Georgetown Basketball: UMBC Preview

Georgetown opens the season with a lot more question than answers? Should they be on upset alert?

Georgetown opens their season tomorrow against UMBC at McDonough. The Hoyas are coming off that was undone by transfers and injuries.

COVID-19 concerns has the Hoyas playing games on campus. No fans will be permitted inside. “Kenner League games are in McDonough and normally not many people there so I’m pretty sure it will be similar to that,” said Jamorko Pickett.

The Hoyas are looking to exceed expectations set by the last place prediction made in the Big East Preseason Poll.

On paper, the Hoyas don’t have a dominant scorer but improved ball movement could be enough to quell that concern. “Taking care of the ball and sharing the ball. Sharing the ball has been the achilles heel to this team since I’ve been here,” said Pickett.

The Hoyas have an interesting mix of experienced returning players and new players especially on the perimeter. Teams who haven’t come together tend to make turnovers on the perimeter via miscommunication. Guys like Chudier Bile, Donald Carey, and Jalen Harris are all experienced transfers who can’t let their old system get in the way of their new system.

It’s worth keeping an eye on how many of the freshmen play. In the past, Ewing has given his freshmen a lot of rope but after not making the tournament in his first three years, will he have a quicker hook?

Look at UMBC

The Retrievers bring back a very experienced squad. Six of their seven top players return and all come back with experience.

6’10 senior Brandon Horvath could be a match up issue for the Hoyas. Horvath is a modern big who can play in and out. In the post, Horvath can go both to the middle and baseline on the post up. He has enough athleticism to crash the offensive boards from the perimeter. Speaking of the perimeter, Horvath is a solid three-point shooter in the halfcourt offense and in transition. Last season he shot 36.8% from long distance.

R.J. Eytle-Rock is a physical guard who likes to get his shot off the dribble. When driving to the basket, he’s looking to bounce off contract and overpower opposing guards. Even his perimeter shots come off the end of a dribble as opposed to being a catch-and-shoot player.

5′ 2″ Darnell Rogers will be back after missing 26 games last season. Before the injury, Rogers was averaging 14 points and 4.3 assists. He’s is a 42% three point shooter.

Seniors Daniel Akin and Dimitrije Spasojevic aren’t as big of a threat. Neither one stretch the court on offense. They get their points around the basket.

Keys for Georgetown:

Consistent Perimeter Scoring
No matter how many bigs are on the roster college basketball continues to become more perimeter-centric. For perimeter driving lanes to open, Georgetown will have to be more consistent on the perimeter than they were last season.

Defensive pressure
When asked today about whether the defense will be more aggressive this season, Ewing said he felt like the defense was aggressive last season and indicated that they won’t be more aggressive this season. While his assessment about last season’s defense is up for debate, there’s no denying that the Hoyas need to generate more live ball turnovers. They cannot play a high percentage of the game in half court offense. If they do, this will be a long season.

We won’t know what the starting lineup will be until tomorrow’s game but no matter who the primary ball-handler is, he will have to take care of the ball. Until Georgetown’s offense can catch up, they don’t have much room for error so they will have to keep empty possessions down to a minimum.

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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