The big game is here as your Georgetown Hoyas host the Syracuse Orange in a matchup between old rivals where you really want to throw out the record books because after today, one of these storied programs will already be up to five losses before even hitting mid December.
Game 9: Georgetown Hoyas (4-4) vs Syracuse Orange (5-4)
When: Saturday noon
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Hoyas trail 52-44
Last meeting: Georgetown lost last season’s matchup in the Carrier Dome 74-69 on Jan. 9 to fall to 3-8 on the season. It was the Hoyas last game for three weeks due to a covid pause. After that, well, everything changed and now there is an 8-time conference tournament champion in the BIG EAST.
TV: Fox (Brandon Gaudin & Bill Raftery)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin, 48th season), SiriusXM 380, Radio.com
KenPom Ranking: Syracuse 61, Georgetown 108
KenPom Projection: Syracuse 79-78 (53%)
Line: Orange -3.5, o/u 155.5
If the season is going to turn around for the Hoyas, it will need to start with a win today against every Hoyas favorite team to boo, the Syracuse Orange.
There was a lot to like from Georgetown’s midweek offensive explosion against UMBC that saw Kaiden Rice break the Hoyas single-game 3-point mark, Aminu Mohammed collect his third double-double of the season and the emergence of Ryan Mutombo as an offensive weapon.
That being said, it was still UMBC and the Hoyas desperately need a quality non-conference win with time running out to grab one.
Georgetown seems to have the edge in depth and rebounding while Syracuse has many a player capable of getting hot from deep. Right now Buddy Boeheim is struggling and the Hoyas will need that to continue to have a chance to win. During the week Villanova decided to basically only shoot 3s and it helped them make a comeback after being down a few points at the half. The Hoyas would be wise to try and get into transition before the press sets up and attempt to make a team overly dependent on their starters get into their bench early.
The big questions, as I see them, are:
Can Rice put up back to back good shooting nights? If he does, he’s likely to break the Hoyas record for 3 point attempts that was set by Allen Iverson.
Is Patrick Ewing ready to start Mutombo? It might not matter if he starts depending on how long he plays but he does give that unit more of an offensive threat.
Can the Hoyas defend the 3-pointers? This is often a big question for any game but particularly against Syracuse. It’s not a very good driving team so there’s an opportunity to avoid helping and staying with your man. Ewing said on Friday that it’s all about guarding - and staying with - your man.
How will the Hoyas fare in their first big game at home with, you know, an actual crowd? Aside from a good showing by the students in the surprising loss to Dartmouth it feels like the rest of the games have been played in front of what feels like a handful of friends and family at Capital One. It’s likely to be pro-Orange crowd today so it’s a great chance for everyone to feed off that energy.
Syracuse is up to three Boeheims which seems really obnoxious even by Orange standards. All five starters average in double figures and play at least 27 minutes a game. Nobody off the bench averages more than 3 points.
Cole Swider gets a chance to pull off a rarity by facing the Hoyas as both a member of Syracuse and Villanova. Impressive.
As mentioned above, Buddy has been struggling and this will be Jimmy’s only shot at playing the Hoyas barring some crazy postseason scenario.
One of the top freshman from the DMV - forward Benny Williams - isn’t playing all that much but might have a chance to shine in a homecoming.
Georgetown 72, Syracuse 69 (OT)
The Hoyas will win their first game of the season after trailing at the half. And just for good measure we will get an extra five minutes of basketball as Patrick Ewing will get his coaching record against Jim Boeheim up to 2-3.
Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!