Georgetown used a historic performance from Jamorko Pickett to avoid the program’s first three-game non-conference losing streak since the 1999-2000 season. You can read more about that streak at the bottom of this post if you’re so inclined.
OK, back to today’s Hoyas.
**This first one is easy. Pickett’s stat line of 19 points and 18 rebounds is one the better lines this century in Hoyas hoops. It’s the most rebounds in a game for a Hoya since big Mike Sweetney went for 35-19-7-7 against Carmelo Anthony and the Orange in 2003.
**Jamari Sibley made his college debut by playing eight minutes in the second half. Sure he missed his only two shots but who cares? As the highest rated freshman in this year’s class it was a good sign to see him out there getting some run even if coach Patrick Ewing is bringing him along slowly.
**Jahvon Blair dropped 22 points on only ten shots and went 4 for 8 from deep. That’s the kind of efficient performance that will help the Hoyas going forward as he continues to be the focal point in Ewing’s offense.
**Kevin Braswell was back in McDonough for a college game as a member of Coppin State’s staff. The Hoyas all-time leader in assists and steals is back in the States after successfully playing and coach for years in New Zealand with numerous championships to show for his time. It will be interesting to monitor his career in the college ranks.
**The legend of T.J. Berger as a marksman will grow after he drilled his only jump shot and scored five points and four minutes. There was a stretch late in the game that I think all Hoya fans have been waiting for and that’s to see four freshman on the court at the same time. Maybe Berger can spell Blair for a few minutes going forward as the minutes may begin to take a toll on the senior. More on that later.
**The bench. After being held to just one point in the loss to Navy, the Hoya reserves accounted for 26 points, led by 13 from Chudi Bile.
**Playing small. Coppin State didn’t really have a big - something coach Juan Dixon mentioned numerous times post game - so Georgetown went small with either Bile or Pickett at the five spot when Qudus Wahab went out. This meant Timothy Ighoefe didn’t see the floor but that matchup dictated it. Of course, maybe the small lineup will help Pickett put in more double-double performances.
DIDN’T LIKE IT
**Turnovers. The Hoyas committed 26 turnovers against Coppin State. That’s the most in Ewing’s 99 games as Georgetown’s coach. Against better competition that number needs to be cut in half.
**Clark’s injury. Freshman Kobe Clark who had ten rebounds in his debut scored his first basket of the season but just moments later was being helped off the court after spraining his left ankle. He was back on the floor to watch the second half in a walking boot. Hopefully he’s not out too long.
**The zone. Although Georgetown held Coppin State to just 33 percent shooting for the game, the Hoyas were forced to switch to zone as coach Juan Dixon’s team was kind of getting whatever shot they wanted. Man-to-man (say it like Bill Raftery) is probably this team’s best bet.
**Blair’s minutes. The Hoyas leading scorer had opened the season playing 38 minutes in each of the first three games. With Big East play starting Friday against No. 9 Villanova, the hope was that he could maybe catch a breath against the MEAC foe. Instead he went 33 minutes in a game Georgetown won by 32 points.
Look Blair is obviously in great shape but he ended last season by playing at least 37 minutes in each of the final 11 games, including going the distance and playing all 40 minutes SEVEN times. It clearly took a toll as he finished last season hitting just 6 of his final 30 3-pointers. This year’s team needs him to shoot at a much better clip and a little rest might go a long way.
We’ve come to the end of this post so here’s the history lesson on Georgetown’s last three-game non-conference slide that happened in the 1999-2000 season.
In Craig Esherick’s first full season in charge the Hoyas went out to Maui and easily dispatched of Memphis to earn a spot in the semis where they faced and ultimately fell to No. 4 UNC in a tight affair. The next day they lost by ten to No. 6 Florida. Spoiler alert, both of those teams made the Final Four with the Gators finishing as the national runner-up. No shame in dropping those two.
They then lost at UNLV -getting run in the second half - on what I’m assuming was the trip home. That Runnin’ Rebels team also made the NCAA Tournament.
Note to self, never schedule a Sunday game in Vegas after coming back from Hawaii. My guess is that with schedules being made well in advance and seeing as how the late great John Thompson Jr loved Nevada, this was something he probably set up during the Thanksgiving holiday week. That 2000 team would go on to give some great memories including upsetting a ranked Syracuse team in the Big East tournament and then winning at Virginia in a triple-OT thriller in just about the best NIT game anyone has ever seen. I may or may not have rushed the court when it was all said and done.