FILE PHOTO: NATE MOULTON/THE HOYA Senior center Joshua Smith leads the Hoyas in rebounds with 6.7 per game. He was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for his performances against Marquette and Providence.
FILE PHOTO: NATE MOULTON/THE HOYA
Senior center Joshua Smith leads the Hoyas in rebounds with 6.7 per game. He was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for his performances against Marquette and Providence.

After a painful overtime loss to Providence on Saturday, Georgetown’s men’s basketball team (10-5, 2-2 Big East) will travel to Chicago to face DePaul (9-8, 3-1 Big East) on Tuesday night.

DePaul finds itself atop the conference, tied with Villanova (15-1, 3-1 Big East), Providence (13-4, 3-1 Big East) and Seton Hall (13-3, 3-1 Big East). Although its three wins have come over inconsistent Xavier (11-5, 2-2 Big East), struggling Marquette (9-6, 1-2 Big East) and dismal Creighton (9-8, 0-4 Big East), the quick start is nonetheless a surprise for a team that lost its last six non-conference games and was unanimously picked to finish last in the Big East preseason poll.

Most recently, DePaul was routed by No. 8 and conference-favorite Villanova, 81-64. But for all its ups and downs, DePaul boasts some talented players who have the potential to be dangerous when put together. The smooth-shooting sophomore guard Billy Garrett, who was named the Big East Rookie of the Year last season, is tied for first on the team in points scored and can just as easily shoot the three ball as find an open man. Garrett, whose father is an assistant coach for DePaul, leads the Blue Demons in assists with 64 on the year. Comparatively, junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who leads the Hoyas in assists, has 53.

Senior forward Forrest Robinson and junior forward Myke Henry are the Blue Demons’ other major threats. Robinson, especially, has proven lethal from beyond the arc when given too much space. Against a weak Creighton defense, he shot 6-of-9 from the three-point line on his way to a career-high 20 points.

Henry is the team’s other leading scorer and one of the team’s best rebounders, but he saw limited action in the Blue Demons’ last game against Villanova, playing only 16 total minutes.

Georgetown’s offense has struggled in its two most recent games — a nail-biting 65-59 win over Marquette and a disappointing 60-57 overtime loss to Providence. Both the Golden Eagles and the Friars ran aggressive 2-3 zone defenses with great success, as the Hoyas committed a combined 30 turnovers in the two games.

Head Coach John Thompson III will look to Smith-Rivera and senior center Joshua Smith to jump-start a stagnant offense. Smith recorded consecutive double-doubles against Marquette and Providence and has proven to be a difficult matchup for almost every defender that has guarded him this season. Smith-Rivera, meanwhile, has represented the team’s only consistent threat from beyond the arc, as he converted five of the team’s eight three-pointers in the team’s last two games.

Still, the team will need additional players to step up in order to supplement their two veteran stars. Freshman forward Paul White has shown signs of tremendous promise this season, but he has scored five or fewer points in four of the team’s last six games. Senior guard Jabril Trawick, freshman forward L.J. Peak and senior forward Aaron Bowen have all had excellent games at various points of the season, but each player has struggled at times during the Hoyas’ recent games.

The Hoyas, who are 8-1 at home, have yet to win an away game this season. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

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