Men’s Basketball | Hoyas Host Pirates, Seek Fourth Straight Victory

Junior forward Akoy Agau averages 4.4 points per game in addition to 3.7 rebounds per game. (FILE PHOTO: CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA)

Junior forward Akoy Agau averages 4.4 points per game in addition to 3.7 rebounds per game. (FILE PHOTO: CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA)

After winning three straight Big East games for the first time since March 2015, the Georgetown men’s basketball team looks to extend its conference game winning streak to four as it hosts the Seton Hall Pirates this Saturday at the Verizon Center.
The Hoyas (13-10, 4-6 Big East) were a far cry NCAA tournament team given their record six days ago, but they have since completely altered the season’s course. Georgetown buried Creighton’s (20-3, 7-3 Big East) prolific offense at home, played its best offensive game of the season at Butler (18-5, 7-4 Big East) and pulled one out late against DePaul (8-14, 1-8 Big East).
Given Georgetown’s resurgence this past week, this Seton Hall (13-8, 3-5 Big East) bout serves as an inflection point in the Hoyas’ quest for an NCAA tourney bid. The Hoyas are currently in the USA Today’s “Last Four In” bracket predictions and have shot up in the Ratings Percentage Index to No. 52, trailing the likes of the California Golden Bears (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) and Iowa State Cyclones (13-8, 5-4 Big 12), both qualified tournament teams.
With eight Big East regular season games remaining — including two against No. 4 Villanova and one at No. 22 Creighton — Georgetown likely needs to win both of its games against Seton Hall and a home meeting versus Marquette to receive a tournament bid. A 9-2 finish to Big East regular season play will likely solidify the Hoyas’ spot in the tournament.
The team’s quest starts Saturday against a Seton Hall team that only has one road win the entire season. The trio of junior guard Khadeen Carrington, junior forward Desi Rodriguez and junior forward Angel Delgado leads the Pirates’ offensive efforts. All average over 30 minutes per game and average around 16 points per game. At 6-foot-10, Delgado can pound the glass, while Carrington, Rodriguez and freshman guard Myles Powell are the Pirates’ threats from behind the arc.
The Pirates boast a strong glass presence, leading the Big East with 41 rebounds per game, including 13.6 offensive rebounds per game. Comparably, Georgetown grabs 35.7 rebounds per game, while giving up the fourth most rebounds per game in the conference.
During this three-game stretch, the Hoyas have played their best offensive and defensive games of the year. Graduate student Rodney Pryor —18.4 points per game — and junior L.J. Peak — 16.2 points per game — have joined the ranks of elite scorers in the Big East. Playing a few miles from his hometown of Evanston, Ill., Pryor poured in 26 points against DePaul after dropping 20 at Butler and 18 against Creighton all while taking no more than 15 shots in each game. The Hoyas must rely on Pryor’s efficiency in the next few weeks.
Despite the win streak, the Hoyas are coming off of one of their sloppiest games in terms of ball handling, committing 20 turnovers against the Blue Demons on Tuesday night. Seton Hall currently ranks second in the conference with 7.2 steals per game, and Georgetown would do well to manage their possessions more efficiently.
Tipoff is set for Saturday at noon, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

 

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