Well, that was refreshing. In their first action in nearly eight months, your Georgetown Hoyas burst out of the gates, racking up 68 first-half points en route to a 105-60 blowout of the visiting South Carolina-Upstate Spartans. The running Hoyas pushed the pace at both ends by forcing 26 turnovers with a full-court press and compiling the highest season-opening total of the JT3 era .
Georgetown's runaway win featured contributions from several Hoyas, principally newcomer Rodney Pryor, the graduate transfer who poured in 32 points in his debut as a Hoya. Junior wing LJ Peak notched 14 points while sophomore big man Jessie Govan tallied 11 as part of a Hoya attack that made two-thirds of its shots and more than half of its three-point attempts. Freshman Jagan Mosely, who somewhat surprisingly started at point guard alongside Pryor, Peak, and Govan, rewarded JT3's confidence in him with a line of 6 points, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds that reflected his contributions on both ends of the floor.
Today was the first indication that offseason promises may turn into in-season performance. Pryor, who over the summer lit up Kenner League in a way unseen since Allen Iverson's day, brought that same infectious mix of athleticism, energy, and nose for buckets to the Verizon Center today. Pryor hit his first 9 shots on the day, made a career high 6 three-pointers, and got on the floor early for loose balls.
Pryor, along with fellow additions Mosely and junior college transfer guard Jonathan Mulmore (9 points, 2 assists, 2 steals), have dramatically transformed Georgetown's profile, bringing ball-handling and open-court speed to a roster that lacked both. Thanks to blog pal @Hoyas247, here is Mulmore feeding Pryor for an alley-oop, and moments later, Mosely finding Marcus Derrickson (3 points, 5 rebounds in limited action) with a flashy dish.
That transformation was evident in the final numbers. Georgetown pressed early and often, swiping 13 steals, led by Mosely and Peak with 4 apiece. The Hoyas also ran with the ball plenty, scoring 22 fast-break points and many more in transition. Going back all the way to the 2011-12 season, this game's 76 possessions made it the third-fastest regulation Georgetown game, exceeded only by breakneck affairs against VCU in 2014 and UNC-Wilmington last year. Unlike those previous track meets, which the Hoyas seemed to take part in semi-voluntarily, at best, Georgetown initiated the fast pace today. For one game anyway, the Hoyas fulfilled all of JT3's off-season promises of a faster place, an encouraging development given Georgetown's deep roster of athletes.
There were a few nits about today's performance, and JT3 made sure to pick them after the game. Upstate got free for 20 offensive rebounds (an abysmal 44.4 OR%), so Georgetown will have to shore up its defensive rebounding as the Hoyas soon begin to face more robust competition. And the visiting Spartans managed to shoot 47 percent inside the arc, a number that JT3 would like to bring down. Finally, after a scintillating first half, Georgetown looked a bit lethargic after the half, stagnating offensively for the first 8 or so minutes after intermission.
But don't let those minor blemishes overshadow today's resounding, encouraging rout. Georgetown will move on to play rival Maryland on Tuesday at the Verizon Center, where the Hoyas will be looking for revenge after a narrow loss in College Park last year. We'll have more on this win later in the day, but for now, here's today's box score.