Georgetown will look to build upon their best performance of the season when they face number one Duke in the finals of the Empire Classic.
The Blue Devils crushed Cal last night, 87-52. Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. led Duke with 31 points and 12 rebounds. Carey Jr had 21 of his points in the first half.
The Hoyas had a dominating second half against Texas outscoring the Longhorns 45-24 in the second half. Four Hoyas scored in double digits led by Mac McClung’s 19.
Duke will present problems Texas didn’t last night. The Blue Devils have the ability to spread the entire court isolating Georgetown’s defense. When the Hoyas were struggling defensively in the first half it was failing to close out on shooters because the on-ball defender had problems stopping dribble penetration.
The Blue Devils do that at a much higher level. Duke’s “Area Chart” displays how difficult it is to cover them. They were 15-31 in the lane along with 10-27 from the 3 point line. Duke was 7-9 from the right wing three pointer, 3-18 from other three point spots.
Dominating the boards is a must for Georgetown every night but it is especially important tonight.
Duke out-rebounded Cal 50-28 last night. Twenty-three of the rebounds were offensive. It isn’t as simple as just “boxing out”. Duke’s athleticism is hard to keep off the boards. Plus, with the number of perimeter shots they take, the long rebound constantly comes into play.
Georgetown can’t have players leaking out or Duke will dominate the rebounding category.
Yurtseven Must Be a Major Player
Omer Yurtseven can’t afford to get in foul trouble tonight. He fouled out with 5:28 left in the game last night. Three of his five fouls were offensive. That limited the senior to only 12:27 of playing time. Qudus Wahab stepped up scoring nine points while grabbing three rebounds in roughly 21.5 minutes.
What Yurtseven provides that Wahab doesn’t is lost post moves. He allows the wing players to throw the ball in the post where he can make post defenders work. The last thing the Hoyas can have happen is Carey Jr. being allowed to only one end of the floor.
The Hoyas are a 13 point underdog tonight. To be fair, they were a 6.5 point underdog last night.
Duke’s weapons will give the Hoyas a lot of challenges tonight and show head coach, Patrick Ewing, how far this team has come and how far they need to go.