Blue Demons look to contain Hoyas’ big men at Georgetown Wednesday


The Blue Demons are still searching for their second win of league play. (Richard Bodee / The DePaulia)

When the Georgetown Hoyas took down the DePaul Blue Demons 90-81 at Wintrust Arena on Jan. 2, it was the Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson show.

They combined for 49 points and 19 rebounds as the Blue Demons couldn’t find a defensive solution against Georgetown’s powerful frontcourt. The Blue Demons (8-11; 1-6 Big East) will get another chance to rectify those mistakes when they travel to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to take on the Hoyas (13-6; 3-5 Big East) in a 7:30 p.m. bout at Capital One Arena.

This is the 39th all-time meeting between the two teams with the Hoyas holding a decisive 30-8 advantage. DePaul beat Georgetown at Capital One Arena in February of last season, but dropped the last six matchups against the Hoyas before that win.

Blue Demon center Marin Maric missed the game against Butler on Saturday with a left knee strain, while backup center/forward Jaylen Butz missed the last two games with an illness. If those two can’t go on Wednesday night, that could further accentuate the problems the Blue Demons experienced defending Govan and Derrickson in the first matchup between the two teams. Govan is one of two players in the Big East Conference who has averaged a double-double this season (the other is Angel Delgado of Seton Hall).

The Hoyas have feasted off the bottom of the Big East this season. Their three wins in the conference come against DePaul (once) and St. John’s (twice), the two teams that occupy the cellar of the conference. They’ve lost by nine or more points in four of their five Big East losses.

Outside of the Govan and Derrickson two-headed monster inside, the Hoyas can kill teams at the free-throw line. They shoot 78.2 percent from the charity stripe as a team (sixth best in the nation) and Govan and Derrickson shoot 75.5 percent and 87.9 percent respectively from the free-throw line . The Hoyas went 31-for-37 from the free-throw line in the Jan. 2 meeting between the two teams.

First year Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing drew attention in the first matchup between the two teams when a mic caught him yelling at one of his players for questionable shot selection.

The Blue Demons carry a three-game losing streak into this game. In games against Marquette and Butler last week, the Blue Demons shot a combined 32.3 percent from the field and coughed the ball up an average of 15 times in those two games. It was a frustrating result after the Blue Demons were competitive in each of their other Big East contests this season.

With Butz ill and Maric injured, freshman forward Paul Reed has played 17 minutes in each of the last two games. He’s made the most of the opportunity, putting up nine points and grabbing six rebounds against Butler and pouring in four points and collecting a season-high eight rebounds against Marquette. The 6-foot-9-inch big man has proven to be a reliable rim protector (two blocks against Marquette and averages two blocks per 40 minutes which is tops on DePaul) and is athletic enough to stay in front of guards on the perimeter. He also drained his first 3-point field goal of the season against Butler, a skill he constantly works on in pregame warmups.

Road games in the Big East are never easy, but a date with a beatable team like Georgetown seems like one of the better chances the Blue Demons will have to improve that Big East record. FS1 will televise the game and it can be heard on the radio on WIND 560 AM.