January 16, 2012 - After traveling to NYC and garnering a victory over St. John's on Saturday, Georgetown (11-3, 1-2 in BIG EAST play) welcomes a Providence team standing at 7-3, 1-2 to Verizon Center tonight. The contest is available via radio (570 AM), cable television (MASN) and in-game chat (Premium Court). It's listed start is 7p.
Absent again for the Hoyas will be sophomore swingman Greg Whittington, whose suspension will extend past the SJU game. Head coach John Thompson III admitted yesterday of not having Whittington "It definitely changes how we prepare", his team "has guys that were asked to step up collectively" against the Johnnies as a result, and "are going to have to respond again".
Whittington, likely the team's best individual defender also contributes 12.1 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists per game - good for second on the team in the first two stats, fourth in dimes. Thompson only said confirmed his infraction was serious, and his unavailability was communicated, just minutes after being learned, by Twitter's @HoyaNation.
The Hoyas seemed well versed in what it would take to defeat Providence, a team that centers on perimeter play, namely that of senior Vincent Council and junior Bryce Cotton. While Cotton leads the league in conference scoring with 21.6 points a game, Council is the crafty point that makes it happen for the Friars, dropping 6.3 dimes each time out.
The Hoyas know they have their hands full, as Thompson, on the need to keep Provy's guards out of the lane said "That's something that's easy to talk about, but their perimeter players, Council and Cotton in particular, are very good, and they do a good job of setting the ball screens and creating opportunities for them to get into the game".
One guy that has a special task dealing with Council et al is junior point guard Markel Starks, who noted facing the Friars is "going to be a challenge". That sentiment was echoed by classmate, Nate Lubick, a forward that opined of Provy, "They're a perimeter oriented team, and have a lot guys that can take you off the dribble, can score in a bunch of different ways".
For more from Starks (11.6 ppg, 2.6 apg) and Lubick (7.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.9 team leading assists per game), as well as junior forward Otto Porter, Jr. who leads the Hoyas in scoring and rebounds (13.3 ppg, 7.7 rbp), while also slotting second in dimes (2.8), see our Premium Court message board. The trio discusses on reserves getting minutes and the Friars, including Lubick's take on that team's coach, Ed Cooley personally and recruiting-wise.
Thompson is also there, expounding on reserves and game strategy.