Former John Thompson Jr. player "Bashful" strikes again with expert analysis on Tuesday's Missouri game:
Okay, that game took a few years off the life of anybody watching it. But it was very instructive for Hoya fans because it displayed offensive and defensive tendencies that will show up in many games this season both for and against the Hoyas.
(More After the Jump)
Let’s breakdown the game and then talk about pace, conditioning and the team.
#1 - The Three Major Parts of the Game:
- First ten minutes—this was won decisively by the Hoyas by I believe 35-17. The Hoyas came out and faced an out of conference opponent playing man to man. Most of our Big East opponents already know that the Princeton offense shreds man to man, but welcome Missouri. The ball and player movement was exceptional and the result was open shots and made baskets. Missouri came out with a strong pressure defense that has beat up its opponents so far but Chris Wright single handedly made it a relative non issue for the first ten minutes. The announcers likened it to the JT II defenses but it didn’t really have that intense man to man pressure. It relied on their speed to pick off passes rather than outright steals. It reminded me more of Nolan Richardson’s "40 minutes of hell" scheme at Arkansas. Nonetheless the pace was frenetic and you knew the pace was dangerous for the Hoyas if they stuck with a 7-8 man rotation. Good sign right form the start—Sims and Lubick were effective off the bench.
- Middle 25 minutes—"Arkansas" wins 68-45 to take an 85-80 lead. "Arkansas" switches to extended zone to give their players some relief, to cover our shooters and dare the big men to beat them. As I said in the prior post, covering the Princeton O takes a lot of effort on man defense and Mizzou players never would have been able to maintain their pace without the zone. Their zone was tough, reminded me of Syracuse’s. The extra gas and up tempo got their shooters in to a groove and Denmon starting raining threes. Our players were getting gassed (including Wright) and a number of turnovers ensued. Mizzou eventually climbed back into it and took the lead with about 5 minutes to play. Points of note: Missouri is one hell of a bball team. Good shooters, good ball movement and hellacious defense. Georgetown will bend but not break. Great mental toughness never to get rattled in an NCAA type atmosphere. Also, the development of a 10 man rotation. Sanford, Starks, Lubick, Benimon and Sims all contributing.
- Last ten minutes (including 5 minutes of OT) – GU wins 31-17. Aside from the great luck of the missed two foul shots which allowed the Wright three pointer, the tide definitely turned in Georgetown favor. We came out and tied the game at 85 with two strong scores by Freeman. The rest of the players seemed to get a second wind and the Missouri team was the one that looked tired. End of games flows are disrupted by the constant fouls and timeouts and this worked in GU’s favor and against Missouri. Once again, the bench was a strong contributor with important baskets and passing by Sanford, Lubick and Sims. Great defense by everyone. Sanford has such a smooth handle that he looks like a young Isiah Thomas when he dribbles in traffic and Starks looks like a really fast good point guard. These two guys should get time in order to develop as the season goes on and provide insurance for when teams go after our guards to get them in foul trouble.
#2 - Pace and Conditioning:
The game, clearly a track meet, reminded of a race between a good 5000 meter runner (Missouri) and a good 10000 meter runner (G’town). Missouri clearly had the pedal to the metal hoping to close out G’town before their expected finishing kick. Almost did it, too. Georgetown came out strong, held on, took the opponents’ best effort and won at the end in stunning fashion. Both are very good teams that should be in the top ten for most of the year. Both teams can take great pride in the effort and poise that they displayed last night. The fans saw one of the most exciting November games ever.
#3 - Coaching and Preparation:
It amazed me that one of the announcers said Missouri only practices 1 hour a day and their sessions are non stop for that hour. Those must be hellbent sessions because that team had more stamina than 90% of the teams in the country. Georgetown on the other hand was up to the task. They stayed with this team, leveraged their bench, kept their poise and won. It speaks volumes of both the preparation by the Hoya coaching staff through their practices and their strength and conditioning program.
#4 - Georgetown's Young Guys:
Really great contributions but hopefully over the season we’ll see Vee and Starks get enough time to develop consistency and to be counted on to contribute in critical games at critical times. On the big guys, if Lubick and Sims can develop some offensive consistency in the low post to relieve some pressure on our guards watch out!
Don’t know if this game will reach the epic status of the 1982 game because that involved a no. 1 ranked team playing a team that ultimately went to the national championship game and lost to one of the all time classics. It could however depending on how well both teams do this year. Chris and Austin say they want to leave their mark on Georgetown’s history. Keep focused on the long term goals, help develop your teammates into the best players they can be and bring it every night. The table is set.