Friday, January 9, 2009

Pondering Providence

Providence is on my mind because they are of great concern to me right now. As the next team on the Hoyas' schedule, they must play the role of easy victim tomorrow afternoon, lest this two-game Georgetown losing streak risk becoming a five-game losing streak in a hurry.

But Providence worries me a little. They're 3-0. They have seniors. They have a stud guard who can score from anywhere and whose name (Weyinmi Efejuku) looks like what I'd get if I tried to type "Whichever Eagles tune" into my iPhone and wasn't paying attention.

Of all the teams in the conference's supposed "bottom tier" who may have a chance to sneak in and compete for a ninth or tenth NCAA bid by the end of the year, Providence may be the most likely. Their schedule is probably the easiest in the conference -- Cincinnati and Rutgers twice each, home games with Notre Dame, Marquette, Pitt and Syracuse. And like I said, seniors. With talent.

I fear Geoff McDermott and his 8.3 RPG average against a Hoya team that's averaging only 9.8 offensive rebounds a game (worst in the conference). I fear Sharaud Curry and Jeff Xavier will handle the pressure and hit miracle shots, the way Tennessee did.

But maybe I'm worried about nothing. Maybe Providence is 3-0 because they've only played St. John's, DePaul and Cincinnati (the first two at home). The JT3 Hoyas aren't the kind of team that loses focus and lets down just because the last two games were brutal and the next two games are Syracuse and Duke. They should be fine, right?

I draw hope from the guys at Hoya Prospectus, who break down the Friars with stats in which I'm not yet conversant and conclude that Georgetown is the superior team, at home and should have no problem...unless they get the crap kicked out of them on the boards.

That's a big "unless," and it's one I fear will factor into every game this year...

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