Georgetown went down to Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday wondering who would fill in for Julian Vaughn after he had spent the early part of the week in the hospital. Would it be Nate Lubick, Jerrelle Benimon, or Henry Sims? Or would no one show up? Well the Hoyas were able to get three quality performances from Vaughn, but also saw the emergence of the previously disappointing Sims. The junior from Baltimore put together his best performance in a Georgetown uniform on Friday. He capped that performance with an MVP-level game today as Georgetown defeated NC State 82-67 to win the Charleston Classic.
So much could be written about this game, and we will surely do our best to cover it all. Hollis Thompson led the team in scoring with 18 points, and had 9 rebounds, 5 of which on the offensive end. Chris Wright played a divine game at point guard, finishing with 17 points, 7 assists, 2 steals and only 1 turnover. Austin Freeman gave most of NC State's team a nice tasting of nuts on two monster dunks in the second half. Vaughn chipped in with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jason Clark had 14 points too.
Read more of our recap after The Jump.
But the story of this game is, and will be, Henry Sims. The Hoyas were down 44-42 early in the second half with Vaughn and Wright going to the bench. Sims checked in and took over the game. He hit Freeman with an outlet pass off of a rebound, which was the first of two nut sandwiches. He blocked shots, he hit a turnaround hook shot, and fed Thompson and Wright on backdoor cuts. Words cannot describe how satisfying it is to watch someone who has worked so hard and has been so maligned finally "get it". Sims got it this tournament, and my expectations for Georgetown's season have skyrocketed in concert with his increased production. I can't even imagine how good it must feel for Sims to finally put it all together. He finished with 4 points, 5 assists, 9 rebounds and 1 block in 15 minutes of action.
The game was tied 37-37 at halftime, then Georgetown outclassed the young Wolfpack in the last 20 minutes. The Hoyas had 21 assists on 32 made baskets, and outrebounded NC State 42-33. The Hoyas won three games this tournament in three very different ways, bombing threes against Coastal Carolina, dominating inside against Wofford and putting it all together against NC State.
It goes without saying that this Hoya team is the deepest we've had in John Thompson III's tenure. Consequently, as freshman Markel Starks gets more experience, sophomore guard Vee Sanford has become an afterthought. This game was really fun to watch, but I still don't comprehend why Sanford doesn't see more time. It seems like good things happen every time he is on the floor, and I hope that Thompson and staff value guard depth, especially with the grueling Big East schedule around the corner. Keeping Clark, Freeman and Wright fresh for February and March is going to be really important, and Sanford is a guy who should be getting 10 minutes a game right now.
Sanford's issues not withstanding, we should all enjoy an extremely satisfying Georgetown win. November is the time to be delusional, and I am starting to get very hopeful for this season. We are deep, athletic, with two All American caliber senior guards, and an emerging front line. These are all good things.