Game 23: Creighton Bluejays (14-8, 6-5) at Georgetown Hoyas (6-16, 0-11)
When: Saturday Noon
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Bluejays lead 10-9 (Hoyas hold 5-3 edge at home)
Last meeting: Georgetown beat Creighton 73-48 in the 2021 BIG EAST Championship
TV: FS1 (Tom Werme & Dickey Simpkins)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin, 48th season), SiriusXM 380, Radio.com
NET Ranking: Creighton 77, Georgetown 213
KenPom Ranking: Creighton 78, Georgetown 205
KenPom Projection: Creighton 74, Georgetown 68 (70%)
Line: Creighton -4.5, o/u 141.5
And then there was one.
Georgetown is the last school in a major conference still winless in league play. Nebraska had been standing alongside the Hoyas but that came to an end with the Cornhuskers 78-65 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday. Nebraska is now 1-12 in the Big Ten.
Looking on the bright side the Hoyas have taken leads into the halftime break their last two times. Unfortunately for Georgetown it’s all gone wrong from there. Providence ran the Hoyas off the floor last weekend at home behind an offensively explosion from a reserve guard from Georgetown Prep and then during the week DePaul went on a ridiculous 26-0 run that somehow felt even bigger in real time.
Getting back to Nebraska, the Creighton Bluejays are in town after landing in....... Manassas.
Greg McDermott’s squad is currently in the second game of a four-game ‘get right’ stretch where each game also doubles as ‘can’t lose’ material. Creighton evened their season series with Butler during the week and now have a back-to-back with Georgetown before traveling to DePaul on Feb. 17. They started this stretch at 5-5 in the league and they really need to be 9-5 at the conclusion if they want to be serious about making another NCAA Tournament. A loss to Georgetown would be devastating from a computer standpoint.
Ryan Nembhard seems to have a firm grip on the Freshman of the Year Award by already winning the weekly award five times. He’s come in and provided McDermott with steady play at the point from the season opening tip. Not to be overlooked, classmate Trey Alexander has taken home two Freshman of the Week Awards himself. Another class of 2021 kid - Arthur Kaluma - starts at forward and averages just a hair under 10 points per game. It’s a young team but still in contention for post season play proving that youth isn’t an excuse everywhere.
There is, of course, some experience as sixth-year forward Ryan Hawkins leads the Bluejays in scoring after spending five years at D2 Northwest Missouri State where he won three national titles. According to the game notes he played six sports in high school and is a ‘water skiing fanatic’. Former Dukie Alex O’Connell is second on the team with 12.2 ppg, just behind Hawkins (12.7).
After going through line-up after line-up early on in the season, Patrick Ewing has settled on a consistent five in Dante Harris, Aminu Mohammed, Donald Carey Collin Holloway and Timothy Ighoefe over the last eight games. The problem is that they haven’t won a game yet.
In terms of trying to find a way to get at least one conference win this season, the formula seems clear and that’s getting red hot from 3. Georgetown’s two-point shooting is really poor but Kaiden Rice and Carey can get going from deep. It may be time to ditch starting a true center as defensive advantage doesn’t outweigh the offensive limitations.
Kaiden Rice knocked down what would have been a program best eight 3s in the Hoyas loss at DePaul on Tuesday. The only reason it wasn’t a Hoyas record is because he hit 10 earlier in the season against UMBC, breaking the 32-year old mark set by Mark Tillmon and equaled a few times since.
The Citadel grad transfer is sitting on 80 3s this season which puts him eight away from breaking Allen Iverson’s single season record for makes set in 1996. Rodney Pryor hit 84 in 2017 - also as a grad transfer. Rice has yet to set the single game record for attempted 3s but he’s got some time.
Georgetown 75, Creighton 72
It would make total sense for this to be the game that ends the losing streak. Also, can I point out that I was just two points off on my last prediction?
Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!