This is the first match-up of the season between the Friars and Hoyas. The Hoyas are down again this year with a record of 3-8. Providence is coming off an overtime thriller against Marquette that keeps them in the thick of the NCAA hunt. The game will be aired at 1PM EST on CBS.
Keys to Game for Providence Victory:
The Friar frontcourt must come ready to play: The frontcourt of the Hoyas poses quite a threat to Nate Watson and Company. Senior Jamarko Pickett currently leads the Big East in rebounding at 8.7 rebounds/game and Qudus Wahab is slightly behind him at 8.1 rebounds/game (third in Big East).
Additionally, Wahab is third in the Big East in blocks/game at 2.5 blocks a game.
If Providence is going to win this game, Watson and Nichols needs to stay out of foul trouble. More importantly, they must do the little things like box out their man, secure the rebounds with two hands, and finish strong. If they fall asleep at all, the Georgetown bigs will make them pay.
Slow Down Jahvon Blair: Blair is currently 3rd in the Big East in scoring at 18.0 points/game. The offense flows through him. If they can cut off the head of the snake by limiting Blair, Georgetown will mightily struggle on the offensive end. Even with Blair’s output, Georgetown is 8th in the Big East in scoring. It is not a potent offense, and the last thing Providence needs is Blair having a career game that opens things up for the rest of the Georgetown team. I’d throw a ton of different defensive looks at him starting with Breed and Duke and then sprinkling in some combination of Reeves/Gantt.
Apply Backcourt Pressure: Providence will likely have it’s hands full in the paint. Where they can hurt Georgetown is pressuring their guards. Georgetown is 10th in the Big East in turnovers a game (not a stat you want to be last in), while being last in Assists/Turnovers.
It would be great to see Cooley implore his guards to pressure the ballhandlers full court. Even if it is not a true 40 minutes of full court press, you want their ballhandlers working hard on every possession. This pressure should lead to some easy buckets in transition for the Friars off Georgetown turnovers.
Give Donald Carey the Mitch Ballock Treatment: Donald Carey is on the court to make 3’s. Providence must identify this and run him off the 3 point line. Carey has made more 3’s this season (22) than 2’s (18).
Enact a similar strategy to the one implemented in the second game against Ballock. If they do this, Carey becomes virtually ineffective.
Questions going into the game
- Will Bynum play? If so, how many minutes? How does he look?
- If Bynum does play, how does the rest of the rotation look? Does it cut minutes from Breed or will it cut into minutes from Reeves/Gantt?
- Can Friars comfortably win a game they should be favored in by about 6-8 points?
- How will Georgetown look after a long time off due to COVID?
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