Let's get the bad news out of the way first. Georgetown lost to Kansas last night 67-63 in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Yet, if you watched the game, you couldn't help yourself from thinking about just how strong this young team could be with some seasoning. The Hoyas played valiantly, with Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson leading the way. The senior and junior had 15 and 14 points respectively, while freshman Otto Porter had his coming out party, scoring 12 crucial points in 26 minutes.
Georgetown was no match for Kansas' Thomas Robinson, who was just too much physically for the Hoyas to handle inside. Robinson finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and somewhere between 5 and 400 alley-up dunks. Somehow, Georgetown was able to counter Robinson to keep the game within striking distance every time Kansas went on a run. For a team with 10 freshmen and sophomores, the Hoyas exhibited poise well beyond what could be expected of them this early in the season playing that strong of a team.
More thoughts after The Jump.
As we've said before, and will say again about 1,000 more times, this year is going to have its ups and downs. As a fan of the program, it is awesome to see John Thompson III changing up his coaching style to fit his personnel. This year's squad looks NOTHING like the teams of the last few years. Georgetown employed a bunch of different looks throughout the game, using three quarter court pressing, the 2-3 zone, and stifling man-to-man defense. I can't remember a time that the Hoyas forced over 10 turnovers against top 25 competition, especially in a game that didn't get into the 70s.
I found myself dizzy last night thinking about all the different lineups Georgetown could use this year, flexibility we haven't had in quite some time. The freshman class, specifically Porter, Greg Whittington, Jabril Trawick, and Mikael Hopkins, are all between 6'5" and 6'9" and can bounce all over the floor, able to slide between three positions each if needed. Trawick should turn into a defensive stopper as the season goes on, he was the most successful on ball defended the Hoyas had last night in limited minutes. As time goes on, it will also be important that either Thompson or Clark is on the floor at all times, because without one or the other, the offense becomes stagnant.
Aside from experience, the other weakness to note from last night's game is interior production. Nate Lubick did a nice job defensively, but still seems a step slow on the offensive side. Henry Sims gave it all he had last night, but was overmatched against someone of Robinson's caliber. Sims needs to understand that his strength is his quickness down low, not his leaping ability. He was most effective when dropstepping for layups, and least effective when trying to go up strong against Robinson and Jeff Withey.
Georgetown played the #14 ranked team in the country down to the wire last night, counterpunching and competing each time the game seemed like it was over. With some experience and more games, one can't help but be excited to see what this team will look like in February. For now, the Hoyas will face off against Chaminade today at 4:30pm on ESPN2.