What a clinic. That's all that game was - an absolute clinic. It was a testament to senior leadership trumping flashy freshmen, fundamental basketball withstanding explosions of athleticism, team over individual, good triumphing over evil. The Georgetown Hoyas simply dominated the Memphis Tigers tonight in Memphis, winning 86-69 with a second half for the ages. Austin Freeman, oh sweet sweet Austin. 24 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal, taking only 12 shots to get there. Chris Wright complemented his backcourt mate with 19 points of his own, expertly handling any defense Memphis threw at him.
The recently maligned Julian Vaughn had his most complete game of the season, scoring 15 points and added 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 1 hearty argument in the gamethread. The Hoya big man committee supported Vaughn, getting very solid minutes from Henry Sims, Nate Lubick and Jerrelle Benimon. Jason Clark had a tough outing because he was riddled with foul trouble, scoring only 8 points.
Many Thoughts After The Jump.Sims was particularly effective on the offensive end, leading the team with 5 assists. Tarik El-Bashir wrote a great article about Sims' transformation from his sophomore to junior year, but it warrants mentioning again just how awesome he has become. His big game jitters are gone, and he is just making the right reads in this offense time and time again. I credit Sims for rededicating himself, but I also credit John Thompson III for sticking with the kid and pushing the right buttons.
And about that JT3 guy, while we're at it. This year has been his most impressive coaching at Georgetown. He took an embarrassing loss to Ohio and turned it into a virtuoso performance so far this year. I judge a coach's talent based on how he makes in-game adjustments, specifically out of halftime. We've played seven teams where the starters have played the majority of the game. The scores of the second halves of those games are as follows:
43-34 Georgetown over ODU
48-35 Georgetown over Coastal Carolina
45-30 Georgetown over NC State
57-55 Georgetown over Missouri (including overtime)
35-22 Georgetown over Utah State
33-29 Georgetown over Temple
46-33 Georgetown over Memphis
That's a combined 307-238 in Georgetown's favor. Absolutely staggering. Tonight we completely changed our defense from the first half to the second half, implementing a zone and a press to give Memphis' youngins some confusing looks. The Georgetown offense is routinely scoring over 80 points a game now, as JT3 changed his style to fit his personnel, and looks completely different from the slow-paced, methodical Hibbert-era teams.
Georgetown finished the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation with an 11-1 record, including two victories over top 20 teams on the road. If the future has ever looked brighter in the JT3 era going into Big East play, I'd love to hear it. Next up for the Hoyas is a trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame on December 29. I just wet myself from pure elation.