CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Austin Freeman #15 of the Georgetown Hoyas looks on in the second half of the game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Virginia Commonwealth won 74-56 in regulation. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Another day, another dollar for Georgetown fans. The Hoyas came into the NCAA Tournament facing an upstart mid major and got absolutely waxed. The VCU jerseys were black and gold, but could very well have been green and white with Ohio on the front, that is how similar last night's game was to last year's game. VCU won 74-56 on 12-25 shooting from three point land, causing 17 turnovers with their suffocating full court defense.
Hollis Thompson was the lone bright spot for the Hoyas, scoring 26 points, which is almost half of all the Hoya points. Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Jason Clark combined to shoot 0-16 from three point range. Wright played valiantly, pushing the tempo and trying to create opportunities in transition for his teammates, just three weeks after breaking his hand. Unfortunately, the Hoyas picked the worst time to shoot horribly from three point range, going 5-26 from three point range.
Georgetown's season ended with five straight losses, with the last three not even competitive. Wright's reemergence into the lineup could not solve Freeman's late season shooting slump. VCU, like Ohio the year before, and Davidson in 2008, continued to get open three point looks and knocked down shots at an alarming rate. What I can't figure out is whether this is structural or coincidence. Is something in John Thompson III's defensive strategy allowing teams to continue to torch us from beyond the arc? Is it this particular group of players that never could fully commit on the defensive end? Or is it just coincidental bad luck that has haunted the Hoyas the past three NCAA tournaments they have participated in?
I'm sure that plenty of Hoya fans will call for JT3's head and all that nonsense, but once again, that would be premature. Granted, JT3 has been with only his recruits since 2008-2009 and has not won a postseason game. But he has built a program that is consistently in the top 25, and I still believe that if Wright did not get hurt, we would have had some postseason success this year. Even more important, Thompson has built a program that the school and its alumni can be proud of.
Speaking of those players, even in these depressing times, we must recognize the seniors on their way out. To Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Julian Vaughn, and Ryan Dougherty - thank you. This group was not one that had postseason success, but they were leading components of some enormous victories in their time on the Hilltop. The UConn and Memphis wins in 2008-2009, the triumphant victories over Duke, Butler, Pitt, Louisville, and Villanova in 2009-2010. Revenge Tour 2K10 through the Big East Tournament. The eight game winning streak this year, including JT3's first victory in the Carrier Dome. We've watched these kids grow up, and they will be sorely missed next year, regardless of how they played last night. Freeman and Wright are the most highly touted recruits to come from the greater Washington area, and have set a precedent for strong local talent committing to Georgetown. I will miss watching both guards in very different ways. Wright is the type of fiery leader that Georgetown just doesn't seem to have enough of right now. And when Freeman is on, he is the most efficient scorer in the country and a pleasure to watch play on offense. This program will be fine, will have plenty of successes in the next few years, and these seniors laid the groundwork for them.