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December 20, 2013

Hoyas roll into Allen Saturday

December 12, 2013 - Up next for G'Town's Hoyas is a trip to Kansas' Phog Allen Field House, one of the more celebrated places to play in college basketball. Tip-off is noon tomorrow, with radio duties again being held down by Rich Chvotkin - tune into 570 AM for his call. ESPN has the television broadcast. Of course, enjoy real time, in-game chat on our Premium Court message board.

Kansas, ranked 18th in the AP Poll is 7-2 is coming off an 80-63 win over New Mexico. The Jay Hawks shoot 50% from the field and 31.8% on three pointers.

KU is led in scoring by freshman wing Andrew Wiggins's 15.9 points per game. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis follows him in double figures with 14.1 ppg. Seven foot freshman center Joel Embiid trails them closely at 9.8 points each time out, while slotting second on Bill Self's squad in rebounding, pulling down 6.5 per contest. Ellis paces the team in caroms, logging 6.7 rpg.

Cleaning the glass has been a sore spot with the Hoyas, slotting last amongst BIG EAST teams at only +2.6 per game. For contrast, Kansas is +6.8 and third in the Big 12 (neither team has faced conference foes yet).

Senior forward Nate Lubick] was honest Georgetown's boarding, saying yesterday "Obviously we've been struggling a little bit on the rebounding side of things, and this will be a big test for us", given Kansas' size and depth.

One Hoya that could help with that is junior center Joshua Smith. Standing 6'10" and weighing around 350 pounds, Smith has shown the ability to score (14.1 ppg) but must board more consistently. Lubick paces the Blue and Grey with 6.3 rpg, with junior forward Mikael Hopkins accounting for 5.8. Smith is only credited with 3.9 caroms per game.

That group will be key in combating Embid et al tomorrow. A factor in KU's front court arsenal is Memphis transfer forward Tarik Black, who GTown head coach John Thompson III believes has fortified Kansas' frontline, saying: "You get a 5th year guy whose won, who knows how to play...As an outsider looking in his presence and understanding has helped them".

Thompson's Hoyas are led in scoring by sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 16.7 points per game. Add 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists to his output, to which Thompson noted "He has the responsibility to do many do things every night".

Senior Markel Starks is second in G'Town scoring, dropping 15.7 ppg, while also tallying a team high 4.8 dimes. Think scoring floor general when Starks comes to mind.

The Hoyas are shooting 48.9% from the field, despite canning just 32.5% from three point land. Before the team's 85-76 victory over Elon this week, G'Town ranked second nationally in holding teams to 35.1% from the field, third on three ball defense at 24.2%.

For those interested in attending, tickets are available. Click here to buy them. Presently, the lowest cost seats available are $90.

We have audio from yesterday's presser on Premium Court. There, Thompson discusses a myriad of topics, including Wiggins, Allen Field House, KU's Frank Mason and Naadir Tharpe, Embid and Black, amongst other things. Lubick expounds upon his relationship with Tharpe, while in an exclusive interview, Smith-Rivera touches upon being sped up by Allen Field House's fans, defending/attacking the paint, the hype surrounding Wiggins, and stat stuffing.

For all of that, click here.

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