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GAME THREAD: Georgetown at St. John’s

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Hoyas look for their first Big East win Sunday at MSG

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Your Georgetown Hoyas return to Madison Square Garden on Sunday for the first time since winning their conference record 8th Big East Championship last March to face longtime rivals St. John’s. Coach Patrick Ewing will be unavailable for the second straight game leaving the coaching duties up to veteran Louis Orr.

Game 14: Georgetown Hoyas (6-7, 0-2) at St. John’s Red Storm (9-5, 1-2)

When: Sunday 4:30 pm

Where: Madison Square Garden

Series: Johnnies lead 61-57

Last meeting(s): The teams split wins last season, each winning at home over the span of seven days in December 2020.

TV: FOX (Tim Brando & Jim Jackson)

Radio: 980 (Rich Chvotkin, 48th season), SiriusXM 84, Radio.com

NET Ranking: St. John’s 102 , Georgetown 199

KenPom Ranking: St. John’s 90 , Georgetown 139

KenPom Projection: St. John’s 86, Georgetown 77 (78%)

Line: St. John’s -10.5

Mutombo Coffee:

Mutombo Coffee

PREVIEW

For as difficult as it must be to try and game plan without knowing who on your roster is available, it’s also difficult to come up with a preview.

What we know so far is that Patrick Ewing won’t be on the sidelines for a second straight game. This means veteran coach - and former Big East coach of the year - Louis Orr will continue in his acting coach duties. Against Butler, Orr’s influence on the game meant that Georgetown played more zone than we are accustomed to seeing from the Hoyas. Now some of that was due to the fact that Orr only had eight scholarship players at his disposable but some of it was strategy. A team that doesn’t play zone can’t just come up with a good zone on the fly but with the way the Hoyas man to man defense has struggled, it seems like a good idea to switch things up at times no matter how many players are available.

Speaking of player availability, Georgetown hasn’t provided any updates yet as to which, if any, players may be returning from illness. Starters Donald Carey, Dante Harris and reserve Kobe Clark were all missing in the loss to the Bulldogs. Look for possible St. John’s reporters tweeting from MSG to provide an idea as to anyone that may be missing during warmups. The school is likely to give an update closer to tip-off.

It’s pretty simple for Georgetown, they need to get their guys back to increase their chances of winning. Tyler Beard played well against Butler - particularly in the first half - but possibly ran out of steam without a natural backup.

There’s no nice way to put this: Georgetown’s KenPom and Net rankings are really poor for a major conference team right now. As the only Big East school without a win - they’ve only played two games, the Hoyas need a victory in the worst way to even start thinking about getting this thing stabilized. Freshman Aminu Mohammed continues to lead the Hoyas in scoring and rebounding but needs to shake off an uneasy performance last time out.

As for St. John’s, they aren’t exactly sitting pretty themselves despite different expectations. Hopes were high for Mike Anderson’s squad after Justin Champagnie decided to come back to school last spring. The talented junior hasn’t disappointed as he leads the league in scoring at 21.2 points per game. Champagnie also leads the Red Storm in rebounding (7.5 rpg), is second in the league in 3-point percentage (41%) and has three double-doubles. Sophomore guard Posh Alexander leads the conference in steals per game (2.4) and dishes out five assists per game.

St. John’s has lost two straight in the Big East, which includes a really tough loss in OT at UConn during the week. The Red Storm have a lot of work to do in the league in terms of resume boosting as Anderson played a fairly light non-conference schedule that include zero quality wins while losing to a really low rated Pitt team. Right now, Georgetown would qualify as a bad loss for anyone in the league.

OVER AT THE HALF

Georgetown is 5-0 when leading at the half this season and just 1-7 when trailing. The Hoyas lone comeback win this season came against Syracuse. The Orange took a 44-34 lead into the halftime break before the Hoyas came back to win 79-75.

SUPER LEAD-IN

The time for this Georgetown - St. John’s matchup wasn’t announced until the NFL Playoff schedule was last Sunday night. So the good news is that their isn’t a better lead-in for anything than NFL playoff games, particularly when Tom Brady is playing. The bad news is that most of those people will likely gravitate over to CBS/Nickelodeon to watch another big rivalry from a bygone decade in 49ers-Cowboys

Bobby’s Prediction

St. John’s 90, Georgetown 77

Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!

HOYA SAXA!