Finals are over. The tuneups are over. Georgetown dominated crosstown American University today, beating the Eagles 81-55. The Hoyas were sluggish in the first half, leading the Eagles by only 6 points after the first 20 minutes. Georgetown stepped on the gas in the second half, led by Henry Sims, who had 17 points and 6 assists. Markel Starks kept the Hoyas in the game in the first half and finished with a career-high 18 points. Hollis Thompson had another stellar game, adding 15 points and 8 rebounds.
Now the fun part begins for the young Hoyas. On Thursday, Memphis travels to Washington, DC for a rematch of the thrilling 91-88 OT Georgetown win in the Maui Invitational. After Christmas, Georgetown travels to #4 ranked Louisville for the start of Big East conference play.
More thoughts after The Jump.
9-1 going into this Memphis game is better than anyone could have expected for a team with 10 underclassmen. What is nice about this team is it can get scoring from many different sources. Jason Clark, Sims, and Thompson have carried the load against top 25 teams, but Starks, Otto Porter, Nate Lubick, Jabril Trawick, and Greg Whittington are able to provide crucial buckets as well. Clark was off today, and Starks picked him up. With so many versatile athletes, scoring should never be an issue. Most important for this team will be its ability to rebound and defend for 40 minutes. No question that was the difference between the first half and second half today.
One player I'd like to see get 10 minutes in the Memphis game is Mikael Hopkins. With Tyler Adams out indefinitely and Moses Ayegba sidelined with a torn ACL, Hopkins is our third big man. Inevitably, there will be a time in Big East play in which Lubick and Sims are both in foul trouble and we'll need quality minutes from Hopkins. It is better to let the kid get minutes in a big time game early than in the middle of February.
Thursday will be fun, and Louisville the next week will be too. This team is way ahead of schedule, and it has been a pleasure to watch them learn on the fly through November and December. In other news, thoughts and prayers go out to Hoya great Jeff Green as he faces heart surgery and is out for the 2011-2012 season. We know that he will come back stronger than ever in 2012-2013 and wish him the best in these challenging times.
Memphis is next.