College Basketball Pick
Providence is unlike almost any other team in the country in that home-cOurt advantage means absolutely nothing in their Games. The Friars are undefeated on the road this season with wins over teams such as Butler, Creighton and Villanova. But at home, they’ve struggled, losing Games to Marquette, Seton Hall and Xavier. The recent Musketeers loss can be excused, but they were down from the start and never looked like a true threat to Xavier.
Conveniently for them, this Game is on the road against another unpredictable team in Georgetown. The Hoyas have multiple iffy losses in non-Conference play, but they also have some really nice wins, most notably a road win at Xavier a week ago. They almost fell to Creighton earlier in the week, but had a big comeback in the final minutes to win by a point.
Georgetown is still riding the bubble and a win over Providence would be nice for them. The Friars haven’t lost on the road and will likely put in a fight as they usually do.
The problem with Providence is that they only have two players that produce on a consistent rate and when those guys struggle, so does the team. Kris Dunn (16.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 7.1 apg) and Ben Bentil (20.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) may be the best duo in the country, but outside of them, there isn’t much. Those two struggled shooting the ball against Xavier and the Friars ended up going 7-of-34 from distance and 22-of-70 from the field. It’s tough to overcome that. Rodney Bullock, their third-leading scorer, managed just three points on 1-of-9 shooting in that Game.
In addition, Providence doesn’t have much coming off the bench outside of Jalen Lindsey, whose main role is to shoot threes. Unfortunately, he’s shooting 25.3% from behind the arc.
Georgetown is very similar in that aspect, except only has one consistent guy to get the job done in D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. That’s the main reason the Hoyas have losses to Radford and UNC-Asheville. Smith-Rivera does a lot for this team, but he’s not a Game breaker by any means averaging 16.3 points and 4.4 assists per Game. He’s been an okay shooter his entire career and that’s the case this year (42.3% from the field, 35.5% from three).
For the Hoyas to get wins, usually one or two other guys step up in big ways. In the win against Creighton, Isaac Copeland finished with 7 points, 10 boards and 7 assists in 38 minutes. In the loss against UConn, he had 2 points, 3 boards and 1 assist in only 14 minutes. against Xavier, Tre Campbell dropped 21 points after scoring zero against Villanova the Game before.
The best thing going for the Hoyas is their depth as they usually go at least nine deep and the guys off the bench are no worse than the starters. against Creighton, Georgetown’s bench scored 35 of their 74 points. That’s a pretty impressive rate and could come in handy against a team that lacks depth in Providence.
What it comes down to is if Georgetown can limit Dunn and Bentil at all. At this point, there’s no reason to believe they can. The Friars are undefeated on the road and should get at least 40 points from their top duo. Will that be enough, or will Georgetown’s role players show up?
Check back Friday for a Score Prediction