11AM games are terrible. But if you slept through the first half, both Georgetown and South Florida conspired to make sure you didn't miss much. The Hoyas defense was again impenetrable in the first half, but their offensive futility rivaled South Florida's, as the Hoyas only took a 23-15 points lead into half despite holding USF scoreless for 10 straight minutes.
The second half was an entirely different game as the Hoyas turned in one of their better halves of the season -- rolling USF 52-30 as if they were a low D1 competition. With Syracuse awaiting on Wednesday, it was pleasant to see Aaron Bowen and John Caprio get extended minutes as the Hoyas cruised to a 75-45 victory -- the type of score you expect out of a top 15 team. We were even treated to Bowen's specialty dunk: the flashy exclamation point (!) dunk of questionable class in the final seconds of a blowout.
Welcome back, Markel, and building delusion after the jump!
Georgetown's offense was crisp and balanced in the second half. There was no one for USF to key into because everyone was a threat to score -- Henry Sims was the leading scorer with 13 points to go along with his 8 boards, while orchestrating the offense in a way we haven't seen in Big East slate, slicing USF up with the pass as he notched four assists (and deserved a few more). As a thread in the post, Sims helped open up the offense for everyone (though he still NEEDS to convert more of those chip shots).
Hopefully down the road we'll also remember tonight as the day we welcomed Markel Starks back from the fog he's been in since that nasty fall at Marquette. The Congressman's jump shot returned as he scored 10 points on only six shots, most of which occurred before the game turned into a laugher. Markel is coming back to form just in time -- he was a Syracuse-killer last year and we'll need him to step up as a fourth scorer.
Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson were both steady, playing within themselves as the offense lifted off on its own. It was particularly nice to see Jabril Trawick get involved, forcing his way to the basket and drawing fouls on the way to 10 second half points. And Otto Porter was his usual, stat-stuffing self: 12 points, 4 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal and one block.
The wildcard of this game was a dreadful starting time somehow catching the Hoyas off-guard while they were looking ahead to Wednesday. And once again, superior defense prevented a stumble while the offense took awhile to start up. Unlike the last few years, these Hoyas bring the intensity on defense this year day in and day out, and the miraculous result is that teams like Rutgers and USF cannot put a flaming bag of shit on your doorstep if you have an off-day shooting.
Georgetown passed another Big East test without a letdown, and more than that, the confidence on offense has to be the highest across the board that it's been in awhile. Even Nate Lubick put together a solid day including a soaring, technical-drawing dunk. Feed the delusion!!!
Syracuse is NeXt.