Game 12 - Pittsburgh

Well that was humiliating. Pretty obvious to anyone that looks at the box score that this game was lost on the boards. Luckily for the Hoyas they don't have much time to dwell on the loss because they face a tough game in South Bend on Monday against a Notre Dame team looking to rebound after an embarrassing loss to St. Johns. Unfortunately for the readers, I have a lot of time to dwell on the loss so here goes.

I have never really questioned JT3 (the name of this blog is a joke for those who haven't caught on yet). He has brought the program back to national prominence in less five years, something that is remarkable considering how difficult of a task it is (just asked Norm Roberts or Bobby Gonzalez). But I raised the issue in the first game of the season and the team has not made any improvements or adjustments. WE CAN'T REBOUND. For those of you that had the pleasure of being in my presence during the post-game shenanigans it was a point I clearly couldn't get off my mind. Follower IAmHagel and I even devised a dance to remind the team what they should do in order to rebound. It is called "Box It Out" and below are the lyrics to the song.

When you see the shot go in the air,
Don't throw your arms up in despair.
Prepare yourself for the next phase,
Don't get sad and start to glaze.
If he shoots a shot you couldn't block,
Just put your butt into his jock.
Throw your arms out to the side,
And give no room to move or slide.
Bend those knees and get real low,
When the ball comes close it's time to go.
It doesn't matter how high you can jump,
It's all based on how you use your rump.
Easy to remember but I'll help you out,
It's three simple words to know and shout.
Box It Out. Box It Out.
Just Box, Box It Out.


Look for the album entitled "Fundamentals of the Game of Basketball" to hit stores in late March, right around the time Georgetown gets eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. I'm bewildered by how we have been out-rebounded in every game yet there is no improvement from the team. When the ball goes in the air, our players just don't run to the ball. There is no boxing out, there is no one in the paint. We aren't a running team by any stretch of the imagination so there is no excuse for players to be hanging out on the top of the key. We run a slow, set offense so every player should be down in the paint hustling for rebounds. We had a height advantage on two of their forwards this game and we still couldn't prevent them from walking all over us. This was a problem with last year's team too. I'm fine with the fact that we won't get offensive rebounds because we play around the perimeter and take high percentage shots. But giving 18 offensive rebounds is embarrassing, and I want to know why this issue has not been addressed yet. Or why it doesn't seem like anyone cares. When asked about being out-rebounded, this is what Summers said:
"It was tough, but I don't want to take anything away from them (Pitt). As coach said, they are great players who did a good job at doing what they were supposed to do and we just need to do a better job at doing what we need to do. Weak side rebounding and pursing the ball...we're young and just need to do a better job at realizing that we need to get more boards."
A young team needs to do a better job of going into hostile environments for away games. A young team needs to learn how to deal with opposing fans. A young team needs to learn how to deal with the media. A young team should not have to get better at "realizing that [they] need to get more boards." That is something that should be ingrained in their heads since the first time they picked up a basketball. Poor rebounding is not a result of being young, it is a result of poor fundamentals and bad basketball habits. And it is a result of poor coaching. There, I said it.

But alas, all is not wrong. The sky isn't falling and JT3 is an incredible coach. We are still a very good team and have the opportunity to make a good run in the NCAA Tournament. And the conference is so stacked with good teams that games like this will happen. How the team comes out on Monday against Notre Dame will be a telling sign for the rest of the season. Here are some more random observations:

- This should not have been an early January game. It should be a March game, right before the BET. Pitt and G'town have a great rivalry and had some classic games in the past few years.
- This is our third straight loss to Pitt
- DeJuan Blair and DaJuan Summers have similar first names
- Blair and Summers were the two best players today
- I should name my kid DuJuan if I want him to be good at basketball
- DeJuan Blair had 17 rebounds
- The nine players that played for Georgetown had a total of 18 rebounds
- We did a good job executing our defensive game plan, their guards were 6 of 21 from the floor and 1 of 11 from beyond the arc
- Our starting guards were terrible, 4 of 22 from the floor and 2 of 12 from 3pt land.
- Jesse Sapp continued his streak of sucking
- Worst loss at home since JT3's first game against Temple
- Greg Monroe, now officially a second semester freshman, had his first press conference as a Hoya
- Begrudging and obligatory shout-out to followers Ronald Ramon Says "74-65" and Anov44 for winning this game and making me eat my words in the "Fallacy of a Top Ten Pitt" post. There, now you are famous.


Good talk.

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