Battle Of Big East Titans: #11 Georgetown At #8 Syracuse
- CoachingJohn Thompson III’s squad is flying under the radar a bit, despite an eight-game win streak. A win here and it’s hard to imagine that still being the case.Syracuse buried Providence in the first half on Wednesday, giving them some momentum heading into this huge matchup. A good start will be key against Georgetown, which took Syracuse to overtime in this building last season.
- OffenseGeorgetown’s offense has really picked up in conference play. The Hoyas shot 63 percent from the field and 9 of 15 from deep in a rout of DePaul on Wednesday. Otto Porter Jr. is a handful for opposing defenses.The Orange shot 56 percent on Wednesday; when they are attacking the basket they are a difficult team to guard. They will really test Georgetown’s stingy defense.
- DefenseThe Hoyas have been excellent on the defensive side, holding opponents to a 42 percent effective field goal percentage, eighth-best in the country.Syracuse’s zone has been very good, but not impenetrable. The Orange is giving up a fair amount of offensive rebounds and, in conference play, the three-point defense has slipped.
- Bench DepthWith Porter on the bench for half of the DePaul game with a sore knee, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera made the most of his playing time, scoring 33 on 10 of 12 shooting.James Southerland, now the sixth man, scored 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting on Wednesday. His fellow reserves have been underwhelming.
This is a huge game, as both teams are tied atop the Big East (with Marquette). They’ll meet again in the last game of the regular season. For now, the edge goes to the home team. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor