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LINKS: Georgetown Hoyas Submarined by Navy, Davis

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Chemistry, conditioning questions turn to talent-level concerns after week off

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgetown Hoyas (1-1) lost to the Navy Midshipmen (3-1) on Tuesday, looking every bit the team that has only been practicing a few weeks and picked dead last in the BIG EAST.

Georgetown defended and rebounded poorly, allowing Navy’s expected top two scorers to drive the game at their comfortable, slow pace. On offense, Georgetown lacked urgency, failed to push the ball in transition, and settled for bad looks.

Here are some quick thoughts before the links.

1. Unprepared—there was plenty of film on Navy to study. It’s not like the coaching staff had to dig up nonexistent tape from a virtual open practice. The Mids spent the week competing against George Washington, Maryland, and Mount St. Mary’s, while Ewing’s Hoyas were supposed to be practicing and preparing for Cam Davis and John Carter, Jr. Navy played to their scouting report, and Georgetown couldn’t answer.

So, something must have happened to Georgetown, right? They were expected to struggle, but not this badly. It looked like they only had a week of Zoom practices. Did the athletes go home for Thanksgiving? Could the women’s team’s COVID-19 issues have closed down McDonough Arena and the Thompson Center for the weekend? Conditioning and chemistry have yet to be seen. Discipline appeared to take a step back.

2. Game 1’s issues were not just nerves and emotions. Effort and preparation were clearly lacking in Game 2, but even with a limited preseason practice schedule, talent should be enough to carry a win over a Patriot League foe. I must apologize as, after UMBC, I excused some of Georgetown’s errors that may be attributed to being the first game in the wake of quarantine concerns and dedicating Thompson. This week, not so much. If they weren’t questioning before, even the most loyal of the Hoya faithful are now wondering if the talent matches the gym. (Those McDonough rims make every brick sound even worse).

3. Was this a self-inflicted trap game or just a win by a sneakily superior team? Why schedule a program with returning upperclassmen when you are trying to figure your own players and rotations out? Ewing identified pregame that the opponent was indeed a team of men. Why risk a loss? Where were the scouting reports? Why not lean heavily on the press to speed up a pace-driven team? Why not try different looks guarding a high scoring guard as preparation for conference play? Ewing reiterated in previous media availability that he’s still trying to figure out his team. Maybe he has a better idea of the talent level now, but I don’t know where to draw the line between athleticism issues and effort issues after these two games. And why did Bobby find Ewing in a jocular, good mood before the game?

4. This may just be a “treading water” season before next year. It’s no secret that Georgetown has a very solid looking 2021 recruiting class. They all signed LOIs and, if anything, the Navy game should reiterate to those recruits how much they’re needed on the Hilltop. However, before this game, I was upset with a segment of the fanbase who viewed this year was just a holdover until Ryan Mutombo, et al arrive.

Now, I still want to support seniors Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett, but I’m primarily tuning in to see if any of these freshmen look decent, as well as whether Timothy Ighoefe (-14 for +/- in Game 2 and 0 in Game 1) is more than just a very big body. Ewing needs to play them. I can appreciate the practice limitations, but how long do we have to wait to see if freshmen like Jamari Sibley really can’t earn playing time away from Pickett and Blair’s 35 minutes apiece? Also, if a certain top recruit wants to enroll in January, making room might not be the problem we thought it was.

5. Is the book on Ewing’s strategy out? The game is trending small, not big. Even with only one game on tape this season (and an incredibly secretive Georgetown program), Navy Coach Ed DeChellis knew where the ball was going, and encouraged it.

We saw plenty of decent looking pro-sets against Navy—e.g., Blair and Pickett running Iverson cuts and off-ball screens—but the bulk of the Georgetown offense is still predicated on a dump down to the center. Wahab is certainly talented, and kudos to Qudus on the career-high points, but the offense can’t run through him like it did with Derrickson, Govan, and Yurtseven, yet. If not for the rebound advantage against UMBC, troubles of depending on an inside-outside game-plan with this group may have been clearer earlier. The game is so much simpler than Ewing makes it sometimes. That said, Ewing’s teams should still score 70 if they don’t let opponents dictate the pace.

Of course, this is a unique year and hopefully 20 expected BIG EAST games determine the success of the season, not a loss to Navy on December 1st. Even if GU has been lucky enough to avoid a two-week COVID-19 staycation so far, remember they were still the last program to start live practices. This team needs time to grow and find roles. Ewing needs to figure out his players and lineups, and if a loss to Navy leads to decent conference play, so be it.

Here are the links:

Cam Davis carries Navy past Georgetown | Washington Times (AP)

Cam Davis hit 5 of 7 3-pointers and scored 28 points, tying his career high, and Navy defeated Georgetown 78-71 on Tuesday night.

John Carter Jr. added 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Midshipmen (3-1), who were playing Georgetown for the first time in 14 seasons and just the third time in 43 years.

Jamorko Pickett had 17 points for the Hoyas (1-1). Jahvon Blair added 17 points and six rebounds. Qudus Wahab had 16 points.

Navy outhustles Georgetown, saddles the Hoyas with their first loss to a Patriot League team | Washington Post

Navy basically controlled the game for all but an early stretch of the second half, when Georgetown rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to take a six-point lead. That lead didn’t last: The Mids tied the score at 58 on a John Carter Jr. transition layup before going on a 12-2 run to grab a 70-62 edge with 3:34 remaining. Georgetown, which had never lost to a Patriot League team, didn’t get closer than five points the rest of the way.

The Hoyas (1-1) seemed a step slow from the outset and failed to bring enough energy to the floor. The Mids (3-1) were quicker to jump in passing lanes, dive for loose balls and go after rebounds.

Navy Coach Ed DeChellis said the game plan was to keep Georgetown off the boards but play their big men straight up defensively. He preferred the bigs trying to score down low and the Hoyas playing in the half court rather than Georgetown raining three-pointers or getting out in transition.

Men’s Basketball Disappoints in 78-71 Loss to Navy at McDonough | Georgetown Voice

Senior guard Cam Davis led the Midshipmen with 28 points, aided by 20 points from junior guard John Carter Jr.

“We just couldn’t guard. That’s it. We couldn’t guard Davis, we couldn’t guard Carter,” said Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing. “We have to do a much better job if we want to be good, to contain guys. We just weren’t able to do that.”

Georgetown struggled heavily in the paint, getting outscored 40-24 despite Wahab’s height advantage over the smaller Navy big men.

“It’s a mindset. When the bigs are open in the post, we have to get them the ball. When they’re doubled, we have to pass it out and make shots,” said Ewing on improving post play.

Cam Davis scores 28 points as Navy knocks off Georgetown on the road, 78-71 | CAPITALGAZETTE

Sophomore forward Daniel Deaver scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds and teamed with Luke Loehr (5 points, 3 rebounds) to help Navy’s bench outscore Georgetown’s, 14-1.

“We needed to rebound the ball and keep them off the glass. We wanted to make them play in the half-court and not get their transition going,” DeChellis said of the game plan against the host Hoyas.

Navy off to best start in 12 years win over Georgetown | KNBR

Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett scored 17 points apiece for Georgetown, but the duo combined to make just 5 of 19 attempts from 3-point range. Qudus Wahab added a career-best 16 points and Jalen Harris chipped in 12 for the Hoyas, who shot 41.7 percent.

Davis [had] several big shots down the stretch, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:39 remaining that put the Midshipmen ahead for good at 61-60. From there, Navy controlled the next few minutes and withstood a late Georgetown comeback attempt.

Men’s Basketball Drops Nonconference Tilt to Navy | GUHoyas

“That’s the way college, and all sports in general, is right now. You have to be able to get yourself going the best way you can. Everyone is used to playing in the playgrounds or in games growing up where there wasn’t anyone out there but you and your guys. They’ve just got to play. Just have to get the job done.” – Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the difficulties of playing games without fans in attendance

“We have to be able to stop people. We have to be able to take and make good shots. We also have to get the ball inside. It has to be an inside out attack. We have to get the ball inside by either posting it, driving it and then being able to find guys on the perimeter.” – Ewing on what the team needs to do to be successful...

The Hoyas will remain home as part of a six-game homestand to open the season, hosting West Virginia on Sunday, December 6 as part of the Big 12-BIG EAST Battle. Tipoff at McDonough Arena is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on FS1.