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Preview: North Carolina A&T at Georgetown

Last game before Syracuse

NCAA Basketball: Howard at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 8: North Carolina A&T Aggies (5-3) at Georgetown Hoyas (7-0)

Series: Hoyas lead 1-0, last played in 1984

Where/When: Capital One Arena/Saturday 230pm


Line: Hoyas -20.5

KenPom: Georgetown 84-64, 96 percent

As Georgetown’s MEAC Week comes to an end, Coach Patrick Ewing looks to add on to his already record breaking start with the Hoyas.

With a win over North Carolina A&T, Ewing will push his record up to 8-0. The previous best start to a Georgetown coaching career was 5-0 and it was shared by four former coaches - Maurice Joyce, Buddy O’Grady, Harry Jeannette, and Tommy Nolan.

The previous two games in MEAC Week were closer than expected as both Coppin State and Howard pushed the Hoyas deep into the second half.

Right now for Georgetown everything starts with junior center Jessie Govan. Govan is averaging a double-double of 20.4 points per game and 12.7 rebounds. The 6-foot-10 Queens Village native has been named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll three times already this season while racking up five double-doubles in seven games.

So while Govan is doing most of his damage down in the post, junior Kaleb Johnson - 12.9 points per game - has proven to be reliable from the outside. With his minutes almost tripling from last season, Johnson has already surpassed his point total from last season and needs just one more bucket to best his total from his freshman campaign. Against Howard, Johnson was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and made all four of his free throws to finish with 18 points.

Scouting the Aggies: Picked last in the MEAC preseason poll, North Carolina A&T is off to a solid 5-3 start despite entering Saturday’s game with back-to-back losses. Coach Jay Joyner’s squad won just three games last season, with only one win coming against Division 1 competition. Junior forward Femi Olujobi nearly averages a double-double with 25.1 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game. North Carolina A&T has already picked up two road wins this season - at Jacksonville and at East Carolina.

Post Relief: Despite Georgetown’s weak schedule - literally the worst schedule in the country as of Saturday morning - Ewing hasn’t found much time to work in freshman Chris Sodom. Govan has played 71 of a possible 80 minutes so far this week against two of the worst teams in the country. When Ewing did give Govan a break against Howard, the lineup with Marcus Derrickson as the lone big was the unit that allowed the Bison to narrow the gap from 20 down to 5. With Trey Mourning out for the season, Sodom is the lone option off the bench yet it seems as if he’s not where Ewing wants him to be just yet. So far this season Sodom has played a total of 18 minutes spread out over four games. He’s scored four points and picked up eight fouls. At some point during the BIG EAST season, Sodom will likely be needed.

Player and Coach: These schools have only met once previously and in that matchup Coach Ewing was still playing for the Hoyas. The Aggies are the first school that Ewing will have faced as both a player and a coach.

Sweet Sixty: The Hoyas are looking to up their record against schools from the MEAC to 60-0 on Saturday. No, that’s not just this season - it’s an all-time record even if it may feel like most of those games have happened this season - especially after this week.

Reason to be cynical: We’re still about a week away from having a real idea as to where this Georgetown team is compared to higher level competition.

Reason to be delusional: Not only is Georgetown not losing, they aren’t fouling. The Hoyas committed just eight fouls against Howard.

Prediction: Georgetown 91, North Carolina A&T 57