Game 2: Holy Cross Crusaders (0-1) at Georgetown Hoyas (1-0)
When: Saturday, 8 PM
Where: Capital One Arena
TV: FS2 (Dan Kolko and Sarah Kustok)
Radio: 980 AM (The legendary Rich Chvotkin/50th season)
Series: Holy Cross leads 11-9
KenPom rankings: Georgetown 147, Holy Cross 333
KenPom Projection: Georgetown 82, Holy Cross 67 (91%)
Line: Hoyas -17, 148.5 o/u
You know somewhere in an alternate universe, Georgetown and Holy Cross are bitter Big East rivals. In this reality, however, tonight’s game is the first meeting in over 40 years for two programs that have previously faced off at both Madison Square Garden and the old Boston Garden.
Times, they do change.
Since those neutral site meetings of yesteryear Georgetown has played a prominent role in creating multiple versions of the Big East while Holy Cross is just a footnote in the league’s history page. You see, Holy Cross turned down an initial BE invite ahead of the inaugural 1979-80 campaign.
History lessons aside, tonight offers the rare Saturday night home game for a Georgetown team riding high on good feelings after a comfortable win during the week to start off the Ed Cooley Era. Five Hoyas were in double figures led by Supreme Cook’s double-double of 19 points and 13 boards. Three other newcomers joined Cook with double-digit outings - Dontrez Styles, Rowan Brumbaugh, Drew Fielder - along with returner Jay Heath.
Not to look too far ahead but the biggest news of the week was easily the official signing of Georgetown’s recruiting class which includes Thomas Sorber, Kayvaun Mulready and Caleb Williams.
Holy Cross: The Crusaders failed to complete a late comeback in dropping a 73-71 decision at Siena in their opener. Bo Montgomery led the way with 17 points as Holy Cross hit on 10 of 20 3-pointers for the game. Holy Cross briefly lead at 71-70 with 30 seconds left but it wasn’t to be. Holy Cross has finished in the KenPom 300s each of the previous four seasons and last made the NCAA Tournament in 2016 under Bill Carmody. JT3 was on Carmody’s staff at Princeton and of course then replaced him. Anyway moving right along, it looks like the Crusaders are making the most of their trip to the nation’s capital.
Did You Know: Dave Paulsen is in his first year coaching at Holy Cross after previously coaching Bucknell and George Mason at the D1 level. Before leading Williams to a D3 National Title, Paulsen spent three seasons coaching Le Moyne. All of a sudden it seems like everything is coming up Le Moyne.
Tonight’s Game: This one should be in doubt for longer than the opener but anything but a going away victory in front of what should be a good crowd would be a troubling sign. Cooley was able to control eight games on this year’s Hoyas schedule once he took charge and tonight is one of them. Georgetown can match last season’s win total by winning seven of the Cooley games where the Hoyas will be heavily favored. Holy Cross is one of five sub-300 KenPom teams Cooley loaded up on. At Notre Dame (KenPom 167) on Dec. 16 is the one toss-up of the eight.
Feel free to leave your comments before, during and after the game!