At 8-3 in the Big East, with a win over then #1 Duke, Georgetown has re-emerged as a Big East power in John Thompson III's second season coaching the Hoyas.
Having a chance to play the #17 team on ESPN, Marquette's first nationally televised game since their victory over South Carolina in the finals of the Great Alaskan Shootout, the opportunity is there to make a statement to the college basketball world.
After some of the performances the last two years, including awful losses to Louisville and Western Michigan, head coach Tom Crean seems anxious to show Marquette fans and college basketball fans around the country this new group of players.
"It is nice to have people around the country able to see what we're made of," he states. "We had guys here in the past who couldn't deal with the big lights."
However, with the Hoyas very versatile front line, a win will not come easily. Last year, Jeff Green shared Big East Rookie of the year honors with the phenomenal Rudy Gay, and he's having a very good sophomore season, highlighted by his 18 point, 7 assist performance against Duke.
"Jeff Green's a special player, no matter if he's playing the 3, 4 or 5 spot. He can score off the dribble, he can shoot the three, he can hit the offensive boards, and he can post," added Crean.
Using the Princeton offense that Thompson brought with him to Georgetown, and having such a dynamic player in Green, it is very hard to prepare for the Hoyas.
"They remind us a lot of West Virginia, in that they have a very good knowledge of each other," says senior forward Steve Novak. Marquette has struggled with this type of team this season, as West Virginia's offense carved up Marquette to the tune of 104 points and 20 threes.
The same West Virginia Mountaineers team did expose some of Georgetown's weaknesses in their 69-56 win over the Hoyas at the MCI Center, and Crean hopes Marquette can take advantage of these flaws.
"They did a good job of moving the ball, they got to the free throw line, and they made shots."
With a great shooter in Steve Novak, who hits at a 45 percent clip from three and 98 percent from the line, Marquette just may have that guy who can take advantage of this.
Georgetown Projected Starters:
C-Roy Hibbert, 7'2 sophomore, 11.2 points per game, 59.5% field goal percentage, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks per game
F-Jeff Green, 6'9 sophomore, 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists per game
F-Brandon Bowman, 6'9 senior, 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds per game
G-Ashanti Cook, 6'2 senior, 9.5 points per game. 43.8% from three
G-Jonathan Wallace, 6'1 sophomore, 8.7 points, 3.2 assists per game, 43.9 % from three
G/F-Darrel Owens, 6'7 senior, 9.0 points per game, 50.0 % from field, 41.1% from three
G-Jessie Sapp, 6'3 freshman, 2.6 points per game
F-Marc Egerson, 6'6 freshman, 1.8 points, 1.9 rebounds per game
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