Following an 85-72 win that snapped its two-game losing streak, the men’s basketball team turns to Coppin State on Wednesday evening as the Hoyas look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The 13-point win over Howard (0-5) on Sunday came behind a career game from junior forward Akoy Agau and 17 second-half points from graduate student guard Rodney Pryor, who finished with a team-high 26 for the game. Agau notched 14 points, six rebounds and a game-high five assists for the Hoyas (3-4).
“He gives us energy. He plays hard,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of Agau and his performance against Howard. “You look at that first half, I believe he had two charges taken. You know he’s going to compete.”
The Blue and Gray now host the Coppin State Eagles (0-7), who rank 336th out of 351 Division I teams, per KenPom.com.
The Eagles are also the worst offensive team in the NCAA, ranking last in effective field goal percentage as well as two-point shooting percentage. On the defensive side of the ball, Coppin State ranks 324th in adjusted defensive efficiency and allows opponents to shoot 57.6 percent from two-point range, also 324th in the country.
Starting with the game against the Howard Bison, Thompson has emphasized this stretch of the season at home against small-conference teams.
“It’s been about 10 days or so, and other than prep for the next game, we haven’t had a practice,” Thompson said. “Now we can go have a practice and work on Georgetown.”
The focus on fine-tuning the team was evident in Sunday’s win as Thompson played 18 different lineup combinations, some seeing more success than others. Pryor and junior guard L.J. Peak led the way across all lineups, posting positive plus-minus stats of 18 and 16, the highest on the team.
In addition to having more time to practice, Georgetown has started a stretch of its schedule that sees four straight games against teams outside KenPom.com’s top 100, a chance for the Hoyas to meet the goals Thompson has set for them.
However, the Blue and Gray are just two weeks away from their game against the No. 22 Syracuse Orange (4-1), their biggest and most storied rival. Last year saw the Hoyas battle the then-No. 14 Orange, besting them 79-72.
Similarly, the stretch that preceded Syracuse was also a home stand against small-conference schools, once again allowing Thompson to find his most trusted rotations, a likely scenario against Coppin State.
Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on Fox Sports.
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