We’re less than a half hour away from the championship game of the Progressive Legends Classic here at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Hoyas, fresh off a 78-70 win over No. 11 UCLA in last night’s semifinal, take on sophomore forward Cody Zeller and the top-ranked Hoosiers. It’s the first time Georgetown has faced a No. 1 since Jan. 21, 2006, when the Blue and Gray took down Duke, 87-84, at Verizon Center.
Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. was the story of last night and did everything for the Hoyas in his first full game of the year after missing most of the Duquesne game and all of the Liberty matchup. They won’t be going head-to-head tonight, but by virtue of the players being on the same court, Porter-Zeller will be one of the major stories of this game. Georgetown looked like an entirely different team against UCLA than it did without Porter against the likes of Duquesne and Liberty, and Zeller is a national player of the year candidate leading Indiana in points (14.8) and rebounds (7.5) per game.
One of the Hoyas’ keys to victory last night — a menacing zone defense that highlighted their unusual length — may not make the same difference against the Hoosiers. UCLA struggled from deep, missing all seven of its first-half three-point attempts, but senior guard Jordan Hulls was 4-for-6 from long range against Georgia and is shooting 57 percent for the season from beyond the arc. His classmate Christian Watford (5-for-12 from three this season) and off-the-bench sophomore guard Remy Abell (5-for-6) could also do damage against the zone. Even if Zeller can be contained like he was last night when he scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and turned the ball over four times, Georgetown has plenty else to worry about.