NEW YORK - "I feel like if we played three more minutes, we might have lost by 17." - Xavier Coach Chris Mack
Well that's a great quote and all but unfortunately for Georgetown, Friday night's semifinal with Xavier was just a straight 40 minute affair as the Hoyas dropped a 65-63 decision to the Musketeers despite chopping a 21-point deficit all the way down to a single point on three separate occasions in the final 15 seconds.
Jabril Trawick matched the career high which he posted on Senior Day against Seton Hall just last week with 19 points but it was his last free throw that he tried to miss that spared a great Madison Square Garden crowd of any true suspense with 1.9 ticks remaining as we just passed into Saturday morning.
"I was trying to miss it," Trawick admitted as he sat next to Coach John Thompson III during the post game press conference.
When asked if the Hoyas ever practice missing free throws for just such occasions, JT3 replied, "We have enough trouble practicing making, so I can honestly say, we never practice missing."
Well since you already read an earlier recap I'll spare you with what I came up with but let's talk about some bigger points.
On to the next one: While clearly disappointed with the end result, the Georgetown locker room was in decent spirits considering the coulda, woulda, shoulda aspect of what happened in the last few minutes. I've been in a lot of Georgetown locker rooms after tournament losses and that wasn't that bad. Nobody has given up and in talking with Mikael Hopkins, the senior forward pointed to the importance of the Hoyas late showing going forward into the NCAAs.
"I think it was really important," Hopkins said about the Hoyas ability to fight their way back into the game.
"We definitely didn't want to lose by 20 points. If we play our hardest we can play with anybody and it shows it starts at the defensive end. We just have to guard people and our offense will come."
End of an Era: The Joshua Smith era - if we can call it that - is about to come to an end and I've never quite figured out how to judge it. Tonight was a perfect example of the highs and lows that the former UCLA big man gives you. Smith was the lone Hoya to get anything going early on offensively against Xavier but since he couldn't stay in the game because of foul trouble, the Hoyas looked a bit lifeless trying to score for the rest of the half. The issue with Smith is that Georgetown plays completely different with him and without him. It's not easy to change thing up on the fly sometimes and that killed the Hoyas tonight
Double Trouble: Yes L.J. Peak joined Isaac Copeland on the All Rookie team but it seems to me that Georgetown is at its best - ie crushing Villanova - when both Paul White and Copeland are playing well. Now this isn't a knock on Peak because I think he's going to end up being a very fine player but right now it's those two. And for the first time in awhile - both White and Copeland had good games together.
White had a career high five assists and hit multiple 3-pointers for the first time since that Villanova win while Copeland finished 15 points on a very efficient 6 of 9 from the field. The duo almost connected on what would have been an incredible back door alley oop out of a timeout.
How Good? They say it's hard to beat a good team three times. I suppose that in the end Georgetown made it hard on Xavier to pick their third win in as many tries but for about 32 minutes it didn't really feel that way. So how good are the 21-10 Hoyas? Before the season JT3 said that this group would be very good at some point. Right now it seems like one of the best compliments you can give this team is that they don't have any bad losses because against the Top 50, they are just 4-10. That's what is frustrating when you consider that a team like Xavier has three bad losses - Long Beach State, Auburn, DePaul, and Creighton.
2010: That's the last time Georgetown has won consecutive post season games in any tournament - BIG EAST, NCAA, or even the dreaded NIT.
2-9: That's the Hoyas record when they trail at the break. Conversely they Hoyas are 18-1 when they hold the lead at the half.
3-3: JT3 has guided the Hoyas to six BIG EAST semifinals in 11 tries. Tonight's loss to Xavier was his first to a team not named Syracuse.
1-6: DSR had made 16 of his last 31 3-point shots before tonight when he finished just 1 of 6 from long distance.
1990: That's when I started hating Xavier. As a young fan my first upset experience was watching in horror the 11th seeded Musketeers took down the mighty Hoyas. I mean Georgetown was Bill Walton's sleeper Final Four pick. I figured it was in the bag. Things got better as Iverson and Co. took care of Xavier a few years later but now that the Hoyas are just 1-4 against the Musketeers in BIG EAST play, I think we really need to focus a great deal of angst towards the city of Cincinnati.
Well it's 4 am and I'm on a train back to Union Station. We've still got another weekend of this and there's really no reason not to believe that something special can happen before this season ends. I think we are due some lucky bounces. It all starts at Leo's at 5 PM on Sunday.