Your Georgetown Hoyas will take the Madison Square Garden floor with their NCAA Tournament hopes on the line. A rubber match with Seton Hall is the first (and possibly only step) needed to punch a ticket. After getting punched in the mouth quickly in the first 10 minutes in Newark in the first meeting - the next 80 minutes between the two teams have basically been played to a draw (Georgetown +5 thanks to the double OT win).
Both teams feature rather simplistic styles which will only be heightened with a third meeting. Seton Hall relies heavily on do-it-all guard Myles Powell - who should be generating a better case for Big East POY than has been given credit for. Georgetown, despite recent freshman heroics, still is focused around the big man, Jessie Govan. Those two figure to be at the center of the match-up Thursday night.
Given how much Seton Hall leans on Powell, it’s hard to envision him not getting his points. He works off ball screens, flare screens, double screens, you name it - he’s the lynch-pin to everything Seton Hall does offensively. Patrick Ewing and his staff decided to face-guard Powell in the last meeting and those duties were assigned to Jagan Mosely. Mosely did an admirable job even as Powell netted 35 points on 14-27 shooting.
You can see here the gist of what Seton Hall is offensively as they run Powell off of two double screens:
Mosely played as if he were a corner-back at times, full attention on Powell and disregarding any other action. At times, it can make the Seton Hall offense stall out and the ball ending up in the hands of a non-threat:
Only four players in all of D1 worked off screens more than Powell according to Synergy Sports, and none were high-major players. It’s rare to see a high-major offense be so geared towards one man but Powell is worthy of that responsibility. It doesn’t take much of an opening for him to find a shot - and even if contested, make it. It is imperative that Mosely doesn’t have any lapses defensively and can be as connected as possible.
Guarding him to what would be a reasonable effort against most doesn’t cut it:
And he’s going to make 1 or 2 of these a game, multiple hands in his face and it won’t matter:
Jamorko Pickett also had his chance at Powell in a much smaller sample vs Powell. Pickett does not have the ability to stay connected hip to hip as well as Mosely can but Pickett can leverage his length to contest shots while keeping the ball in front of him:
There are no other options. It has to be Mosely with a dose of Pickett to handle this duty. James Akinjo, who is turning into an already very good 1 on 1 defender is just too small to contest when Powell rises. Other options - Malinowski, Blair, McClung, just can’t hold up with this task. Where other defenders can help is correctly ID’ing the personnel around Powell and understanding when and how aggressively they can help with Powell. Seton Hall does not offer many other threats - particularly from the 3pt line- only Myles Cale has made more than 25 three pointers and is the only one shooting at above a 31% clip.
In these clips you can see how willing Hoya defenders are at times to help off and dare Seton Hall beat them another way:
If the other parts beat, you so be it. Mosely (and Pickett) will need help in their task and it’s up to everyone that Powell works for everything he gets again.
On the offensive side of the ball, it’s time for Jessie Govan to put together a game that the circumstances call for. The senior big man will again get ample opportunity vs Seton Hall and he’ll have to capitalize. Big man Romaro Gill is a spare player (more on him later) and the combination of Sandro Mamukelashvili and Michael Nzei are undersized vs Govan. Seton Hall generally refuses to send help and has so far with Govan. He’ll get plenty of chances vs single coverage.
You’ll see here that Sandro just can’t handle Govan and at times Govan simply missed shots he’s made most of the season. After re-watching the game, it was hard to conclude that Govan was sub-par (which goes against mine and others feelings in real-time)- the effort defensively and on the glass can always wane but it just came down to the fact that he didn’t take advantage 1 on 1 like he generally has. Given these opportunities again, I’d like his chances. It will require patience from the freshman guards to seek him out and trust they can work through the big man, if they do, a productive night should be in order.
In a minor role Thursday night will be Georgetown’s ability to attack Romaro Gill. The Hoyas can’t simply allow him to stay stationary in the paint and be a presence - move him around and get him in ball screens to break the Hall’s defense. He should be too much of a weakness athletically to play 15+ effective minutes.
In the clips here you can see mix of Georgetown failing to involve in letting Seton Hall fall into a fake-zone and times where they engaged him and broke down the defense (the skip pass they failed to make/see will always be there). For the 15-20 minutes Gill figures to play, you’ll have to turn him into a liability.
This figures to be a tight game, with both teams still uncomfortable about NCAA positioning (Hall likely in, but no givens) - you should get a home-run effort on both ends. A 9:30PM start in the Garden lends itself to a primed crowd that will only enhance the setting. These are two teams that have near equal ability - perhaps an edge to Georgetown in talent and an edge to Seton Hall in having the best player on the floor. The game-plans aren’t complicated. The freshman for Georgetown will have their day and NCAA Tournament experience. I feel confidently in saying that’s not an if, it’s a when. For a senior and junior in Govan and Mosely, who have the seen the lowest of lows, their chance is now.