Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown host the UMBC Retrievers in the opening game of the season at the world famous McDonough Arena!
Game 1: UMBC Retrievers (0-0) at Georgetown Hoyas (0-0)
When: Wednesday, 4pm
Where: McDonough Arena
Series: Georgetown leads 3-0,
Last meeting: December 17, 2019, Georgetown won 81-55
TV: FS1 (Steve Buckhantz & Monica McNutt)
Radio: 106.7 THE FAN (Rich Chvotkin,47th season)
KenPom Ranking: Georgetown 87, UMBC 236
KenPom Projection: Georgetown 79, UMBC 65 (89 percent)
Line: Hoyas -13
Game Preview: From afar this game looks like one of Georgetown’s wins but when you get closer it gets a bit scarier. UMBC is a veteran team that returns a lot of weapons and has a coach that pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. Are you nervous yet?
Yes, UMBC lost their leading scorer from last season but they still return nearly 75 percent of last year’s scoring. Darnell Rogers returns after only playing seven games last season and he’s just the type of smaller guard that has given the Hoyas fits over the years. I also feel really old because his father Shawnta was an absolute star at George Washington where he was the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. Brandon Horvath was UMBC’s leading rebounder last season and is one of three players – including Rogers – that is back after averaging double-figures. The Retrievers weren’t very effective from the 3-point line or the foul line last season but Rogers being back could change everything.
Surprisingly Ryan Odom is back for his fifth season in Baltimore. We all know his resume as he led the 16th seeded Retrievers to the first and only ever win over a 1 seed when UMBC knocked off Virginia in 2018. Many thought he’d have been picked up by a major school by now but he’s still in Baltimore guiding the team picked to finish second in the America East in 20-21.
Let’s get back to the whole McDonough angle.
After not losing a game on campus for 33 years, Georgetown is just 3-4 at McDonough since 2006 and has lost two straight. Current seniors Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair are the only players on the current roster to have played a game on campus and none of the newcomers have even had the chance to experience Kenner League because of how awful life has been in 2020.
Blair said playing at McDonough would probably have a practice type of vibe while Pickett compared it to a Kenner League atmosphere. Both agreed that it would definitely be different which definitely checks out.
As far as not having fans in attendance, here’s what the senior duo had to say.
“I went to DC public schools my whole life so there weren’t many people to watch my games so it will be the same as that,” Pickett said.
“It’s going to be different but I’m sure it’s not going to be hard to adjust,” Blair added. “I think I’m ready for it. I’m not trippin’.”
Georgetown last opened up a season at McDonough in 2001 when former coach Craig Esherick did so for the third consecutive year. The Hoyas will play at least their first six home games of the season on campus, which would be the most since they moved to the Capital Centre just before Ewing the player arrived.
If you want some good news the 2000-01 season saw the Hoyas play five games at McDonough – their most since moving out – and it resulted in a trip to the Sweet 16!
As for the Hoyas starters, I’m going with Jalen Harris, Blair, Donald Carey, Pickett, and Qudus Wahab.
I think this game will be very uncomfortable for Hoya fans but Georgetown will pull out the win, 81-75, win to start the season at 1-0.
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