Hi folks! We're in desperate need of some delusion in these parts and I'm here to supply your fix. I'm going to focus on the team in general as well as the Towson game specifically. Contrary to what you may think and despite the lack of offensive output in 2 of the last 3 games, there's lots of reason to be optimistic about the Hoyas!
For starters, this team is playing incredible defense that will keep us in any game against any opponent. Georgetown is currently ranked 4th in defensive efficiency. Even if this team were to continue to struggle on the offensive end, the Hoyas would still win a considerable number of games. After all, Louisville rode their defense to a Final Four appearance last year and their offense was ranked 103rd in the nation. Of course, the offense will improve as the year progresses because this is a young team and young teams improve over the course of a season.
Dan Hanner took a look at this improvement by young teams earlier in the season. He looked at the 50 youngest major conference teams over the last 10 years and showed that they dramatically improve their offense from their first 8 game to games 25 and beyond. I believe this analysis applies to Georgetown well due to the fact that we're the 20th youngest major conference team this year. On average, these young teams had an offensive rating of 105.6 during their first 8 games. By the end of the season their offense had improved on average to 108.9. If the Hoyas make a similar jump of 3.3pts in offensive efficiency they would raise their currently 136th ranked offense at 101.2 to 104.5 which would be good for 85th. Seeing as Georgetown is currently ranked 31st overall in the nation according to kenpom even with our offensive struggles, clearly improving our offense would dramatically improve our ranking.
Now hear this: I firmly believe the Tennessee and Towson games were aberrations. This last game dropped us from 96th offensively to 137th. I think by the end of the year, with gradual offensive improvement that is expected from young teams, our offense will be around 50th in the nation.
The Hoyas have held their last three opponents to 36, 41, and 40 points. That's 117 points over three games. To put that in perspective, Fairleigh Dickinson allowed 117 points to Xavier in a single game this year. While the Hoyas are only scoring an average of 62.2 points per game so far, we're only allowing 54.1. This is a winning formula.
Now let's look at the Towson game specifically. This was yet another superb defensive effort. We limited the Tigers to an efficiency of 67.1 for the game and a very good 49.3 in the first half. We held them to an eFG% of 37.0% and a very good 23.1% in the first half. We also did another very good job at forcing turnovers just as we did against Texas, forcing Towson into turnovers on 36.9% of their possessions when coming into the game they were at a 23% clip.
But it's not all about defense. Despite our poor shooting numbers, we did two things well on the offensive side of the ball. The first being we did not turn the ball over, a very low 13.4% turnover rate. We only had 8 turnovers all game long. Turnovers have plagued Georgetown teams over the years, but this team is doing comparatively better than prior iterations. The second thing we did very well was to get to the line in the second half. We realized our shots weren't falling and made a concerted effort to get to the free throw line. We had a FTA/FGA ratio of 94.4%
Nate Lubick: The player of the game in my opinion with a stat stuffing line of 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. He also led the team with a 125.0 Offensive rating.
Otto Porter: Otto Porter did what Otto Porter does. 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists. He also led the team in net points and +/-.
Greg Whittington: Greg lead the team in scoring with 11 points and like the first two Hoyas, Greg stuffed the stat sheet pulling in 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and 1 block.
Mikael Hopkins: While Comrade Mikael needs to either improve his offensive efficiency or more likely lower his usage rate, he did still manage double digit points and most importantly shot his free throws at a much more respectable clip than he has thus far this season. He also contributed 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist and a steal.
Markel Starks: Admittedly did not have a good shooting game, but still had the second highest +/- on the team. He also chipped in 2 assists.
Jabril Trawick: Contributed off the bench playing tough defense and pulling in 4 rebounds and getting 2 steals. He had the best defensive rating on the team at an eye popping 46.3.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera: The only other sub off the bench. DSR has been a revelation rebounding the ball the past two games and has committed on the defensive end. He had a quality 61.3 defensive rating today. He also tied Starks with a +6 +/- second only to Otto. DSR hauled in 10 rebounds over the last two games. He also had a steal and an assist.
The road has been bumpy of late, Hoyas fans. But at the end of the day let's not forget we are currently 7-1 and that one loss is in overtime to the #1 team in the nation. The Hoyas are ranked 31st in Kenpom, 30th in Sagarin, 19th in the RPI, and 15th in the AP poll. Onwards and upwards!