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GAME GRADES: Progress Reports After Georgetown’s Loss to TCU

We know Aminu’s grade, but how did the Hoyas fare?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 18 TCU at Georgetown Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game #11: Hoyas vs. TCU - 12/19/2021 — Without Dante Harris, your Georgetown Hoyas drop a tough one to a pretty decent TCU team. Do they win this one with Dante? Maybe. Certainly, a case to be made. It was a back-and-forth affair up until the last 5 minutes. TCU was ultimately able to impose their physicality on a Georgetown team that was lacking in that regard.

And with that, the Hoyas close their non-conference. Here’s how they graded out in this one.

Tyler Beard - C+
3 PTS, 1-3 (33%), 0-1 3PT (0%), 1-2 FT, 2 REB, 5 AST, 4 TO

With Dante out, Tyler got his first start coming off a GREAT performance against Howard. He had some up and down moments throughout, as you’d expect, and could stand to be a little stronger with the ball at times. Gave up one or two turnovers that came from just being a bit lax with the ball. I thought overall this was a positive game for him in the scheme of his development. He was looking to facilitate and did a pretty good job of that, including a couple of really nice assists off inbounds passes.

Don Carey - B
12 PTS, 5-12 (41%), 2-5 3PT (40%), 5 REB, 5 AST, 5 STL, 1 TO

I thought he did almost everything but hit shots. He didn’t shoot poorly but Gtown really needed someone to step up and make a few more shots. There was a run in the second half when Gtown still had some momentum when he missed three in a row. They were fairly decent shots that if he knocks down Gtown is able to extend a bit. He was really active defensively. I think it’s a bit tough to grade him in this one, as I think he did exactly what he needed to do as a complementary piece in most games. Without Dante, and with Kaiden’s struggles, they just needed more from him. He had a really nice pick and roll set with Malcolm late to get Malcolm an easy dunk and bring this back to a five-point game. He followed that with his one turnover, where he just slipped on the floor and that was pretty much the final nail.

Aminu Mohammed - A-
21 PTS, 8-20 (40%), 1-3 3PT (33%), 4-4 FT, 11 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO

Another game, another double-double. He obviously took a lot of shots, but without Dante and with Kaiden not shooting well, he needed to. I don’t think he took many bad shots, just missed a few that he probably can make. He started the second half a bit slow. Had an awkward pass just over the timeline followed by a three he missed badly. Followed that with a good left-handed finish and a bad turnover. Seemed to lock in on both ends after that. He had a series of really nice drives to the rim and some solid defensive rebounds that helped the Hoyas climb to a lead early in the second half.

Kaiden Rice - C-
14 PTS, 5-13 (33%), 4-11 3PT (36%), 1 REB, 1 AST

His shot wasn’t falling up to his standards and we got caught a bit in the “what else is Kaiden going to bring” dilemma. The defensive end is where he really hurt you, just not a good performance on that end. His Defensive PPP was the worst on the team, by far at 1.19. Defense is obviously not about just one guy and Defensive PPP is just a snapshot of how a player can impact the game on that end, but I think it matches up with the eye test. He got beat on the perimeter a few times. Early in the 2nd half when Gtown seemed to have the momentum, he got blown by in transition and gave TCU an easy layup that seemed to swing things. That’s a good example of the defensive issue: 1) almost every Hoya got beat down the floor by one pass, 2) There was no one back to help Kaiden, 3) Kaiden, was the last man back and didn’t do a good job of identifying TCU in transition, positioning himself and ultimately staying in front of the ball. It’s an amalgam of team and individual mistakes. There were a few more down the stretch like that.

Malcolm Wilson - B
6 PTS, 3-4 (75%), 7 REB, 2 BLK, 2 TOV

I think you’ve got to be at least a little impressed with Malcolm’s growth over the past few weeks. As he’s played more, he’s gotten more comfortable and I think has played pretty well overall. He understands his role and has embraced it. He’s a rim runner, playing with energy on both ends. He has limitations, but he’s not hurting you. In fact, he finished as one of only two Hoyas with a positive Points Per Possession Differential and the best Defensive PPP at .87. You’d still like to see him get a bit stronger with the ball, off rebounds and on rolls, but I think he’s improved in that regard already, and really what more can you ask? He’s getting better, more comfortable and confident, and that’s great to see. I thought he did his best on the glass, but, like a couple of guys, was getting overpowered a bit by TCU’s strength. Gtown just didn’t have an answer on the glass and it cost them.

Collin Holloway - C+
7 PTS, 2-6 (33%), 1-3 3PT (33%), 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK

He brought the steadying offensive presence that we’ve come to expect but was another guy that I think Gtown probably needed just a bit more from. And as with most guys, you needed more either offensively or defensively. He really helps the way the offense runs, but you needed him to hit a few more shots or come up with a few more rebounds. He’s in a tough spot as an undersized forward, and this is the type of game where he’s going to struggle a bit, but he has to figure out a way to impact the game on the boards. I don’t think he’s ever going to grab a lot of rebounds, but he can, and has, been helpful boxing out and I think that’s what he needs to really focus on.

Jalin Billingsley - C+
2 PTS, 1-2 (50%)

Ewing went to Jalin late in place of Kaiden. Given Kaiden’s play, I don’t really blame him and I think Jalin showed some flashes. He had a nice stepback in the deep corner followed by a nice hook on a post-up that just missed. I think the offense will come for him, though maybe not this year. He needs to really focus on impacting the game defensively. That’s where he was needed in this one, particularly on the glass.

Ryan Mutombo - C+
8 PTS, 3-6 (50%), 2-4 FT, 6 REB, 3 BLK

Overall, I like what he brought. He had a really strong offensive rebound and put back on a missed three from Don in the second half that was really nice. On the next play at the other end, he got pushed out of position a bit and gave up an offensive rebound to a much bigger (read: wider) TCU player. Those are the types of plays that you’re going to get I think as he continues his growth.

Flashes of the offensive talent and some growing pains defensively. I do think he struggled a bit with the physicality and size of TCU, which I think is again just a part of his growth. This was really one of the first games since Tim has gone down that I thought they really missed him. In the 2nd half, TCU and particularly that Lampkin kid, just sort of bullied Gtown at times. I am not sure I blame anyone on the Hoyas for that really, it wasn’t like they were getting out hustled or anything, just a case of TCU using their size to their advantage and. I think Ryan will get stronger and will improve in these types of games. I do think he needs to focus a bit on defensive rebounding. Out of his 6 boards, 5 were offensive. He’s a good offensive rebounder for sure, but this team needed someone on the defensive glass along with Aminu and just didn’t get it.

Offense - B-
I thought the offense was largely *fine*. If one of two things happen they might have walked out with a win. One of those is just hitting a few more shots. They had some decent looks that just didn’t fall. Without Dante and with Kaiden struggling they shot well under their 2PT and 3PT percentages. A lot of that was frankly Kaiden, and may actually be more expected regression than anything, but other guys had some decent looks that just didn’t fall. Look, TCU is good. They are not great, but they are solid and the Hoyas just kind of got beat by a better team. They stayed in it for most of this one and are a few momentum swings away from maybe winning it and I think that is largely positive. I am not losing sleep over the offensive performance.

Defense - C
I struggle with this one. Getting a few more defensive rebounds is the other thing that probably would have given them the win if they were able to do it. I do think they ultimately lost this game on the defensive glass and just got outmuscled by a stronger, bigger and more physical team. That comes down to personnel a bit but also, opponent. TCU is a top-ten offensive rebounding team. That’s what they do and Georgetown wasn’t really able to stop them. They kind of just got beat in that regard by a better team. I am not really sure there was an adjustment to be made that could have saved it.

On the other hand, the 3pt defense continues to be a problem. TCU is not at all a good shooting team average under 30% from three on the year on fewer than 20 attempts per game. Those numbers are 306th and 266th respectively in D-1. They managed 42% from three on 26 attempts against Georgetown. Which, again, is really not their game.

They are a team that tends to miss a bunch of shots and get points of second chances. In this one, they were able to do both. The Hoyas weren’t able to stop them on the offensive boards and TCU was able to hit shots. Given that, I think it’s actually surprising this one was close up until the last 5 minutes really. As I’ve said, there is some debate about how much defense can really impact a three-point percentage. I struggle with that given gestures to Gtown’s opponents’ three-point percentages over the past 5 years. The analytics gurus may be right, it may be that three-point percentage is a bad way to measure three-point defense.

But here’s what I see, fairly consistently. Take three defensive possessions that all end in a three-point shot. On the first possession, Georgetown gives up an open three due to a bad closeout or over helping, and that’s one you expect most decent shooters to knock down. The second possession, the offense has some confidence and Georgetown is just a bit slow to rotate or identify a shooter. It’s not as egregious as the first defensive possession but it leads to a semi-open three that a decent shooter can probably knock down particularly if they’re feeling confident (which they are having just knocked down a wide-open shot). The third possession is a good defensive context with the offensive player just making a tough shot, but they have all the confidence in the world. That is a series of bad defense, moderate defense and good defense.

The problem is when they play good defense, it matters less because the opponent is shooting with confidence at that point. I don’t know how you can measure that statistically, but I think that’s sort of what we see with these teams that just seem to be able to shoot lights out against us and only us. That’s my unscientific analysis. Thank you for coming to my TED talk. The solution is to just consistently? play better defense.