After a disappointing outing last week, the Georgetown Hoyas (1-1) will host the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1) on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 4:30PM at McDonough Arena. The game will be televised on FS1.
Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing was asked what he's happy with so far this season and responds with "Nothing" while smiling.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) December 4, 2020
"I'm not happy with anything."
He then goes on to say it's only been two games, they have a lot to work on and how they got to campus late.
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The Hoyas have featured several of the elite post players in college basketball throughout their Big East tenure, including Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Roy Hibbert and Alonzo Mourning. Their style of play recently looks quite different.
“They are pretty much perimeter-oriented [?]. That’s seemingly the wave of the future with one big and four perimeter guys. But when you have bigs like we do, you have to use them,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins.
“You know what everybody learns when they go from taking the uniform off and sitting in the first chair? Just trying to win, man. What position they are in or whatever, you are going to put the five guys out there that give you the best opportunity to win.”
Huggins on bigs, Georgetown, rebounding--"They're pretty much perimeter oriented..."— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) December 4, 2020
"WVU head basketball coach Bob Huggins 12-4-20" https://t.co/mEnydN5eVE
The Mountaineers have a talented backcourt, led by sophomore guard Miles “Deuce” McBride, at 16.3 points per game. McBride is a talented scorer and a disruptive force on perimeter defense...
Down low, [forwards] will have their hands full trying to contain Derek Culver. The 6’10 center has been a wrecking ball for the Mountaineers through three games, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks per game. Between [among] him, Oscar Tshiebwe, and Gabe Osabouhien, the Mountaineers snare 10 offensive rebounds per game right there. WVU boasts one of the better frontcourts in the nation.
Ewing on Jalen Harris: "We only played two games so we have 23 more games to go, barring a shutdown. It's all a work in progress. Some of it is on him and some of him is on us."— Voice Sports (@GUVoiceSports) December 4, 2020
“We didn’t guard the ball screen,” Huggins said. “We spent an enormous amount of time guarding the ball screen, and we’re going to have to guard it a different way.”
Huggins said his bigs consistently were beaten to the spot on ball screens and the guards were unable to get through screens to help.
The game was at West Virginia’s pace until about the 10-minute mark of the second half when the Zags finally began scoring transition points as the Mountaineers began to tire...
Gonzaga (3-0) dominated West Virginia in the paint, outscoring the Mountaineers 60 to 30 with its superior passing and transition game. Twenty-five of those came off of fast breaks.
West Virginia came out unafraid, dominating the glass and making all of the hustle plays. Despite making just one of their first eight shots form the floor the Mountaineers were up 12-6 on a Miles McBride trey on the play after the first media timeout.
The Mountaineers imposed their gritty, board-gobbling will on the Bulldogs throughout the first half. They even held Bulldog center Andrew Timme to 1-8 shooting form the floor, their pressure causing him to be noticeably frustrated and miss a couple of easy layups in the first stanza.
West Virginia would twice lead by nine in the last five minutes of the first half, continually shortening the Bulldogs chain with their pressure defense and aggressive work on the blocks. WVU would go into the half with a 39-35 lead.
West Virginia has the luxury of returning four starters from last season. Their lone departure of that group is Jermaine Haley, who averaged 8.9 points per game and has graduated.
The other four all started at least 25 games last year and should be expected to return to those starting spots this season. There will possibly be some moving parts in the backcourt – but the frontcourt is unquestionably solidified.
Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe will return to their posts at power forward and center, respectively, after a season where they were arguably the best defensive frontcourt pairing in college basketball. Both were absolute machines from the floor and on the boards, combining for 21.6 points per game and 17.9 rebounds per game.
Ewing on lessons learned: "We watched film of all the mistakes we made, things that we need to do better and right to win. Once we did that, we moved on. [...] Yesterday was about us getting better, today and tomorrow will be about West Virginia."— Voice Sports (@GUVoiceSports) December 4, 2020
Georgetown fell to 1-1 recently, as they were beaten by Navy Midshipmen. Navy started the quicker of the two teams and led 29-26 at the break. They were able to increase that lead by outscoring Georgetown 49-45 in the second half. The hosts this weekend would have taken positives despite the defeat, with Blair’s solid form continuing. He scored another 17 points in that game, while Pickett scored the same number of points. Wahab scored 16 in the defeat, while Jalen Harris contributed 12.
West Virginia have played two more games than their opponents this weekend, but they did suffer their first defeat of the season last time out against top-seeded side Gonzaga. Before that defeat, West Virginia had won all three of their games. They started the season with wins over SD State and VCU, before coming up against Western KY. West Virginia won that game against Western KY 70-64, but they needed a huge second half performance to claim the win.
“I think it’s a little big of both” responded head Hoya Pat Ewing afterward, when asked if his frontcourt guys, backcourt players or all the above were responsible for the showing. “Everyone…played a role in it, the fact we didn’t guard it properly. Qudus Wahab, here shooting vs Navy, and his teammates struggled in P&R defense. Qudus Wahab, here shooting vs Navy, and his teammates struggled in P&R defense.
“The bigs have to come up, and when they do go around them, contest shots at the end. We tried to trap it at the end…zone it. So we tried to do a couple of things….neither of them worked, was effective enough to limit those guys. “And a few times instead of shrinking the floor and coming in on the roll, we were all guarding our own man, and they were able to get the roll man a couple of times”.
Be sure to register for the 3:30PM pregame event with the Hoya Hoop Club.
Each of the three Hoya guards took his turn leading Georgetown against West Virginia. Jabril Trawick (12 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) attacked the rim early and often, slashing, spotting up, moving the ball, and crashing the glass to keep the Hoyas afloat through an otherwise listless first half. Markel Starks (14 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds) was obviously not ready to have his Georgetown career end, as the senior knifed through the soft Mountaineer defense time and again to find his own offense and to create opportunity for one teammate after another.
But the headliner was sophomore D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who shook off a spotty first half to finish with 32 points and 10 rebounds. DSR took advantage of holes in the West Virginia defense, getting open looks in the lane, on the offensive glass, beyond the arc, and pretty much wherever he wanted as the game wore on.