When? 12:00 PM, ESPN2
Vegas? INDIANA +3
Pomeroy? GEORGETOWN by 2, 44% chance of Indiana victory
Last Call for Quality Non-Conference Wins
Indiana's last non-conference affair is a doozy, as they return to the site of their closer-than-the-score-indicates loss to Louisville to take on a top-30 team in Georgetown before the B1G season kicks off for them in Lincoln on New Year's Eve. This iteration of the Hoyas isn't dissimilar to the Georgetown teams we've seen in the past: they're big (40th in effective height), they're not in a hurry (139th in tempo), and they're prone to mistakes (223rd in TO%.) As I'm sure y'all know, Indiana played Georgetown back in 2013, when the #1 ranked Hoosiers were taken to overtime at the new Barclay's Center before outlasting the Hoyas 82-72.
Only Yogi Ferrell remains of the Hoosiers who played in that game, as Hanner Mosquera-Perea was still ineligible thanks to one of the more inexplicable rulings in NCAA history. In addition, the Hoyas have retained D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Mikael Hopkins from that game.
Georgetown has suffered losses to Wisconsin and Kansas by a total of eight points, and were beaten by Butler on a neutral court by six points. So according to the always-correct transitive property of sports, since Indiana also beat Butler by nine points, the Hoosiers will enjoy a 15-point victory over Georgetown.
So yeah, no real reason to write anything else, we're all set.
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (Offense)||57.8% (12th)||16.9% (33rd)||36.8% (42nd)||39.1% (138th)|
|GEORGETOWN (Defense)||44.0% (51st)||22.1% (65th)||33.3% (242nd)||41.0% (236th)|
|INDIANA (Defense)||46.8% (119th)||17.0% (308th)||33.8% (259th)||25.0% (11th)|
|GEORGETOWN (Offense)||52.5% (55th)||20.9% (223rd)||40.7% (9th)||41.4% (104th)|
While KenPom has Georgetown ranked similar to Butler, and I described the Bulldogs as being a great matchup for Indiana, I think the exact opposite of the Hoyas. The Hoyas look and play more like Louisville, with 70% of their shot attempts coming from inside the arc, 44% directly at the rim. When they do step out for the three point shot, it's likely coming from the right corner or the left wing, and for good reason, as they're hitting 50% and 45%, respectively, from those spots. (Thanks, ShotAnalytics!)
Smith-Rivera leads the team in long-distance attempts with 44, which would be good for 4th on Indiana, behind James Blackmon Jr. (67), Nick Zeisloft (59), and Yogi Ferrell (49). But with anchors down low like 6'9" Mikael Hopkins and 6'10, 350 lb (!!!) Josh Smith, it's not hard to see why the Hoyas prefer to pound the ball into the post. Only 28.4% of their shot attempts are three pointers, good for 301st in the country and it's a game plan you'll likely see continued on Saturday as the Hoyas look to exploit Indiana's weaknesses in defending the paint.
It's a game that will likely come down to second-chance opportunities. Georgetown is likely to get a lot of them given their ability to rebound offensively at a high level and Indiana's general ineptness at preventing such a thing from occurring. The Hoosiers will have to offset these opportunities (and the points that follow) by capitalizing on Georgetown's turnovers and their tendency to send their opponents to the charity stripe. The Hoyas also pair their poor defensive free throw rate with some truly horrendous FREE THROW DEFENSE, as they're 333rd in the country and allowing their opponents to hit the freebies at a 74.1% clip. Indiana remains an elite 5th in that category, as their opponents only convert at a 59.5% rate.
Three Things to Watch For:
- Can the Hoosiers hang for 40 minutes? Last time they were in NYC, the Hoosiers played a good 30 minutes against a tough opponent before wilting late. While Georgetown is enormously talented (emphasis on the enormous), they're certainly not Louisville-caliber. With their last trip to Madison Square Garden fresh in their minds, can the Hoosiers play a full 40-minutes relying on their speed and quickness to offset Georgetown's size?
- What impact will the guards have? Against Louisville, I described any 3-point shot by the Cardinals as a victory for the defense because they could so easily have their way inside and their guards shot so poorly. Unfortunately, Louisville's guards ate Indiana alive with their jumpshooting, which made an already tough assignment nearly impossible. Indiana's backcourt is supposed to be their big advantage this year, can they defend Georgetown's guards well enough to keep them from making life even easier for the bigs down low?
- If you find JBJ's three-point jumper, please return it immediately. The freshman sensation is now 3-19 from deep in his last four games, including a 1-8 mark in his last game in the Big Apple. It's only a matter of time until he busts out of the slump in a big way, he's far too good of a shooter to stay in a funk forever, but it would be timely (to say the least) to have it happen against Georgetown and be out of it in time for the B1G season to start.