Georgetown 71, Louisville 68 - Post-Game Observations, Likes/Dislikes
Like: The Little Congressman. With a career-best 20 points on 7-8 shooting, Markel had his best game as a Hoya. Four clutch threes, including a couple of huge ones in that decisive second half run, were the difference in this game. Love his composure, love his confidence and love his stroke. Starks has made noticeable strides since Maui, where he looked tentative and was sometimes afraid of looking for his shot. Now he's rivaling Hollis for the prettiest stroke on the team.
Dislike: Sixteen turnovers. We knew it would be difficult to bring the ball up the court against Louisville's constant pressing and trapping, but the turnovers nearly cost us this game. Hollis and Otto had four apiece; Henry and Markel each had three. And three big give-aways occurred during Louisville's 11-0 run to tie the score at 63. We need to be smarter with the basketball, especially in late-game situations.
Like: Henry and Jason combined for a total of four field goals and we still beat a Top 10 undefeated team on the road. Let me expand on that a little. In the first half, our three leading scorers - Jason, Hollis and Henry - combined for three baskets. Henry did nothing. And we were only down three at the half. BALANCE.
Dislike: Henry and Jason combined for a total of four field goals. Give some credit to Louisville, but Henry missed some easy ones and Jason seemed to force the issue on a few occasions. Sims and Clark both appeared to be bothered by Dieng's long arms in the middle.
Like: Is it just me, or are we committing far fewer traveling violations this year? Is it because Julian and DaJuan are gone?
Dislike: How did we allow Louisville to go on an 11-0 run at the end of the game? We let the same thing happen against Alabama. I re-watched the last four minutes and was pretty disgusted. Three turnovers, sloppy passes, a rushed shot by Hollis and weak out-of-bounds plays. We probably should've lost this game. And we should probably all be feeling miserable this morning and playing the "what if" game, while blaming the team's youth and inexperience. (Instead, I'm eating a bagel with a big smile on my face.)
Like: Otto Porter. I would say "the continued development" or "evolution" of Otto Porter, but I don't need to. He's been this good since Day 1. He kept us in this game with his defense and rebounding. When Nate and Henry were on the bench, he stepped up and played like a man. His 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds were huge. Bottom line: this team is better when he's on the court.
Dislike: Perimeter defense in the first half. How many times did we leave Kyle Kuric and Russ Smith open in the corner? Kuric hit five threes (and attempted 12!). We did a much better job in the second half, but still....that was tough to watch. Those ball screens killed us early.
Like: The freshmen. Jabril and Hopkins gave us some quality minutes. Jabril had a solid nine points in 21 minutes and filled in for Jason nicely in the first half, especially on the defensive end. Love the kid's poise, confidence and tenacity on defense. And glad he knocked down that three. Hopkins had two points, two boards and an assist in eight minutes of action and, most importantly, played within himself. I just had a feeling that Hop would get some run in this game. His development over the course of the season will go a long way in determining how far the Hoyas will go. When Henry and Nate struggle or get early fouls, we'll need him to contribute. As he learns the offense, he's only going to get better. Glad to see he didn't force any shots last night.
Dislike: Hollis' short haircut. He no longer looks like a badass. (But he probably never did anyway.)
Like: I love how we just took it straight at Gorgui Dieng and caused him to foul out. Henry wasn't bothered by Dieng's incredible foot speed. And while we're on Henry, I like how we kept feeding him in the post in the last eight minutes of the game. For the most part, good things happened when we went through him. Despite only scoring two field goals, he had four assists, including a nice backdoor pass to Starks to put us up 11.
Dislike: Henry has to do a better job of finishing. He missed six shots, but at least four of those misses were bunnies. And he needs to dunk the ball. Seriously, just dunk it, Henry.
Like: Nate's left-handed hooker in the lane. We've never seen that from the Vanilla Gorilla before. It was nice.
Dislike: Nate's three-point attempt. Please stop. I'm glad he's at least looking for his shot, but really, that's not a shot he should ever be taking.
Like: A little late to be reminiscing about the second game against Memphis, but it's worth noting that we held Joe Jackson to ZERO FIELD GOALS against us. After scorching us for 20 points in the first game, he did nothing in the second. Good.
Dislike: Those damn alley-oops. They kill us every time. Our guys need to do more communicating and helping out on the weak side.
Like: Greg Whittington's contribution doesn't really show up in the box score (zero points in 11 minutes), but he looked good out there. On defense, his length really helps out, and on offense, it's great having another big man who can handle the ball and contribute on the glass. He missed a lay-in, but other than that, he didn't really make any mistakes. I'm excited every time he's on the court because I feel like we're just scratching the surface with this kid's talent. If he can start developing a mid-range game or knocking down threes, we will be nasty.
Dislike: Coconut water.
Like: We are not the slow-paced, methodical team that we used to be. A nine-point deficit for some of JT III's other Georgetown squads would have been difficult to overcome. This year's Hoyas took care of the deficit in about four or five minutes. We take good shots. If something's there on a fast break, Jason goes strong to the hole. If not, we move the ball around until we get open looks. We may not take as many shots as most teams out there, but the shots we do take are usually better.
Dislike: The Louisville floor announcer. I've hated him for years. His "THREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" call after every Louisville three-point field goal is extremely annoying.
Like: Aaron Bowen's enthusiasm. It's infectious.
Dislike: Tyler Adams' "three goggles". Dude, you look sharp in your suit, but the "three goggles" are so 2011. Great late-night tweet, though: "Nights like these is when I need a GirlFriend." I feel for you.
Closing Thought: Quality road wins are always a good thing. Easily our biggest win of the season, this one will help us in March. Love the way our young guys played. Love the poise we showed in finishing this one out. If we don't overlook Providence on Saturday and we come ready to play, we'll all have high hopes for this team heading into 2012.