We Are Georgetown: Hoyas travel to Cincinnati

DSC_0012Everything has been swinging in the right direction for the Hoyas of late. They are the winners of six straight, including three ranked wins, they have reached 15th in the AP poll, and with some help from UConn, they have clawed their way to the top of the Big East standings. Now the Hoyas travel to Cincinnati to face yet another dangerous Big East opponent. The Bearcats dropped out of the rankings this last week after two losses, but are sure to still be a test for the streaking Hoyas.

The regulars have been effective over this stretch. Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. has come up huge, now averaging 15.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Since the loss to Pittsburgh, Porter Jr. has averaged over 18 points per game. Porter Jr.’s consistency and clutch play has prevented the Hoya collapses that we are all too used to. With this impressive stretch, Porter Jr. has moved up the favorites board for the Wooden Award and has also seen his draft stock skyrocket, now approaching the top 5 in most projections.

Junior guard Markel Starks has been a huge factor, averaging 15 points per game over the current win streak. Sophomore center Mikael Hopkins, who had struggled even during much of the Hoyas’ surge, has started to find his groove of late, pulling down 9 boards against Marquette and averaging over 9 points per game in the last three games, up from his season average of 6.4 points per game. Hopkins’ play will be key down the stretch, as the main weakness affecting the Hoyas all season has been an ineffective post presence. If this problem is addressed, then expect the Blue and Gray to become a very dangerous team in postseason play.

The Bearcats, after getting off to a hot start in conference play, have struggled against Big East teams, going 7-5 so far. However, only one loss has come by double digits, an away game against Pittsburgh last week, and only two losses have come against teams outside of the RPI top 50.

A large factor for Cincinnati has been leading scorer, junior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who has averaged 18.2 points per game on the season. Kilpatrick is also the team’s second leading rebounder, averaging 5.4 boards per game. This offense will be huge in a game where points will likely be at a premium. The Hoyas and Bearcats are second and third respectively in the Big East in points allowed per game.

If the Hoyas are able to extend their winning streak tonight, they will not have much time to catch their breath, as they take on DePaul at the Verizon Center before traveling to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse, in the penultimate rivalry game in the foreseeable future.

File Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice (Feb. 2, 2013, vs. St. Johns)

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