What to Expect: Georgetown

  • 12/26/2014 11:35 am in

Indiana concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden as the Hoosiers take on Georgetown in the Indeed Invitational.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 12:00 p.m. with Bob Wischusen, Seth Greenberg and Jim Calhoun on the call:

A late addition to the 2014-15 schedule, Indiana’s game tomorrow with Georgetown at Madison Square Garden bolstered the non-conference slate and added a solid opponent in place of what would have likely been a guarantee game at Assembly Hall.

And while the non-conference schedule does include five teams in the top 60 of Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, it also includes six who are ranked No. 270 or worse, which makes this game a smart addition to help the strength of schedule.

As the rest of the Big Ten coasts into conference play, the Hoosiers will get one final test before heading on the road to Nebraska for New Year’s Eve. Ultimately, the goal of any non-conference schedule is to pick up a few key wins and also prepare for what lies ahead in league play. This contest presents another opportunity for a solid win that could loom large come March and also pits the Hoosiers against size and physicality that is formidable.


In his 11th season at the helm, John Thompson III brings a Georgetown team to MSG that has size, athleticism and an ability to relentlessly crash the offensive glass. Of IU’s first 12 opponents, only SMU and Louisville have been bigger up front and the Cardinals are the only team comparable from an offensive rebounding perspective. That Louisville contest ended in a 20-point loss for IU as Rick Pitino’s team rebounded 52 percent of its misses.

Thompson III has started the same lineup in each of Georgetown’s 10 games with junior D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera manning the point alongside senior off guard Jabril Trawick. Up front, the Hoyas go with freshman L.J. Peak on a wing, senior Mikael Hopkins and the enormous Joshua Smith (pictured) in the middle. That adjective isn’t used with any exaggeration in this instance as Smith checks in at 6-foot-10 and 350 pounds.

Smith-Rivera, who started his prep career at North Central in Indianapolis and finished up at Oak Hill Academy, is the team’s leading scorer at 13.3 points per game. Smith-Rivera hasn’t been particularly efficient this season as he’s making just 27.3 percent of his 3s and 46.8 percent of his 2s. His perimeter shot has been most effective from the left wing, where he’s making 50 percent of his 3s according to Shot Analytics.

Trawick is efficient, but isn’t a high volume shooter. He’s made 7 of his 13 attempts from distance and also 60 percent of his 2s, but is a poor free throw shooter (50 percent). Freshman point guard Tre Campbell isn’t an offensive threat and is more of a space holder at this point while Smith-Rivera gets a breather.

The Hoyas have a solid group of players in the 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-9 range who are capable of filling a variety of roles. Peak is the team’s third leading scorer (10.2 ppg) and does an excellent job of getting to the free throw line, where he’s knocking down 72.2 percent of his attempts. Another freshman, 6-foot-8 Paul White, has to be accounted for on the perimeter as he’s made 10 of his 19 3-pointers.

Two others from this group who belong on the scouting report: 6-foot-6 senior Aaron Bowen, who is making 65.2 percent of his 2s and 6-foot-9 freshman Isaac Copeland, who can make the occasional 3 (44.4 percent).

In the post, Hopkins isn’t much of an offensive threat, but is in the top 50 nationally in block percentage and in the top 70 as an offensive rebounder. Smith’s 12.7 points per game rank second on the team and he leads the team in rebounding with 6.5 per contest. However, he’s only averaging 21.9 minutes per game and if IU can push pace, fatigue can become a major factor.



Georgetown has a significant advantage with its size and ability to crash the offensive glass, but the Hoyas also have their share of challenges, at least on paper. The Hoyas, like IU, have been a poor defensive rebounding team and if the Hoosiers are able to offensive rebound, it could keep the battle for second-chance points from becoming a major difference for Georgetown.

The Hoyas have also struggled to take care of the ball and while they’ve defended the 3 well (31.4 3PFG% defense), so did Louisville and Butler coming into their games against IU. The Hoosiers hit 8 of 20 from distance against Louisville and 8 of 17 against Butler.

Indiana has looked better the past two games on the defensive boards, but the Hoosiers cannot afford a performance like they had against Pittsburgh or Louisville and expect to win. Indiana also must figure out a way to keep Georgetown out of the paint as the Hoyas are making 52.8 percent of their 2s (38th nationally) compared to just 34.6 percent of their 3s (134th nationally).


This should be a fascinating game to watch as Georgetown attempts to slow down a high octane offense with shooters everywhere and Indiana attempts to hold its own against an opponent with superior size inside.

As was the case in the Butler game, the play of Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Troy Williams looms large for Indiana. The Hoosiers need both to rebound and in addition, create movement of Georgetown’s bigs so they can’t camp out inside and wait to block and alter shots.

Both Pomeroy (Georgetown by 2) and Sagarin (Indiana by 1) view this as a close game that should come down to late execution.

(Photo credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty)

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  • Wheatster

    Agree that this will be a close game. Hopefully we shoot the ball well and block out! We have to make sure we put a body on someone when the ball is in the air. Limit the turnovers and move the ball, we should win this. Anyone else notice that how all the top recruits haven’t committed yet, like they’re waiting on to see who from Kentucky leaves to go pro! Usual shady stuff lol. GO HOOSIERS!

  • Rushman

    Leave it to Alex and Inside the Hall to work through the holidays in order to keep us die hard fans satisfied before another big game. Thanks guys!

  • CreamandCrimson

    As the preview states, Georgetown can come at us with waves of size/length. As we know, that’s potentially very problematic for us. However, we have (in my opinion) looked much better on the glass since the Louisville game. One thing that I noticed while watching Georgetown play Butler…Smith-Rivera got into foul trouble and Georgetown’s offense really sputtered without him. If we can attack him and sit him down with fouls, that could be a major boon to our efforts.

    This game will certainly test us, I know that much for sure. Beyond that, I have no clue what’s going to happen but I’m looking forward to it…go Hoosiers!

  • IULore

    Having seen a little bit of G-Town this year, we should be able to out run them and score fairly well. The trick will be boxing out defensively and getting rebounds. Troy will have to out jump people for boards.

  • TampaHoosier

    I wonder how 6’10” 350lbs is going to be able to keep up with our run & gun pace. I think scoring in transition will be a big part of the game.

  • IULore

    I was thinking the same thing. I think fatigue may come into the game a bit in the second half.

  • N71

    If someone can play basketball at 350 lbs and not tire they probably deserve to win. I myself expect a lung to be coughed up.

  • Lance76

    Agreed Run and it is 5 against 4 with outside shooters. Drive when the 3 is not there and play the foul game. Smith-Riviera is a very skilled player and it would be nice to have him sit on the bench.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Troy was named the Oscar Robertson NATIONAL Player of the Week. That’s well deserved and a big Congrats! to Troy for his energy and efforts to improve his game. I thought he played a smart, under control, yet energetic game against Butler, and I thought he helped his teammates play well too with his passing and defense.

    Simply put, he’s becoming an impossible match up problem for opponents (too quick; too good a ball handler outside and too strong inside).

    More importantly, I imagine someone at Georgetown is spending their friday (today) trying to figure out how to stop him…that will be a long day for them because any adjustments to guard Troy means our outside shooters will be more open more often with more driving lanes if they choose.

    For me, as a fan, I’m watching Troy in the first 5+ minutes tomorrow. If he plays like he did against Butler, and I see no reason why he won’t, then I predict an IU 3 point assault. GT won’t be able to keep up.

  • marcusgresham

    If anyone else were to cough up a lung he’d probably eat it.

  • RU4IU2

    On this visit to MSG, Troy and HMP will have to do better on the glass than they did in the Louisville game or this may not end well for us. One of the hidden factors which tend to get overlooked is whether the refs let ’em play in the paint and how closely they call plays in the backcourt. So far this season, referees have been all over the place calling games–some let ’em play, some don’t, and the usual amount of “phantom” fouls have occurred by refs being out of position to actually see what transpired. I so hope TV Ted Valentine is not part of the officiating crew.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Might be a lot of traffic on the Best Buy website after this one. Remember, folks, they don’t know when you throw things at the TV.

  • Zach

    We’ve looked so much better on the glass the last few games and hopefully we keep the momentum going in that regard against a big team. Excited to see what we can do!

  • It looks like Smith gets 20-25 minutes per game. His low this year was 13 minutes in a 27pt blowout. I doubt he’ll play more than 25 minutes against us if we keep up the pace.


    You and marcusgresham, both get big upvotes on this one ! lol


    Out of all the good things that TW brought for the Butler game, what we may need most of those is the major uptick in rebounding.


    Hoping that TV Teddy isn’t part of the zebra crew goes without saying, in fact I hope he is NEVER a part of the zebra crew doing one of our games. Since I didn’t find a legally binding document in my Xmas stocking stating that, I know that that isn’t something that is going to happen, but hey, a guy can dream can’t he.

  • Andy Rafael Aguilera

    Having lived in the Seattle I’ve witnessed Josh Smith’s rise and fall. He’s had conditioning and weight problems from the start of his collegiate career at UCLA.

    He’ll tire quickly with our pace.

  • Andy Rafael Aguilera

    Not funny. He has had eating problems throughout his career. But please continue on.

  • SCHoosier

    OK Hoosiers..run that big fella into the ground..I mean have him wheezing. Of course to do that..IU has to get some rebounds. Kid that impressed me against Butler was Smith-Rivera..their PG. He can shoot it. Being an Indy area Hoosier he and Yogi know each others games well I would assume. Should be a good battle. James and Nick..hope Santa polished your shooting strokes. Go Hoosiers.

  • OMG

  • ForeverIU

    Chase that little freak outta here.

  • Jmac

    We recruited Josh Smith

  • Guyton25

    No idea who will win this one but I know it’s stressing me out pretty bad. These are exactly the kind of games I worry the most about… when we play a top 20 team and we’re unranked it’s a big deal, but not devastating if we lose. These games are the real prove yourself games.. two teams right outside the top 25 meeting on a neutral floor. We win, people start throwing respect at us and maybe a pair of numbers; we lose, it’s looked at as another loss to an unranked opponent in the general sense. They don’t look at these losses any differently than a loss to Nebraska or Illinois.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I’m pumped for us to prove we’re one of the best 25 teams in the country!

  • marcusgresham

    The next zebra crew Teddy should be a part of should be huddling for protection on the Serengeti.

  • marcusgresham

    IU has a sumo team?

  • Dave Carnes

    Relax Andy

  • Dave Carnes

    We have the defenders to slow him down weather he has foul trouble or not.

  • iugradmark

    I think the way the game is officiated will determine the outcome. IU is more speed and finesse and benefits if it isn’t a banger’s delight. GTown will likely want to pound it in and bump and manhandle. We need an ACC type game to be officiated to give us the best chance.

  • Eastwood88_2

    As far as I am concerned, we will not face a better rebounding than Louisville. Might be the single best 20 point loss I have seen. It made everyone in this team understand what rebounding takes. Pace will be the key. Crean won’t slow down so I look for us to get easy baskets. Still going to give some free easy ones, but I would rather have the speed. I believe we win by double digits. Already playing at msg is a benefit for us. Nick was on fire. Expect the same this time. Now after our victory, the national title game begins…. Anyone think Louisville can take it?

  • Really? We did? I do not recall that name.. it would’ve only been about three years ago… I do remember the big guy with North Carolina, Kennedy Meeks.. He’s big, maybe 6′ 10″ and 270 or so, not quite as big as Josh.

  • IUPatrick

    I understand the philosophy of outrunning the other guy; have them keep up with our scorers, tire them out, rotate a fresh group in etc… etc… etc… And we’ ve seen IU be very successful at it early this season against soft and good competition. It’s our MO, its how we play and we are getting pretty good at it. But we have also seen issues with it especially against a good rebounding team like L’ville. If we spend our afternoon trying to out speed the Hoyas to the basket while they score 50+ points in the paint it could be a long afternoon. If we are only hitting 30% from 20 feet and they are hitting 60% from 5 feet are we going to change our game plan or just try to go faster with the hope we get hot? If we do get dominated in the paint will CTC ever consider putting HMP and Holt in the game at the same time? Two big bodies fighting for a defensive board (and offensive) would be huge. I know the criticism would be that this would hinder our sprint plan but I believe we need to experiment having the 2 big men in together if only to keep offenses honest. I also think Emmitt can run the court. We can keep 3 shooting guards on the floor with the two bigs or 2 guards and Troy. I’m only bringing this to the table under situations where are speed is not working. I haven’t seen both on the court together but let’s face it – we are going too be seriously handicapped against great defensive big teams like Wisconsin if we leave only Hanner or Emmitt on the court by themselves. I know others have posted similar concerns and think CTC should look at it as a positive alternative.

  • Hoosier1158

    Me either. There was a Josh Smith that committed to IU back when DJ White was a freshmen but he went pro. That would have been an awesome front line, DJ and Josh?

  • ForeverIU

    I searched for him and found that he was signed by UCLA in the 2010-11 class (the year before Zeller). Was ranked as #18 on 247. From what I found he played for UCLA for two years and this is his second year at Georgetown. What I don’t understand is that ESPN lists 2011-12 as his freshman year, but I’m thinking maybe he started in 2010-11 and sat out a year after he transferred from UCLA?

  • ForeverIU

    Okay, apparently we recruited a different Josh Smith who committed to play for IU but decided to go straight to the NBA (selected by Atlanta Hawks in 2004). I haven’t seen anything about us recruiting the Gtown Josh Smith, but I’m not sure.

  • RU4IU2

    I like your premise of playing 2 BIGS at the same time to give the team a better chance of rebounding at both ends of the court! However, TC’s track record to date at IU indicates that it probably ain’t gonna happen. Best guesstimate I can make is he’ll keep 3 guards and some combination of Collin/Troy/Max/HMP/EH on the floor most of the game. Tomorrow may force the issue–who knows?
    Omitted in the summary are the facts that this Hoya team only lost to Wisconsin by 3 points, Butler by 8 and Kansas by 5. Outside the ‘ville and perhaps Butler, they may be the most formidable opponent IU plays in the pre-season. The KenPom stat most significant to me is that IU ranks 259th in DReb% and Gtown ranks 9th in OReb%. If this holds true tomorrow, there may not be as many fast breaks or run outs as some envision. You got to have the rock to begin the running game, otherwise a team of guards as fast as Ty Lawson, Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe or Jeff Teague can’t bring it to the house. Thinking a 3-point win for us…but no last-second heroics, please!

  • IUPatrick

    Agreed. The 9th in OReb% is the main reason I brought up the Emmitt/Hanner tandem. I do realize we are getting better at gang rebounding but as the saying goes “you can’t coach height”. JBJ or Yogi or RJ can only get their hands on so many tips and a 6’10”, 300 pounder is a wide load to cheat a rebound from.
    Unfortunately, as you mentioned, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and we know CTC’s history when it comes to loading the court with more than one big at a time. Regardless of the outcome of Tomorrow’s game I think it should be an option against strong rebounding teams in the future. Let’s hope for some hot shooting and like most are stating – a tired G’town team. I’m with you on the outcome – I like IU by 2-3 points.

  • ForeverIU

    Smith and Hopkins are good rebounders but also seem to be foul prone (and both seniors). Send them to the bench with fouls early. I see us winning 78-71.

  • RU4IU2

    Joshua Smith plays about 25 min a game. He “kept pace” with Wisconsin, Butler, Florida and Kansas…not spectacular stats, but he’s got a feel for the post and has better hops than one might think. I’m more concerned w/who will try to contain Mikael Hopkins and Isaac Copeland (also Paul White-an IU recruit) and keep them off the offensive glass. They didn’t get to be the 9th best offensive rebounding team by accident…or playing cupcakes, and their proficiency in this area is likely to slow the pace of the game and minimize easy transition baskets.

  • Thanks for sharing that.. At that size, it’d be pretty tough on him in Creans ‘run first’ high octane offense. I’m hoping he’ll have a tough time keeping up with it today.. Geez, I hope we win this one today. I’m going to my sister’s for the 2nd of two Christmas dinners. Fortunately, they’re all Indiana fans, so while some won’t be as intensely buried in the game as I will, at least they all respect that IU is our Indiana school and all will be interested in seeing an IU win.. just some are more intense about it than others. Me, I’m probably the only ‘fanatic’ about it…lol…

  • I hear ya’ Guyton.. I want us to get this one so badly. I’m pretty ‘pumped’ about it, but also worried. I do worry for the same reasons as you, but at least if we do happen to lose, it’s not like we got beat by an NJIT or Eastern Michigan kind of team. At this juncture that would be devastating. We’re starting to roll now, and I hope we can keep it going.

  • Gosh, I hope you’re right. I would like to see it be more like 84 76 or something along those lines. really hope they can’t slow down this offense too much.. Shoot, I’ll take any win.. 78 – 71 works great for me..

  • ForeverIU

    I think we’ll continue to attack in the paint and try not to “live or die” by the 3, which probably means we stay under 80 because Troy is unlikely to have as many points as in the Butler game. The only way I see us going over 80 is if James gets his 3-pt groove back, but I think we can still win with him mostly attacking down low and in the middle and rebounding.

  • ForeverIU

    Ha, it’s like that in my household! My wife has no interest in basketball (which is why I watch most of the games with pretty much zero volume), although she interjects sometimes to comment on our players’ amazing physiques and knows very well that there are addictions much worse than basketball! My 5-year-old will get into the game for five minutes and wonder when he will reclaim the TV for his shows. But he surprised me the other day by remembering most of our players’ names (must have some basketball in his DNA!). My dad who lives an hour away will watch the games and make comments afterwards like: “The college game is not the same anymore, it now feels like the NBA,” but he only says it when we lose to teams like L’ville, LOL!

  • ForeverIU

    Oladipo + LeBron = Troy Williams + Josh Smith = dunk + foul (that hopefully gets called)

  • IUHoosier08

    Does anyone know an I heart radio station I can listen to the game on? Traveling today and want to keep up!