WASHINGTON — In a post Isaac Copeland world for Georgetown, Marcus Derrickson is the most obvious candidate to not only take over the bulk of those now available minutes but to provide the Hoyas with a legitimate fourth scoring option.
Against UNC Greensboro, Derrickson delivered.
Derrickson - who started 27 games last season as a freshman - was the first Hoya off the bench on Thursday night for JT3 after Akoy Agau picked up two quick fouls. Although the numbers weren’t there early, Derrickson eventually settled in by scoring a season high 15 points, highlighted by going 3-for-5 from 3-point land. It was his first double-figure scoring game this year after doing so eleven times last season.
“I wasn’t letting the game come to me,” Derrickson said about his slow start to the season.
After hitting 38 3-pointers last season on 38 percent shooting, Derrickson had started the season 4-for-15 before righting the ship against the Spartans
“I was just trying to force and hunt. It just wasn’t falling. This game I just relaxed, calmed down. I know I’m going to get open shots so I just let the game come to me. When the open shots were there I just stepped up and hit the shots.”
It’s likely no coincidence that Georgetown went just 1-3 in the four games that Derrickson missed earlier this season as a result of nagging injuries. Yes, the competition has varied but Derrickson has played in each game during this six game winning streak - the longest Georgetown run since 2013.
Marked Man: It’s hard to blame UNCG coach Wes Miller for wanting someone other than Rodney Pryor to beat the Spartans. Going forward that will be every team’s plan. The only way to change that is for the other guys to step up and that’s exactly what happened with both Jessie Govan and Derickson getting hot from deep.
“They are tough to guard when they do that,” Miller said of Govan and Derrickson combining to hit 5 of their 7 shots from deep.
“They do a good job of setting flare screens that turn into back screens on the top of the floor in their Princeton offense. You try to help on those cutters and when those guys can step out and make them, it makes them a tough team to guard. We did talk about forcing those guys to make shots in our scouting report, but we really didn’t want Pryor to get going.”
Pryor still finished with 12 points, knocking down two 3-pointers.
Beat on the Boards: Georgetown got better as the game went on but it was feeling like Wisconsin all over again. UNCG outrebounded the Hoyas 44-39 and 21-8 on the offensive glass
“Leading up to this game we knew that was one of their strengths, they’re one of the best teams in the country in that,” JT3 said about UNCG’s rebounding prowess.
“You watch tape, do various drills, you yell at them but at some point they got to just decide to go get the ball.”
Wes Miller, who was upset that his team both failed to shoot well and be more of the aggressor, didn’t take much solace in the rebounding numbers and even offered up an alternative reason as to why his team held the upper hand.
“When you’re not making [shots], you got a better chance to rebound – there are more misses. And we weren’t making many so we had more opportunities to get them as well.”
Missing Christmas? It was is becoming a well deserved theme when talking to JT3, the Hoyas head man heaped much praise towards LJ Peak. Peak had his three- game streak of scoring at least 20 points snapped but the junior finished with 16 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
“LJ’s playing at a really high level right now - at both ends of the court,” said JT3 about Peak’s overall play.
“He’s going to sleep. He might sleep through Christmas. It’s just the energy he puts out. For several game he’s guarded the guy that’s going to hurt us the most. There’s a hardness to his defense. There’s nothing loosey-goosey about his presence on defense. And then he comes down the other end of the court and we put the burden on him to do a lot of scoring also.”
Line of the Night: Jessie Govan had 20 points, going 9-of-13 from the field, 2-for-2 from deep, had 10 rebounds, six assists, four blocks, and zero turnovers.
Do you think he was motivated a big by coming off the bench? That’s two straight double-doubles since reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup after giving way to Bradley Hayes. Those are also his only double-doubles in 45 career games.
Those six assists are double his previous career high and put him in a position where he’s approaching a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. That’s a HUGE improvement over last season when he dished out 26 assists while committing 58 turnovers.
Quote of the Night: JT3 gets honorable mention with using the term loosey-goosey but the winner tonight goes to Jessie Govan with the quote below about how the Hoyas maintained their focus after Maui.
“We stayed together. We all could have just put our head down after we started 2-4 and just said we don’t care...but we decided to just come together. We know what happened last year and we don’t want that to happen again.”
Misc: Mikael Hopkins was sitting courtside tonight and found himself on the big screen in the second half to some nice applause....LJ Peak is now 60th on the Hoyas all-time scoring list, passing both Hollis Thompson and Boubacar Aw tonight....Peak and Pryor have both scored in double figures in 9 of the Hoyas first 12 games...