Georgetown Hoyas vs. Butler Bulldogs Pick & Prediction JANUARY 23rd 2024

First-year Georgetown coach Ed Cooley said during his introductory press conference last March that the Hoyas were “gonna lose some games,” but he was OK with that.

“Losing is part of growth,” Cooley said.

So even though Georgetown (8-10, 1-6 Big East) has lost eight of its last 11 games ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Butler (12-7, 3-5) in Washington, Cooley has relished the Hoyas’ maturation throughout their trying season.

“I’m proud of … the growth and development of our young men from Game 1 to Game 18,” Cooley said after Georgetown’s 92-91 loss at Xavier on Friday, the Hoyas’ third one-point loss this season.

Jayden Epps notched his first career double-double with 32 points and 11 assists in Friday’s contest, which Cooley called “the best we have played all year.”

Georgetown has displayed some grit as of late. Friday’s setback came after the Hoyas kept within six points of then-No. 4 UConn eight minutes into the second half before losing 80-67 on Jan. 14 in Hartford. Five days earlier, Georgetown erased a 16-point deficit against Seton Hall, only to fall 74-70 at home.

“That’s the process,” Cooley said Friday. “And sometimes in the process, there’s going to be several disappointments.”

One of those disappointments came on Dec. 19 in Indianapolis, where the Bulldogs downed the Hoyas 74-64 in both teams’ Big East opener.

Since then, Butler has struggled to hold onto leads — the Bulldogs have lost four conference games after leading in the second half.

Butler delivered the more complete effort that coach Thad Matta had been seeking in Saturday’s 74-60 win over visiting DePaul. The Bulldogs led by 13 at halftime and maintained at least a nine-point cushion throughout the second half.

“We gotta continue to build that,” Matta said of Butler’s ability to sustain a lead.

Saturday’s win featured a much-needed breakout game from guard DJ Davis, who finished with 17 points and a career-best five steals. Over his previous three games, Davis had scored 10 points on 2-of-20 shooting and struggled defensively.

“It feels good to just get back into my groove,” Davis said. “… The coaching staff has let me know that my last couple games defensively haven’t been great, and I kind of let my offense dictate that.”

–Field Level Media

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