We Are Georgetown: Hoyas face Providence in first game after break

Winter break might have come to a close, but basketball season is just heating up. Don’t worry, Vox is here to break down all that has been happening with your Hoyas since their disappointing trip to Lawrence.

In their past three matchups, the Hoyas showed their two sides, soundly defeating non-conference opponent Florida International by 35 points but struggling against Big East bottom-feeder DePaul on New Years’ Eve. Next, against St. John’s, the Hoyas exploded behind sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who scored 20 points in the first half, finishing with a game-high 31. Leading by 26 at halftime, Georgetown managed to coast through the second half to a 77-60 win. However, with the Big East season ramping up, the Blue and Gray’s play will need to gain consistency in order to remain in tournament contention.

Next on the horizon is Providence, a team that continually middles in the Big East. The Friars have put up fights against Maryland and then No. 23 UMass, but fell short against Seton Hall in double overtime in their conference opener. In their last matchup, Providence was blown out by No. 8 Villanova 91-61.

Providence is led by senior guard Bryce Cotton and sophomore forward Tyler Harris who are averaging 20.2 and 13.8 points per game, respectively. Cotton also leads the team in assists with 5.6 per game. Look for Harris to give junior center Josh Smith and the other Georgetown bigs trouble down low. In Lawrence, it was shown that strong post play, rather than perimeter scoring, is the most lethal threat against the Blue and Gray.

In this game, look for the Georgetown guards’ matchups with Cotton. Their ability to lock down the scorer will go a long way to keeping the game within the Hoyas’ low-scoring comfort zone. On the offensive end, the story will be the same as always. Smith, who is currently shooting one of the top field goal percentages in the country, will need to continue to control the paint. If anything was learned from the Kansas game, it is that Smith has his flaws, and that the team needs him to find his way down low while staying out of foul trouble. Senior guard Markel Starks and Smith-Rivera, the team’s leading scorers, will need to play as well as usual, as the rest of the team has not shown the ability to produce consistently on offense.

This game, in theory, should be a win for the Hoyas, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing with this team should be taken for granted. However, in less than two weeks, the Hoyas will face a quartet of formidable opponents, playing Marquette, Creighton, No. 11 Villanova, and No. 5 Michigan State in consecutive games. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Tip off is tonight at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice

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