Knowing that a bespectacled Mac McClung came back after minimal practice, and recalling the 4-man transfer exodus that no one will let fans forget, a slow start in Newark is understandable. However, after an incredible December, the Hoya-faithful were expecting better ball-movement, a more aggressive low-post attack, and fewer misses on good looks from three.
The sole highlight may have been holding Player of the Year candidate Myles Powell to 15 points on 6-17 from the field. While Powell’s “buddy” (and aspiring Defensive Player of the Year) Jagan Mosely deserves much of the credit, the extra focus by the team likely opened the doors for big games by Myles Cale and Romaro Gill. Seton Hall took advantage of the Hoyas’ hard hedge on screens and found the rolling center or an open perimeter sniper often. Quincy McKnight had 10 assists and Powell had 6 feeds.
The Pirate defense focused on Omer Yurtseven, holding him to 3 for 14 shooting and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes. Yurtseven looked, at times, physically out-matched and scared to further jeopardize his foul trouble.
Patrick Ewing on Omer Yurtseven: “This was his worst game of the year. He didn’t play well.” #Hoyas— Daly Dose Of Hoops (@DalyDoseOfHoops) January 4, 2020
The Hoyas were generally poor from the floor (25-70, 35.7%) and even worse from three (3-17, 17.6%), with McClung and Jahvon Blair each going 1 for 5 from beyond the arc. Shots were forced and no one seemed interested in catch-and-shoot threes. The Hoyas’ shot attempts in the first half featured a fair amount of air-balls and bricks, and it didn’t improve drastically once McClung jettisoned the rec-specs. The second half delivered a better Hoya effort, 8 assists, and some promise for the next 16 games. One might suspect shot selection improved drastically, but Georgetown’s confidence appeared to stem from generating Pirate turnovers and running during stretches. Nevertheless, the struggles of a “depth-plagued” team should not be getting bum rushed out of the gates—twice.
To stop the BIG EAST bleeding with this group of 7, Georgetown needs stronger starts, smarter passing, and more drawn fouls.
Here are the links:
Romaro Gill led the Pirates with a career-high 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks while Myles Cale hit a season-high five 3-pointers and matched a season high with 16. McKnight added 14 points and 10 assists while Jared Rhoden contributed nine points and nine rebounds.
Mac McClung returned after missing Tuesday’s loss at Providence with a right eye injury and led Georgetown (10-5, 0-2) with 20 points. Leading scorer Omer Yurtseven experienced his worst night of the season and was held to nine points and five rebounds while shooting 3-of-14 as the Hoyas shot 35.7 percent and missed 14 of 17 3-point tries
Though Powell was held to 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field, Myles Cale (16 points) hit five first-half 3-pointers and Romaro Gill (17 points) produced his highest scoring output in two seasons with the team, while Quincy McKnight directed another impressive outing with 14 points, a season-high 10 assists and no turnovers.
The physical and disciplined defense of Seton Hall (10-4, 2-0 Big East) held the 80-point-per-game attack of Georgetown (10-5, 0-2) to less than 36 percent shooting from the field.
if Georgetown shoots under 40%, they lose (except Duke game). Was the poor shooting from missed looks, poor decisions, or good defense? That’s a tougher question... pic.twitter.com/ubgvhAj2mG— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) January 4, 2020
For Georgetown, frustration proved the dominant emotion of the half as Cale (16 points) and Powell (15 points) created highlight-reel worthy scenes featuring sour-faced Hoyas in the background. Seton Hall made the usually up-tempo Georgetown looked rushed on offense and McClung, the Hoyas’ second-leading scorer averaging 15.5 points, struggled to find his shot after missing a game and a half.
“He was rusty,” Ewing said of McClung. “I thought he was forcing it a little bit.” The sophomore tried to jolt himself into rhythm a few times before halftime. McClung tossed up a hurried, one-handed jumper in transition, missed and gave a halfhearted clap at midcourt as he scampered back on defense, attempting to refocus. It didn’t work.
Both teams then went several minutes without scoring. McClung broke the scoring drought with a fadeaway jumper, but overall Georgetown’s shooting was exceptionally poor. With forced shots, bad offensive luck, and poor shot selection, the Hoyas were shooting a measly 31.8 percent from the field and only 12.5 percent from three. Senior center Omer Yurtseven collected his second foul and Cale sunk another three to force Georgetown into a timeout with five minutes left in the half.
After the break, freshman center Timothy Ighoefe entered the game for a single minute to replace Yurtseven and freshman center Qudus Wahab who were each approaching foul trouble. Seton Hall then went on a 9-0 run, blowing the game wide open in a way the Hoyas could never truly recover from.
Sigh. The Hoyas were handed another excruciating loss by the Seton Hall Pirates on Friday night, in a game that saw more sloppy play and missed opportunities.https://t.co/NOfDV9gV15— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) January 4, 2020
Georgetown could only climb to within 11 in the second half. Things didn’t go their way at all, as the most they could muster was a strong 9-0 run halfway through and a 15-5 run that brought it to within 11 at the 8:28 mark. But they would only score 12 points in the remaining time left in the game...
The depth-plagued Hoyas got 20 points out of McClung, who was out of action for the aforementioned loss to the Friars. Jamorko Pickett joined him in double figures with 10 points, and came a rebound shy of a double-double. Allen and Yurtseven each finished with nine points while Jahvon Blair and Jagan Mosely scored seven points apiece. The departures and depth issues are, in the simplest terms, killing the Hoyas right now as things couldn’t have gotten off to a rockier start for them.
Once again, Georgetown was essentially doomed by a poor first half. The Hoyas went 1-of-8 from 3 in the first half. McClung attempted just one of those shots, an airball from the top of the key; he couldn’t manage to find the steady diet of good looks that have fueled his breakout in the past month. Yurtseven was held to just two points on 1-of-5 from the field. The Hoyas were 10-of-32 overall, and went just 3-of-9 from the free-throw line, all the while having very little answer for Seton Hall’s outside-in spread attack on the other end of the floor...
...getting handled by double digits at Seton Hall — particularly after playing the Pirates even for much of the second half — is not the same thing as getting completely run off the floor at Providence. It’s inherently more acceptable...
It was a frustrating night, and one probably made more so by the fact that when Georgetown played well, it proved it could stay within touching distance, on the road, of one of this quality league’s best teams. Unfortunately, it only sporadically played well.
Late in the game, sophomore Georgetown guard Mac McClung started what became a bit of a kerfuffle as shades of the old Big East dusted back up. After getting his shot swatted at the rim, McClung bowed up to Seton Hall’s Quincy McKnight, who politely directed his attention to the scoreboard to remind him who was winning. Things quickly escalated from there as players from both sides got into a little shoving match before being separated.
McClung had a team-high 20 points in Georgetown’s 78-62 loss, which dropped the Hoyas to 0-2 in league play -- their second 0-2 start in Big East action since Patrick Ewing took over the program three years ago. McKnight had 14 points and finished as one of four Pirates players to reach double figures, with senior big man Romaro Gill -- at the center of the kerfuffle shown above -- leading the way with 17 points.
Another angle. Four Georgetown players ejected for leaving the bench, two from Seton Hall. pic.twitter.com/QZPJZdz1FI— CBB Talk (@CBBSuperFan) January 4, 2020
McClung has benefitted from an increased role brought on by the transfer of four players from the Hoyas. He entered averaging 15.5 points, second-most on the team, with 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He finished 7-of-20 for a team-high 20 points.
“He’s been the main one that has embraced it the most or been more successful than any other,” Ewing said last week. “He’s been scoring the ball at a high clip and we need for him to score. He’s been trying a lot harder on defense than he normally does. And all those things have benefited him in terms of how he’s playing.”
Ewing, whose team is down four players after they transferred mid-season, came away impressed, too. His Hoyas have now lost three of their last four to Seton Hall, including in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals last March. “They’re a very good team,” Ewing said. “Gill affected the game. He blocked four shots. They’re a very good team. They can score and they play great defense.”
Later when asked about Ewing praising Gill: "To the NBA guys: you guys should take a good look at him. He’s going to work hard, he’s going to do everything you ask, he’s a great player, a great person on/off the court and if I had a team, that’s someone I would definitely want"— Chris McManus (@ChrisSHUhoops) January 4, 2020
Patrick Ewing, a Hall of Fame center who is on the conservative side when it comes to doling out praise, gushed about Gill’s performance afterward. “He’s playing great,” Ewing said. “He does everything he needs to do — he protects the rim, he fights for everything, he does a great job defending the in post, blocking shots. The pick and roll, when they roll it to him, he catches it and finishes real well.” A total unknown when he committed to the Hall out of junior college three years ago, Gill is taking over games and folks are noticing.
The man in the middle for @GeorgetownHoops, Omer Yurtseven, is also right there with Obi in terms of volume and performance— Fifth Factor Plots (@5th_Factor) January 4, 2020
Though Omer can really put the ball in the basket from 5-10 feet (maybe that coach of his knows a thing or two about post moves) pic.twitter.com/N15aZ5RThb