Let's start at the very beginning...Nikita gets another start against
a team that he is completely and utterly hopeless against. I could
have asked any number of the homeless guys around the Verizon Center
and they could have told you that in order to beat Louisville, you
have to match their athleticism, break the press, and play good, sound
transition defense. Of those three keys to success, Nikita brings
less to the table than the empty can of Bud Light that is currently
tumbling around my tray table as I hurdle towards Delaware.
Let's get a few things straight. It's not that I dislike Nikita. I
hate him. To be honest, I think Nikita may be one of the worst
starters in D1, and most certainly one of the worst in the Conference
(feel free to email me any starting Big East player you think is
worse). Hustle aside (look, if you or I were playing D1 hoops we'd at
least hustle), he's a liability on defense and can't create his own
shot. Just watch him on D--how many tmes does he get beat off the
dribble and is either forced to foul or watch hopelessly as his guy
dribbles by him for an easy layup? It's come to the point where when
he even stands up to enter the game, you can head to the beer line
because that next Hoyas timeout to stop a run is right around the
corner and you need to beat the crowd.
If you find that criticism harsh, then you may want to stop reading,
or you can just go to hoyasaxa.com and post about how much you
appreciate the effort of the team on a nightly basis and you're
looking forward to next year.
My reality is that this team stinks. And now having seen them play 3
times in person (all losses) and every televised game that's carried
by at least MASN, it's easy to see where the problem lies.
Simply put, this team does not play defense. Defense takes discipline,
and when you look at the guys out there, they all seem to be gunning
for their own stats, a problem more exaggerated by the fact that they
play in a system that's success is rooted in unselfishness, counting
on precision passing and hard cuts to the hoop. When was the last time
the Hoyas completed a nice, signature, backdoor layup? Was it with
about 16 minutes left in the Davidson game? Sure seems that way.
The torchbearer for this motley crew has been Summers. Yes, he's real
athletic. Yes, he's a 'big man' who can shoot the three on occasion.
But anyone who watched tonight's game saw what true Hoyas fans have
known for over two years now--that Summers is out for his, and his
only. The really sad part of this 'Summers Era' is going to be that
his legacy will not be the kid who was a team player and performed
better as a freshman than Jeff Green did, but rather as a team cancer
who consistently betrays the basic tenets of JT3's offense by hoisting
horrible three pointers with 30+ left on the shot clock and plays
lackadaisical defense. Indeed, Summers' box score in tonight's game
will tell you all you need to know: 3 points and 3 fouls. He was also
exposed on defense, fouling out of the Marquette game Saturday and
being conistently beaten to the hoop by Earl Clark tonight. Nice
showing in front of a national audience on Big Monday. The real
downside is that the more performances like tonight's that Summers
throws out there, the more likely it is he returns for his senior
I could go on and on, but frankly I'm tired. The team that I saw
tonight was unprepared to handle the Lousiville press and was unable
to conpete against a more athletic and deep team. If that is simply
the state of Georgetown this year, then I can accept it and move on.
But if this is a deeper-seeded issue that permeates not just the
lockeroom but also the coaching staff, then I need to look into seeing
just how much Red Storm season tix are.
With the Dance now out of the question, it's really now just a matter of pride.
Just now arriving in Wilmington, Delaware.