The Georgetown Hoyas (5-11) will visit the Creighton Bluejays (11-5) on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 8PM ET. Creighton, still playing for a share of the conference championship, as well as a top 2-3 seed in the NCAA tournament, is looking to put the Hoyas away cleanly. Creighton has had the Hoyas’ number recently, especially in Nebraska where the Jays have taken the last four. Yes, the last time Georgetown won in Omaha, Mikael Hopkins and Joshua Smith were on the team.
Georgetown, who won the January 15th match-up, could maybe end their 4-game losing streak against a Creighton team known to embrace the uptempo pace. Georgetown needed 20 points on good shooting (9-14 FGs) from Omer Yurtseven and 19 points from Mac McClung to survive the #HoyaSneezin flu game, but not many are expecting either to suit up for this one. St. John’s beat the Bluejays in a boatrace in New York on Sunday, 91-71, by holding Creighton to just 4-of-27 from deep (14.8%) while hitting 14-of-22 from three (63.6%) themselves.
Nevertheless, Creighton did have a very good February that took them to a top-10 ranking by beating Villanova, Butler, Seton Hall, and Marquette. The Jays are 9-2 since the Hoyas got the better of them in mid-January in Washington, D.C., with that 83-80 win.
The game may be difficult to find on your cable package outside of D.C. (see below) but, according to GUHoyas.com, the game “can be seen locally on MASN2 with Wayne Randazzo calling the play-by-play and Nick Bahe providing analysis.” Of course, fans can listen via The Team 980 with Rich Chvotkin on the call.
Here are the links:
Scouting #11 Creighton ... The Bluejays are 9-2 in the past 11 games ... Creighton ranks tied for fourth nationally with eight Quadrant 1 wins this season ... In addition, CU’s five Quad 1 road wins are the fourth-most in the country.
Creighton averages 77.9 points per game and holds foes to 69.9 points per contest. CU shoots 37.6 percent from three-point range while draining 9.3 treys per outing and also shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 73.8 percent at the line...
Creighton is 8-7 all-time against Georgetown and has won five of the last six meetings in the series. Creighton is 5-1 at home against the Hoyas, including four straight victories.
Their rotation is scorching the nets, led by point guard Marcus Zegarowski manning the point. He has connected on over 63% of his three pointers in the five game winning streak — from the St. John’s game until now. His ability to slice into the Johnnies’ defense in the first meeting was key to getting easy shots for the Bluejays.
Zegarowski’s skill allows guards Ty-Shon Alexander and Mitch Ballock to be catch-and-shoot players, and in the stretch, both have committed very few turnovers — a total of seven while both average over 30 minutes per game. Alexander has been stealing the ball, and both are deft passers.
The secret sauce has been the energy from forward Christian Joseph, who has been a defensive menace, and from Damien Jefferson, who is getting shots at the basket. Joseph has also been handing out assists, rebounding on the offensive end, grabbing steals and blocking shots.
Georgetown’s undermanned but still working hard. Snapped this clip from Sunday’s game, where the Hoyas pressured fullcourt and then flew around in their zone. pic.twitter.com/nWzG529aea— Jon Nyatawa (@JonNyatawa) March 3, 2020
Be ready for a battle: Injuries, dismissals, losses. Georgetown’s been through a lot. But its players are still working. They can press you end-line to end-line, they’ll fly around in a disruptive zone to mess up your rhythm and they’ll drive the ball down your throat until you move or foul them. These Hoyas have the look of a tough-minded group. They trailed Xavier by nine points with eight minutes to go Sunday — and that game was tied in the final minute.
Defend without fouling: During conference play, Georgetown’s scoring 22.2% of its points from the free-throw line (second-highest rate) and it’s made 79.5% of its shots at the stripe (first among league teams)... the Jays gave up 20 free-throw attempts, matching the second-most by a Big East opponent against Creighton this year.
Big man Omer Yurtseven has missed 4 of the last 5 games for Georgetown so this may not end up factoring into Wednesday’s matchup, but here are a few examples of how he beat CU’s ball screen coverage during the first meeting pic.twitter.com/C51yP5WJT0— Jon Nyatawa (@JonNyatawa) March 3, 2020
The Jays were willing to live with the Red Storm taking jump shots, especially when it was secondary scorers taking them. They packed the paint to take away driving lanes from St. John’s guards and paint touches from their big men. It’s an imperfect strategy despite the fact that it’s been successful far more often than not this year.
“They’ve got some guys that are electric off the dribble that you’ve got to provide a little bit of help or they’re going to get to the rim,” Greg McDermott said. “There was a couple of guys we were okay stepping off of and daring them to shoot the shot, that’s kind of what we did at our place. It was successful there. Our plan today was to press up on those guys a little bit better. Obviously, we failed miserably in that regard.” ...
The loss means that Creighton no longer controls their own destiny, but it does not mean they can’t win the Big East anymore. Seton Hall hosts Villanova on Wednesday night, and if the Wildcats win, the Jays can still capture a share of the regular season crown by winning on Saturday against the Pirates.
Episode 40 of the award-winning Kente Korner Podcast is here! @BobbyBancroft and I on Georgetown’s fading season and the search for light at the end of a tunnel of darkness. Fun for the whole family! https://t.co/s9ybjWTgPs pic.twitter.com/ay9hxxFIu9— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) March 3, 2020
SJU’s game plan was evident from the get-go, they were going to use tight off-ball pressure to not let Creighton get too many good looks from deep. The Jays countered by going inside along with creating a few backdoor opportunities that kept them around early despite going 0-8 from three the first 12 minutes of the game. The Damien Jefferson Show was in effect with the ineffectiveness of Creighton’s trio. Jefferson had a career-high 20 points on 8-9 from the field, paired with eight boards.
But it didn’t matter. St. John’s was too good today. Every run Creighton put on, the Red Storm had an answer...
#11 Creighton MBB hosts Georgetown on Wednesday at 7 pm. I've been assured the game will be carried on FOX Sports Midwest's main channel in Nebraska.— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) March 2, 2020
Wayne Randazzo and Nick Bahe will announce it.
Here's the full list of clearances that were sent to me this morning. pic.twitter.com/lyTsrPR4Wz
Creighton could have learned that lesson on Jan. 15 following an 83-80 loss at Georgetown (15-14, 5-11 in Big East), which unfolded somewhat like the loss to St. John’s. The Bluejays hit 13 3-pointers in that game, but the host Hoyas shot 51.7 percent and held a 41-29 advantage on the glass to give coach Patrick Ewing his first victory in five tries in this series.
The Bluejays, though, will be at home, where they are 15-1 this season and have won four in a row over Georgetown by an average of 12.8 points...
Since that victory over Creighton, the Hoyas have lost eight of 11.
Catch the BIG EAST at 40 on Tuesday night.