Bradley Center—Milwaukee, Wis.
1 p.m. CST, Saturday Afternoon
TV: ESPN Full Court/ESPN 360/Time Warner Sports 32
When the Marquette Golden Eagles and Georgetown Hoyas meet up on Saturday afternoon, it will be a matchup of two teams that have been heading in different directions of late.
The Golden Eagles will enter on a 10-game winning streak, including seven straight during conference play. In those seven Big East wins, their average margin of victory is just over 13 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Hoyas are coming off their fourth straight defeat and have lost six of their last eight games. In those six losses, Georgetown averaged a meager 60.5 points per game.
However, the biggest loss for the Hoyas, in regards to this matchup, came in their last game when leading scorer DaJuan Summers left with a foot injury. Georgetown coach John Thompson III said on the Big East conference call Thursday morning that Summers would be examined and that he hoped to have an update later in the day.
“Being honest right now,” Thompson said, “it doesn’t look good for him being able to go on Saturday.”
That would be a huge loss for the reeling Hoyas, as Summers currently leads the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and is their best three-point shooter at 39 percent.
“We’re in a situation now, with DaJuan out, that we’re going to have all freshmen and sophomores on the court for significant minutes,” Thompson said. “[Experience] is a luxury that we don’t have.”
Despite the reports, Marquette head Coach Buzz Williams believes that Summers will play on Saturday and will prepare his team accordingly.
“DaJuan Summers will play,” said Williams. “They will call his name out before they ever tip it off. He’ll play.”
If Summers is out, it appears the Hoyas will have to rely even more on highly touted freshman Greg Monroe. Monroe is a unique player in college basketball because he has great size (6’11”, 250lbs.) and versatility. He is solid in almost every aspect of his game.
“The thing that makes [Georgetown] so unique is Greg Monroe,” said Williams. “He’s the best freshman in the country. His skill set is perfect for how they play. I think that because he’s different, because he is unique he makes their other guys so much better.”
Georgetown will also be looking for other players to step up if Summers cannot suit up. Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Jessie Sapp are all solid players that are capable of scoring 20 or more points on any given night, and the Hoyas will be looking for one of them to do so.
On the other hand, the Golden Eagles are coming off arguably their biggest win of the season, defeating Notre Dame 71-64 in South Bend (Ind.).
Marquette’s defense was key in shutting down players not named Luke Harangody. The team held Kyle McAlarney, the Irish’s second leading scorer, to just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
The reason for the Golden Eagles’ early success during the Big East season has been predicated on their continual demonstration of poise in tough situations.
“I think they’re really mature,” said Williams. “But I think more so than how mature they are, I think they are really hungry for success. And I think that they swallow their success pretty well, and then they get back to figuring out how they can do it one more time.”
When the Golden Eagles hit the court on Saturday they will once again try to replicate the success they have had early in the Big East season.
GU PROJECTED STARTERS
G—Chris Wright (6’1” 201 lbs.): 12.0 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.1 rpg
G—Jessie Sapp (6’3” 212 lbs.): 6.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 35 % 3pt
G/F—Austin Freeman (6’4” 230 lbs.): 12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.9 apg
F—DaJuan Summers (6’8”, 236 lbs.): 14.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 39% 3pt
F/C—Greg Monroe (6’11” 250 lbs.): 13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.7 spg
G—Jason Clark (6’2” 176 lbs.): 5.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
F—Julian Vaughn (6’9” 246 lbs.): 1.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, .5 bpg
F—Henry Sims (6’10”, 225 lbs.): 1.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, .7 bpg
F—Nikita Mescheriakov (6’8”, 208 lbs.): 1.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg
G/F—Omar Wattad (6’5, 225 lbs.): 3.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Both the Marquette and Georgetown staffs will be wearing sneakers with their usual dress attire during Saturday’s game for the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. The Marquette staff will be wearing the Converse Pro Leather Ox, which debuted in 1976.
Marquette’s 10-game winning streak is the longest for the team since the 2002-03 season.
Lazar Hayward is one point shy of 1,000 for his career, and Marquette will join North Carolina as the only school with four active 1,000-point scorers if/when Hayward reaches that feat.