Feb. 7, 2014
WASHINGTON - After playing six of its previous nine games away from home, the Georgetown University men's basketball team is back home this weekend, hosting new BIG EAST Conference foe Butler at Verizon Center on Saturday, Feb. 7 in its annual Gray Out. The game tips off at Verizon Center at 1 p.m.
The game will air to a CBS national television audience, with Kevin Kugler calling the play-by-play and Clark Kellogg serving as the color analyst. Fans locally can tune in to ESPN 980 AM for the radio call of Rich Chvotkin.
Georgetown is coming off a weekend sweep on the road last weekend, beating then-No. 7 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden, 64-60, and following it up with a 71-59 win over DePaul in Chicago.
The win over Michigan State was Georgetown's second win this season over an Associated Press Top 10-ranked team, including the team's 84-80 win over then-No. 10 VCU in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Since the 2008-09, Georgetown has 15 wins over AP Top 10-ranked teams, tied for the most in the country (with Kansas and Ohio State).
In Monday's win at DePaul, GU used a big run in the second half and senior guard Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) scored 26 points to lead three players in double figures as the Hoyas came from behind to beat the Blue Demons, 71-59. Starks scored at least 20 points for the fourth time in the last five games to lead the Hoyas, while sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill) added 17 points and four rebounds, while junior forward Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) added 15 points and three rebounds off the bench. Senior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) scored three points and tied a season-high with 10 rebounds
The Hoyas had trailed by as many as nine points (24-15) in the first half and were down three points, 30-27, at the break, but tied the game early in the second half on a jumper from Smith-Rivera and then used a 21-7 run over 7:44 and took a 58-44 lead after a three-pointer from Starks at 6:26 and free throws from the senior guard with 5:26 to play.
Starks was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday after his performance in a pair of games last week. He averaged 18.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds during a 1-1 week for the Hoyas, who lost to No. 9 Villanova (65-60) last Monday and then bounced back with the win over Michigan State. The senior guard shot 48.1 percent from the floor (13-of-27) and hit 70.0 percent of his free throws (7-of-10).
Starks, who has scored in double figures 18 times this season, is tied for the team lead with 16.8 points, which ranks tied for sixth in the BIG EAST, and leads the team with 3.9 assists per game, which ranks eighth in the league. Overall this season, he has played 91.1 percent of the team's minutes (811-of-890) played.
Starks passed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the loss to Villanova last Monday, becoming the 44th player in program history to pass that mark. He has now scored 1,046 points in 115 games (a 9.1 per game average) and needs 12 more to pass Ashanti Cook ('06) for 38th all-time.
In the last five games, he is averaging 22.2 points per game.
Sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill) is tied for the team lead in scoring with 16.8 points per game, which ranks tied for sixth in the BIG EAST. The sophomore also ranks among the league leaders in free throw percentage (2nd, 86.7%), steals (10th, 1.3), three-point field goal percentage (6th, 39.6%), three-point field goals made (T7th, 2.0) and minutes played (5th, 34.7). He is also third on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game and tied a season-high with eight against Michigan State.
GU's backcourt of Starks and Smith-Rivera is averaging 33.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals. They have combined to score 47.5 percent of Georgetown's total points this season (740 of 1,559). Together, they are shooting 41.9 percent from the floor (233-of-556), 36.6 percent from three-point land and (83-of-227) and 84.9 percent from the free throw line (191-of-225).
Junior forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), who recorded his first career double-double, and Georgetown's first of the season, with 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in a loss to Seton Hall, is averaging 6.9 points, is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds and leads the team with 1.7 blocks per game.
Senior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Marks) is averaging 5.0 points, leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game and is third on the team with 1.9 assists, while senior guard Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA [N.C.]) is contributing 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds, including 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in BIG EAST games. Freshman forward Reggie Cameron (Hackensack, N.J./Hudson Catholic) has started the last eight games and is averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in that span. Junior forward Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends), who missed five games with a broken jaw, scored eight points in Saturday's win over Michigan State and followed that up with 15 points against DePaul.
The Hoyas rank ninth in the BIG EAST in scoring offense (70.9 points per game) and are fourth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 45.9 percent of their shots. GU ranks third in the league in scoring defense, allowing 66.5 points per game, but the Hoyas are second in that category in BIG EAST games, allowing 67.8 points per game. The Blue & Gray rank first in the league in field goal percentage defense (39.5 percent) and first in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.4 percent). Georgetown ranks No. 37 in the country in field goal percentage defense and No. 47 in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense.
Butler enters Saturday's game with a 12-10 overall record and a 2-8 mark in the BIG EAST Conference following a 69-62 loss at Marquette on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs have lost three of their last four games and seven of their last nine overall. Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham leads the team in scoring with 17.5 points per game and has hit a team-best 58 three-point field goals, which is fourth in the league. Senior forward Khyle Marshall is second on the team with 15.5 points per game and junior forward Kameron Woods is third on the team with 8.8 points and leads the team with 9.3 rebounds, which leads the BIG EAST. The Bulldogs rank eighth in the league in scoring offense (71.3 ppg) and fifth in the league in scoring defense (67.2 ppg). In BIG EAST games only, they are ninth in the league in scoring offense (66.5 ppg) and eighth in scoring defense (72.9 ppg).