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USF-Georgetown Preview

Good Morning V5ers! Today your USF Bulls welcome in the 9th ranked Georgetown Hoyas for the second part of a basketball doubleheader at the Sun Dome. The game is at 7:00 PM, and for some reason, there is no TV tonight if you are with Bright House. (I'd start calling to complain if I were you. Second game in a row.) The game will be on SNY or MASN if you have DirecTV or Dish Network. If you can't get to the Dome or watch the game on TV, Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will be doing play by play for you on 1250 WHNZ.

Even though the Hoyas lost to UConn earlier this week, they've been on a tear, winning 8 of their last 9 games. As Casual Hoya pointed out in Bulls Recon, their success in Big East play coincided with Nate Lubick replacing Hollis Thompson in the starting lineup. With that said, let's see who John Thompson III will send out in the starting lineup tonight.

PG: 6'1 Sr. Chris Wright (13.1 PTS/2.9 REB/5.5 AST/1.5 STL)

G: 6'2 Jr. Jason Clark (12.3 PTS/3.9 REB/1.8 AST/1.3 STL)

G: 6'3.5 Sr. Austin Freeman (18.2 PTS/3.4 REB/2.6 AST)

F: 6'8.5 Fr. Nate Lubick (4.0 PTS/3.5 REB/1.2 AST)

F: 6'9 Sr. Julian Vaughn (9.0 PTS/6.4 REB/2.0 BLK)

Once again though, after their quality starting five, Coach Thompson doesn't have a lot to work with off the bench. 6'7 Soph. Thompson (8.1 PTS/4.6 REB) still logs a ton of minutes, and seems to do better off the bench to help out Lubick and Vaughn. 6'10 Jr. Henry Sims (4.1 PTS/3.3 REB/1.3 AST) has been the other player used by JTIII regularly, and it gives Georgetown a much different look when they move Thompson to the 3 and give one of their guards a rest. 6'2 Fr. Markel Starks (1.3 PTS/0.7 AST) has been the only guard off the bench to get any real playing time in conference play, but even then he rarely logs more than 10 minutes.

By now we should know what Georgetown wants to run, and how to stop it. Georgetown's variation of the Princeton offense utilizes backdoor cuts and constant motion to find the open space in the defense and attack it. If you want just a basic set of what we'll see from Georgetown, just watch this video.

The key is to keep your arms up defending the passing lanes and not having a mental lapse at all for the full 35. Georgetown will be patient in their offense, and will use as much of the shot clock as necessary to find the open man. We did a fantastic job of this at Georgetown last year, and it was the key to our upset win. Well, that and Greg Monroe deciding at halftime he didn't want to play anymore and picking up four really cheap fouls.

Another thing is please guard the perimeter tonight. Georgetown attempts almost 20 three-pointers a game, and are shooting 38% from the year. Clark, Wright, Freeman, and surprisingly Thompson are all quality from beyond the arc, with all four shooting over 35% from three.

So how do we win tonight? Well, if there's one place where Georgetown is vulnerable, it's getting in foul trouble very quickly. Their post players all average at least 2 fouls a game, and Sims in particular picks them up quickly. If Augustus Gilchrist, Ron Anderson Jr., Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, and Jarrid Famous can get to the line early and often, we might be able to stay in the game. It would also help if Shaun Noriega kept his shooting stroke going for a third straight game, especially with Jawanza Poland out of the starting lineup due to a back injury. Oh, and make sure we don't get outrebounded by 20. That's important too.

So what do I expect tonight?

- Decent student attendance

- This game will be surprisingly close

- And we will lose