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LINKS: Hoyas Head to Hinkle to Face Butler

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Bulldog bulletins, a WaPo feature on James Akinjo, and speculation on a missing Mac McClung...

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

With four other BIG EAST games already in the books, the Georgetown Hoyas head to Hinkle Fieldhouse for their own conference opener against the Butler Bulldogs. After Saturday’s game against Howard, Josh LeBlanc was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week and Jessie Govan was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll with a solid offensive performance.

Butler is coming off a blowout loss in Gainesville to Florida after beating the Gators in an early neutral-site tournament. The Bulldogs are led by junior guard Kamar Baldwin who happens to be in the BIG EAST Top 10 for points, assists, steals, minutes, and free throw percentage. Butler also features 6’7” semester transfer Jordan Tucker, who inspired Casual Hoya to, in turn, inspire Ariana Grande’s hit break-up anthem...

Here are the links:

Big East basketball power rankings (12/29) | THEBUTLERCOLLEGIAN

3. Butler Bulldogs (9-3) Pre-season rank: 3 As the keys to the proverbial car were handed to Kamar Baldwin this year, expectations were mixed for Butler. And so far, they’ve been exactly that: a mixed bag. The offense has been shaky in losses to Dayton and Saint Louis, yet looked fine in wins over Ole Miss at home and Florida in the Bahamas. However, the debut of Jordan Tucker has rejuvenated the hopes of the Butler faithful that expect the Bulldogs to compete in the Big East this year. If the offense is clicking, Butler will be a dangerous team come March.

James Akinjo wants to return Georgetown basketball to glory, then bring some home to Oakland | WASHINGTONPOST

That means learning to control his energy on court. Akinjo is the team’s chief trash-talker, but Ewing has to remind him to control it in practice because of how his energy trickles down to the team.

“Early in the year, I didn’t realize that it doesn’t matter that I’m young, I’m a freshman — I’m the point guard, so everybody’s paying attention to what I say,” Akinjo said. “I’ve got to be mindful of learning guys’ personalities, knowing that they all listen to me, that when I talk, they’re looking at me to lead them.”

Given its road futility, nearly every home game is a must-win for Butler | INDYSTAR

“As they say, failure is not final it’s a step in the growth process,” Jordan said in Florida. “They taught us a great lesson tonight in toughness.”

Although Georgetown is projected to finish near the bottom of the conference, it is not necessarily an ideal opponent for Butler. The Hoyas are 4-1 at Hinkle, winning 85-81 in 2017 and 87-83 last season. Butler was 3-7 on the road a year ago, 3-6 in the Big East. Excluding the Bulldogs’ 2014 Big East debut, it was their worst league road record since going 1-6 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1993.

@ButlerMBB Opens 2019 and BIG EAST Play Wednesday at Home vs. Georgetown | BUTLERSPORTS

The game will air on FOX Sports Network affiliates, including FOX Sports Midwest/Indiana. Butler alum and the former “Voice of the Bulldogs” Brandon Gaudin will handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Nick Bahe... PDF Notes

‘PAULING’ OUT: Paul Jorgensen led the Bulldogs with 19 points in the win over UC Irvine, which included a 5-of-7 performance from behind the arc. Jorgensen has hit at least five three-pointers in three games this season. He has led the team in scoring in five games this season...

Butler Basketball: Keys to success at home against Georgetown in 2018-19 | BUSTINGBRACKETS

The Hoyas boast an electric freshmen backcourt, one of the best big men in the conference, and play at a frenetic pace that Butler could struggle to handle. With that said, though, the most important defensive key in this game could be preventing the Hoyas from living at the free throw line.

Over the course of their non-conference schedule, Georgetown was one of the best teams in the nation when it came to drawing shooting fouls. Behind the attacking nature of freshmen Mac McClung and James Akinjo, along with the inside presence of Govan, this team is averaging 25.5 free throw attempts per game while exhibiting a top-50 FTAr in the nation. Perhaps more importantly, though, the team is highly efficient on these shots, burying 74.3% of their attempts from the charity stripe.

Roster Table
Player # Class Pos Height Weight Hometown Summary
Kamar Baldwin 3 JR G 6-0 170 Winder, GA 15.6 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 3.8 Ast
Paul Jorgensen 5 SR G 6-2 183 New City, NY 14.5 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 1.7 Ast
Sean McDermott 22 JR F 6-6 182 Anderson, IN 10.9 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Joey Brunk 50 SO F 6-11 240 Indianapolis, IN 7.9 Pts, 4.3 Reb, 0.9 Ast
Henry Baddley 20 JR F 6-4 175 Wadsworth, OH 6.2 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 0.7 Ast
Aaron Thompson 2 SO G 6-2 190 Glenn Dale, MD 6.2 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 4.5 Ast
Nate Fowler 51 SR F 6-10 250 Cincinnati, OH 5.0 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 1.3 Ast
Jordan Tucker 1 SO F 6-7 212 White Plains, NY 8.8 Pts, 3.8 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Christian David 25 SO F 6-6 215 Milton, Canada 2.0 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.6 Ast
Jerald Gillens-Butler 21 SO F 6-4 235 Orlando, FL 1.0 Pts, 1.4 Reb, 0.2 Ast
Bryce Golden 33 FR F 6-9 250 Winchester, VA 3.0 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Campbell Donovan 0 SO G 5-11 165 Fort Wayne, IN 0.7 Pts, 0.0 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Markeese Hastings 24 FR F 6-7 190 Wyoming, MI
Bryce Nze 10 JR F 6-7 225 Hartland, WI
Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/1/2019.

‘Butler is better than that.’ Dawgs not quite sure what they are | INDYSTAR

Jordan conceded he did not know why such miseries have persisted, other than previous losses to Dayton (on a neutral court) and Saint Louis came after victories. “You have to be able to handle prosperity,” he said. “No different than you have to handle adversity. It’s all the same. We haven’t handled prosperity very well.” Florida is among the nation’s top defensive teams — up to No. 6 in efficiency, according to kenpom.com — and began by shooting 10-of-13 against Butler. The Gators started 6-of-7 on 3-pointers. Thompson said they got “comfortable” early, and that was understating it.

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Happy New Year from the Hoyas!

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Through his first three games as a Dawg, Jordan Tucker has been electric. Even though he is clearly still developing and learning on the court, his raw talent level is off the charts and it is showing on the offensive end. He has played just 34 minutes so far in his career with Butler but has cashed in 27 points and 13 rebounds during that time. And while he has shot 6-for-10 from deep, he has also shown that he is more than just a jump shooter. Unlike just about anyone else on the Butler roster, J-Tucks has already shown the ability to draw contact around the basket and get to the free throw line. Furthermore, he is a much better rebounder than anyone would have anticipated.

Mac McClung is the 2018 Tri-Cities Sports Person of the Year | MEDIUM

McClung not only excelled locally this season, but has become something of a Ken Reeves figure at Georgetown. Distasteful as a racial element to his stardom may be, don’t discount the cultural impact he may prove to have at Georgetown. His recruitment was anticipated by Hoyas fans, and he’s already got a highlight reel of dunks.

Butler vs. Georgetown - 1/2/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction | SPORTSCHATPLACE

Georgetown has a nice start to their season and although they haven’t played the toughest in terms in competition, they have an offense that ranks 38th in scoring offense and gave a decent Syracuse team all they could handle on the road in a 72-71 loss.

Butler is better than they team we saw last Saturday and has been led by their defense that ranks 45th in scoring defense & 77th in 3P-FG%. Butler is a tough team at home (7-0 this season) however, as the Hoyas should have a huge advantage on the boards, I think Georgetown can do enough to cover with this many points. Take Georgetown to cover [-10?].

UPDATE: