When we last left our Hoyas
Henry Sims did this, and Georgetown trounced UConn 58-44 to bounce back from a disappointing loss at Pittsburgh. Hollis Thompson, who had been mostly quiet for the past two games, roared back to life, dropping 18 points and nine rebounds while also making some key plays on the defensive end.
As good as the Hoyas looked, however, the Huskies were impressively bad. UConn was an amazing 2-for-20 from beyond the arc, and preseason All-American Jeremy Lamb and sophomore guard Shabazz Napier combined to go 4-for-27 from the field. If the Huskies could have just knocked down some wide open jumpers, this would have been a much less convincing win.
Many teams in the Big East have made a mockery of their preseason expectations, but no one may be as surprising as South Florida. After years of slumming it with the likes of DePaul and Rutgers, the Bulls somehow find themselves with a 6-3 conference record. That’s right: if USF wins Saturday, they’ll jump ahead of the Hoyas into third place.
That seems like a long shot, however. The Bulls’ are the beneficiaries of what might be the easiest possible Big East schedule so far–their best win is probably a one-point home victory over Seton Hall. Over their past two games USF has lost by 20 to Marquette and barely beat Providence.
That’s not to say USF is a paper tiger. In years past, the Bulls struggled to even beat bad teams. They’ve found a way to succeed this year by getting contributions from all over their roster (10 players average at least 15 minutes per game). The Bulls’ best player is probably senior forward Augustus Gilchrist, but he’s actually been a bit of a disappointment, averaging just over 10 points and five rebounds per game.
Key to the game
Don’t get distracted. Despite their record, USF just isn’t at the same level talent-wise as Georgetown. This should be an easy win for the Hoyas–as long as they are focused on their execution against the Bulls and not last Wednesday’s win or next Wednesday’s apocalyptic showdown in Syracuse.
Player to watch
Dominique Jones. Well, not literally. The former USF guard is currently riding the pine for the Dallas Mavericks, but the specter of Jones will be the scariest thing in the Verizon Center tomorrow morning. Exactly two years ago, the Bulls came to the Verizon Center and dealt a demoralizing 72-64 loss to a Hoyas squad riding high off a big victory over Duke. Jones dropped 29 points and, at the end of the game, gloated to the student section. That was the last time the Bulls came to Washington, D.C. So yeah, the Hoyas don’t want to let that happen again.