Sophomore Nikita Mescheriakov will get his third consecutive start for Georgetown in Saturday’s must-win game against Marquette despite being held scoreless the previous two games.
Coach John Thompson III said the decision shouldn’t be interpreted as a statement that he feels Mescheriakov is a better player than senior guard Jessie Sapp, who he has supplanted in the starting lineup.
Rather, Thompson said he believes that the Hoyas are simply more effective with Sapp coming off the bench.
“He understands this more so than the media and the public,” Thompson said of Sapp. “That doesn’t mean his coach has any less confidence in him. Year to year, the dynamics of the group we have change. He’s giving us a big boost, and I think the last couple games he has played better.”
Sapp came off the bench to score nine points in the Hoyas’ overtime loss to Syracuse and 10 in Wednesday’s victory over South Florida. In previous Big East games he has averaged 4.3 points as a starter.
“How we’ve been conditioned to look at basketball is that the best five are the first five, but that’s not always the case,” Thompson said. “You’ve got to figure out how to limit those peaks and valleys we’ve been having, so we can sustain playing well….I think it’s best at this point. It’s not going to change [against Marquette], but it may change later on.”
February 21, 2009; 12:47 PM ET
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