Hoyas need fresh legs tourney run

Hoyas need fresh legs tourney run
March 12, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Matchup: Georgetown (17-13, 8-10 Big East) vs. DePaul (11-20, 3-15)

When: Wednesday 9:30 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden

Broadcast: TV - FS1, Radio - 980 AM.

Streaks: The Hoyas lost their regular season finale at No. 6 Villanova one game after knocking off No. 13 Creighton at the Verizon Center. After losing its final five games in January, Georgetown went 6-4. The Blue Demons have dropped 12 of 13 games.

History: The schools are meeting for the first time in the Big East Tournament. Georgetown has a 14-game winning streak in the series and is 10-0 since DePaul joined the conference in 2005. The last time the Blue Demons defeated Georgetown, Jan. 22, 1994.

KenPom: Georgetown 50, DePaul 182

RPI: Georgetown 55, DePaul 162

Coaches: Georgetown - John Thompson III; DePaul - Oliver Purnell

Leaders: Hoyas - Scoring (Markel Starks, 17.1), Rebounding (Nate Lubick, 5.6), Assists (Markel Starks, 4.1)

Links:Tunnel Vision - Hoyas grasp Big East Tournament stakes

4 x 4: By virtue of playing in the first round, it will require four wins in four days for Georgetown to win the Big East Tournament. Based on the Hoyas being on the NCAA Tournament bubble, they might have no choice but to win it all in New York. However, can a team not loaded with depth stay fresh enough to run the table?

"They're not going to be fresh, but neither is the opposition," Thompson said on Monday before the Hoyas trekked to New York. "You get to this time of year, everybody is tired. Everybody has nicks and bruises and bumps. Everyone is hurt. There's a different between hurt and injured. That's consistent with nine other teams in the Big East."

Georgetown's leading scorers Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith typically play 35-40 minutes each game. Fellow guard Jabril Trawick rarely sits except when foul trouble crops up. As evidenced in the Villanova loss, the Hoyas don't win without those three playing - and playing well.

"Are they going to stay fresh? I don't think anyone is, but they have to be smart with the time that they have free. We try to manage as much of that as we can with staying of your legs, eating right, getting your rest. This time of year, you're not fresh." 

When last we met: Coming off a victory over Michigan State, the Hoyas won 71-59 in Chicago as Starks scored 26 points, Smith-Rivera 17 and Trawick added 15. Both teams shot poorly from the field, but the Hoyas scored plenty from the free throw line, making 30 of 41 attempts. Starks, named to the Big East 1st team, also had 21 points in the 61-54 win on Dec. 31. 

DePaul: The Blue Demons season deteriorated down the stretch. Losing leading scorer Cleveland Melvin for personal reasons helped accelerate the freefall. Guards Brandon Young (16.2 ppg) and Billy Garrett combined for 27 points in the last meeting with Georgetown.

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