In a hard-fought Big East basketball game that recalled the heyday of the Georgetown - St. John's rivalry, the Hoyas dropped to 1-2 in Big East play after a 61-58 defeat at the hands of the suddenly surging Red Storm. Hollis Thompson led the Hoyas 16 points, and that alone should tell you all you need to know. The vaunted 'Hoya Trinity' of Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark combined for 20 points on 7 of 26 shooting from the field (2 of 14 from three point range). Georgetown fans have long wondered what would happen if all three of the Trinity had off nights and that picture clearly isn't pretty.
Despite an offense that played like the Garden floor was layered in quicksand, Georgetown certainly had its chances to win in the back and forth final minutes that had what seemed to be half a dozen lead changes. However, leading by 1 with roughly 30 seconds left after two Jason Clark free throws, St. John's guard Dwight Hardy blew by Clark on the other end for an open layup attempt, and the help defense left forward Justin Brownlee uncovered for an easy putback layup for what proved to be the winning basket. On Georgetown's final possession, Freeman forced a jumper that was blocked and looked to be heading out of bounds, but Clark tried to save it and stepped out giving St. John's the ball. After two made free throws by the Red Storm increased the lead to three, Chris Wright's desperation attempt from halfcourt wasn't even close.
Anger and self-loathing after the Jump:
The Hoyas have enough depth and talent this season that they should be able to overcome the offensive struggles of its stars, but the inability to get stops on the defensive end when it counts is beginning to take its toll. Too many times St. John's was able to get to the hoop and draw fouls or grab offensive rebounds for easy put-backs after defensive collapses on helps or otherwise. Frustrating stagnancy on offense, an inability to get back effectively on transition defense, and frankly the baffling lack of energy out of Wright and Freeman down the stretch are glaring issues that JT3 needs to start addressing. Georgetown should never lose a game like this with so much talent, especially after outworking the Red Storm on the glass 30-21.
I don't know what happened to these guys after that Memphis game. Maybe the 10-1 out of conference record got to their heads, maybe the top 10 ranking made them think they are better than they really are, or maybe, even more troubling, they are just not getting it in practice. At the end of the day this is just an early season road loss to what will probably be an NCAA Tournament team. But the signs here are troubling. St. John's is not Pitt. St. John's is not Syracuse. St. John's isn't even Villanova.
I don't even know if Georgetown is St. John's.
I'm going to watch the rest of this Harlem Globetrotter action on ESPN2 because it is making me happy.