NCAA tournament team previews: Georgetown Hoyas
As part of its preview of the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team’s national rank. All stats are through Monday, March 16.
Record: 21-10 (12-6 in Big East)
Adjusted offensive/defensive efficiency: 110.3 (41st)/93.7 (25th)
Seed: No. 4 in South
Impact player: D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, junior, guard: 16.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 122.3 offensive rating.
The Case For: Excellent guard play can carry a team in the tournament, and Smith-Rivera has averaged 19.3 points over his last seven games and has dropped 29 points three different times this season. Don't be fooled by their 10 losses either: The Hoyas have played one of the 10 toughest schedules in the country according to kenpom.com, half of those defeats were by five points or less, and none of them came to an opponent outside the RPI top 40. Georgetown is also one of only two teams to beat No. 1 seed Villanova this season, and they did it handily, winning by 20 at home in January. And if the game is on the line, this team can get to the free throw line—they did so more times per game than any team in the Big East—or look inside to senior center Joshua Smith, who has made nearly 63% of his shots.
The Case Against: Smith uses a higher percentage of the Hoyas' possessions than anyone else on the roster, but can he stay on the floor? The big man fouled out three times in conference play and reached four fouls in 10 other Big East games. In Georgetown's loss to St. John's on Feb. 28 he fouled out in just eight minutes. Speaking of fouls: While the Hoyas get to the free throw line, so do their opponents. Their defensive free throw rate (a measure of opponents' free throw attempts per field goal attempts) is 302nd in the nation. Freshman starter L.J. Peak has been slumping of late; the forward averages nearly eight points per game, but he's scored only 16 in his last six games combined. The Hoyas also don't have a dominant rebounder—no one on the roster averages more than six per game—and they have some issues taking care of the ball, ranking second to last in the Big East with 12.6 turnovers per game.
SI prediction: Lose in Round of 64 to Eastern Washington