Washington, D.C. (SportsNetwork.com) - The Georgetown Hoyas will attempt to secure a statement win on their home floor when they host the 10th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks in a non-conference duel at the Verizon Center.
Kansas has recovered nicely from the 72-40 pounding it took at home against No. 1 Kentucky in mid-November. The Jayhawks have rattled off five straight wins since, including a 71-65 come-from-behind victory against Florida last Friday. They are 6-1 overall, with this game serving as their first true road test. They take on No. 13 Utah next.
Georgetown bounced back from a two-game slide in a big way last time out, running over Towson, 78-46, to begin this four-game homestand. The Hoyas own a 5-2 overall mark, including a 4-0 success rate at home. They will host Radford in their next venture.
These are two of the most historically successful programs in college basketball, but they have rarely faced off. Kansas has won two of three all- time meetings, including an 86-54 rout last season.
At halftime, Kansas was on the wrong end of a 39-24 deficit against Florida. However, the Jayhawks came storming back in the second half, jumping from 34.8 percent shooting in the first half to 48 percent in the second. They also knocked down 21-of-24 free throws in the final 20 minutes, while the Gators had 10 foul shots all game. Wayne Selden Jr. poured in 21 points and Cliff Alexander had 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Despite its elevated ranking, Kansas has not been all that impressive offensively. The Jayhawks are averaging only 69.4 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting, ranking outside the top-100 nationally in both categories. They have had a bit more success on defense, letting up 62.7 points on 40.2 percent accuracy. Perry Ellis (14.6ppg, 6.7 rpg) is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Jayhawks, with Frank Mason (10.1 ppg) and Alexander (10 ppg, 6.6 rpg) the only other players averaging in double figures.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 16 points to lead five players in double figures in Georgetown's demolition of Towson. The Hoyas sank 54.9 percent of their shots from the floor, including an 11-of-22 effort from 3-point range. They locked up on defense as well, forcing 17 turnovers and keeping the Tigers scoreless from beyond the arc (0-of-12).
Georgetown seems to always be a tough team to score against. The Hoyas have continued that trend this season, limiting opponents to 61.9 points per game on 38.4 percent from the floor. While they may not turn up the heat in terms of scoring themselves (72.6 ppg), they are netting 50.1 percent of their own field goal tries. Smith-Rivera (14.4 ppg, 3.3 apg) is one of the most underrated players in the country and Joshua Smith (12.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) has the ability to be a a real force in the paint.