Old Big East rivals Syracuse and Georgetown will face off in a January non-conference battle.
TV schedule: Saturday, January 9th, 7:00 pm ET. ESPN
Arena: Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York
While many games in conference play have been getting postponed, we have a pleasant surprise this weekend with Syracuse and Georgetown still scheduled to play one another. Despite the Orange leaving the Big East for the ACC a decade ago, the two historical rivals have made it a point to play each other in the offseason.
Last season in Washington D.C., the Hoyas got the 89-79 victory over Syracuse. Mac McClung led all scorers with 26 points, with Omer Yurtseven going for 19 points and nine rebounds. Buddy Boeheim had 25 on the other side, along with 21 points from Elijah Hughes.
Both rosters have undergone a fair amount of change from last season, especially Georgetown (3-7, 1-5). Senior guard Jahvon Blair has been elevated into a starting role, leading the team with 18.2 ppg and 3.2 apg. Sophomore big man Qudus Wahab has done a good job of filling Yurtseven’s shoes, putting up 12.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg.
The Hoyas, who are currently on a four-game losing streak, have given up more points then have scored so far, a clear weakness that’ll need to be addressed or they’ll risk ending up last in the conference standings.
Syracuse (6-2, 1-1) may be in a bit better shape overall but is coming off a very disappointing 63-60 loss to a Pittsburgh squad that doesn’t have its best player healthy right now. Alan Griffin had 15 points and eight rebounds but guards Boeheim and Joe Girard III combined for just 16 points and 6/23 shooting. Quincy Guerrier, who came into the game leading the team in both scoring and rebounding, was held to just three points in 17 minutes due to foul trouble.
While losing to an underhanded Pittsburgh squad isn’t ideal, the Orange is finally close to full strength after dealing with injuries in the first month of the season. They have the offense to beat Georgetown if the guards can shoot it at a consistent clip, there will be issues for the Hoyas for 40 minutes. What might save the Big East program is Syracuse’s ability to have games closer than expected when they’re the favorites.
Prediction: Syracuse 85, Georgetown 76