The Washington Post

Men’s basketball preview: Georgetown vs. Elon

Georgetown (6-2) vs. Elon (5-5)

Tipoff: 7 p.m., Verizon Center.

TV/Radio: CBS Sports Network, ESPN 980 AM

Outlook: Tuesday’s game against Elon brings to an end a four-game homestand against mid-major opponents that Georgetown has dominated despite occasional slow starts and sloppy stretches. In the three victories leading up to it — over Lipscomb, High Point and Colgate — the Hoyas have never trailed, dominated scoring in the paint and beaten opponents by an average of 20 points.

But is this the ideal preparation for Saturday’s visit to Allen Fieldhouse, the first in Georgetown history, to take on perennial power Kansas, whose ranking slid to No. 18 after an up-and-down start to the season?

Senior point guard Markel Starks, for one, doesn’t believe the Hoyas are in danger of being lulled into an inflated sense of their abilities as a result of their five-game winning streak.

“The level-mindedness is there,” Starks said Monday. “I think we are all at an even keel. I don’t think we can get too high or too low because, if you look at it, we really haven’t done as much as we would have liked. There is a lot of ground that needs to be covered.”

The Hoyas’ 61-55 victory over Colgate was as humbling as a victory can be, and Coach John Thompson III voiced his displeasure by declining to make any players available to the media afterward.

“We weren’t good,” senior forward Nate Lubick conceded. “We didn’t execute our offense. We kind of let the things they were doing — the adjustments they were making — affect the way we were playing offense. We can’t let that happen.”

Tuesday’s game against Elon follows a 10-day break from competition for the Hoyas, during which players took exams and practiced, with Thompson stressing the need for better rebounding, committing fewer careless fouls and finishing defensive stands.

Like Colgate, Elon has a penchant for shooting three-pointers and is connecting on 9.5 per game. The Phoenix also boasts a crafty big man in 6-foot-10 senior Lucas Troutman, who’s averaging 16 points per game.

“They’re a good team,” Georgetown center Joshua Smith said, “but we’ve got to hit ’em first, let ’em know they’re in our gym and that we dictate what they do — not the other way around.”

— Liz Clarke


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