance of winning.
Pete Medhurst (1067 The Fan) - Predicted BIG EAST record: 9-9
I am the eternal optimist on this club. They have a star in Govan, and are a bad charge call on Derrickson from being unbeaten. Steal a game at home from one of the Big 3 and get to .500 in the league.
Tyler Pearre (Big East Coast Bias and The Voice) - Predicted BIG EAST record: 6-12
The Hoyas have a solid 1-2 punch in Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson, and Kaleb Johnson’s newfound offensive presence is a welcome development. But there are numerous question marks outside of this junior trio, most notably in the frontcourt. Antwan Walker, the team’s lone frontcourt scholarship player coming off the bench, has to provide quality minutes, but he has yet to show consistency this season. Add inconsistent guard play to the mix and you have a team that will likely struggle against a strong Big East. The Hoyas could beat the league’s top teams if everything works well on a given night, but could also lose to anyone if they don’t.
Thanks again to everyone who participated!