Sports

Pregame Primer: Villanova Wildcats

January 17, 2018


The Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-5, 2-4 Big East) returns to the hardwood against No. 1 Villanova (16-1, 4-1 Big East) on Wednesday at Capital One Arena. The Hoyas will look for Patrick Ewing’s first signature win as Georgetown’s head coach, while the Wildcats seek their fourth straight win and seventh straight victory over the Hoyas.

Georgetown is coming off of a 74-61 loss to then-No. 13 Seton Hall (15-3, 4-1 Big East) on Saturday in Newark. Junior forward Marcus Derrickson scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hoyas, who jumped out to an early 10-point lead but lost control of the contest late in the first half. Poor shooting and turnovers plagued the Hoyas, as the team shot 36.4 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers.

“We have to do a better job of not turning the ball over,” head coach Patrick Ewing said. “We got off to a great start but then we started turning the ball over and let them back in the game.”

The Hoyas also received insufficient bench scoring, as the Georgetown reserves combined for four points on 2-15 shooting. After freshman guard Jahvon Blair made a layup with 13:19 left in the first half to give the Hoyas a 21-11 lead, Georgetown surrendered a 16-5 run to Seton Hall, capped by a three-pointer by senior guard/forward Desi Rodriguez. The Pirates took a 44-31 lead into the break and would not look back, leading by as much as 16 en route to a 74-61 victory.

Villanova is Georgetown’s second straight ranked opponent and open up as 13.5-point favorites. The Wildcats are led by junior guard Jalen Brunson, who averages 18.8 points per game and 5.2 assists per game while sporting a 4:1 assist to turnover ratio. Junior forward Mikal Bridges also features heavily for Villanova, averaging 17.5 points per game to go along with 1.4 blocks and 1.8 steals. The Wildcats are also offensively supreme as a team, shooting 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range, good enough for the best offensive rating in the country, according to KenPom.com.

The Wildcats most recently escaped with a 78-71 victory at Big East cellar-dweller St. John’s (10-8, 0-6 Big East). Although Villanova made 13 threes, they also committed 17 turnovers while only forcing nine Red Storm turnovers. Achieving an advantage akin to the Johnnies’ turnover margin would go a long way in helping the Hoyas pull off an upset against the Wildcats.

Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FS1. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.


Santul Nerkar
Santul is the Voice's former executive culture editor and Halftime Sports editor. Follow him on Twitter @SantulN to become one of his rare few followers.


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