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Positive Postgame Prognosis: Duquesne

Think Positive.

With the start of a new season, please welcome the return of another one of our award-winning series. For those of you not familiar, this series consists of my own personal reflections on the most recent Georgetown game and, being the eternal optimist that I am, focuses on what the Hoyas did well and the positive signs going forward. So with out further ado let's dive right into Georgetown's first game of the year against the Duquesne Dukes!

Before getting into the play of specific players, let's look at the big picture a little. While the Hoyas did not have as easy of a time as fans would have liked, this game was undoubtedly a valuable learning experience, especially competing without our best player on the court. Georgetown will certainly learn more from this game than a 40 point blowout would have offered, as much fun as that would have been.

Fast Breaks!:
Like most, I took Markel Starks quote in the offseason about pushing the tempo more with a huge grain of salt. However, the Hoyas clearly looked to push the ball up the court on several occasions. This is something that Hoyas fans have been clamoring for several years now and looks like we will actually be incorporating it in to our game plan. No one's going to mistake us for UNC, but pushing the tempo is an excellent development for this young team. JT3 clearly has given the team the green light to push the tempo a bit going forward: "We want to run. This year's team is a team that can really get up the floor."

Defense will once again be the calling card of Georgetown. The length of the Hoyas clearly bothered Duquesne, as Georgetown forced 16 turnovers and had 7 steals. They also forced Duquesne into an efficiency of .786 and eFG% of 0.39 limited to 35.6 FG% and 17.6% from the three point stripe. It's far from a finished product on defense, but the Hoyas still acquitted themselves very well on that end of the court.

Player Evaluations:

Markel Starks:
Markel bounced back from a shaky start to have an excellent second half where he scored all 9 of his points, shot 4/6 from the field and recorded two steals.

Greg Whittington:
Greg was a rebounding machine. He recorded 15 rebounds - almost twice as many as his previous career high of 8. He had the best defensive rating of players who saw meaningful minutes. Of course, he also added 8 points and two assists to his impressive defensive and rebounding performances.

Otto Porter:
Still managed to record a rebound and an assist prior to leaving the game with the injury. Hopefully he'll return healthy sooner rather than later.

Nate Lubick:
Nate has transformed his body allowing him to be more active, and the results thus far have been great. He had an excellent statistical game recording 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists 1 block and two steals. But his stats alone do not show everything Nate brings to this team. For instance they don't show the heady charge he took late and the raw intensity he brings to the game.

Mikael Hopkins:
The center of much consternation (see what I did there). Like Markel, he actually acquitted himself quite well in the second half, scoring 10 of his thirteen points. No one is denying there's work to be done on his part, but he did manage to set a new career high in points.

D'Vauntes Smith Rivera:
The freshman certainly burst onto the scene leading the team in scoring in the first official game going a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc and 6-7 overall for the game. I had said in the past he was Austin freeman-like and I think we all saw why last night. He also recorded two assists and a steal to go along with his 19 points.

Jabril Trawick:
The first player off the bench, Jabril provided solid contributions all night in the form of 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Like Lubick, Trawick is a scrappy player who will do the dirty work for this team to win games. Lubick and he were 2nd and 3rd in defensive rating respectively.

Moses Ayegba:
Played just three minutes but showed some signs of what he can do for the Hoyas. He grabbed two rebounds in his limited minutes at a rebounding percentage of 50%. He also added an assist for good measure.

Stephen Domingo:
We didn't get to see much of the young freshman, but he did manage to contribute an assist in his limited minutes.

There is still a lot of work to be done. This is a young team, but a team full of potential. The team you saw will be dramatically improved by the time Big East play rolls around. This is a young, teachable group that will be improved even just one week from now. The season is a marathon not a sprin,t and by the time March Madness rolls around Georgetown will be a team that no one wants to face.