The Georgetown Hoyas played two games in the last three days, three games in the last six days (against ranked opponents), and four games in 11 days since return from COVID hiatus. And it showed every bit. Patrick Ewing’s recent doling of 30+ minutes to upperclassmen may not have helped.
On Tuesday night, in a 63-48 loss to the #19 Creighton Bluejays, Georgetown displayed sluggish lateral movement on defense, slow recovery on hedging screens, a reluctance to drive from the perimeter, and some poor shooting indicative of not having their legs under them.
This is a problem for a team with a condensed schedule and hopes to advance multiple days in the BIG EAST Tournament in a few short weeks. Legs are certainly an issue for an uptempo team that’s struggled down the stretch of several close games.
Looking ahead, the Hoyas have a couple Saturday-Tuesday combinations, but nothing closer together until MSG.
- Sat 13-Feb Butler 1:30 p.m. CBSSN
- OPEN Tues 16-Feb - Wed 17-Feb - Thurs 18 Feb
- Sat 20-Feb Seton Hall 5:30 p.m. CBSSN
- Tue 23-Feb UConn 9PM FS1
- Sat 27-Feb at DePaul noon FOX/FS1
- Tue 2-Mar Xavier TBA FS1
- Sat 6-Mar at UConn TBA CBS
Georgetown will need to adjust to get the offense better than the 48-point performance of Tuesday night as conference opponents will replicate successful schemes. Defensively, Georgetown held all Bluejays not named Mitch Ballock to 2-16 from the perimeter, but the Hoyas allowed an unacceptable 38 points in the paint. The help defense in the lane from the bigs just wasn’t there.
After the game, Patrick Ewing spoke to the selfishness on offense displayed by the team in taking some ill-advised shots and dribbling into traffic, rather than moving the ball, but Creighton deserves credit for defending smartly. The Bluejays denied passing lanes and made ball movement uncomfortable for Georgetown. The Hoyas fell too easily into a routine of launching threes from spots they may have been sinking last Sunday and Wednesday.
One clear concept is that Chudier Bile can’t be the only one driving the Georgetown train. With Bile (2-8) and Jahvon Blair (3-12) struggling from the floor against Creighton, the whole offense was off.
-Creighton had 19 steals on 24 GU turnovers.— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) February 10, 2021
-Chudier Bile was 2-8 with all but one attempt from three
-CU was 2-16 3PT without Ballock (4-9)
-GU was 5-22 without Pickett (4-9) 3PT
-Bile had 6 turnover, Harris had 4 (at least 2 gambling passes in garbage time)
Bile was missing a little pep in his step and settled for 7 three-point attempts (making two) on 8 total field goal attempts, with zero free throws. Dante Harris struggled a bit shooting 2-8 from the field and 1-5 from three, several of which were great open looks. With 24 turnovers, ball-care issues reemerged. Bile had 6 turnovers, while Harris and Wahab had 4 turnovers apiece.
Jamorko Pickett had a decent game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 4-9 from three, but the Hoyas need a lot more from him and others. Recent conference weekly honoree Qudus Wahab had only 6 points (3-7) with 8 rebounds.
Here are the links:
The Blue Jays ultimately triumphed 63-48, in what was a disappointing night for Georgetown. They ended one turnover shy of their season high with 24 and shot just 27.6% from the field. They were additionally outscored 38-12 in the paint as Wahab was completely neutralized. On a night when very little went well, the shot selection may have been the most concerning development. Turnovers have been a problem all year but the inability to get in the paint is new. The Hoyas have averaged over 15 free throw attempts per game on the year yet didn’t attempt one tonight until the 4:38 mark. Instead, they fired off 30 three point attempts connecting on under 30% of them.
Ewing did not mince words post-game in speaking about this problem. He called the game one of their worst performances of the season and chalked it up to simply making the wrong decisions. Instead of playing inside out the frustrated coach said, “We were just being selfish” and “were forcing the ball way too much instead of when the double team comes, make the right play.”
Ewing: "We were just jacking threes up, jacking shots up. To a man, I thought we played very selfish."— Voice Sports (@GUVoiceSports) February 10, 2021
“Our activity defensively spoke for itself,” coach Greg McDermott said. “We got in there, knocked balls loose and made most of their looks pretty challenging.”
The Jays definitely did swarm to the basketball any time Georgetown (5-10, 3-7) tried to set up its big men in the post. Junior Christian Bishop and freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner both made concerted efforts to fight for position early in possessions, McDermott said, which gave the help defenders more time to collapse inside with a double team. But also, CU’s guys had quick hands ready to swipe at the ball, the moment it got exposed.
There was a stretch late in the first half where the Jays picked up a steal on five straight possessions. Senior Mitch Ballock was credited with four of those. Senior Denzel Mahoney ripped the ball away from a Georgetown big man with about a minute leff before halftime. He knocked the ball off a driver’s leg on the next possession. It was CU’s relentlessness that ultimately dissuaded the Hoyas from attacking inside, despite their size advantage.
Georgetown couldn’t do much right; it had 13 turnovers in the first half and regularly lost the ball down low. Easy passes bounced off hands, and poor decisions led to the ball being thrown out of bounds. Creighton had 11 steals in the first half and finished with a season-high 19. Georgetown entered averaging 14.9 turnovers, second most in the Big East, but finished Tuesday’s game with 24.
The Hoyas also fell in love with the three-pointer; they attempted 20 in the first half, making just five. They finished the night at 27.6 percent from the field, which led to their lowest scoring output of the season. Creighton Coach Greg McDermott called it “one of the better defensive outings” his team has had this year.
The Bluejays endured a five-minute drought without a bucket before Mitch Ballock’s 30-footer and Bishop’s lay-up moved the lead to double-figures (29-19) for the first time. The Bluejays led 33-21 at the break behind 10 points from Bishop. CU owned the paint to a 20-4 advantage and had 11 steals while forcing GU into 13 turnovers. The Bluejays had a 9-0 lead in points off turnovers by intermission. The Bluejays embarked on a 14-2 run spanning halftime to stretch its lead to 37-21, and the margin grew as big 24 (58-34) in the second half...
Creighton forced GU into 24 turnovers and converted those into 19 points. The Jays also won the paint battle 38-12, just six days after losing 32-30 in that same category. Georgetown’s 48 points were the fewest allowed by the Jays all season. Jamorko Pickett led the Hoyas with 16 points. GU shot 16-of-58 from the field (27.6 percent).
Fewest point total for Georgetown since scoring 45 vs Pitt on Jan 8 2013— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) February 10, 2021
Christian Bishop scored 17 points and collected nine rebounds, two blocked shots, and two steals to lead three players in double figures and 19th ranked Creighton capitalized on Georgetown’s worst shooting performance in a decade while rolling to a 63-48 win in Washington D.C.
Other topics we couldn't avoid:— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) February 10, 2021
Super Bowl watching in covid times
Ranking local college basketball media spreads
Diving into the Hoyas 1983 NCAA bracket
My new appreciation for Marcus Derrickson
Remembering Keith Mr Jennings