College Hoops Thursday: Your Commentary

    
February 18th, 2010
Thursday features the rematch between bitter rivals Georgetown and Syracuse, this one taking place at the Verizon Center. The Hoyas started out the first meeting like a house afire thanks primarily to Austin Freeman, scoring the first fourteen points of the contest. But from there it was all Syracuse, who outscored the Hoyas by 31 on their way to a 73-56 win that they picked up going away. Georgetown finished the game with an offensive efficiency of 83.6, a far cry from their season average of 109.5 and despite the foul trouble for Greg Monroe in that contest he isn't the player whose performance dictates whether or not the Hoyas win.

That falls on the shoulders of junior point guard Chris Wright, who has struggled mightily in Hoya defeats (just 7.2 ppg in their five Big East losses). If you were to chart his performances during league play in regards to scoring and field goal percentage a peak would essentially be followed by a valley; that could bode well for the Hoyas since he was just 2-for-8 in their surprising loss to Rutgers on Sunday. As for the Orange Wes Johnson is dealing with his fair share of nicks but he still must be accounted for on both ends of the floor. Neither he nor Andy Rautins shot their best from the field in the first meeting but Syracuse got to the line, attempting 28 foul shots to Georgetown's eleven.

The team that wins the game will be the one that attacks the basket with regularity; despite both teams having capable perimeter shooters neither can afford to neglect the paint offensively. And like Purdue's JaJuan Johnson against Ohio State on Wednesday night don't expect Greg Monroe to be saddled with foul trouble on Thursday night. But he and Julian Vaughn will have their hands full with Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson. Other important games include Marquette hosting Pittsburgh and Ole Miss hosting Vanderbilt, essentially two games the home teams desperately need for their NCAA Tournament hopes. And if California wants to make sure they have some sort of safety blanket should they not win the Pac-10's automatic bid, they'd be well-served to take care of business at Oregon State.

TV GAMES

7p ESPN2 Syracuse at Georgetown
7p ESPN Auburn at Florida
7p ESPNU Vanderbilt at Mississippi
7p CBS-College LaSalle at Dayton
8:30p FSN UCLA at Washington St
9p ESPN2 Pittsburgh at Marquette
9p ESPN Wisconsin at Minnesota
10:30p FSN California at Oregon St
11p ESPN2 Saint Mary's (CA) at San Diego

OTHER GAMES

7p South Dakota St at Oakland
7:30p Monmouth at St. Francis (NY)
7:30p FDU at LIU
8p South Alabama at Western Kentucky
8p Middle Tennessee at Troy
8:05p Arkansas St at UL Lafayette
10:30p USC at Washington

ONE PREDICTION

Syracuse over Georgetown: The pick is Syracuse despite the fact that the Hoyas will be looking for revenge. Look for Johnson to shrug off the injuries and play well while Onuaku and Jackson take care of business on the block. Chris Wright could very well come out and play well for Georgetown but he's simply been too uneven of late, and that's a bad problem to have with a point guard. Orange win by seven.