Georgetown on paper and on the floor is no doubt a superior basketball team to that of the Scarlet Knights. The home court advantage should be meaningless as the majority of the Rutgers faithful should be on the road or wrapped up in front of their televisions watching the International Bowl. The game still needs to be played and the Scarlet Knights will need to dig deep and play for pride. They pushed #1 North Carolina at times during their matchup and need to do the same against the Hoyas, without any mental or physical lapses.
Georgetown is coming off of a Final Four appearance and remains loaded with talent. Although they lost superstar Jeff Green to the NBA, they still return four starters, a talented bench and four highly regarded newcomers.
The frontcourt is dominated by All Big East center #55 Roy Hibbert (72 278). He has strong support from #33 Patrick Ewing Jr (68 235), #3 DaJuan Summers (68 241) and #1 Vernon Macklin (69 215). Each is strong, athletic and gifted. Last years semi-final NCAA game had Roy Hibbert scoring19 points and grabbing 6 rebounds against future #1 NBA pick Greg Oden of OSU.
The backcourt is paced by senior #2 Jonathan Wallace (61 188). He has started every game since first stepping on campus. Joining him is Jessie Sapp, Tyler Crawford and Jeremiah Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Of course the quartet of new freshman all have the potential to contribute at any time.
As a team Georgetown shoots 52.6% from the field, 41% from long range but a mere 60.2% from the free throw stripe. They have a record of 10-1 and average 74.9ppg. They have won games this season by an average margin of 10 points.
Rutgers cannot allow the 23 point loss to a surprisingly talented and well prepared South Florida interfere with their approach to Geogetown. South Florida not only returned their star center Gransberry, but featured a roster littered with quality D1 transfers and a star freshman scorer. South Florida will more than take care of themselves this winter and Rutgers needs to do the same. Corey Chandler may not be healthy enough to play, so the Knights need to be led by a steadily improving Anthony Farmer with backcourt help from Mike Coburn and Courtney Nelson. Coburn is beginning to play smarter basketball, while Nelson is rapidly working himself into a game player once again. Hamady NDaiye and Byron Joynes will be playing against perhaps the best overall pure center in the nation and must try to outsmart him with good positioning and quick thinking. To his credit, Jaron Griffin has been doing a commendable job of restraining himself from taking the quick 3 pt shot and is forcing himself to work within the offense. JR Inman must play his absolute best while Earl Pettis gets his feet wet against this powerful Big East frontcourt. Rutgers may be outmanned, they may be outgunned, but to have a chance to make a statement they must approach this game with a burning desire to win and walk off the court very proud of their efforts.