We are Georgetown: Hoyas to face High Point Panthers at Verizon Center

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 4.42.39 pmHaving seemingly caught fire after a mixed showing at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Hoyas (4-2, 0-0 Big East) will hope to continue their three-game winning streak as they host the High Point Panthers (3-3, 0-0 Big South – North) at the Verizon Center tomorrow.

The Panthers, after being cut down by the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, may be without senior forward Allan Chaney, who has not played since his internal defibrillator went off during a game against the Wofford Terriers. An internal defibrillator delivers an electric shock to restore a heart’s normal heartbeat.

Chaney, who used to attend Virginia Tech, missed two-and-a-half years since his diagnosis of viral myocarditis, an inflammatory heart disease in April 2010. His absence would be a boon for Georgetown’s front court as he was averaging 15 points on 63.5 percent shooting and 8.6 rebounds before his defibrillator went off.

The Hoyas will have to watch out for the other star of the Panther’s frontcourt, sophomore forward John Brown, who is averaging 21.7 points on 63.6 percent shooting and 9.8 rebounds in just 27.7 minutes per game. Fortunately for the Hoyas, Brown has been the only bright spot on a High Point team lacking its second leading scorer and rebounder.

Junior center Joshua Smith (6-10, 350 lbs), who played limited minutes in the Lipscomb game because of foul trouble, will have a chance to dominate the smaller Brown (6-8, 250 lbs) in the post, but may continue to have problems rebounding the ball against the more agile Brown.

The Hoya’s backcourt should have no trouble dominating if sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera can continue his hot shooting (53.1 percent from three-point range) and if senior guard Markel Starks can recover from his horrible shooting against Lipscomb (2-13 from the field, 2-8 from three-point range). The High Point backcourt has few threats other than sophomore guard Adam Weary, who is High Point’s third leading scorer at 12.5 points per game on 59.4 percent shooting but only 25 percent beyond the arc.

Poor three-point shooting, however, could derail the Hoyas’ hopes for this game, especially if Smith has more foul trouble this game. Although Smith-Rivera made 4 out of 7 three-pointers, the team as a whole only made 7 out of 27.

Perhaps the most important challenge for the Hoyas in winning this very winnable game is keeping pressure on the Panthers even when victory seems inevitable. Although High Point may lack Chaney, the Hoyas should watch out for either one of the Panthers having a breakout game or Brown exploding for another 27 points and 13 rebounds game like he did against the Lumberjacks.

Unlike what the Hoyas have done in previous games against lesser opponents, they must continue to play hard until the final buzzer.

Tip-off is at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Photo: Georgetown Voice/Miles Gavin Meng

Editor’s Note: The article originally stated the game was Wednesday evening.

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