The first two weekends of Kenner League are probably the only ones I will be able to catch this the summer, so even though the games will continue through August, after taking in a number of games featuring our beloved Hoyas I am no doubt qualified to to dish out wildly extrapolated and unjustified conclusions about Georgetown's potential for success this upcoming season.
Kenner League Analysis after The Jump:1) Otto Porter is not Kevin Durant: I doubt that I am the only one delusional enough on the Otto Porter bandwagon who watches KD tearing through defenses in the NBA and hopes that Otto is also watching Kevin Durant and then heads directly to the gym to get his offensive game to that level. The tweets and whispers coming out of summer camps, especially about Otto's three point shot, had me picturing that we had KD-lite on our hands. But through the first weekend of Kenner, Otto has been hesitant to pull the trigger from deep, especially off the dribble, and I don't think he's made a three pointer yet. I don't doubt that Otto can be a great three point threat within our offense -- but it was a jarring reminder of what makes Otto so great. He's wildly efficient within our offense. Otto doesn't overpower, but he imposes his will by controlling the tempo of the game on both ends of the floor -- as he showed last weekend with critical blocks and sneaking through defenders his 7-ft wingspan cutting of the trajectory of rebounds few people would have a prayer at. I don't doubt Otto's potential to be an All-American, or the variety of the ways he can score, but we shouldn't underestimate how big of a leap it is from Otto's usage of 17% to Henry Sims' 29% -- or even Jason Clark's 23%.
2) Our defensive success will not be replicated this season: Watching Otto over the weekend stirred my memory about last year's team -- the best #7 defense in the country. But as the great Dean Oliver contends, great defense works inside out, and this year there's nothing but question marks on the inside. Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick could both be above average 4's, but both will find themselves overmatched at times at the 5. Even with outstanding off-ball help from Otto, Greg Whittington's potential to be a shut down defender, and Jabril Trawick's rage, it's hard to imagine another great defensive team with only a serviceable man in the middle. It seems that the talent pool at SF/SG will encourage JT3 to place Otto with more frequency at the four (and I think Otto could put up mind boggling defensive rebounding numbers at the four).
3) Our offense needs substantial production from the freshman: Georgetown is going to need to improve offensively to maintain last year's level of success. This will no doubt be a tall task after losing its top 3 offensive options, and even with Whittington's incredible success down the stretch, he was only using 13% of possessions to Otto's 18%. Georgetown fans have witnessed more than our fair share of teams with long droughts offensive stagnation, and a line-up with say Starks-Greg-Otto-Nate-Hopkins would likely be in line for more. To produce an offense that can compete for a Big East championship and NCAA success, Georgetown needs shooters to step into the roles of Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson.
4) Enter DSR and Stephen Domingo. Georgetown is in desperate need of someone willing and able to pull the trigger. Without the threat of a kick to an open dead-eye shooter, Markel Starks, Otto, and Nate in particular are all at a disadvantage. Example -- Otto was born to break the Syracuse zone. He can hit mid range jumpers all day, has a good handle, and great passing instincts. But if there's not the threat of a DSR type player sitting on the wing, his effectiveness sinks. For the same reason, I think Domingo (who hasn't suited up, or even taken warmup shots that I've seen), will have a chance to come in and sink open shots, despite giving up some strength. There have already been concerns raised about DSR's defense, and though probably justified, I noticed a number of places where he beat out another player for a loose ball or tipped a pass into the lane. But the great advantage of a team led by Otto and Jabril Trawick is that they're going to will the Hoyas to an elite defense effort -- a relentlessness that doesn't stand for players out of position or not hustling.
Therefore it is clear that our road to the National Championship will be built on strong, smart help defense and fluid, equal opportunity offense. I look forward to Otto hitting 60% of his threes for the rest of his summer and Bradley Hayes/Moses Ayegba fusing knees in a monstrous, platooning, shot-swatting Frankenstein Voltron at center to completely invalidate these rock solid Kenner League weeks one and two analysis.