What a casual game. The Georgetown Hoyas, led by Otto Porter and Henry Sims who each scored 20 points, dismantled the Pittsburgh Panthers 64-52 in the second round of the Big East Tournament. Sims, in particular, was amazing today, as the Hoyas dominated Pittsburgh on the interior. The senior added 13 rebounds and 5 assists, taking over the game in the first half after Pittsburgh got out to a 21-15 lead. Porter made every Big East coach that left him off the All Rookie team even more embarrassed, annihilating Pittsburgh from all over the court. Greg Whittington added 11 crucial points off the bench.
The Hoyas destroyed Pittsburgh without much help from leading scorers Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson. Clark, in particular, struggled today. The 1st Team All Big East selection scored only 3 points and did not have a field goal. Thompson added only 7 points, making only one field goal. Yet, this year's team is different from previous years in that we don't rely on only three guys to provide offense. Whittington and Porter played well beyond their years today, showing that the bright lights at Madison Square Garden is somewhere they will shine, not wilt.
More talking after The Jump.
John Thompson III coached a masterful game against Jamie Dixon today. The Georgetown 2-3 zone swallowed up Pittsburgh's shooters, and JT3's decision to have Porter defend Nasir Robinson when he went to the free throw line was a welcomed wrinkle. Aside from some Ashton Gibbs 30 foot bombs, Pittsburgh did a whole lot of nothing on the offensive end today. From a morale standpoint, out-toughing a team like Pittsburgh should go a long way in the next month for these young Hoyas. Tomorrow will be another test against a physical team when Georgetown faces Cincinnati, but something about today's matchup had me even more nervous.
Georgetown's ability to score in different ways is crucial for the rest of the season. Today, Porter and Sims dominated inside. Tomorrow, Thompson and Clark could destroy from the three point line. The versatility on offense, coupled with Georgetown's insane defense, is a combination that could make us all very happy in the next month. It shouldn't be understated just how good Sims was today. He controlled the game on both offense and defense. His communication and interior presence on defense was stellar, and he was confidently directing the offense on the other end. Sims' ability to find the open man and create a post presence allowed Whittington and Porter to knock down open threes. Georgetown's offense works best when it goes inside-out, and Sims is at the heart of that.
Two areas of concern, as they have been all year, were on display again today, particularly in the first half. We have to limit turnovers and we have to make free throws. Because of Sims and Porter on offense and our swarming nature on defense, neither caused a defeat today, but the games are only going to get tighter from here. That said, it is just nice to get a decisive win over a team that has given us fits for the better part of a decade. As insane as this may sound, I was most scared of Pittsburgh in this entire tournament.
The biggest key for tomorrow will be getting Clark back on track. He struggled against Marquette on Saturday, and didn't play well today either. We can get by winning a few games with him not playing at his highest level, but sooner rather than later, we're going to need our leading scorer knocking down threes and slashing to the basket. Tomorrow brings another stop on #RevengeTour2K12 as the Hoyas face Cincinnati at 2:00pm. Let's hope for another dominant victory and another set of divine performances from Sims and Porter.
Cincinnati is NeXt.