Three thoughts following Georgetown's impressive 80-62 win over Marquette on Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center. The Hoyas improved to 14-12 overall, 5-8 in the Big East. The win evened the season series with the Golden Eagles (15-10, 6-7)
* Jessie Govan's scoring FTW
The sophomore center dazzled with a season-high 23 points, eight rebounds and two 3-pointers. The scoring is notable and not just for this specific performance. During the true blowout portion of the second half I studied his game log. In my head, Govan’s work seemed like something of a barometer for this team. The numbers agree. Typically, guards L.J. Peak (20 points) and Rodney Pryor (20) show up offensively. Finding a consistent third scoring threat has been problematic, but Govan remains the best bet. When the 6-foot-10 big man scores 10 or more points, the Hoyas are 10-3. When all three score in double figures, 10-1. The lack of a true point guard hurts when it comes to putting players in their best spots offensively. Govan is better facing the basket at this point than as a post-up option, though he'll often have a size edge. Coach John Thompson III should do whatever he can to get Govan touches in his hot spots. The record shows why.
* Bigger Isn't Always Better
Thompson fluctuating lineups and rotations often baffle me and, in my opinion, stifle Georgetown's attack. Against the Golden Eagles, the coach kept things tight. Only seven players received at least five minutes. Jagan Mosely (Six assists in 23 minutes) and Akoy Agau (11 rebounds in 26) were the primary reserves. There were non-basketball circumstances. Tre Campbell missed his second straight game after suffering a knee injury in this week's bus accident. The junior guard is expected to sit at least another week. Center Bradley Hayes only played one minute after a reoccurrence of a foot injury picked up earlier in Big East play. Overall, no foul trouble helped as well. Regardless of those factors, this looks like a formula JT3 should stick with. Consistency is often key for players for reasons explained by Gloria Estefan: The rhythm is gonna get you. Will Thompson is the question. Based on his history of reacting to the moment, I'm not prepared to assume yes when the Hoyas next play (Feb. 19 at Creighton).
* March Madness or Sadness?
Some out there will tell you the Hoyas are on the NCAA Tournament bubble and a portion of those bracket-thinkers suggest Georgetown entered Saturday just outside the Field of 68. If you want to believe in miracles or at least see the half-glass full angle, there are reasons for optimism. Georgetown's strength of schedule is in the 10-20 range nationally. At this moment they have no losses outside the top 100 RPI. Heck, they are 2-2 against teams the NCAA projected among the top 16 seeds for the tournament.
Now comes the reality. Georgetown is still three games under .500 in conference play. Only two of its remaining five regular season games at home. If we assume 18-13 is the bare minimum pre-Big East Tournament record for at-large consideration, Georgetown must close 4-1. Realize Villanova is still on the schedule, plus games at Creighton, St. John's and Seton Hall. To the haters who say there's no prayer in hell, I say stop shouting nonsense and look at numbers. There is hope. For the devout, I say you do you. Suggesting the odds remain steep won't alter your faith. As for whether I’m prepared to tout March Madness dreams, not really, not yet, maybe not ever. Now, if Govan keeps scoring and the rotation remains tight and they win at Creighton...