Feb 21, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Jordan Theodore (1) reaches in and stripes ball from Georgetown Hoyas guard Jason Clark (21) as he drives to the basket at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Georgetown shouldn't have even gotten off the bus tonight. The Seton Hall Pirates destroyed the #8 Georgetown Hoyas 73-55 in a game that was out of reach by the time the first half ended. Pirates guard Jordan Theodore dropped a cool 29 points on 8-11 shooting and 5-5 from three point range. Herb Pope, despite his Pillsbury Dough Boy frame, scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. The Pirates shot above 60% from both inside and outside the three point line.
As inept as Georgetown was on the defensive end, they were even worse offensively. Four different Pirates scored in double figures, while not one Hoya did. Jordan Theodore outscored THE ENTIRE Georgetown starting five. I had the pleasure of watching the game in the lovely Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and I can tell you that it looked like the entire Georgetown team had pooped itself with no one able to clean it up.
After The Jump, more rambling.
Georgetown's two seniors - Jason Clark and Henry Sims - looked like the sophomore versions of themselves tonight. Gone was the assertive Clark, who has shown the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Instead, Clark sat behind the three point line waiting for others to create. In addition, he got torched by Theodore time and again as if Theodore was wearing green and had the name "Bassett" on the back of his jersey. Sims was dreadful tonight, never establishing position against the chubby Pope, and turned the ball over sloppily nearly every time he touched the ball. Jabril Trawick and Greg Whittington were solid off the bench, combining for 17 points, but neither have the ability to take over the game on the offensive end, especially when Georgetown was down double digits basically the entire second half.
What was troubling about tonight's game, amongst other things, was the inability to stop the hot shooter. We've seen this team shut down Darius Johnson-Odom in the second half during a thrilling comeback against Marquette. Yet, time and again, one player seems to singlehandedly beat Georgetown. This year it has been Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati, Kris Joseph of Syracuse, Truck Bryant of West Virginia, and Theodore tonight. It's one thing for a skilled big man like Thomas Robinson to do it, because Georgetown is thin in the front court, but for guards to do it is a whole different matter. This year we have good perimeter defenders - Clark, Trawick, and Whittington - so there is no excuse for one of them not to lock down.
26 games into the season, we all know what this team's flaws are, and we all know our shortcomings. In the next few weeks, we need Sims to regain his mojo and put the last few weeks behind him. Nate Lubick needs to stop getting silly over-the-back fouls. Jason Clark and Markel Starks need to look to penetrate. Hollis Thompson has to find ways to get shots, and the coaches need to put him in a position to do so, similar to the Connecticut game. The defense will return, part of it was coming out flat tonight, which allowed Seton Hall to gain confidence that propelled them throughout the game. The other part of it was the dirty little secret that sometimes bad shots go in. Theodore had a career night tonight, knocking down impossible shots from all over the court. He is shooting 38% from the field this season and under 30% from beyond the arc. It happens sometimes.
Like I said before, the defense will come back. I fully believe this team will get to the Sweet 16, even with tonight's stinkbomb. All things considered, it's better for a game like this to happen in February than in the first or second round of the NCAA Tournament. Besides free throw shooting and turnovers, my main concern for the next month+ is our big man play. The efforts of Lubick, Sims, and Mikael Hopkins over the past month are not going to cut it in March. Obviously, the key is Sims, who facilitates the offense and gets the bulk of the minutes of the bigs. We've seen him make massive strides his senior year, and play like one of the better big men in the country. With only so many games left in his collegiate career, he needs to look himself in the eye and regain his confidence. Enough complaining at the referees, enough falling all over the floor, and enough finessing around the rim. It's time for the big fella to man up.
If the Hoyas want to salvage any chance of getting a double bye in the Big East Tournament, Saturday's game must be a win. Villanova is next.