La Salle vs Georgetown
La Salle +160 over Georgetown

Posted at 11:30 AM EST odds are subject to change.

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La Salle +160 over Georgetown

Montego Bay Convention Centre - Montego Bay, Jamaica

12:00 PM EST. La Salle’s basketball program is weathering through a tough stretch over the past decade. The Explorers haven’t finished with a winning record in A-10 play since 2012-13 — the season in which they made the NCAA Tournament, put on Cinderella’s slippers and reached the Sweet 16. Former head coach Ashley Howard was fired this offseason after four seasons roaming the sidelines at Tom Gola Arena. His teams never finished with an overall winning record, and he was just 25-46 in conference play. So long Coach.

Now it’s Fran Dunphy’s turn. The legendary 73-year-old head coach is back in the captain’s chair after spending two seasons as Temple’s interim athletic director. Dunphy is a Philly man through and through — he was born in Drexel Hill, he played ball for La Salle, and he served many years as head coach at both Penn and Temple. Dunphy hasn’t coached since the 2018-19 season, and though he inherits a roster that brings a decent contingent back from last year, he’ll face challenges getting back into the swing of things. Chief among them: integrating a bevy of newcomers. Point is, La Salle’s basketball program is not trending up. They have been down for a long time but since we’re in the buy-low business, we’re going to attack this game with confidence. You see, anytime we can take back a price with any team in the A-10 against Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas, you can pencil us in every time.

Over his long and storied career, Dunphy holds a 580-325 record as a head coach — so it’s safe to say the man knows his basketball. La Salle is 2-2 after beating Queen’s and Wagner but more importantly, they did not look out of place in a 13-point loss to Villanova nor in a 12-point loss to Wake Forest. There’s talent on the roster, highlighted by a deep and dynamic backcourt. It’s also worth noting that Dunphy’s teams’ track record with ball security is no joke. In his 13 years at Temple, Dunphy only had two squads finish outside the national top 50 in turnover rate and those teams were 58th and 51st.

Georgetown is also 2-2 with wins over Coppin St and Green Bay followed by losses to Northwestern by 12 and Loyola Marymount by 18. Assessing Ewing's job with Georgetown so far and it’s obvious to us that it hasn't gone according to anyone's idea of where Georgetown would be at this stage in Patrick Ewing's tenure, that's for sure. There was a ton of optimism early on, especially among fans, who had grown weary of Thompson III's style as much as the two down years he had before Ewing was hired, and found Ewing's system and style to be a welcome change.

And Ewing recruited well early on, building a young team around James Akinjo and Mac McClung. Those players both eventually transferred. Generally speaking, that is the problem: Ewing has recruited well, but for a variety of reasons he has had a terrible time retaining talent. Four of G-Town’s top five players bounced this offseason. This is rock bottom. If Patrick Ewing wasn’t Patrick Ewing, he likely would no longer be the coach.

Forget tournament bids: Ewing has one season above .500. He has no tournament wins. They went 0-22 in Big East play last year. This is now Ewing's sixth season back on the hilltop. This might be his worst team yet.

Finally, this game will be played in Jamaica. Who do you trust on a trip to the Island? Fran Dunphy, who has a handle on everything and has his team believing in itself or Patrick Ewing, a coach that has lost the room and that has the players running the asylum. Case in point is Qudus Wahab. The 6-11 center transferred out of Georgetown to Maryland for his junior season last year but that decision ended in disaster. As a sophomore at Georgetown, Wahab averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, and the Hoyas ranked 63rd on KenPom that year. At Maryland last year, those numbers dwindled to 7.7 points and 5.6 boards — and for a worse team. Mark Turgeon quit three weeks into the season, and the Terps finished 15-17 and 83rd on KenPom. Wahab boomeranged back to the Hilltop this offseason because he knows he can get away with whatever he wants to under Ewing.

Our Pick

La Salle +160 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.20)



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