Dec. 30, 2014
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's basketball team practiced at McDonough Arena on Tuesday afternoon and departed for Cincinnati, where the No. 25-ranked Hoyas will open BIG EAST Conference play on Wednesday, Dec. 31, capping off the New Year's Eve Marathon on Fox Sports 1. Tip off at the Cintas Center is slated for 10 p.m.
The game will be shown live on Fox Sports 1, with Joe Davis calling the play-by-play and Bob Wenzel serving as the color analyst. Fans locally can tune in to ESPN 980 AM for the radio call of Rich Chvotkin.
Georgetown enters Wednesday night's game ranked No. 25 in the country in the Associated Press Top 25 (and No. 27 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll) with an 8-3 overall record. The Hoyas have won three-straight games and four of the last five overall, including a thrilling 91-87 overtime win against Indiana on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown has played three games against teams that are ranked in the top- 25 this season, including a win over then-No. 18 Florida, 66-65, in overtime. The Hoyas, who have a strength of schedule ranked No. 12 in the country, have also played No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 13 Kansas.
The Hoyas are led by junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill), who was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week on Monday. Smith-Rivera scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Hoyas, including 24 points in the second half and overtime as he led four players in double figures.
Smith-Rivera became the 45th player in program history to pass the 1,000-point mark during the win over Indiana on Saturday. He now has 1,026 career points and ranks 41st all-time on the Hilltop.
Overall this season, he leads the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game, which ranks seventh in the BIG EAST. Smith-Rivera also ranks seventh in the league with 3.8 assists per game and is third on the team with 4.3 rebounds per game.
Senior center Joshua Smith (Kent, Wash./Kentwood/UCLA) is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points, and leads the team with 6.5 rebounds. Smith ranks 11th in the BIG EAST in rebounding and is fourth in the league in field goal percentage, hitting 63.6 percent of his shots from the field.
Senior guard Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA [N.C.]) scored a career-high 22 points and hit a career-best 10-of-13 field goals in the win over Indiana on Saturday. He is fourth on the team in scoring with 8.6 points per game and leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage, connecting on 67.8 percent of his shots from the field.
Senior guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends), who had his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Charlotte on Dec. 20, is averaging 7.7 rebounds, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, and senior forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) is scoring 4.6 points, is second on the team with 5.9rebounds and leads the team with 1.9 blocked shots per game, which ranks third in the league.
Freshman forward L.J. Peak (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney) is among a group of freshmen making a big impact for the Hoyas. Peak, who had 18 points against Kansas, is third on the team in scoring with 9.9 points per game. Freshman forward Paul White (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), who has scored in double figures in five of the last eight games, is averaging 7.3 points and 3.1 rebounds, while freshman forward Isaac Copeland (Raleigh, N.C./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) is contributing 4.9 points and 1.6 rebounds. Georgetown's freshmen class is averaging 23.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while accounting for 36.2 percent of the team's minutes played and 31.8 percent of GU's scoring.
The meeting with Xavier will be the first of two this season between the teams. Last year, the Hoyas split a pair of games with the Musketeers, losing 80-67 on the road and boasting a 75-42 win at Verizon Center. The game will be the ninth all-time between the teams, with Xavier leading the head-to-head series, 5-3, including a 3-0 mark at home.
Xavier enters Wednesday's game with a 9-3 overall record and has won four of its last five games. The Musketeers are led by freshman forward Trevon Bluett, who is scoring 13.3 points per game and has hit 19 3-poinnters. He is one of three players scoring in double figures, with senior center Matt Stainbrook averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds and junior guard Remy Abell averaging 10.1 points per game. The Musketeers are shooting a BIG EAST-best 50.9 percent from the floor, including 39.1 percent from three-point land. XU is hitting averaging 7.3 3-point field goals made per game.
The BIG EAST Conference has three teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, with Villanova (No. 6) and St. John's (No. 15) both ranked. Through the end of non-conference play, BIG EAST schools have a 92-29 record (.760 win percentage)