Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Look to Win Again in McDonough

With all the talk of the need for an on-campus arena, it can be easy to forget that occasionally games are still played in cDonough Gymnasium.

Playing in McDonough will not, however, be an experience the Old Dominion Monarchs will soon forget.

When more than 2,000 screaming Georgetown fans are packed into the tiny gym on Sunday night ” and the No. 8 team in the nation is squaring off with them on the floor ” the Monarchs (2-1) will get a good sense of what ‘Hoya Paranoia’is all about.

‘It’s nice to play in these tight quarters,’Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. ‘The fans, even when the Verizon center is crowded, the fans are pushed back a little bit, but right here, the fans are right on top of you and you feel them more which is the beauty of playing on campus.’/p>

With Vanderbilt behind them, the Hoyas (2-0) must resist the urge to let their guard down. Georgetown should be able to pick up a win over ODU but it may not be as easy a task as it looks on paper. As Hartford proved in the season opener, looks can be deceiving and the Monarchs are no slouch, coming off a 24-10 season that took them to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.

‘They are an experienced team,’Thompson said, ‘and they are a very good team and a team that, at least the past couple of years here, have been very, very good that people forget about or don’t think about.’/p>

Selected to finish fourth in the tough Colonial Athletic Association this year, Old Dominion picked up wins over Georgia, Virginia Tech, Colorado and Big East-member DePaul last year, as well as victories over CAA rivals Hofstra, UNC Wilmington and last year’s Final Four Cinderella George Mason.

In its first three games of this young season Old Dominion has already squared off with Monmouth, Arkansas State and Clemson in the Cox Classic tournament, winning the first two games to advance to the final before dropping the title game to the Tigers 74-70.

The Monarchs lost their top two scorers from last year’s squad, but return their other three starters and a group of key reserves. Leading Old Dominion this year is senior point guard Drew Williamson, who led the CAA in assists/turnover ratio last season. Williamson averaged just 7.3 points, but has already doubled that scoring production in the early going this year, leading the team with 16.3 points, including going 6-for-14 from three-point range. The Hoyas ” who have been weak on perimeter defense thus far this year ” will need to keep a close watch on Williamson to get the win.

Rejoining Williamson in the starting lineup is all-CAA second team selection senior forward Arnaud Dahi. Dahi averaged 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds as an inside presence for the Monarchs last year, but tore his ACL in the final game of the season against ichigan. The injury seems to have healed as Dahi already averages 28.3 minutes per game and 9.7 points per game in this young season.

Joining Dahi in the frontcourt is senior forward Valdas Vasylius, who was named to the Cox Classic all-tournament team last weekend. The Monarchs’ top reserve last year, Vasylius is averaging 14 points and 6.3 rebounds per game so far this fall while starting all three contests, but also has a team-high eight turnovers and will need to lower that number to be effective this season.

Both Dahi and Vasylius are 6-foot-7, meaning they will give up seven inches on Georgetown center Roy Hibbert. The Monarchs have a 7-foot-3 junior center in Sam Harris who is averaging 11.3 minutes per game so far, but expect him to see more minutes than that when facing off with the Hoyas and Hibbert.

Still, whether the man checking Hibbert is 6-foot or 7-foot, it’s all the same to Thompson.

‘We will use Roy the same,’he said. ‘What the opposition has is not necessarily going to dictate how we use Roy, so it’s the same as it’s been all year, same as it will be.’/p>

Old Dominion will play host to Florida Atlantic tonight, before making the trip up to Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

Tip-off in McDonough is set for 6 p.m. on Sunday evening.

‘It’s Sunday evening,’Thompson said. ‘The kids can get their studying in, and still get down here.’/p>

” HOYA Staff Writer Bailey Heaps contributed to this report

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