At the end of the Syracuse game, Head Coach John Thompson III said, “We are getting better. We are a very young team. We have used a business-like approach this year.” Coming off one of the most memorable wins in Georgetown basketball history, that “business-like approach” will certainly be tested tonight when No. 7 Georgetown (21-4, 11-3 Big East) takes on Connecticut (19-7, 9-5 Big East) in Storrs, Conn.
By beating Syracuse and snapping the nation’s longest active home winning streak, the Hoyas now have moved into the top ten in the national rankings and into consideration for a one-seed in the NCAA tournament. Georgetown became one of only four schools to be ranked in the top ten in each of the past seven seasons. The Blue and Gray are also now alone atop the Big East rankings.
Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. has received buzz as the potential Big East Player of the Year and National Player of the Year. His 33 points against Syracuse was the most points any Georgetown player has ever scored in the Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry.
The Huskies are not doing too shabbily either. They have won 4 of their past 5 games including a 66-58 win over then-No. 6 Syracuse. Last Thursday, Connecticut took down Cincinnati (19-9, 7-8 Big East) 73-66 in overtime.
Perhaps the only player in the Big East that arguably had a more impressive seven days than Porter Jr. last week was Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier. Against Cincinnati and DePaul, Napier posted 27 points and 28 points respectively.
There is another similarity between Napier and Porter Jr. Napier is known to affect each aspect of the game. Although only 6’1,’’ Napier is 2nd on the team in rebounds, averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. He also leads the Huskies in assists and steals with 4.6 assists per game and 2 steals per game.
Napier certainly is not Connecticut’s only scoring threat as four players average double figures in points. The most dangerous of those scorers is sophomore guard Ryan Boatwright who averages 15.2 points per game. Boatwright, like Napier, is not simply a scorer. He has recorded 4.3 assists per game and 3 rebounds per game this year.
Georgetown will look to extend its winning streak to 10 games tonight. Will Georgetown’s ascent continue? The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 pm. Follow along with @GUVoiceSports.
File Photo: Abigail Greene/Georgetown Voice (Feb. 20, 2013)