WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: Jason Clark #21 of the Georgetown Hoyas drives to the basket during a college basketball game against the Memphis Tigers on December 22, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
The young Georgetown Hoyas continue to impress. Tonight, the Hoyas beat Memphis for a second time this season, winning 70-59 in a game they controlled throughout. Georgetown had a very balanced attack with Jason Clark leading the way. The senior had 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. Hollis Thompson also had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Henry Sims had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Markel Starks had another 14 points.
After Memphis cut the deficit to 2 points late in the first half, Georgetown went on a 5-0 run and never looked back. The Hoyas led by as many as 20 in the second half as the game got out of hand with about 17 minutes left. There were times in the second half where Georgetown looked sloppy, but all in all, this was a dominant performance, particularly on the defensive end.
More thoughts after The Jump.
Tonight's game was a lot easier than many expected. Memphis is now 6-5 after being ranked in the top 10 to start the season. The Hoyas are currently riding a 4 game winning streak over Memphis, having beaten them in 2008-2009, 2010-2011, and now twice this year. Georgetown continues to outperform and prove that they belong in the discussion about top teams in the Big East.
That said, if Georgetown wants to be considered elite, next week's trip to undefeated #4 Louisville will be a very good test. With Big East play beginning, there are no more cupcakes on Georgetown's schedule (besides Depaul). Clark, Sims, Thompson, Starks, and Otto Porter were excellent today, but there was not a ton of contribution from anyone else in gray. Nate Lubick remains timid on offense, to the point that defenses are sagging on him, daring him to shoot. Jabril Trawick and Greg Whittington are giving the Hoyas solid minutes, but not adding a ton of the offensive end. We've seen how brutal the Big East can be, and Georgetown will need to get contributions from more than just 5 players.
Still, how about the Georgetown Hoyas? One year removed from losing 3 starting seniors, and an 11 point win over a preseason Top 10 team is ho-hum. And this team is not even CLOSE to scratching the surface of its potential. This game, with a few good breaks and a few less turnovers, could have been a 30 point victory. Kentucky, UNC, Syracuse, and Ohio State are clearly the cream of the crop in college basketball this year, but there is no reason come March that this Georgetown team isn't right behind them.
As always, it will be interesting to see how the young team reacts in its first Big East road game against the #4 team in the country. Until then, I am going to thank Santa Claus for the joy that Georgetown has given me in November and December. Lest I forget, thanks to Kris Kringle for John Thompson III, who is putting in one of the most impressive coaching performances in college basketball this year.
Happy Holidays, Louisville is next MOTHERSUCKERS.