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LINKS: Georgetown to Visit Butler Wednesday Night

Can the Hoyas steal another win at Hinkle?

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Georgetown v Butler Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Georgetown Hoyas will visit the Butler Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday at 7PM on FS1.

Against Butler, Georgetown will try to put together two halves for 40 minutes of good basketball. Based on prior years’ success, Georgetown has a decent chance of shooting well. With Butler’s feeble defense and injuries, the Hoyas have a shot.

So far this year, the Hoya faithful have had their share of seeing slow starts and tough final stretches. While the blown leads certainly tend to hurt more, the contributors at Casual Hoya have written almost as many “slow start” headlines over the past four years as games characterized as infamous “collapses.” They are one in the same problem.

It’s no secret that Patrick Ewing’s teams are prone to big swings. If you live by the 18-4 run, you can just as easily die by the 0-16 swing of the pendulum—especially with each team heating up from the perimeter at different times/halves. It’s not a bold prediction to say that there will be a scoreless plateau at some point in the Hoyas’ next game. You just hope it’s not the last 5-6 minutes.

Georgetown, and many other underdogs, probably have a better chance of stealing wins by jumping out to a lead and trying to maintain down the stretch. However, longshots like that need to (a) stay aggressive and (b) defend. We haven’t seen enough of either this season.

When a presumably more talented team is playing from (way) behind, they tend to care less about fouling as the clock ticks. Their defense gets very physical, they pressure ball handlers, and they deny shooters from receiving passes comfortably. The Hoyas have been flummoxed and hurried by physical half court pressure causing turnovers and possessions without a touch in the post. If opponents pressured early in the first half, Georgetown would likely be just as stymied, but opponents can’t risk the fouls by upping the pressure too early. Similar, the riskier pressure is less likely to come in a nip-and-tuck game close at halftime.

So, rather than lament if the Hoyas blow another lead, I’m going to continue to advocate for even more aggressiveness. Ewing needs to convey that there is nothing to lose, because there really isn’t. If Pickett or Wahab foul out while making plays, so be it. If Blair or Carey shoots 1-9, but they are decent looks, fine, keep shooting. If Dante Harris has 4 turnovers in the first half, tell him to get 8 assists in the second. Play like you only have one foul, don’t play scared.

There aren’t many levers to pull in the adjustment department this year, but giving the green light to be more aggressive and not give a damn about fouls needs to be priority one. If Georgetown matches (or beats) the opponent’s physicality, the momentum should take care of itself.

Here are the links:

@ButlerMBB Welcomes Georgetown to Hinkle Fieldhouse Wednesday Night | BUTLERSPORTS

For the season, Harris is third among the Bulldogs with an average of 11.1 points per game. Among true freshmen in the BIG EAST, only Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (at 12.4 points per game) is averaging more.

BALANCED ATTACK: In the Dec. 23 win over Providence, the Bulldogs put five players in double figures, led by freshman JaKobe Coles with 14 points. It was only the third time in more than two calendar years that Butler has had five players score 10 or more in the same game (win vs. St. John’s, 3/4/20; loss vs. Providence, 2/1/20). Prior to that, Butler had five in double figures in a Dec. 8, 2018 win over Northern Illinois.

TIGHT SQUEEZE: Butler turned the ball over only eight times in the Dec. 30 loss at Providence, which is its second-best mark of the young season (six turnovers against Western Michigan Nov. 25). Butler’s average of only 11.3 turnovers per game is 37th nationally.

Georgetown Basketball: Butler Preview | Making The Cut | MTCWITHMOOK

The Hoyas look to continue the good look they have had at Hinkle Fieldhouse. when they face Butler. In the last seven years, the Hoyas are 6-1 at Hinkle including last season’s 73-66 win. Georgetown (3-6, 1-4) has lost three games in a row. In the most recent loss to Marquette, Georgetown blew an 18 point second half lead. Blowing double-digit leads has been a problem since Patrick Ewing has taken over. In his 52 losses at Georgetown, 14 have come when the Hoyas have had a double digit lead.

Butler vs. Georgetown: What you need to know | THEBUTLERCOLLEGIAN

The Hoyas plays at a pace that is foreign to Butler this season Through seven games this season, the Bulldogs have yet to play an opponent that plays at a pace higher than top-200 in the country, per So far, this has aligned with the slow-paced and short-handed Butler team’s playstyle. However, Georgetown ranks in the top 80 in the country in adjusted tempo through their nine games this year...

With Georgetown’s elevated pace, one may expect an increase in turnovers forced on their opponents, but that hasn’t proven to be the case so far this year. Hoya opponents are averaging just 10.6 turnovers per game this year, good for 14th fewest in the country. For a Bulldog team that takes care of the ball already, the end result will likely come down to if LaVall Jordan’s bunch can knock down shots on their home floor.

Georgetown vs. Butler: Expect a Low-Scoring Battle | ACTIONNETWORK

The Hoyas run a four out one in type of offense where everything usually runs through center Qudus Wahab, who’s almost averaging a double-double. However, the Hoyas have really struggled from 2-point range over their last two games, shooting under 40%. The other issue is they’re not getting to the free-throw line, as they have the second-worst free-throw rate in the Big East. Really, the only way Georgetown has stayed in any of its games is by lighting it up from deep, as it’s shooting 34% for the season. To make matters worse, Georgetown turns the ball over too often to be competitive.

In fact, it’s turned the ball over 31 times in its last two games. However, that won’t be much of an issue because Butler’s defense has the second-lowest turnover rate in the Big East.

Butler’s defense downright stinks at pretty much everything. It ranks in the bottom 70 of college basketball in effective field goal percentage allowed, 3-point percentage allowed, and 2-point percentage allowed, per KenPom. However, it’s been elite in one area, and that is defensive rebounding.

Villanova Basketball Game Preview: Butler Bulldogs | VUHOOPS

Key Departures and Additions ... Butler lost many of its top players from last season, including Baldwin and McDermott, who were crucial in their win over Villanova. Jair Bolden, a graduate transfer who averaged nine points per game at South Carolina, is expected to take over as shooting guard. The Bulldogs also got another incoming transfer from Bo Hodges, but he may have to sit this season out pending a crucial Dec. 16 vote by the NCAA to decide if transfers should receive immediate eligibility. Aside from transfers, Butler welcomed five freshmen. Leading the group of first-year players is Myles Tate, who averaged 15 points per game at Dorman High School (Roebuck, S.C.), leading them to four state championships. Chuck Harris, another four-star freshman guard, averaged 12 points and was considered one of the top 25 guards in the country.

Seton Hall Hosts Butler Saturday | BIGEASTCOASTBIAS

Butler took a step back losing to Providence as they had previously beaten Providence in Indianapolis. The Bulldogs continue to struggle with consistency as injured Aaron Thompson watches from the bench. There is no word yet on whether or not he’ll play [soon], but he is expected back sometime in January.

...[opponents] will look to exploit the Bulldogs down low, where Bryce Golden and Bryce Nze have really struggled.

Seton Hall Outlasts Butler | BIGEASTCOASTBIAS

Much has been said of Butler’s talented freshman class, especially since Aaron Thompson went down with injury and the freshmen were forced to lead the team. In this one, Tate and Harris looked like budding stars. Tate shot 5/8 from three, bailing out the Bulldogs late in the shot clock multiple times. He also had five assists to just one turnover, though that turnover was a big one down the stretch. The confidence these two displayed, along with Wilmoth, in battling back from a deficit on the road against a tough opponent should have Butler fans extremely excited for the future.