Georgetown will play its first game in three weeks, when it plays host to Providence in a Big East showdown Saturday on CBS following an extended layoff due to COVID-19 issues. The Hoyas 3-8 (1-5 Big East) had four games postponed during the program's pause, which came after coach Patrick Ewing was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in May. All in all, it's been a tough year for the historically proud program, but a game against the Friars (9-7, 5-5) represents a chance to get back on track.
As Providence hits the second half of league play, it will be looking for a surge like the one it enjoyed last season in order to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume. The Friars won their final six games — including a win at Georgetown — to finish 19-12 last year and position themselves for a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament before the event's cancelation.
If veteran coach Ed Cooley's squad is going to make the Big Dance this season, it can ill-afford a loss to the Hoyas. How Georgetown will respond following its time off is a mystery, but the Hoyas lost their last three games before the layoff by single digits, suggesting that Ewing's squad was not far off before going on pause.
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- When: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Where: Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
- TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
- OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)
Providence: The Friars were picked to finish third in the Big East's preseason coaches poll and could still claw their way through the jumbled standings to that position. But as things stand now, Providence is firmly entrenched in the middle of the league and looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 2021. Senior guard David Duke is the key to this team, as he demonstrated again on Wednesday by scoring a career-high 31 points in a 72-63 overtime win over Marquette. But the emergence of Nate Watson as a senior has been the biggest surprise. The 6-foot-10 center is averaging 18 points per game and hitting 62% of his shots after averaging 9.0 points on 51.1% shooting last season. Watson poured in a career-high 29 during a huge win at Creighton last week that ended a three-game losing streak.
Georgetown: It's been a rough year for the Hoyas, who lost last season's leading scorer Mac McClung as a transfer to Texas Tech and saw second-leading scorer, Omer Yurtseven, graduate after nearly averaging a double-double. Senior guard Jahvon Blair has stepped up to fill the scoring void, averaging 18 points per game after scoring 10.8 per game last season. Qudus Wahab has also been a bright spot, especially on the defensive end. The 6-11 sophomore is averaging 2.5 blocks per game and scoring 12 points per game after averaging 5.5 points and 0.9 blocks last season in a largely reserve role. Climbing out of the bottom of the Big East standings will be a tough task for a team still developing chemistry and coming off a three-week break.
Game prediction, pick
Providence gets the benefit of seeing Georgetown as the Hoyas return from a long layoff. The Friars have better depth and should have the conditioning needed to pull away down the stretch as they try and begin a late season push. Prediction: Providence -3.5 | Providence 76, Georgetown 60
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