The No. 20 Georgetown Hoyas (4-1), this week ranked for the first time, will put their ranking on the line against the Tennessee Volunteers (4-1) in the SEC/Big East Conference Challenge tomorrow night at the Verizon Center.
This will be the Hoyas’ toughest challenge since taking on the UCLA Bruins and Indiana Hoosiers in the Legends Classic in New York. No longer flying under the radar, the previously unranked Hoyas gained respect and attention after pushing the No. 1 Hoosiers to overtime.
The Hoyas are lead by Otto Porter, who was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. In the Hoyas’ last game, Porter scored a game high 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Mount St. Mary’s, for his fifth career double-double.
The game could shape up to be a battle of two fab sophomore forwards, as the agile Porter faces off against the Vols’ Jarnell Stokes, listed at 6-8, 270.
Stokes is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He scored 19 points and went 7-of-8 from the field in a 77-50 win over Oakland on Monday.
But that was against Oakland. The Vols shot just 26 percent in a 62-45 loss to Oklahoma State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off earlier this month. Georgetown is by far their toughest test since.
Both teams are playing stellar defense with the Vols holding opponents to 35.1 percent shooting from the floor and averaging 4.3 steals per game. The Hoyas have held opponents to 31.6 percent field-goal shooting and rack up 7.2 steals and 4.8 blocks per game.
These teams last met in 2008 when both were ranked. Georgetown loss 90-78.
Merlisa blogs about Georgetown and Big East basketball. Follow her on Twitter: @merlisa.