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The Providence Friars (10-5 / 0-2 Big East) visit the Nations capital on Saturday for a high-noon tilt with the Georgetown Hoyas (11-5 / 1-2 Big East).
Both teams arrive to Capital One Arena having lost their last 2 conference games, as the Friars will be looking for their first Big East Conference of the season.
The Providence offense has struggled in their first two Big East Conference matchups, as the Friars were held under their season average in outings against Creighton and Villanova (Outscored 144 – 127). The Friars have done moderately well with their outside shooting thus far, but the recent decline in scoring has them ranked 187th in the nation at 73.7 PPG.
The Hoyas have lost 2 straight high-scoring Big East Conference affairs after opening conference play with a high-scoring victory against Butler as the calendar turned to 2019. Georgetown’s 28th ranked scoring offense is putting 82.8 PPG this year, as the Hoyas look to build on their 8 – 2 home record on the season.
The Friars Head To DC Looking For Their 1st Big East Win
The Providence Friars navigated their way to a 10 – 3 non-conference record that included wins over Texas and Boston College, but Big East Conference play has gotten off to a rough 0 – 2 start.
— PC Men's Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) January 11, 2019
The Friars are now only averaging 73.3 PPG and haven’t toppled that number over the last 4 games.
Villanova held the Friars to 59 points last time out, as leading scorer Alpha Diallo was the only starter who found his way to a double-digit night in the loss. The 6-7 junior from New York City scored 10 points, and no other starting player scored more than 6 points. Diallo has been a double-digit scorer in all but on game this season (5 vs. R.I), and has found his way to 5 double-doubles on the year.
Sophomore center Nate Watson found those aforementioned 6 starting points in the loss to Nova, and it knocked is average to just below 10 PPG by a hair.
Sophomore guard Makai Ashton-Langford led all Friars scorers from the bench, as his 20 points was a season-high after already setting his personal best this season with 10 points against Creighton to start Big East Conference action.
Freshman guard A.J. Reeves joins Diallo as the Friars’ only double-digit scorers this year, as Reeves is putting up 14.2 PPG. The one problem there is he isn’t on the court, and hasn’t been since the loss to UMass on December 7. He has already missed the last 5 games, and he is expected out for at least 2 weeks at best.
That has put more pressure on senior Isaiah Jackson, who has stepped up and provided a spark on many nights this year. Jackson put up 11 points against Nova off the bench, and is averaging 9.6 PPG and 5 RBG in his final year wearing a Friars uni.
The Friars have won both of their true road games this year, so maybe getting away from home isn’t the worst way to try to get back on track.
The Hoyas Look To Build On Their 8 – 2 Home Record
The Hoyas were rolling and carrying a 4-game win streak after their Big East Conference opening win over Butler as the calendar turned to 2019.
Georgetown has since lost to St. Johns in overtime, and let a 17-point lead slip away last time out against Xavier now needing to snap a 2-game slide in Big East Conference play.
Obviously, both losses will be tough to overcome, because the Hoyas probably feel like they had wins under their belts that simply slipped away when the final horns went off.
Blowing a 17-point lead to Xavier was a result of simply throwing up too many 3s, and it got head coach Patrick Ewing rather concerned. Ewing was quoted after the game stating, “We can’t just continue to shoot 3s; We shot 27 3s, they shot 13. They got the ball in the paint and we didn’t. We should get the ball inside and out.”
Note to Patrick Ewing: Dude, they only made 3 of those 13 attempts from distance, and you still gave up 81 points on the road letting a nice lead evaporate. If you didn’t want your guys to toss up 25′ shots and yet proceeded to watch them go ice-cold, whose fault is it anyway, theirs? You keep thinkin’ that, and good luck with the rest of the Big East campaign, sir!
The Hoyas missed 18 of their last 21 shots from distance after taking a 39 – 21 lead early in the first half, and simply went cold from behind the arc from there.
Senior center Jessie Govan dumped 27 points on the Musketeers to bring his team-leading average up to 19.2 PPG. The 6-10 Queens Village, NY native came 2 rebounds shy of picking up his 6th double-double of the season, although he still averages 6.7 boards a night.
The Hoyas bench produced.. uh, well, let’s not bother wasting out time with the 10 points from those 4 players off the pine, because I think I just said enough about the Georgetown thin roster this year. Freshman guard Mac McClung has missed the last 4 games with the ankle injury, and it is possible he could return today. If not, he is expected back within a game or two, as he was seen at practice the other night taking light drills. McClung sits 3rd on the scoring chart for the Hoyas with his 12.3 PPG, and completes the trio of double-digit scorers for Ewing.
• Friars are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
• Underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
• Road team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
• Friars are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
• Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
• Under is 5-0-1 in Friars last 6 vs. Big East.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Providence outright to win this game is your 4* play, because well, I said so!
I mean my job here is to give you the best play from the lines we are offered, and I just think the Frairs are going to upset the Hoyas, and come away with a 68 – 66 win on the road.
Providence ML is your 4* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Providence ML
Full-Game Total Pick
I don’t think these two will come close to hitting this number, and yes I am obviously aware of the Hoyas offense.
I think McClung being likely absent to an already thin roster is going to cost Patrick Ewing another Big East Conference game, in a low-scoring affair.
The Under 150.5 is your 4* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Under 150.5