On Saturday afternoon, your Georgetown Hoyas will head to Storrs to take on the Connecticut Huskies for the final regular season game of this tough, bizarre COVID-19 season. Game time is set for noon and will be broadcast on CBS.
Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas are looking to continue their momentum into the BIG EAST Tournament next week. Winning 6 of the last 9, Georgetown has been as good as any conference foe during this last stretch, with the biggest blemishes being late-night Tuesday losses to Creighton and UConn at home.
Ewing on the Hoyas current good run:— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) March 4, 2021
"We're playing our best ball right now, and this is the best time to be playing great- the end of the season and going into the Big East Tournament. Hopefully we go up there and make some noise and go as far as we can. Hopefully win it all."
Of course, much of the final seeding for the BIG EAST Tournament will be determined by what transpires on Saturday, so there should be a fair amount of good basketball to watch as the teams jockey for final position. Georgetown could be #5 if the wind blows in the right direction.
UConn has the third seed at BET locked up, but the Huskies should still be playing hard to secure and/or improve their position in the NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t be the first team with something on the line to overlook Georgetown these past few weeks.
Georgetown will need to rebound better as UConn is the only team since the COVID-19 pause to beat the Hoyas on the boards (25-45 total rebounds, 6-17 offensive in first game). Jamorko Pickett and Chudier Bile only had two rebounds apiece last game, while Connecticut freshman Adama Sanogo and senior Isaiah Whaley each had 7 for the Huskies (James Bouknight had 10). Against Seton Hall on Wednesday night, Whaley and Sanogo combined for 33 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and what was characterized as “some stellar interior defense.”
The Hoyas also need to greatly improve on the 24-50 points-in-the-paint deficit from that Tuesday the 23rd game. Georgetown held Xavier to 22 the other night. Team defense down the stretch will be key, especially knowing how UConn screens and forces switches so often. Ewing may look to the small ball lineup again.
Offensively, the Hoyas can’t afford to get stagnant late in the second half or fall in love with launching threes. Things could open up for Jahvon Blair if the Hoyas initiate inside. That could come from a steady dose of feeding Wahab or some healthy portions of a confident, aggressive Pickett. Dante Harris had some luck getting to the rack last game when UConn was over-pressuring. Still, this may likely come down to whether Chudier Bile scores 10+ in the last 8-10 minutes to keep the train moving in the right direction.
Here are the links:
PERFECT WHEN: UConn is a sterling 10-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 40.3 percent or less. The Huskies are 3-6 when they allow opponents to shoot any better than that.
DID YOU KNOW: Both Georgetown and UConn are ranked at the top of the Big East when it comes to offensive rebounding. The Hoyas are ranked second among conference teams with an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.5, 11.8 offensive boards per game. The Huskies are ranked first with an offensive rebound percentage of 36.8, 13.1 per game.
Georgetown will travel to play at UConn on Saturday.— Patrick Waring (@WaringPatrick) March 4, 2021
In a season that’s been different in so many ways, I asked Coach Ewing what he’s learned about this group as they get ready to end the regular season and prepare for the BIG EAST Tournament. #Hoyas pic.twitter.com/PEacO0UCby
The win for G’Town was their second in a row and fourth in their last five games. Stretching the curtain out further, it’s their sixth win in the last nine games, as they continue to go on a late season turnaround. They’ll have a chance to close out the season with a bang in their scheduled matchup with UConn this Saturday.
“We practice like dogs,” Hurley said after the game. “Our identity is defense first, rebounding second, and let offense happen to you. We have a ton of depth. We just wear people down.”
Expanding on UConn’s balance, Hurley noted: “It was a blessing in disguise when Bouk went out. It was tough sledding but we were able to ride it out and have [RJ Cole, Tyrese Martin and Isaiah Whaley] develop bigger roles. Now, these guys can step up on a night when Bouk doesn’t have it. We showed our depth today.”
The Huskies will conclude their regular season on Saturday, March 6 at home against Georgetown on CBS.
UConn coach Dan Hurley said Saturday that the team’s depth is one of its best assets, and it showed on Wednesday as four players finished with double-digit points. Whaley, Sanogo, Bouknight (14) andCole (14) led the offensive charge.
“The blessing in disguise with James’ injury is showing up again,” Hurley said. “Our ability to get Adama minutes, for R.J. to have to do more and for his rhythm ... they were able to kind of grow their confidence while he was out, and now it’s paying dividends.”
Additionally, UConn out-rebounded Seton Hall 40-28, and limited the fouls (UConn fouled just 14 times Wednesday as opposed to 20 against Georgetown on Saturday). Seton Hall hit three of its first four 3-point attempts, but just two of their next 15.
Together, the two make for an elite rim-protecting unit without sacrificing spacing on the offensive end. Whaley’s mobility as a screener leaves the paint open for Sanogo to cook up barbeque chicken. And defenders are forced to choose to either guard Sanogo one-on-one or send help, in which UConn has enough shooters and slashers around to make them pay. On defense, Sanogo is quicker than you think on hedges and recoveries...
And when you have elite rim protection inside, it gives the guards carte blanche to ratchet up the ball pressure. It’s okay if UConn’s guards get beat on the dribble now because there’s formidable help on the way. That’s the trickle-down effect of the Sanogo/Whaley pairing. The defense as a whole is just elite and we really need to appreciate that.
has anyone mentioned that georgetown has won 6 of its last 9 games this seems relevant https://t.co/QEffEc6Meb— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopHoops_) March 5, 2021
The Huskies close out their regular season at home on Saturday against an improved Georgetown team. They’ll begin Big East tournament action on March 11 at 9 p.m. at Madison Square Garden against the winner of the No. 6 vs. No. 11 seed (which, as of today, would be St. John’s or DePaul).
“We’re not satisfied, we’re still hungry,” Whaley said. “We want more. We’re gonna celebrate this, but we’re gonna get right back tow work (Thursday).” Whaley, the 6-foot-9 senior forward, finished with 17 points (one shy of his career high) and 10 rebounds. More impressively, he swatted away and disrupted Seton Hall leading scorer Sandro “Mamu” Mamukelashvili all night. Mamu, a 6-11 senior, finished with 20 points, but shot just 7-for-20 from the floor. After shooting 12 free throws in Seton Hall’s win at UConn last month, Mamu got to the line just three times on Wednesday.
Ewing on defense: "We're not doing anything differently. Defense is something that we work on every day in practice, and I think guys are buying in. That's the biggest difference."— Voice Sports (@GUVoiceSports) March 4, 2021
In 10 games played, the Turkish-born baller is posting 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game on 62 percent shooting from the floor.
Posting the second-best PER on the entire team, the 22-year-old has proven to be an impressive asset for this Blue team and has showcased a skill set that could entice the OKC Thunder to consider calling him up.
With an impressive combination of shot swatting abilities and a sweet mid-range/ fadeaway shooting stroke, coupled with his legitimate 7-foot, 264-pound frame, giving Omer Yurtseven — who they initially gave an Exhibit 10 deal to back in December — a shot at the big leagues on the rebuilding Thunder roster could be something to consider moving forward.
While the encounter was the scene of a head-to-head fight, your encounter went into extra time. Long Island Nets, who played well in the overtimes in the match, whose normal time ended 113-113, managed to defeat their opponent 115-121.
Our representative Ömer Faruk Yurtseven, who played in OKC Blue, had a tremendous performance and became the top scorer of the match.
Ömer Faruk played 34 points – 13 rebounds – 3 assists in the match in which he lasted 34 minutes and became the standing name of his team.
Looking away from those great numbers, Yurtseven is someone that will always show you something new whenever you watch him. Whether it's passing to cutters, snagging offensive boards, being a great roll man, or even hitting some 3's.— Ridiculous Upside (@RidicUpside) March 5, 2021
Yurtseven dropped 34 points (12-18 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks during Monday’s loss to Long Island.
Yurtseven was rewarded with his first start of the season and responded with undoubtedly his best outing. His new career high offensively and strong game on the boards led to another double-double, his fifth one this year. Oddly enough though, the center finished minus-25 across 35 minutes of action. Across 11 games played this year, Yurtseven is averaging 16.2 points and 10.0 rebounds.