Georgetown vs. Memphis University
Spread: MEM -1
Moneyline: MEM -120, GaTown EVEN
Tipoff: 2 PM from Maui, HI
Betting Odds taken from Bookmaker
Last season, Georgetown finished 21-11 with a 10-8 record in the Big East. They lost to VCU in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and the loss was a bad one, falling by 18 points.
One thing Georgetown did do well last season was shoot the ball. What helps their effective field goal percentage is their inside/outside approach. Combining easy shots inside with good three point marksmen helps an offense tremendously. They don’t board well though, offensively, and they are turnover prone as well.
The Hoyas have to learn to start shooting more threes, actually, though. They hit 58% of their twos against VCU yet still lost the game, because they allowed VCU to hit 61% of their shots from behind the arc. Slow rotations and merely hot VCU shooters are to blame. See, Georgetown did hit their threes, 47% of them in fact; they just didn’t shoot enough of them. In games in which the Hoyas shot under 31% from three they were 4-10.
So far this season, the story for the Hoyas has been 6’2″ senior guard Jason Clark. Clark didn’t do much opening night, but has since posted 17 points (vs UNC Greensboro), 15 points (against #4 Kansas, in a 4 point loss) and 28 points in a blowout win over Chaminade. Georgetown is 3-1 behind his 17 points per game average. Clark has increased his scoring average every year at Georgetown, but if he maintains this, it would be an unexpected leap from his 12.0 points per game last season, not to mention the fact he is shooting 52% from the floor this year, compared to 48.3% a year ago.
Junior forward 6’7″ Hollis Thompson, was Georgetown’s best player last season. He didn’t turn it over much and played efficient basketball, and he also had the highest +/-. He needs to shoot more this year, though, so his efficiency may fall off a little. He scored 14 in the loss to Kansas, going 5 of 9 from the floor and 2 of 5 from three point range. His only single digit scoring game was last game against Chaminade, when he took only 7 shots and played 27 minutes in the big blowout. It’s hard to interpret such a performance as meaningful either way.
Henry Sims and Otto Porter are both averaging 10.8 points per game as well, helping the Hoyas to average 80 points per game as a team so far. Scoring has never been a problem for Georgetown teams.
Memphis finished last season with a 25-10 record and they lost 77-75 to Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in March. They were 10-6 in Conference USA play and coach Josh Paster said he wants the team to pick up the pace of play this season, given their high level of talent.
“The type of players we have on our team is we’re long, we’re fast, we’re athletic, we’re quick, and we have speed…That’s what we are and that’s how we need to play. That’s our advantage.”
They return all of their rotation players except for Will Coleman and junior college transfer Stan Simpson will fill Coleman’s spot in the rotation. Adonis Thomas is a good wing player who will help and he was a McDonald’s All American in high school. Thomas scored 19 points in the 2 point victory over Tennessee last night, while hitting 7 of 10 from the floor and recording 2 blocked shots as well. He didn’t play well against Michigan, but did look good opening night against Belmont when he scored 12 on 5 of 9 shooting in only 20 minutes of play. Expect the freshman’s time to continue to increase as the season wears on.
Leading scorer from last season, Will Barton, will definitely be the key for the Tigers. So far this season, Barton is putting up 19 points per game, to go along with 6.7 boards per night, while shooting 46.3% from the floor. Throw out a bad game against #15 ranked Michigan, and you’re talking abotu a guy who is averaging 24 points per game, as he scored 25 against Tennessee and 23 opening night against Belmont. He isn’t hitting his threes, though, as he is just 2 of 11 from behind the arc this season. Last year as a freshman, he put up 12.3 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game in 30 minutes of play per game. With the 6 minute up tick in minutes, we’re bound to see Barton have more big games.
In addition to Barton and Thomas, there are 4 other Hoyas players averaging 8 points or more per game, and the team is averaging 86 points per game so far. For Memphis to win this game, they are going to have to get Barton involved early and often and let Adonis Thomas do his thing on the wing. At 6’6″ he plays a lot bigger than he is and should be able to square off well against Hollis Thompson.
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