Game 20 - Georgetown (8-11) @ Providence (13-6)
Nuts & Bolts
Date: January 27, 2024
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Amica Mutual Pavilion - Providence, RI
How to Watch: FOX
Matchup History: Providence leads all-time series 18-17
Last Meeting: Providence def. Georgetown 88-68 on 2/26/23
Betting Lines: Via DraftKings
Spread: Georgetown a
Prediction: Georgetown 65, Providence 82
Follow Along on Twitter
Road to the Garden: https://twitter.com/Road2TheGarden
Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports
Same as it ever was for Georgetown the last two years under Patrick Ewing, the Hoyas took a step forward only to take three or four significant steps back, falling to Butler in a winnable game at home Tuesday night, 90-66.
Georgetown entered the game fresh off a one point loss on the road against Xavier last Friday, scoring 91 points in a losing effort.
On Tuesday, it became clear that the biggest challenge this Hoyas team is facing is consistency.
“This is part of the process of going through development,” Georgetown Head Coach Ed Cooley said following the 24 point defeat. “We are not going to sit up here and complain and point fingers. All the fingers should be pointed at me.”
Georgetown led 23-20 through the opening ten minutes before Butler surged to close the half on a 24-9 run, leading at the break 44-32.
In the second half, Georgetown never got closer than 11 as the Bulldogs began to pull away with ten minutes to go, leading by as many as 29 on the way to the 24 point victory.
Georgetown was led offensively by Jayden Epps, who scored 16 points but had one of his worst shooting nights of the season, finishing just 4/19 from the field and 2/13 from deep to go along with 5 turnovers.
The best Hoya was undoubtedly Supreme Cook, who scored 12 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field.
Overall, it was a ‘throw away the tape’ game for Georgetown, who now travels to Rhode Island to play the most highly-anticipated game of the season: Ed Cooley’s return to Providence.
“Let’s call it what it is, it’ll be an emotional time for all of us,” Cooley said. “But time passes, you move on…once the ball goes up it’s just another Big East game.”
I’m sure if you ask any Providence fan, their sentiment could not be further from Cooley’s.
Friars fans are angry, and they are going to let Cooley and the Hoyas hear it for 40 minutes on Saturday. They feel betrayed, abandoned, and duped by a native of their town who left them after 12 years to take a job at a rival school in the same conference. Who can blame them?
From purely a basketball perspective, Georgetown has lost four straight games and is 1-7 in the Big East. How are they going to handle the most raucous and difficult environment they’ve faced all season?
Providence has had this game circled since the Big East schedule was released this past fall.
The return of Ed Cooley; when would it happen? Would it be a random weeknight in December while students are gone?
Nope. It’s a Saturday in January right around the midway point of the Big East regular season. Cooley and the Georgetown Hoyas return to The AMP, where the Friars are waiting.
In the first Cooley-less season since 2010/11, Providence has experienced an up-and-down season, already filled with emotion.
The Friars opened up the season 11-2 with two losses against quality opponents, Kansas State and Oklahoma, while opening up Big East play with wins over #6 Marquette and on the road against Butler.
Then, January 3 happened.
In a home game against Seton Hall, Providence star Forward Bryce Hopkins tore his ACL, ending his junior season prematurely. Up to that point, he had averaged 15.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and was shooting 43% from the field.
Following the devastating blow, the Friars lost four straight, including that January 3 game at home against Seton Hall.
Over the last two weeks, however, Providence has potentially begun to find its footing yet again, winning on the road against DePaul by 38 and entering Saturday’s game against Georgetown fresh off a huge road win over Seton Hall, 67-63.
If momentum is beginning to shift for Providence, what better time to welcome in the former head coach and his Georgetown Hoyas?
Three weeks ago, it appeared the season was lost following Hopkins’ injury, and that very well might still be the case.
However, if Providence can start stringing some wins together, with opponents like UConn, Villanova, and Creighton right around the corner, you never know what Head Coach Kim English and company might be able to achieve.