We Are Georgetown: Hoyas have fallen, but can they get up?

If there were ever two teams whose seasons were on opposite trajectories, they’re Georgetown (11-7, 3-4 Big East) and Creighton (16-3, 6-1 Big East). The Hoyas might be in for it tomorrow night as they travel to Omaha, Nebraska. To take on a group of Bluejays who can’t be caged.

The Blue and Gray are coming off of a demoralizing loss to Marquette (11-8, 3-3 Big East), a game that looked all but won, until a last ditch three pointer from Marquette junior guard Todd Mayo sent the game into overtime. Georgetown fans will want to put the beginning of this week in a hurry.

They might care to neglect its end as well considering Hoya big man and star junior center Josh Smith was recently ruled out of the team for the remainder of the season due to academic problems. Smith’s continued absence comes at a time when the team is hurting for depth. Junior forward Greg Whittington’s transfer to Rutgers University and junior guard Jabril Trawick’s broken jaw have left Head Coach John Thompson III with a dangerously thin bench.

The Hoyas had been relying on Smith to play a large role in scoring, with Thompson even going so far as to suggest that the Hoyas would have to shuffle their whole team around now that he was a permanent absentee. He’ll have to look elsewhere for players capable of putting points on the board.

Thankfully, he might not have to look much further than his own backcourt. Despite Monday’s loss, sophomore and senior guards D’Vauntes Smith Rivera and Markel Starks combined foe a startling 52 points on the night, with Smith-Rivera scoring a career high 28 points. Three months ago, experts were predicting that the Georgetown backcourt would be the team’s scoring source. They haven’t lived up to their billing so far, but they showed up to play Monday. The Hoya faithful can only hope they’ll show up again tomorrow.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Creighton couldn’t be flying any higher. The Bluejays hit a Big East record of 21 three pointers with senior forward Ethan Wragge draining nine from outside the arc and superstar senior forward Doug McDermott hitting five. No 4 Villanova showed no signs of life as Greg McDermott’s team rolled to a 96-68 win.

The Hoyas will be hoping that two-time All-American McDermott and his teammates will replicate their form during their 81-68 loss to the Providence College Friars. It’ll be up to Starks and Smith-Rivera to put points on the board while the rest of the team desperately tries to keep McDermott and company quiet. According to Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright, the key to defeating a Bluejays squad on the rise is sticking to Wragge. With Trawick, who at times has been the Hoya most capable of playing defense, still out, the Hoyas are in for a in interesting Saturday night.

Photo: Joshua Raftis/Georgetown Voice

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