Over the season Providence has leaned on do-it-all junior forward Alpha Diallo, as well as heralded freshmen guards David Duke and A.J. Reeves, who just returned from a foot injury and missed the January 12th tilt at Capital One Arena. Prior to the injury, Reeves was the Friars’ second-leading scorer with 14.2 ppg and led Providence in 3-pointers made (24) and 3-point (45.3%). In the three games he’s played since his return the one-time front-runner for BIG EAST Freshman of the Year has played only about 10 minutes per game, shooting 5-15 from the field with 3 for 11 from the arc. The Hoyas hope this game does not give A.J. Reeves the spotlight for reemergence.
For Georgetown’s freshmen, James Akinjo earned his third BIG EAST Freshman of the Week award “after averaging 21.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steaks (sic).” Akinjo had 23 points (all in the second half) against Xavier and led the Hoyas with 19 against Villanova. For the season, “Akinjo leads all league freshmen in scoring with a 14.1 scoring average” and “ranks second among all players in assists with a 5.2 mark.”
Mac McClung is looking to get right after coming off a Villanova game where his jump-shot appeared to revert to the inconsistent early-season form. Josh LeBlanc has been his usual energetic self but scored only 5 against ‘Nova after scoring 17 and 15 points, respectively, against Xavier and St. John’s.
On paper, this game appears to be headed for a match-up of freshmen guards, however, last time against Georgetown, sophomore center Nate Watson shot 9-for-11 and scored 21 points in the 2OT classic. Providence also relied on a surprise season-high effort from redshirt junior guard Drew Edwards (19 points), but Coach Cooley will likely prefer an inside game that targets Jessie Govan after his 0-point foul-trouble against Villanova.
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The Hoyas have been vulnerable on defense in Big East play after playing a very soft non-conference schedule. Their Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in league games ranks 7th and they have gotten beat up inside by their opponents, who score 49.9% of their points from 2-point range, the 2nd highest rate in Big East play...
The keys to victory for Providence are to defend the 3-point line and keep Georgetown off the foul line. The Hoyas are second in Big East play in 3-point % at a blistering 40.2%, just 0.4% behind Creighton. They score 37.7% of their points from beyond the arc. Georgetown also gets to the free throw line often, the 2nd best rate in league play. The best at doing this on the roster is Akinjo...
Game Notes & Preview: Providence (13-9, 3-6) vs Georgetown (14-8, 4-5) 2/6/19— Mike Hopkins (@pcbb1917) February 5, 2019
Where: Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, RI When: 7:30pm EST How: FS1 (Dave O'Brien and Donny Marshall)/Fox Sports GO app (where available)/WPRO 99.7 FM & 630AM, TuneIn and F… https://t.co/CKLX9VG7Bm pic.twitter.com/1FT2ca16gO
The Friars have returned A.J. Reeves, a freshman guard who was out for the start of conference play due to a foot injury. He finally returned to action on Jan. 27 against DePaul. Reeves had stolen the limelight from Co-Preseason Big East player of the Year David Duke Jr., showcasing a solid shooting stroke and the ability to be a dynamic scorer. He was the team’s second-highest scorer right behind Alpha Diallo. It’s clear that he’s still being worked back into the rotation.
Your Georgetown Hoyas are hitting the road tomorrow to take on Ed Cooley's Providence Squad, hoping to rebound from a tough loss to #14 Villanova. https://t.co/tQPq3EzOLR— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) February 5, 2019
Junior forward Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) scored 24 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the Friars’ double overtime loss at Georgetown on January 12. For Diallo it was his sixth double-double of the season and the 12th of his career. He leads the Friars in scoring (17.1 ppg), rebounding (8.1 rpg) and assists (3.3 apg)...
Through 22 games this season, Head Coach Ed Cooley has relied on his freshman class to help pace the Friars. Freshman David Duke (Providence, R.I.) has started all 22 games this season. Freshman A.J. Reeves ranks second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and he leads the team in three-point shooting (42.2 percent). Duke is fifth on the team in scoring (7.4 ppg). Freshman Jimmy Nichols (Conway, S.C.) is first on the team in blocks with 20.
Georgetown is a 3 point underdog at Providence on Wednesday.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) February 6, 2019
Hoyas (4-5, BIG EAST) have lost five straight on the road to the Friars (3-6).
Last win at Dunkin Donuts was in 2012.
The Friars’ inability to create space is part of the reason why Nate Watson took just four shots on Saturday, and why they lost despite creating 21 turnovers and making 16-18 (89%) at the free throw line.
It was a similar story in Wednesday’s loss at Seton Hall. The Pirates turned the ball over 19 times, Providence made 14-17 free throws, and yet the Friars shot 38% from the field and 31% from deep in a two point loss.
Last weekend Providence was able to defeat DePaul at home, while shooting just 4-21 from 3. On that afternoon freshman AJ Reeves returned from a foot injury to knock down three first half 3-pointers.
At 3-6, Providence will likely need to finish 7-2 in its final nine Big East games to reach its sixth straight NCAA Tournament. Friars host Georgetown tonight at The Dunk. #pcbb— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 6, 2019
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (14-8, 4-5 Big East): Govan can’t wait to put the Villanova game behind him as the senior fouled out after 13 minutes of action and finished with zero points on 0-of-9 shooting. The 6-10 center, who needs seven points for 1,500 in his career, hadn’t been held without a field goal since early in his sophomore season and hadn’t been held scoreless since the final game of his freshman campaign. Govan, who put up 33 points and 14 rebounds in the first game against the Friars, was averaging 21.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in conference play prior to the performance against Villanova, which included two rebounds.
A.J. Reeves averaged 14.2 PPG and shot 45% from 3 through @PCFriarsmbb's first 10 games of season. Then he got hurt. How important is he coming down the stretch for the Friars? pic.twitter.com/N9oPToUuwd— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) February 5, 2019
For the love of Dan Gavitt, would someone not named Villanova or Marquette PLEASE get back above .500 in league play already? The Hoyas had gotten back to .500 last week, but their loss to Villanova on Sunday knocked them back underneath. This is their first chance to get back to .500, and quite honestly, the best path for the Big East for someone to get above .500 this week.
.@GeorgetownHoops on the way to Providence— Sports + Aviation (@SportsAviation) February 5, 2019
IAD ➡️ PVD
SWQ778 | N806TJ | B734
13-18 @ PC (Last Trip: 2018 | Win: 2012)
4:24pm (☀️ | 63º)
Evan Dougherty | https://t.co/bCv7dtrlL2#Georgetown #Hoyas #GoHoyas #BIGEAST #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/fRlObo31sR
The Hoyas and the Friars are similar in that have young teams trying to find their way but how they play could not be any different. Led by freshmen James Akinjo and Mac McClung, the Hoyas prefer high-scoring affairs–much like their 96-90 double overtime victory over the Friars on Jan. 12. Head coach Patrick Ewing’s team is tied for first in the Big East in scoring (82.4 points per game) and last in scoring defense (78.1), a fact that leads it to struggle in low-scoring games such as Sunday’s 77-65 loss at 13th-ranked Villanova.
ICYMI: Providence opened as 4-pt home favorites against Georgetown for tonight's game at 7:30pm. The Friars are 10-12 ATS this season while the Hoyas are 8-12-1 #pcbb #gofriars #HoyaSaxa #BIGEASThoops https://t.co/PA8F16ZkWn— Mike Hopkins (@pcbb1917) February 6, 2019
The Friars offense has been very poor recently as they have only averaged 59 points in their last two games. Alpha Diallo leads the team in scoring, assists, steals and rebounding and will need to have a huge game if the Friars are going to avoid a season sweep and fall further down the standings.
The Friars defense has been overall very solid this season and are only allowing 69.1 points per game. In the first game against the Hoyas they allowed 96 points, so if they can hold the Hoyas to the low 70’s they will have a very solid chance to win this game.