Everyone talks about the Georgetown defense, and how they held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the nation last year. This stat alone means nothing. Simple multiplication tells us that if you multiply a low number by a high number, you could very well end up with the same result as multiplying two middle numbers. Example: 2 x 10 is the same as 4 x 5. So how does this relate to basketball? Wichita State shot an incredible 29% for the game. Yet they ended up with same amount of field goals as Georgetown, who shot 42%. Why? Because they took 18 more shots than Georgetown. And those 18 extra shots translate to roughly 6 more field goals which conservatively equates to 12 extra points. In the travesty known as the Davidson incident, Georgetown shot 63% vs. Davidson's 39% yet only ended up with only 4 more field goals. And we all know the end result of that game.
But gee whiz B^2, what is a better metric of success on the hardwood (I'm assuming that is what you are thinking)? Well reader, I'll tell ya. REBOUNDS. Obviously this alone doesn't determine a good team (turnovers, FT percentage and 3 pt percentage are important too) but the reason why this game against Wichita State was so close is because of rebounds, mainly offensive rebounds. Let's review a set of plays that happened at the 15 minute mark of the second half. The Shockers brought the ball upcourt and the swarming Georgetown prevented them from getting the ball into the paint. They passed around the perimeter until the shot clock ran down to 4 seconds and Reggie Chamberlain attempted a hail mary 30 foot shot which bounced off the back of the rim. Great defense. But no Georgetown player attacked the boards and A.J. Hawkins picked up an offensive rebound in the paint. On the way to the basket Hawkins was fouled by Greg Monroe and awarded two free throws. Hawkins remarkably missed both free throws, yet picked up another offensive rebound and put in an easy layup. How does this show up in the box score? Shockers are 1-2 in FG, 0-1 in three pointers and 0-2 in FT. Georgetown picks up a foul. What does it really mean? Georgetown gave the Shockers two extra opportunities to score, played hard-nosed defense for 40 seconds and ended up in the same situation as if they didn't even run back to play defense. This is particularly critical for a team that lacks depth like Georgetown because playing defense tires out players more than running the offense.
I have said it before and will say it again. We will get absolutely destroyed in the Big East if we give teams 2 or 3 extra chances to score on each possession. Here are some more thoughts on the game.
- Jesse Sapp and Chris Wright: No look passes are awesome when they work and idiotic when they don't. I would suggest focusing on completing the pass before making it look pretty.
- Henry Sims: You haven't made a three pointer this season, so please stop taking them. We need your 6'10'' frame down low for... wait for it... rebounding.
- DaJuan Summers: Thanks for showing up in the second half.
- DaJuan Summers: Where were you in the first half, especially during that ten and half minute stretch were we didn't make a field goal.
- Chris Wright: Maybe I was a little too high on you in the previous posts, you looked lost today.
- Greg Monroe: Your defense was phenomenal in the first half, don't worry about fouling out, you got hosed on fouls 3 and 4.
- Jason Clark: 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 11 minutes. I hope this will be the only time I am happy to see Omar Wattad come in over you.
- G'town team: Thanks for hitting your FT at the end of the game, the only reason we squeaked this one out today.
- Gregg Marshall: Kudos to you for showing every other team how to beat us - play zone. We are a poor outside shooting team as it is, when you pressed us on the inbound and ran the 2-3 zone on our half court sets we looked like an intramural team. Good job doing your homework, those "moral" victories will turn into real ones soon enough.
As you can probably tell by previous posts, I am pretty down on the team when we play well. But I am also semi-optimistic when we play poorly. We made a lot of mistakes today that can be attributed to our youth and easily fixed. Tomorrow's matchup against Tennessee will not be as bad as people think. I think we match up with them pretty well. The determining factor will be us staying out of foul trouble.