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LINKS: Providence Visits Georgetown for Hoyas’ Home Finale

A Sunday matinee on FOX for the penultimate conference game

Providence v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Your Georgetown Hoyas (7-22, 2-16 BIG EAST) will host the No. 20/18 Providence College Friars (20-8, 12-5) on Sunday, February 26 for the season’s home finale. According to GUHoyas, tipoff at Capital One Arena is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FOX with Tim Brando and Donny Marshall.

To finish off the year, Georgetown will visit Creighton on Wednesday while the rest of the conference will close their regular seasons next weekend. The BIG EAST Tournament starts on Wednesday, March 8th with the Hoyas expected to be the 11th seed.

It could be “Senior Day” on Sunday. Looking at the roster, and keeping in mind the extra-eligibility allowance due to COVID, it’s not easy to determine who might be honored as expected graduates. Akok Akok, Malcolm Wilson, and Qudus Wahab are listed as seniors and Bryson Mozone is named as a graduate student. Of those, Mozone appears to be the only one who will have exhausted his eligibility this March, but post-grads are not traditionally celebrated on “Senior Day.” Jay Heath has played 97 games over four seasons but is listed as a junior. For the sake of GU’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate, hopefully someone graduates soon. Odds are that it’s Wilson.

The other big question as to whom may make their final appearance in Capital One Arena is the head coach. In all likelihood, Patrick Ewing’s days as coach are numbered and this might be the last anyone sees him on GU’s sidelines in this arena. If fans knew anything for certain, it would be nice to give him a proper sendoff as the Hoya legend that he is. He would be wise to thank the students in attendance before the game tips off.

Playing the Friars two weeks ago, fans should still be familiar with how Providence has been playing. Since then, Providence lost on the road at St. John’s (73-68) and at UConn (87-69), but Cooley’s squad handled Creighton (2OT) and Villanova at home. They are still ranked no. 20/18.

In the post-game press conference in Providence, Ewing said that “Ed [Cooley] has done an outstanding job at getting them to buy in and play the way that he wants them to play” and “have some older guys who have been around for a while and they play together.” But even Ed Cooley is not perfect.

On Tuesday night, after UConn stomped Providence, Cooley shared:

I didn’t have my guys prepared ... It was men against boys in the second half. I thought their physicality, the environment here, was big time. The Big East is so underrated when you look at atmosphere, competitive edge, top to bottom. That was one of Connecticut’s best games, start to finish, in a long time. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. Danny (Hurley) did a great job having his kids ready. My kids weren’t. I thought we were soft...

This loss is one thousand, one million, percent on me ... I promise you, the next time we play, we’re going to have a different conversation. It will be definitely different in New York if we’re fortunate to play.

I certainly wouldn’t want to be the team that Cooley’s crew plays next. PC will likely shore up the defense and rebounding ahead of Sunday.

Ewing is not wrong in saying that having older athletes often helps a program play as a team, but he has to look in the mirror when it comes to the blame. If the gumbo is poor-tasting, it’s because of him as both the chef and chief grocery shopper. In-coming transfer sophomores and juniors should be playing more team-oriented ball in late February than what fans have seen recently. Perhaps the realization that we’re at the end of the season wakes some folks up.

At this point, there is likely no need to further dwell on what has or has not transpired this year. On Sunday, the Hoyas could play up to their opponent and find a groove, but there’s little reason for the FOX audience to expect two full halves of competitive basketball.

Nevertheless, in what might be the last time many pieces of this team and staff are seen in Blue and Gray, the students, alumni, and fans should show their support and send the Hoyas off properly towards their final games in the 2022-23 season. Hoya Saxa.

Here are the links:

Georgetown Comeback Bid Falls Short Against St. John’s | GUHOYAS

Trailing by as many as 15, the Georgetown men’s basketball team made up the deficit and knotted the game at 63 with less than eight minutes to play but it was not enough as the Hoyas fell 79-70 to the visiting St. John’s University Red Storm at Capital One Arena on Wednesday evening. A trio of Hoyas scored in double figures and the team tallied nine 3-pointers, a best for the squad in league action.

ON THE RECORD - “I just thought that we were too careless, way too careless. The mistakes that we made from the start of the game to the end of the game just bit us in the butt. Twenty turnovers, you can’t win with 20 turnovers. We were right there, we dug ourselves a hole in the first half, we fought our way out of it to tie the game. Mistakes again and then you know the last one was the down two and then the turnover right there, that hurt ...

This loss is on all of us. It’s on me as the head coach, it is on all of us on the coaching staff and our team. This is a game we had an opportunity to win one more time and we just didn’t get it done.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing

Preview ... vs. No. 20 Providence Friars | The UConn Blog

The Friars are led by their offense, ranked 20th in offensive efficiency in KenPom. Like UConn, they’re a great rebounding team, as they’re in the top 50 in offensive rebound percentage both for and against.

Hopkins plays some of the most minutes in the country and has a 24.0 percent usage rate. He shoots nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc and is at 48.5 percent on 2-pointers, and, as we saw, he also gets to the line a bunch. Keeping Jackson out of foul trouble is crucial, as he should draw Hopkins for most of the game.

While every team shortens the rotation as we reach this time of year, Cooley likes to keep his starters in the game as often as possible. His typical starting five plays at least 27.7 minutes per game and Alyn Breed is close behind at 19.9 minutes per night. No other player averages more than 15 minutes and only six players have gotten into each of the team’s 27 games.

Providence doesn’t foul much, as free throw attempts against are just over one-quarter of field goal attempts against, which is a top-50 mark in the nation, while two-foul participation is in the top 100. It takes a lot for Cooley to dig into his bench more than to get his guys a breather and keeping players like Hopkins and Noah Locke on the bench could loom large.

Providence Coach Admits $2 Beers Helped Fuel UConn Victory | SI

Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., hosted the $2 beer promotion up through the first half in honor of senior night. Fans lined up to partake in the deal, and apparently the crowd seemed louder and more hyped than usual.

Indeed, Providence coach Ed Cooley couldn’t help but mention that maybe the beer sale was partially to blame for his team’s loss. However, he also admitted the Friars weren’t on top of their game in the Big East rivalry matchup.

“I thought we were soft, not connected,” Cooley said, via CT Insider. “I think the crowd had something to do with that, so the $2 beers worked.”