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Preview: GRAY OUT - Hoyas host Marquette

Georgetown tires to get back to .500 as the Golden Eagles come to town

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

Game 19: Marquette Golden Eagles (12-5, 2-3) at Georgetown Hoyas (12-6, 2-3)

When: Saturday 2 PM

Where: Capital One Arena

Series: Marquette leads 14-13

Last Meeting: Georgetown won 86-84 on 3/9/19

TV: FS1 (Jeff Levering & Tarik Turner)

Radio: WOL 1450 (Rich Chvotkin)

KenPom Rankings: Georgetown 46, Marquette 34

KenPom Score Prediction: Georgetown 79, Marquettte 77 (56 percent)

NET Rankings: Marquette 35, Georgetown 48

Line: n/a at time of posting

Just a few days after Georgetown improved to 6-1 in their traditional home uniforms with a win down to the wire victory over No. 25 Creighton, it’s time for annual GRAY OUT game where we fully expect the Tidal Blues to get a rest.

Marquette and Markus Howard come to down in pretty much the same shape as the Hoyas. Both teams are in the middle of the standings with the aforementioned Bluejays at 2-3. The Hoyas have the slight advantage in that they have held serve at home while Marquette has suffered defeat in Milwaukee. Much like the Hoyas, Marquette has lost by double digits in two road conference games.

So, needless to say this is a big one! Which to be fair, they kind all are this point for Georgetown but particularly the ones at Capital One Arena.

For Georgetown the keys to victory probably come down to health, and defending the others.

Georgetown somehow survived a game with both Mac McClung and Terrell Allen feeling ill. That’s pretty amazing and something that is unlikely to happen again against a similarly talented team.

And by defending the others, I’m of course talking about limiting Howard’s supporting cast. Gone are the Hauser brothers but there is still a good group for coach Wojo.

Sacar Anim, Brendan Bailey, and Koby McEwen are all capable scorers to go along with Howard’s ridiculous scoring average of almost 30 per game. It’s unlikely that anyone – even a good defender like Jagan Mosely – will be able to shut down Howard. It’s the other guys that can really do the damage.

Down low, Omer Yurtseven had his best game in the league on Wednesday going for 20 and 13 but he will get a test in the form of Theo John. Marquette can also throw Utah transfer Jayce Johnson at Yurtseven for stretches. The 7-footer hasn’t been a factor on offense but he’s rebounded at a pretty high rate given his limited minutes.

Coach Patrick Ewing was very high on Jamorko Pickett after last game even though some were a bit disappointed when just looking at his shooting numbers. The lanky junior was aggressive on the boards, played solid defense, and had a key weakside block. The fact that Pickett got up 10 shots to join McClung and Yurtseven in double-figure attempts is a great sign going forward.

Jahvon Blair, Mosely, and Allen all came through with good performances against Creighton midweek. It’s unlikely Mosely can give another 40-minute performance this week but his decision making on offense as to when to take shots will be needed every night. He did a great job at picking his spots in the second half. Blair took nine shots – not all that surprising – but he attempted five from inside the arc. A few of his misses ended up in the hands of Yurtseven almost making one wonder if that’s the plan: to take more 2’s in the hopes of offensive rebounds.

Prediction: Georgetown 82, Marquette 69 – Hoyas get back to .500 in the league before heading to Xavier.