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...
Jordan Tucker wasn't guaranteed playing time at Georgetown, so he chose Butler instead. Next.— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) January 15, 2018
Here are the links:
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.
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.”
“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.
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...
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.
|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|
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.
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.
First he broke the internet, then Allen Iverson’s single-season Virginia scoring record.— Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 31, 2018
Mac McClung became a social media sensation for his highlight-reel dunks, amassing 400,000 Instagram followers as a HS senior in the small town of Gate City: https://t.co/FFbBsCS2jc pic.twitter.com/SzLTQmhR4x
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.
Glad the team is hanging out together, but this raises even more questions about Mac McClung's status. pic.twitter.com/tPpAYMhXI3— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) January 1, 2019
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?].
Postgame Quotes from Patrick Ewing: (On McClung injury): "Mac is doing fine. He sprained his ankle. Not sure when he'll be back". #Hoyas— MTCWithMook ️ ✒️ (@MTCwithMook) December 29, 2018
Ewing said McClung was at Capital One Arena keeping his ankle elevated. He's not sure if he'll be available at Butler on Jan 2.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) December 29, 2018
Ewing was optimistic Mourning (concussion) will be back for the next game. #Hoyas