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Game Preview - Georgetown vs. St. John's

Game 26 - Georgetown (8-17) vs. St. John’s (14-12)


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: February 21, 2024

  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Capital One Arena - Washington, DC

  • How to Watch: FS1

  • Matchup History: St. John’s leads all-time series 65-57

  • Last Meeting: St. John’s def. Georgetown 79-70 on 2/22/23

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Georgetown +10

  • Over/Under: 151

  • Prediction: Georgetown 66, St. John’s 79

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Ed Cooley (1st season, 8-17 record at Georgetown) 

  • Record: 8-17 (1-13, 10th in Big East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Villanova 70-54 on 2/16/24

  • Player to Watch: Supreme Cook


Before Friday’s game against Villanova, I wrote about how Georgetown still has time to create momentum heading into next season if it can start stringing together some better performances. 


The Hoyas followed that up with the second lowest scoring output of the season (54) and the second time in the last three home games that Ed Cooley’s squad has been held to under 60 points. 


“I thought we played harder today…I thought this was the most connected we’ve been defensively,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said after the Hoyas tenth straight loss. “We were playing against a very good team, a veteran team, a well-coached team, and so our mishaps continue to show up…I’ll tell you, I feel our team got better today.” 


Be that as it may, there are no moral victories in the Big East, and that is seemingly all Ed Cooley’s Hoyas have to show so far this season. 


Maybe they’re playing better than they were last year and maybe Cooley is working with less talent and depth than former Head Coach Patrick Ewing was last year, but the lack of wins still remains. 


Georgetown has won just three of its last 55 Big East games; Cooley is 1-13 in conference games this season. 


There’s just six games left in the regular season before Georgetown heads to New York City for the Big East Tournament. Over those six games, the Hoyas don’t play a team that currently sits in the top four of the standings, with three games against the 9th and 11th place teams. 


There are opportunities for wins in the final weeks of the season. Can we finally stop talking about improvement from a moral victory standpoint and move on to actually winning games? 


Either way, there’s going to be palpable pressure in year two of this regime to narrow the gap from the bottom of the league to the rest of the conference. 

 

  • Head Coach: Rick Pitino (1st season, 14-12 record at St. John’s)

  • Record: 14-12 (6-9, 9th in Big East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Seton Hall 68-62 on 2/18/24

  • Player to Watch: Joel Soriano


St. John’s sits 9th in the Big East, just one spot ahead of Georgetown, but own a five game lead on the Hoyas. 


In his first season at the helm, Head Coach Rick Pitino has led the Red Storm to a 14-12 record up to this point, but has started to run into problems as of late. 


St. John’s has lost five of its last six games, with the lone win coming against DePaul. The Red Storm has lost to Xavier, UConn, and Marquette by double digits and more recently lost to Providence by three and Seton Hall by six. 


Following the loss to Seton Hall, Pitino gained national attention for his controversial postgame comments. 


“If I said I was disappointed, that would be the understatement of the year,” Pitino said after the loss. “We are so unathletic that we can’t guard anybody without fouling. For me, I’ve always enjoyed the first year, and I’m not going to lie to you, this is the most unenjoyable experience of my lifetime. This has been so disappointing.” 


Pitino continued in the press conference by noting his concern about the season this past summer, which led to him eventually calling out players by name to the media. 


“Joel (Soriano) is slow laterally, he’s not fast on the court. Chris Ledllum is slow laterally, Sean Conway’s slow laterally, Brady (Dunlap) is physically weak, Drissa (Traore) is slow laterally,” Pitino said as the rant continued. “I don’t want to say the wrong things, but I’m very disappointed in my team. Credit to Seton Hall, they were the epitome of toughness.” 


In early January, St. John’s was 12-4 and off to a 4-1 start in Big East play. Since, they’ve lost eight of ten and are clinging to the title of ‘bubble team’ with just five games left in the regular season. 


The Red Storm still play Georgetown twice, host Creighton on Sunday (I’ll be there) and travel to DePaul and Butler. 


Anything short of winning the final five games and they’ll likely need to at least make the Big East Tournament championship game to give themselves a chance on Selection Sunday. 


Either way, I don’t view this season for SJU as the disaster that Pitino seems to view it as. 


It’s been wildly frustrating for Red Storm fans over the last four weeks, but they still have one of the best head coaches in college basketball as a building block for the future. 


However, if the disconnect between player and coach remains, it could be a bigger mountain to climb for the program with Pitino at the helm than originally thought.

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