Last Tuesday, the Georgetown men’s basketball team found itself tied for last place in the Big East standings with its season covered in disappointment. However, after consecutive conference wins against ranked opponents, the Hoyas are in position to rebound from their slow start in conference play.
After beating then-No. 16 Creighton (19-3, 6-3 Big East) at home, Georgetown (12-10, 3-6 Big East) travelled to face off against then-No. 11 Butler (18-4, 7-3 Big East). Defeating Butler was no easy feat for Georgetown, as the Bulldogs entered the game with a perfect home record.
However, in both games, the Hoyas escaped with upset victories and have strung together two straight conference victories for the first time since January of 2016.
The DePaul Blue Demons (8-13, 1-7 Big East) is the one team Georgetown has found consistent success against since the Big East realignment in the 2013-14 season. Since 2013-14, the Hoyas are 5-1 against the Blue Demons, a team that has only won a combined 14 Big East games since the 2013-14 remapping.
DePaul and Georgetown each played Butler and Creighton last week, but experienced different outcomes. Hosting the Bulldogs, the Blue Demons managed to send the game into overtime, but ended up losing 70-69 after sending a Bulldog player to the free-throw line with three seconds left in the overtime period. On Saturday, Creighton blew out DePaul 83-66 in a game where the Blue Demons could not keep up with the Blue Jays.
Junior guard and second leading scorer L.J. Peak guided the Hoyas through their victories last week, averaging 21 points with 5.5 assists and three rebounds in the two-game span. Peak’s performance earned him a selection to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, the third time Peak has been selected this season.
In addition to Peak, graduate student guard and leading scorer Rodney Pryor finished with 20 and 18 points against Creighton and Butler, respectively. Pryor’s 18-points-per- game average ranks him fourth in the Big East in scoring.
The Blue Demons rank last in the Big East in offensive production, averaging 69.9 points per game. Despite having three players averaging above 10 points per game, the Blue Demons lack depth on the bench, limiting their offensive success.
The backcourt of sophomore Eli Cain and senior Billy Garrett Jr. lead the Blue Demon’s offensive efforts. Cain, DePaul’s leading scorer, averages 16.7 points per game along with 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while Garrett dishes out 3.2 assists per game in addition to his 15.1 points per game. However, no other player on the DePaul roster averages more than two assists per game.
DePaul’s offensive inefficiency stems from poor ball handling and shot selection. Shooting 42.7 percent from the floor, the Blue Demons rank last in the Big East in field goal percentage. Comparably, the Hoyas rank fifth with a 46.5 percent field goal percentage.
As for turnovers, both teams suffer a similar fate. Georgetown and DePaul average 13.9 turnovers per game, the second-highest turnover average in the conference. The Hoyas turned the ball over 13 times in both victories last week. However, sophomore center Jessie Govan finished with zero turnovers in Saturday’s victory over the Bulldogs, marking the development in maturity of the young big man.
Tip off is 9 p.m. Tuesday night at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1.