For the second time in four days, the Georgetown Hoyas were able to walk into an opponent's gym and get a critical Big East victory. Frankly, it doesn't really matter if we won going away, whether we won a close hard-fought battle, or whether we won by pure luck on a last second heave. In the Big East, a win is a win. There are no style points in Big East basketball. Georgetown is now 3-4 and 1 win away from being .500 in league play. There is still a lot of basketball to be played. Win and move on to the next game while getting better every day is the key to success.
I didn't realize at first how much I'd have to defend a Big East road win as a positive thing, but after reading our message boards it seems I still need to show people the way.
Show us the way, after The Jump:
I get it, that 19-2 run sucked, and no one is denying that. You take away that run and we blow this team out. We were clearly much better than Seton Hall and I think that showed even when we were losing. For the game we did pretty much everything better than them: Better FG%, better 3pt FG%, better FT%, better total rebounds, better total assists, better total blocks. Things weren't perfect, however: I thought the refs were extremely suspect, I thought there were at least 6 times where there should've been a whistle and 1 turnover should've been a kick ball. Twice Julian got fouled making a post move without a call and it led to a break out, 2 other times our players got mauled by swarming defenders without a call, and 1 time Jeremy Hazell committed a blatant charge but no call.
Here's how their scoring in the 19-2 run went:
Robinson gets a runner in the lane due to poor zone defense.
Theodore hits a long fade away 2pt jumper on a run out.
Pope gets the ball on a fast break because of a leak out after a Julian miss.
Hazell gets a fast break layup after a long rebound off a Jason missed 3pter.
8-0 run JTIII calls a timeout! (I can't believe people were criticizing him for not calling a time out to stop the run when the truth is as i'll show you he called 2)
Chris gets mugged coming out of timeout. leads to a fast break but Seton Hall doesn't convert. This leads to a fast break for the Hoyas. Henry fouled going to the hoop, but misses both free throws.
Hoyas get another stop and Nate Lubick hits Austin Freeman for the backdoor layup to stop the bleeding. 8-2 run.
Seton Hall turns it over: official timeout.
Austin gets blocked then has to put up a desperation heave which bounces out for a long rebound and another transition bucket for the Hall, this time a 3 for Hazell.
Jason Clark travel, we finally get to set our defense again. Jason guards Hazell well, but gets run over with a no call and Seton Hall takes the lead: 13-2 run.
Jason misses a 3 leading to another long rebound and another run out and easy layup for Seton Hall, this time Herb Pope.
We trade empty possessions until Starks gets blocked off an inbounds play leading to a run out by Seton Hall, the initial layup is missed but they get the putback.
Julian gets fouled on a post move (no call), fast break Seton Hall. Time out JTIII and that is your 19-2 run.
As you can see our major problem was our transition defense and poor offense (turnovers, settling for threes). Seton Hall had 17 fast break points which was 27% of their offense.They also took and made a very high rate of long 2pt jumpers 14/23 good for 61%. That is a high conversion rate especially considering most were contested and or fading away.
In the first half our defensive numbers were actually quite good, we held them to 35.9 FG% and a 95.7 efficiency.
Let's remember that we beat the Vegas spread in this game and the one predicted by Pomeroy. Seton Hall is not a bad team. They've been missing their best player, hence their record. They just pushed Cuse a week ago who also only won by 5.
Now let's get to the positives to take away from this game:
1) Our end of game decision making was better than St. John's and WVU. The execution down the stretch was huge and extremely positive. We made plays when we needed to make plays.
With 3:06 to go we were down 73-67. We went right at Pope who had 4 fouls and Julian scored easily. 73-69. Hollis fouls Theodore who misses the front end of the 1-1 (right then I knew we'd win for sure it reminded me of the Missouri game). Austin drives the lane and draws Pope's 5th foul. Austin makes both FT's 73-71. Theodore gets open look from 3 but it rims out, Hoyas get the rebound (a little lucky, but Theodore is only a 30% shooter form 3). Hoyas go right to Julian with the shorter Robinson on him and he converts, tie game 73-73. Hazell takes a contested 3pter. Julian grabs the rebound. Chris is fouled on 1 on 2 fast break makes 1-2 (perhaps a questionable drive, but I thought he had the advantage as neither defender was set and it worked out). 74-73. On defense, a switch occured and Julian guarded Polynice while Wright guarded Robinson. Polynice tried to drive on Julian who altered the shot (I think he got a finger tip on it on the replay) and Austin grabbed the rebound. Austin hit both free throws. 76-73 Julian altered Theodore's layup attempt, and the ball pinballed around until Seton Hall came up with it and got ball to Theodore in the corner for game tying 3, but his foot was clearly on the line. 76-75. Chris is fouled and converted both fts. 78-75. JTIII has the team foul up 3, and it worked perfectly as they miss the front end and Julian grabbed the rebound as promised. Chris is fouled and converted both FTs. 80-75 final.
We got stops and converted on offense in crunch time. Something much improved on from just a couple weeks ago
2) Our ball movement against the zone was fantastic and resulted in lots of open looks that we actually connected on at a decent rate. We moved the ball extremely well this game as shown by our 18 assists on 29 made field goals an assist rate of 62%. And our shooting was good this game too: 52.7% for the game 35.3% from 3: but Hollis Thompson was 2-4 and Austin was 3-4 as long as we have 2 of our shooters on we're good. We had an eFG% of 66.7% in the first half and 58.2% for the game.
3) We did a good job on the boards. We out-rebounded Seton Hall 36-35 and we grabbed 47.5% of our misses in the second half. The work on the boards could've been better as we gave up 40% offensive rebounding, but overall the glass was even for the game and we got the boards down the stretch when it mattered.
4) Lots of players did very good things individually including things that we on the message boards had been calling for them to do. These will be discussed in the player evaluations.
5) The guys battled and did not fold. I can't emphasize this enough. This team fought hard and never surrendered and never stopped believing in themselves. As they stated they believed through out that there was enough time left for them to win this game and they just kept working until they did and found a way to win.
Austin took over the game down the stretch of the first half and the second half. He scored the last 8 points of the first half and scored 8 points in the last 5 minutes of the second half. He was clutch when it mattered. 28 points 5 rebounds 3 assists 1 block and only 1 turnover.
Julian was decisive in the post just like everyone wanted. He scored 11 points most of them going right at Pope. He was great in this game. Hoya Prospectus confirmed what my eyes told me when watching the game: "When Julian Vaughn was on the court, the Hoyas scored 69 pts on 53 possessions [= 1.30 PPP]. When Julian Vaughn was off the court, the Hoyas scored 11 points on 15 possessions [= 0.73 PPP]." Julian was key for us in this game. He scored on offense he grabbed boards on defense (4), blocks shots (4) and played good defense altering shots down the stretch. Julian also had 2 assists and only 1 turnover.
Hollis had an extremely good game providing a balanced attack. He knocked down threes, he drove to the hoop, he did it all offensively. He had an assist and should've had another one on that sweet behind his head pass to Julian but Julian got fouled. That was a key play as it was pope's 4th foul. Hollis also had 0 turnovers.
Chris did a good job getting the ball to players in position to score: 6 assists. He also racked up 6 boards. It's crucial for our guards to crash the defensive glass and Chris did that today. Oh yeah he also had 17points and a steal. When Chris is making plays for others and chipping in points, we're going to win.
I thought he did a good job defending Hazell in the first half. And in the second half he did a good job stopping Theodore from penetrating which was killing us in the first half. Jason finished the day with 8 points 3 layups and 2 FTs and 6 rebounds in a 3 way tie for the most on the team. Jason also had 3 assists in this game.
Nate did a great job setting up players on the back door. He hit that play 3 times perfectly 2 for baskets and the 3rd time Chris got fouled. Nate pulled down 4 rebounds and had a block as well. His offensive rebound and put back off a FT miss was huge.
Had a really nice assist on the back door layup.
I love his aggressiveness and fight. He had 2 steals in this game 1 where he ripped the ball from the Seton Hall player's hands as he was thrown to the ground.
Jerrelle had 2 rebounds in his limited minutes: OR% 25% DR% 17%. He also didn't have a turnover.
The Hoyas are climbing back up the Big East standings. We've now got a week to work on our game and get ready for the Red Storm. We will improve during this week as we will through out the season. It's still January, there's lots of improvement to be had and lots of time to do it. The story on this team is still being written, so lets not write them off yet. We have a bunch of great kids who are going to go out there and work hard. Everyone come out on the 26th to support the Hoyas versus the Johnies!