Putting together posts after losses like the UConn game is not fun. After your Georgetown Hoyas (7-11, 5-8) dropped another 9-PM-Tuesday-night game at home, 57-70, this humble blog contributor didn’t want to read all the links about alleged golden boy James Bouknight and how UConn came in with something to fight for in their potential tournament bid. Georgetown had looked decent over the two prior games and it just sucks to relive the let down.
But when I took another look at the box score, something dawned on me. Not a big epiphany, but something a little deeper than the obvious 46-30 rebound deficit (18-9 ORB, ouch), the 24-50 points in the paint, or even that UConn only shot 2-11 from three. It’s that the box score against UConn looks a lot like the box score from the Creighton game exactly two weeks prior.
At the time of the loss to CU, it was suggested that the late-night game two days after the Villanova game on Super Sunday was just too much, but perhaps there was something more. It’s not just the 9PM start or that visitor came in more hungry. It’s got to be defensive pressure. Both CU and UConn were able to neutralize Jahvon Blair and Chudier Bile, which appears to be the difference between good and shitty Georgetown basketball. Physicality was perhaps the big difference in how Blair and Bile were guarded, with neither getting clean looks and both seeing ghosts when finishing near the rim.
The similarities continue, as Bile settled for three-point attempts in each shooting 2-8 FGs and 1-7 3PA against Creighton and 1-8 FG and 0-6 3PA against UConn. Bile did not draw fouls and earn points at the stripe like he has in GU’s best recent wins. Blair shot about a measly 20% from three in each game. The Hoyas scored about 15 points off of turnovers, which is about their average in recent games as attacking in transition is a priority. In both games the GU bench scored only 5 points, with Donald Carey held scoreless.
Jamorko Pickett played less well offensively in the latter game (3-7 FG, 0-5 3PA). How can ’Marko miss all five three-point attempts after his shot looked so good against Seton Hall? Qudus Wahab (5-6, FG, 8-12 FT) hit his career high 18 points against UConn—perhaps it was by design with coach Dan Hurley’s hack-a-Q interior defense. One big positive difference between games is that the Georgetown offense went from 24 turnovers to 15. Gotta take that, but only 53 field goal attempts is not going to cut it.
The slow start is certainly worth Patrick Ewing reviewing in film sessions, but another plateau late in the game is what finished the Hoyas. After the 44-44 tie with 10:54 left, the Huskies went on an 8-minute 17-4 run before Wahab hit free throws with just under 3 minutes left.
While Chudier Bile has been the recent X-factor that kept Georgetown’s offense from getting stagnant late in the game, the Hoyas really need Jahvon Blair to shoot better. Blair was 6-14 FGs and 3-8 3PT against Butler, but is a combined 14-42 FG (33%) and 7-25 3PT (28%) over the past 4 games (Creighton, Butler, SHU, and UConn). Seton Hall and UConn certainly emulated how Creighton defended against our favorite Canadian sniper. Put another way, Blair has only made two three pointers since his 1000th-point game against Butler.
But Saturday’s game at DePaul (4-11, 2-11) will be a nooner on FS1, so maybe fans can expect 50% from three from everyone and that all worries will be calmed with the afternoon energy.
Here are the links:
“The last game we came out, we started poorly but we were able to regroup and come away with the victory. We started poor tonight, but we were still in the game. We were up by one at halftime, so we did a very good job in the first half of coming out of it. But in the second half, is where, like I said, we took our foot off the gas pedal. Everything that we were doing great defensively in the first half, we weren’t [doing] in the second half.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the game...
Qudus Wahab managed a career-high 18 points and a game-best 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. He was 5-of-6 from the field (.833) and added another eight points from the charity stripe while posting one assist and on block...
The Hoyas shot 35.8 percent (19-53) from the floor while allowing the Huskies 45.5 percent shooting (30-66). Georgetown forced 14 UConn turnovers but committed 15 of its own. The Hoyas managed 10 steals to the Huskies’ eight.
The game started off about as slowly as you could possibly go. After 20 minutes of action, Georgetown took a mere 26-25 lead into the break. The Hoyas shot 25.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3. Countering that, UConn shot 45.5 percent from the floor, but bricked on all five of their 3-point attempts. Georgetown and UConn amassed marks of .703 and .676 points per possession, ghoulish numbers to say the very least. The heat was ramped up a bit in the second half, however.
UConn scored 1.5 points per possession while the Hoyas had 1.033. Granted, the Huskies’ mark was far better, as evident by the final score, but both were able to at least get over the 1.000 mark. That showed itslef in the shooting percentages as well. UConn shot 56.3 percent from the field while the Hoyas shot 46.2 percent. 3-pointers... let’s just not talk about them, shall we?
Georgetown used a 9-0 run, not to mention an unlikely 3-pointer by Jamari Sibley near the halftime buzzer, to take a narrow lead at the break. Before the anemic offense arrived, UConn put together easily its best start of the season, and reversed a trend that had seen it start extremely slow in recent weeks. The Huskies hit their first five shots in the game, three by Adama Sanogo and two by Bouknight, while holding Georgetown scoreless for the game’s opening 3-and-a-half minutes. But that opening salvo was followed by a litany of misses. UConn’s only field goal in the final seven minutes of the first half came on an alley-oop in the final minute from Cole to Bouknight.
Here’s a negative: When you’re getting a lot of offensive rebounds, it means you’re missing a lot of shots.
And, just because you grab a bunch of offensive boards it doesn’t always lead to points. Despite getting 18 offensive rebounds – which ties for the most they’ve had in a conference game this season – the Huskies scored merely nine second-chance points. As a team, UConn shot 45.5% from the field, which actually is a really solid number. The thing is, a lot of UConn’s scoring came in the final quarter-ish of the game. Through most of the game, it looked like UConn couldn’t buy a bucket — highlighted by an over five-minute stretch right at the end of the first half where the Huskies quite literally missed every field goal they attempted.
9pm Hoyas game? No problem.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) February 24, 2021
Latest Kente Korner on Georgetown's flat outing vs UConn has been up for hours@MTCwithMook joined in to talk:
Failing to get that 3rd straight BE win
McD AA Mohammed
Subscribe & listen @CasualHoya https://t.co/lcYjv0KVfM
Not the prettiest of wins, but UConn’s first go-around in the new Big East should have driven home the point by now: this conference is not going to lend itself to easy, artistic wins. The teams at the bottom can beat the teams at the top at any given time.
So the Huskies grinded and escaped Georgetown, a sub-.500 team that had recently beaten Creighton and Seton Hall, and are better for it. Their NCAA NetRanking improved from No. 55 to 46, their Ken Pomeroy power ranking from No. 36 to 35...
The Huskies got back to the way they were rebounding earlier in the year, especially on the offensive end. They had 46 total, to Georgetown’s 30, and 18 on offense, though they didn’t cash in with enough second-chance points (nine). Georgetown, with some very good front court players coached by Patrick Ewing, is not an easy team to out-rebound. These stats reflect pure hustle and determination.
One last thought on this: Georgetown was picked to finish 11th this season, but have exceeded expectations this season by already winning five conference games.— Lawrence Kreymer (@kreyme8) February 25, 2021
DePaul should not be finishing below Georgetown.
Georgetown and DePaul meet on Saturday at Wintrust Arena. https://t.co/ZZUM4KwiGv
Fast forward to 2021, and the program is a shell of its former glory days. “I think that it’s probably the worst year since I’ve been a fan, which is like seven years now, because it just kind of feels like there’s no hope in this year,” DePaul fan Joe Breslin said. “Every year we kind of had a little hope going into games. We were probably going to lose, but we could win. I don’t feel like that now.” DePaul hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2004. They have only had two winning seasons since then. The move to the Big East in 2005 was supposed to elevate the status of the program, instead it has made DePaul the team that everyone takes advantage of to boost their records.
DePaul was able to get off to a strong start on Wednesday, especially from the 3-point line. The Blue Demons hit three consecutive 3-pointers that gave them an early 11-3 lead. A fourth 3-pointer from sophomore guard Oscar Lopez Jr. extended DePaul’s lead to seven, 16-9, in the early going.
But that’s when things started to turn towards Creighton’s way. Following a made jump shot from senior guard Ray Salnave to put DePaul up 18-13, the Bluejays went on a 10-0 run that was sparked by their star point guard Marcus Zegarowski. It continued to get worse for DePaul from that point on. Sophomore forward Romeo Weems briefly stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer, but Creighon responded with an 11-0 run that put them up 34-21 and virtually ended the Blue Demons’ hopes of winning the game.
If Charlie Moore is on the floor, expect him to be the offensive focal point. The quick guard can shoot from deep and make passes, but his shooting inside the arc has been a struggle. Outside of Moore, the options are limited. Oscar Lopez has been injured almost all season, Jaylen Butz has left the team.
Meanwhile Courvoisier McCauley hasn’t been able to get minutes and/ or find his rhythm. There is a newcomer David Jones — a mid-year addition who committed for next year’s class, but left high school to get playing time early. He scored 10 against Providence and is a top-100 wing. Elvis and Salnave haven’t added consistent production, though Salnave scored 21 against Creighton and Elvis was a hero against Seton Hall, adding in 13 for the undermanned Blue Demons...
Pauly Paulicap and Nick Ongenda are tall, fast forwards who can compete for some rebounds. On a DePaul team that misses a lot of shots, clearing those misses is a high priority.
Moore has been similarly unimpressive on midrange jumpers, connecting on just 32.4% of them. He’s made 37.3% on three-pointers. All of that is taking the long road to saying that Moore is what you might charitably refer to as a volume scorer — he piles up points but takes a ton of shots to get there. Look at some of these ridiculous lines: 7-of-20 at Providence, 8-of-24 combined in two games against UConn (4-of-12 each time), 5-of-13 at Marquette, 8-of-18 against St. John’s.
On assists, it’s the same story, different verse. His 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio is nothing to brag about for a player that handles the ball as much as Moore does — he has 49 assists in 11 games played (good) and 38 turnovers (bad). But the interesting thing is, he is tough to keep out of the paint off the dribble, and he does score quite a bit and create shots for teammates once he’s in there. He just also misses more shots than he takes and turns it over almost as often as he assists in a made basket for someone else. Make of that what you will.
Like it or not, there is going to be some turnover among a crowded roster this offseason for Georgetown.— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopHoops_) February 26, 2021
On who could leave early, and the debate about what position GU should hone in on for potential transfers to bring in this summer https://t.co/xJrr7Fde7A
Moore set or matched season highs in points, rebounds and assists on Saturday night. He posted season highs of 24 points and six rebounds while matching high season high with eight assists. The Chicago native went 6-for-6 at the free throw line including four makes in the final 1:06. Overall he was 8-for-13 (.615) from the field including 2-for-3 (.667) from the behind the arc and added a steal in 32:21 off the bench. He is the first DePaul player to be named Player of the Week since Max Strus was selected three times during the 2018-19 season.
Senior leadership has been on display for both teams this year. Charlie Moore, Javon Freeman-Liberty and Pauly Paulicap have collectively accounted for 44 percent of DePaul’s scoring this season. For Georgetown, Jahvon Blair, Jamorko Pickett, Qudus Wahab, Chudier Bile and Donald Carey have combined to account for 81 percent of all Georgetown scoring.JUMPING FOR JAHVON: Blair has connected on 33.3 percent of the 147 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 11 of 38 over his last five games. He’s also converted 83.3 percent of his foul shots this season.