Georgetown 73, Marquette 70 - Post-Game Observations, Likes/Dislikes
Like: Come-from-behind victories are always welcome. Obviously. This game was over multiple times last night, most noticeably when we trailed by 17 with under 13 minutes to play. And then, miraculously, the Hoyas outscored Marquette by 20 points in the most impressive "quarter" of a game all year. Didn't this game remind you of our huge come-from-behind win against UConn two years ago? Here's the recap of that game, in case you don't remember: http://espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=300090046. We trailed by 17 in the second half before Austin Freeman put the team on his back and netted 28 in the second half. Both wins were amazing. Both comebacks were unexpected. Both made me very happy.
Dislike: Turnovers. We had 17 turnovers, including 12 in the first half. Marquette's half-court sets weren't that impressive, but our mistakes on the offensive end kept leading to easy transition baskets. Errant passes and bad decisions allowed Marquette to run up and down the floor without having to grind. The turnovers proved to be a double whammy in the first half, as guys would get frustrated after turning it over and then wouldn't get back on defense with as much energy. For that reason, it was hard to tell which factor contributed more to our first half deficit: our turnovers or our shoddy defense. It was probably a combination of both.
Like: Yeah, so we shot 62.8% from the floor. And we shot 76.2% in the second half (16 of 21). There's not much more to say, but I'll keep going, because the box score and recaps don't really capture the whole story. During our super-fantastic run in the final 13 minutes of the game (in which we outscored Marquette 34-14), your Georgetown Hoyas missed a grand total of TWO BASKETS: a short jumper from Hopkins and Otto's air-balled three from the corner. Two misses in the last 13 minutes. One miss in the last 10 minutes. We played like that team in Philadelphia which won an important basketball game in 1985. Except our players didn't take any cocaine before the game.
Dislike: With a little under five minutes to play, Otto jumped after a loose ball and some Marquette player landed on his wrist. We were down by five points at the time. The refs called a foul on Marquette but didn't reward any free throws because it was a "team control foul" or a "dead ball foul". To me, it didn't seem like a player control foul. It was clearly a loose ball foul, and since we were already in the double bonus, Otto should've received two shots. At the time, it was significant because we didn't score on that possession. I'm still confused.
Like: I can't complain about 18 assists on 27 field goals. I love when that happens. A tip of the cap to our friends at Marquette for their 15 assists on 23 field goals. Passing is fun.
Dislike: ESPNU had some guy named Adam Amin doing the play-by-play. He sounded exactly like Sean McDonough. I assumed he was a Syracuse plant. He wasn't. He went to Valpo and is the former voice of the Somerset Patriots. He seemed to be rooting for our comeback. I enjoyed that, even if he did sound like Sean McDonough.
Like: Hollis Thompson. He was solid at the beginning of the game and the end of the game, and mediocre in between. I will always like a player who shoots six of seven from the field, including four of five from deep. Hollis now has two game-winning shots on the season. He was enormous for us down the stretch. After his disappointing effort against Providence, last night's game was a welcome development. The short hair can stay. Hollywood is back.
Dislike: Our free throw shooting. We made 13 of 23 (56.5%), which is just awful. Jason Clark, in particular, had a rough night from the stripe, converting on only six of 13 attempts. This game would have been a lot more enjoyable if we had just made a few more free throws. Marquette made 16 of 20 foul shots and we couldn't follow suit. I can't blame Jason too much because he ended up being our leading scorer. But still, I wanted to throw my shoe at the television every time I saw another miss.
Like: The freshmen. Again. Take another look at the last 13 minutes of the game. You'll remember Hollis' big shots and Hank's solid effort down the stretch, but don't forget about the freshmen. Hopkins played a pivotal role. His four points and two assists came at a crucial moment, and his effort sparked our huge run. The passes, in particular, are something we haven't seen before. Standing at the foul line, he delivered a pretty backdoor pass to Whittington and, just a minute earlier, he raced down the court for an easy two-point conversion after a Trawick steal. He looked more comfortable in our offense than he has all year. And don't forget about Otto and Whitt's defense. Otto was all over Jae Crowder in the second half, holding him to a lucky two points. And Cool Whitt made it difficult for Johnson-Odom and others to get shots along the perimeter. He also had a clutch steal when the game was tied with two minutes to go. Here's the bottom line: I love 18 year-old boys.
Dislike: Markel. This was easily his worst game of the season. In just 17 minutes, he was held scoreless on 0 for 5 shooting and he committed four turnovers. I'll give him a free pass, though, because he took an elbow to the head in the first half and never seemed to recover after that. Speaking of which, why did Markel get the Colt McCoy treatment? The dude could barely walk off the court; he looked woozy and needed assistance just to get back to the bench. He was just out of it after that. In the postgame press conference, JTIII said he was fine and dismissed any speculation that the elbow to the head affected his play. I'm glad he's okay, but there was definitely something wrong with him. I thought it was a concussion.
Like: Jason Clark. Is it possible to have a quiet 26 points? In between missed threes (he was two of seven) and missed free throws, Jason had one of his best performances of the season. Love the adjustments. The shots weren't falling, so he re-committed himself to the defensive end and, eventually, things started going his way. For a stretch in the second half, our lineup consisted of Jason and four freshmen, and we looked good. Kudos to Jason for turning things around after halftime and willing this team to a victory.
Dislike: Buzz Williams looks a lot like Hank from Breaking Bad. Because they're both white and bald and have short tempers. Or maybe I'm just a racist.
Like: Super Hank. After a terribly slow start, Big Henry discovered his sea legs in the last five minutes of the game. He finished with 13 points (five of six from the floor), five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. We'll overlook the four turnovers. Despite being ineffective in the first half, he was our go-to player at the end of the game. A step-back jumper, a drive to the basket, a backdoor pass to a cutter underneath, and a kick-out to Hollis for the game-winner. He was all over the place when we needed him the most. This has become a trend. When the game is on the line, we feed the ball inside. Henry does the rest. Way to get it done, big fella.
Dislike: Our perimeter defense in the first half was abysmal. I think we forgot how to rotate. Marquette hit eight of 18 threes, and early in this game, they got a lot of wide open looks. Todd Mayo killed us from deep.
Like: We had nine steals. We never have that many steals.
Dislike: Every once in a while, can we please get a fast break dunk after a steal? I mean, it's really not a big deal, but it would be nice. I'm looking at you, Jabril.
Dislike: We gave up too many offensive rebounds.
Like: Duke lost.
Dislike: Syracuse won.
Like: Jae Crowder. He's just one of those players I wish we had on our team. I've been thinking about it for only a few minutes, but here is a non-exhaustive list of opposing Big East players from the last ten years who I remember liking a lot (and wishing that they played for Georgetown): Ryan Humphrey (whose middle name is actually "Ashley"), DeJuan Blair, Kemba Walker, Marcus Hatten, Da'Sean Butler, Randy Foye and Terrence Williams. I'm sure there are others.
Dislike: Andy Rautins. Just because.
Closing Thought: We're 3-0 in the conference. We're tied for first with Syracuse. We overcame a 17-point second half deficit to beat a very good team. We're nasty. I just wish we had a week off to fully appreciate and bask in the satisfaction of this victory.