Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas are still undefeated after beating North Carolina A&T by a score of 83-74. Though the final score represents Georgetown’s closest result since the Richmond game, the result was never truly in doubt thanks to what was the longest scoring drought I’ve ever seen from the Aggies, who failed to score their first points until 11:44 remained in the first half. Though Georgetown never managed to put the game away, they were not closely challenged.
Saturday afternoon’s clash offered much of what has become the norm so far this season: a big Georgetown lead early on followed by relative complacency over the remainder of the game, a dominant Jessie Govan performance, and balanced scoring from rotation players. Frankly, I could sit here and fire off the same 600-700 words that I have been all season. However, now that Georgetown has successfully chewed up eight cupcakes, I want to review how some players have looked thus far.
Jessie Govan (20.6 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg): Say what you will about the quality of opposition, but Govan has unquestionably stepped up this year and flourished as Georgetown’s primary scorer. He has become a force down low who can also still be relied on to make a three-pointer if he gets a clean look. It remains to be seen what his numbers will look like when the schedule toughens up, but it’s not a stretch to say Govan has established himself as one of the best big men in the Big East alongside Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado.
Marcus Derrickson (13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg): Georgetown’s secondary scorer has improved his shooting figures across the board this year, ranking among the best free throw shooters nationally alongside posting strong percentages from two-point and three-point territory. Derrickson has become a more active rebounder, especially on the defensive end, and is both committing fewer fouls and drawing more of them. He isn’t making headlines like Govan, but has no doubt grown in many subtle ways.
Kaleb Johnson (12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.6 apg): Undoubtedly the most pleasant surprise of the young season for me is Johnson, who has drastically elevated his game offensively. While he’ll never be the type of ball-dominant wing that a team can run an offense through, he has shown ability to consistently score both by getting to the rim and in spot-up situations in the corner. I’m not exactly sure what John Thompson III failed to get out of Johnson over the last two years that Ewing has cultivated, but one thing for sure is that now that he’s proven he can be relied upon, he will be a key piece alongside Govan and Derrickson in conference play.
Jonathan Mulmore (8.5 ppg, 4.9 apg, 1.1 spg): The speedy senior has notably improved as a passer, assisting on over 30% of Georgetown’s baskets when he is on the floor. Thus far, he has represented the true point guard that the Hoyas had sorely missed at the end of Thompson’s tenure and it has paid dividends. Mulmore, of course, is a very solid defender as well; his athleticism and quickness have given opposing guards fits. Though not a shooter, Mulmore has also stepped up his scoring contributions primarily through showing an aggressive streak on the offensive end.
Jamorko Pickett (8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg): Pickett – whose wingspan and long legs make him appear far taller than his listed 6’7” height – has had an interesting first month as a Hoya. He has oscillated between single and double figure scoring in every game so far and has struggled with turnovers on occasion, but nonetheless possesses upside that could see him grow into a primary offensive weapon for Georgetown in the coming years. He seems to perform significantly better when he scores early. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues moving forward.
The Rotation Guys: Jagan Mosely has seen his scoring figures return to a more normal level after starting the season explosively, especially against Mount St. Mary’s. Thus far, he has continued to provide a steady hand off the bench.
Trey Dickerson, formerly of South Dakota, likes to push the ball in transition and has shown a willingness to take the ball to the rim and embrace contact despite his smaller stature. Saturday was perhaps his best showing as a Hoya, as he turned in 16 strong minutes in relief of Mulmore.
Jahvon Blair has seen his minutes per game decrease from 21 over the first five games to 12 over the last three. When he’s been on the court, he has been a high volume shooter who possesses the ability to spark the Hoyas at any given moment. He leads the Hoyas in percentage of shots taken while on the floor.
Antwan Walker has been the quietest of the three freshmen who see consistent minutes and has attempted only ten shots thus far, but has shown promise defensively and as a player who can spell Marcus Derrickson for a few minutes per night.
Coming into the season, Georgetown was faced with replacing its two best players who were responsible for nearly half of Georgetown’s scoring. Beyond the leap that Govan has taken to become the Hoya’s primary option, Johnson too has grown significantly to become a player that can be relied upon as a third scorer. Beyond those two and Derrickson, it seems that scoring will come in a balanced fashion with the occasional breakout game. Mulmore will turn in consistent scoring performances every game, but players like Pickett, Blair, and to an extent Mosely possess the ability to explode on any given night.
The Hoyas have rarely looked consistently dominant and have had sluggish periods over the first month of the season. Say what you will about the schedule, but there nonetheless has been noticeable growth across the roster that could have likely been stunted had the Hoyas played tougher opposition. It remains to be seen how this will translate over the next three months, but hopefully Georgetown took advantage of the opportunity to gel and development as a group. If all goes well, who knows – maybe they could surprise a few teams come Big East time.