Georgetown lost its first game of the season in heartbreaking fashion. The Temple Owls led for all 40 minutes of tonight's game and came up with crucial basket after basket, defeating the Hoyas 68-65. Last year, the Hoyas started 8-0, beating Butler, Washington and Temple in impressive fashion before losing to Old Dominion. This year, the Hoyas started 8-0 beating Missouri, NC State and Old Dominion in impressive fashion before losing tonight. Good news is that is where the similarities end. This team is different.
The Hoyas lost a hard-fought game in an intimidating arena on a night where Austin Freeman went 6-15 and had three turnovers. Chris Wright shot 2-7 for only 10 points. Yet, the Hoyas lost by 3 points and had a chance to win the game with less than 10 seconds remaining. Hollis Thompson learned a hard lesson of trying to be a hero and win the game, forcing a drive to the basket while Julian Vaughn was wide open for a dunk. John Thompson III wanted to see what his team had in composure, deciding not to call a timeout and see how things played out. It sounds ridiculous, but the coach knew this was an early season game that would measure the growth of this team.
After The Jump, you will be calm.
We failed, a loss is a loss, and it sucks. We know what this team is capable of, and they played their butts off tonight in defeat. There are holes, but it is December. We got eaten up inside, couldn't come up with crucial shots at the end of the game, and didn't run our offense well at all. But it is December. And losses happen. The beauty of college basketball is that one game doesn't end a season, and this is a good learning experience for a veteran team. I guarantee you Hollis Thompson didn't take that last shot thinking "I need to be the man." He took it because he has confidence in himself, and his teammates have confidence in him. He learned a hard lesson - when the game is on the line Wright, Freeman or Jason Clark have to have the ball.
There will be plenty more games this year where The Heart Attack Hoyas will be back. This season in college basketball is going to be full of parity. With Kyrie Irving's injury setback at Duke, now every team is on an equal playing field. Too many great players left college basketball this year in fear of an impending lockout, so there is no dominant team. What I like about Georgetown is we have veteran leadership, and I trust that our senior guards and JT III will be constructive in how they handle Hollis' decision to try to put the team on his back. Every great team has roles, and that gets sorted out early in the season through setbacks. Tonight was one of those nights that builds character and will help this team grow. I guarantee that going forward, in crucial last second moments, it will be one of Run DMV that takes the big shot.
There were some positives and negatives from other personnel today. Henry Sims regressed a bit against better big man competition. He will rebound and play better next game, he has to, and his teammates expect it of him. Julian Vaughn played magnificently in the last 10 minutes of the game, knocking down crucial free throws and creating a big presence in the post. Going forward he's going to need to establish himself earlier in games, because he has the talent to score 10-12 points a game for us.
This will go down as one of Austin Freeman's worst games of the year. He was rushed, didn't hit shots he normally makes, and wasn't the cool and composed player we are used to seeing. I'm going to assume that won't happen again, he's too skilled. I am as hopeful tonight about this year as I've been all year. We got lackluster performances from our two All Everything guards, and still had a chance to win the game in the last possession in a hostile environment against the presumptive favorite of the A-10. Things are good people, things are good.