What. A. Game. Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown nearly pulled off an epic win against the #1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers last night in what was the best game so far of this young college basketball season. While I think we all need some coffee and a couple days to relax before the Hoyas lace 'em up again against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are handing out hardware to those most deserving. Away we go!
The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Otto Porter. Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 20 points but it was Otto Porter who was the clear difference maker last night. After struggling in the first half as Georgetown was mystified by the Hoosier zone, Porter was more aggressive in the second and hit shot after shot and made plays all over the floor to key a Hoyas run that brought the Hoyas from a 44-39 deficit to a 49-45 lead. Porter was 5-7 from the floor in the 2nd half and finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in yet another outstanding all-around effort.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez Judges Award:
Speaking of said another outstanding all-around effort from Georgetown's best player, the below is your 2012 Legends Classic All-Tournament Team!
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Markel Starks, Georgetown
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
Jordan Hulls, Indiana (MVP)
Wait, what? That's right, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Shabazz freaking Muhammad made the All-Tourney team over Otto Porter, who was arguably (and it's not even a difficult argument) the best player on the court for any of the teams that played in the entire Legends Classic. When it's all said and done, Porter is likely going to look back and laugh at this as well as his glaring omission from the All Big East Rookie Team last season as he continues to do all that Hoyas fans can ask of him.
Fan of the Millennium Award:
via Hoya Saxual
This Hoyas fan (and I assume current student) wins the world. I will personally give a Casual Headband to the person or persons that bring this fan before me for a Casual interview.
Big Man U Award:
Mikael Hopkins. Yes, the mental lapses are there and he's still a bit careless with the ball on occasion, but Hopkins has done a very good job this season so far. At 6'9" and thrust into the center spot in the starting lineup with big shoes to fill, Hopkins has scored in double digits in every game, and last night went toe to toe with who many perceive as the top player in the NBA Draft. A couple of ticky tack calls ended Mikael's night early, but in his 25 minutes he put up 11 points on 5-10 shooting and frustrated Zeller enough that he was really a non-factor during regulation. If Class of 2013 center Dakari Johnson, who is squarely on Georgetown's radar and reportedly was "excited" to watch the Hoyas last night commits to Georgetown, it will give the Hoyas a true center and will cement the frontcourt for the future. If he wants a Casual Award named in his honor in order to make this happen, I am happy to rent the space.
Casting Call Award for Available Rotation Spot:
Georgetown's 8th man. Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera have solidified their positions in the rotation, though DSR's defense remains erratic. After that, though, JTIII clearly is looking for more options on the wing and in the front court. Moses Ayegba saw time in the Hoyas' first two wins but not in Brooklyn; Stephen Domingo's vaunted shooting stroke might need a year of polish; and Aaron Bowen, apparently brought in for defense, made a questionable foul far from the basket in limited action. The good news is that a worthy sub is unlikely to languish on the pine.
The Award for Nice Job Building a Roof Strong Enough to Support a Dimmer Switch:
The Barclays Center. Tremendous theatrical lighting. Dark in the stands. Bright on the court. When I go to Brooklyn, I want to see a show.
Jonathan Wallace Memorial Award:
Markel Starks. I said before the season started that I thought Starks could be the best true point guard Georgetown has had since Wallace graduated, and after the Florida, Duquesne, and Liberty games I looked like an idiot. Thank you, Markel Starks, for making me look like less of an idiot. As far as I'm concerned that shot you took that hit nothing at all before going over the backboard didn't even happen.
Final score from The Pavilion last night: Colombia 75 - Villanova 57. Yikes. In case you're interested, tonight Princeton is getting 14 points vs Syracuse.
Old Balls Award:
Isiah Thomas. This guy is just so embarrassing that at this point do Hoosier fans even get amped when he shows up? Hope Thomas enjoyed watching his alma mater win a title last night as it's the only one he's ever seen in New York.
The Award for Being On Their Knees and Blowing the Game Award:
The Refs. Let's just look at, oh, the first 180 seconds of OT.
4:45 64-64 Foul on Jabril Trawick
4:06 65-64 Foul on Nate Lubick
3:35 69-64 Foul on Nate Lubick
2:52 70-66 Foul on Markel Starks
2:03 72-66 Foul on Jabril Trawick
Oh, and let's go another six seconds:
1:54 73-68 Foul on Aaron Bowen
There's the ballgame.
Broad Street Brilly Award:
One of the many bright spots for the Hoyas over the past couple of nights was the emergence of Jabril Trawick as a reliable option off the bench. Trawick brought his high energy and hustle to both games, and against Indiana was particularly effective on both ends of the court, playing within himself and hitting shots on drives to the hoop and from the perimeter.
Good Practice Award:
The Hoyas had to learn how to break one of the best 2-3 Zones in college basketball in a baptism by fire last night, and in the 2nd half succeeded as Otto Porter planted himself at the foul line and made good things happen. Georgetown will see an zone as effective as that approximately twice more this season: the first on 2/23 and the second on 3/9. We'll be ready.
Three Goggles Award:
Georgetown's length clearly frustrates our opponents on the perimeter, but it hasn't prevented them from taking and making a boatload of threes. Duquesne and Indiana combined to hit 20 of 36 three pointers against Georgetown.
What Are You Talking About Award:
Liberty and UCLA combined to make just 9 of 43 three pointers against the lethal length of Georgetown.
Document Your Lunch Award:
If you made the trip to Brooklyn and didn't make a pit-stop at Junior's for the famous cheesecake, you simply did it wrong. I also note the intriguing side dish of a remote control that is now apparently on the menu.
Grit and Heart Award for Complimenting White Dudes:
Dick Vitale. I don't know about you, but two games is about my quota of Dickie V for the season. He generally was okay, by his standards at least, throughout the UCLA and Indiana games. But then toward the end of the game, the babbling broadcaster lapsed into one of the most common sportscasting foibles, picking out a white dude to compliment for his effort (with the alternative being his brains). In this case, Dickie praised Jordan Hulls for his hustle and putting his body on the line after the Indiana guard dove for a ball. Because, you know, a hard-fought game that went to overtime featured no instances of determination and self-sacrifice by anyone but the short, pudgy, white dude.
Hype Man Award:
Props to Indiana coach Tom Crean, who despite an awful haircut had only nice things to say about the Hoyas. On Otto Porter: "Porter's got that ability to play at the rim, he's got the ability to play in the mid-range, he's got the ability to play on the perimeter, and I think when you've got a guy like that it makes it really difficult because he can not only get baskets for himself but he can really distribute the ball to other people." On Greg Whittington: "I think Whittington is one of the underrated, undervalued future stars in college basketball," he said. "Everybody knows about Otto Porter right now but Whittington is going to be tremendous."
Great Designed Play Award:
Tie: John Thompson III and Tom Crean. The last 19 seonds of regulation featured two excellent play designs, with JT3's isolation call for Porter for the tying basket and Crean's nearly absurdly perfect Hulls goes length of the floor and passes to Zeller for a layup with 4 seconds left design working for the Hoosiers. I thought it was a charge on Zeller to be honest, but whatever.
Brandon Bowman Memorial Award:
Otto Porter, you slay me. Already counting my money with Georgetown +9.5 seemingly in the bag, Porter led the Hoyas crusade down the stretch and banked in that clutch shot to force the extra frame, then inconceivably fouled a Hoosier who was running out the clock with Indiana up 9 with 15 seconds left in OT with JT3 clearly telling his players not to foul. Hoosier makes one of two from the line for the final 82-72 margin. The over/under by the way was 138. Total at the end of regulation? 128. The Hoosiers had 18 points in the five minute overtime frame. They had 28 points in the entire 2nd half.
Person I'm most thankful for as a Hoya fan this Thanksgiving? John Thompson III. What an incredible job he is doing and has done with this program.
Lord Voldemort Award:
The freshman and sophomore years varietal of Nate Lubick reared its ugly head last night and I never want to see it again. 4 points on zero field goals, 4 fouls, 3 rebounds and 5 turnovers in 25 minutes for Nate, who has to play better than that for the Hoyas to win games against teams with big frontcourts.
Jim Nantz Award for In-Game Commentary:
Here are a few casual nuggets from the record-breaking Game Thread: