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January 11, 2014

Hoyas ball at Butler tonight

January 11, 2014 - In league play the challenges never stop coming for BIG EAST teams, a fact Georgetown, 10-4 in all games, 2-1 in the league faces today, taking on Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. This happens after Wednesday's humbling defeat to Providence. It's the second of three consecutive road games for John Thompson III's team.

The 7p EST tip-off can be seen on Fox Sports 1, while real time chat will occur on our Premium Court message board. The always excellent radio call of Rich Chvotkin can be heard on AM 570.

If the Hoyas are to bounce back from the 70-52 Providence loss, leading the way must be its talented backcourt of senior Markel Starks and sophomore D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Starks scored eight points against the Friars, though to date has accounted for 15.4 each time out. His 4.1 assists leads the team, but was attributed only three at Providence.

Smith-Rivera exceeded his current 17.2 ppg mark with 19 Tuesday, and pulled down five boards, slightly more than his average. G'Town will need even more from him, including besting the two assists versus Provy (he averages 3.1 per game) if the Hoyas are to thrive.

A native of Indianapolis, last week Smith-Rivera chimed in on returning home to play. "It's a homecoming, I'm very excited for it" said the sophomore who played at Indy's North Central High School before transferring to Oak Hill (VA). "Butler, at the time when I was in high school, being recruited by Brad Stevens, who was somebody I admired. I like the program, and I wish them well".

G'Town's backcourt is not the only group that needs to step up, an SOS has been issued for its frontcourt: Junior center Joshua Smith didn't make the trip to Providence due to academic concerns, and will not play tonight. Junior forward Mikael Hopkins did score 12 points versus Provy, more than his 6.8 ppg mark. Senior forward Nate Lubick's five points was slightly less than his 5.8 average, but he did exceed the 6.3 rebounds on average supplied, with nine.

The entire team, including wings Aaron Bowen and Jabril Trawick, a senior and junior, respectively, must be better defensively, including anticipating and executing rotations more effectively.

Butler (10-5, 0-3) is like Providence in that its hungry for a win and driven by dangerous performers. While sophomore guard Kellen Dunham has come from virtually nowhere to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 18.7 ppg, senior forward Khyle Marshall is his typical stalwart self, dropping 15.7 points and 5.7 boards per team - he's a holdover from Butler's second Final Four trip. Junior big man Kameron Woods paces the Bulldogs with 9.7 boards per contest, and chips in 9.7 points as well.

Presently at fourth in the league, the Hoyas would do well not to fall a game back in the standings, where before today's action three other teams, including Providence, reside.

The challenges never stop coming.

Those in the Indy area can see the game live, for as little as $8, at the time of this writing. Click here for tickets.

If you are not a HoyaReport.com member, the following offer is for you! Hurry, as supplies are limited.

Emergency Addendum:

It looks like there may be another possible roster reduction afoot. See Premium Court for more of what possibly is happening!

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