Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas capped off the first week of the 2017-18 season by defeating Maryland-Eastern Shore by a score of 83-57. Georgetown played their best basketball of the afternoon over the first 13 minutes of action, building a 35-8 lead in that time. Over the remainder of the game, the Hoyas were actually outscored by one point as shots stopped falling and defensive intensity lessened. While the result of the game was never seriously in doubt thanks to the early dominance, Georgetown was not at their best for a majority of the game.
Kaleb Johnson, who had only scored in double figures thrice in his first two seasons on the Hilltop, scored 14 on Wednesday and a career-high 24 on Saturday. Johnson was effective all over the floor on offense, scoring both close to the hoop and making a career-best four three-pointers. Jessie Govan continued his stellar play against undersized opposition, putting up 23 points and 14 rebounds. Marcus Derrickson also quietly logged his first double-double of the young season by recording 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Johnson earns both Game MVP and the coveted 814Hoya MVP award because he not only paced the Hoyas in scoring and stuffed the stat sheet with 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but because we also saw him play at an extremely high level that hopefully will continue moving forward. If he can develop into a reliable third scorer behind Govan and Derrickson, the Hoyas could surprise a few once Big East play begins. This game showed that a lot of kinks still need to be worked out, but Johnson was a definite bright spot.
Highlight-reel plays weren’t free flowing as they were against Mount St. Mary’s, especially during Georgetown’s struggles. Nonetheless, Jonathan Mulmore takes home his first Play of the Game award for driving through four UMES players and converting while falling to the ground about midway through the first half. Kaleb Johnson deservedly will get the majority of the attention for his breakout performance on Saturday, but Mulmore also scored a career high 10 points of his own. Mulmore obviously isn’t a high-volume shooter and is more known for his athleticism and defensive ability, but it nonetheless was good to see him contribute on offense. In addition to his play of the game, he also made both of his three-point attempts, which is another positive sign for a Hoyas team that is looking for consistent secondary scoring.
Unlike the first two games of the season, a clear target for the student section never truly emerged. Tyler Jones, Miryne Thomas, and Ahmad Frost, the most active players for UMES today, all had similarly unspectacular games. There were no truly horrific performances like Jonah Antonio’s 2-15 shooting performance on Wednesday, so I think the most appropriate recipient of the Target of the Game award is UMES’s LeAndre Thomas, who was the first player to foul out against the Hoyas this season and thus the first recipient of the classic “Left, Right, Left, Right, Sit Down!” chant. Thomas struggled to establish himself during his 15 minutes on the floor, scoring just 4 points and grabbing 3 rebounds.
As Georgetown students prepare for Thanksgiving break, the Hoyas also get a chance to rest and work out some flaws seen in their three games this week. Georgetown returns to action on November 25th against a Richmond team still licking its wounds following a home drubbing against Jacksonville State earlier this week. In the interim, the Spiders will have a chance to improve on their 0-2 start in the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic, which contains schools such as Cincinnati and Iowa. Despite Richmond’s poor start to the season, next Saturday’s matchup in Richmond should be a good test for the young Hoyas as they venture away from the national’s capital for the first time.
Awards Standings Update:
Game MVP: Govan (2), Johnson (1)
814Hoya MVP: Mosely (2), Johnson (1)
Play of the Game: Dickerson (1), Walker (1), Mulmore (1)