Game 20: Georgetown Hoyas (12-7, 2-4) at Xavier Musketeers (12-6, 1-4)
When: Wednesday 630 PM
Where: Cintas Center
Series: Xavier leads 14-5
Last Meeting: Georgetown won 80-73 on Jan. 31, 2019
TV: FS1 (Thom Brennaman & Nick Bahe)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin)
KenPom Rankings: Georgetown 52, Xavier 59
KenPom Score Prediction: Xavier 75, Georgetown 72 (59 percent)
NET Rankings: Georgetown 53, Xavier 68
Line: Xavier -3.5, o/u 148
Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Georgetown really needs a win tonight at Xavier to keep their postseason hopes in the realistic column . A 2-5 start in BIG EAST play will likely be too big a hole for the shorthanded Hoyas to climb out of even before the calendar turns to February.
Last time out Georgetown wasted a golden - see what I did there again - opportunity to hold serve at home and rack up a win against a very beatable Marquette team. In the end Markus Howard and his 42-point outburst proved to be too much despite 24 points from Mac McClung and yet another double-double from Omer Yurtseven.
Xavier, which last year missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013 – is sitting at 1-4 after losing three straight games by double-figures. They aren’t used to bad seasons in Cincinnati which may be an issue for Travis Steele who took over for the very successful Chris Mack.
The Musketeers got off to a 9-1 start with nice wins over Missouri and Connecticut that saw them in the national rankings for five weeks. Much has changed since.
The leaders are all familiar faces to Georgetown fan as Naji Marshall, Paul Scruggs, and Tyrique Jones all come in averaging double figures. Jones nearly averages a double-double by pulling down a team best 9.6 boards per game. Jason Carter is an All-Mac transfer from Ohio that has started 17 of 18 games while scoring 7 points and grabbing 5 rebounds per game. Georgetown is just 1-5 at Xavier in BIG EAST play.
So far Xavier has really earned their 1-4 record in conference play. The Musketeers are last in rebounding, second to last in 3-point percentage, and second to last in free throw shooting. This would be a great place to start for Georgetown to get an elusive road conference win against one of the poorer offensive units in the league.
The Hoyas could use Jagan Mosely to get involved in the offense earlier as well as to find both Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair behind the arc. Pickett was at his best against Marquette in catch and shoot situations while Blair didn’t officially attempt a shot in 20 minutes against the Golden Eagles.
THE CAMPBELL WAY
Just once has Georgetown won at Xavier and it will forever be known – at least by me - as the Tre Campbell Game. Then sophomore guard came out of nowhere to score 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half as Georgetown took out No. 5 Xavier on Jan. 19, 2016. Campbell made a career-best five 3-pointers as the Hoyas looked to be in a good spot at 5-2 in the league with a victory over one of the top teams in the country under their belt. As it turned out, things never got better as Georgetown won just two more regular season games the rest of the season.
Just for old time’s sake, here’s the rest of the Georgetown starters: Reggie Cameron, Isaac Copeland, DSR, and Bradley Hayes. Sophomore LJ Peak came off the bench and recorded his first career double-double.
Prediction: Xavier 72, Georgetown 66 – With a week to prepare, Xavier snaps their 3-game slide.