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GAME GRADES: Look Back at Georgetown’s Poor Performance Against American

Marks are finally posted for the miserable match

Rafael Suanes/Georgetown Univ.

#6 - Hoyas vs. American - 11/23/22 - So, there it was. At 11:30 in the morning. On a pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday. In an empty Capitol One Arena, the Georgetown Hoyas hit bottom...for now. After going winless in conference play, no-showing against an aggressively meh Northwestern team and getting blown out by Loyola Marymount in Jamaica, many were asking how much lower can we get? Well, in my humble opinion, we hit it. Somehow even losing on Saturday to a worse-rated UMBC team wouldn’t drag us lower. There is just something about losing to American, for the first time in 40 years, that feels like (it just has to be) the bottom.

Per KenPom, it is tied for the worst loss in Ewing’s tenure. Both American and Dartmouth last year were ranked 280 going into their games. Dartmouth would finish that season ranked 199th. That was Game #1 and a team that was quite honestly not as talented as this one. This loss to American is worse. It is as bad as it can be.

Accountability Check: Woof. I called a Georgetown 75 - 60 win. I was wrong.

There’s not much to say beyond the worst loss in Ewing’s tenure. So I am going to keep this relatively short. It is a Thanksgiving week so I am not giving out homework. Also, the homework is to be better.

Here we go!

Primo Spears - D
15 PTS, 4-12 (33%), 0-1 3PT (0%), 7-8 FT, 2 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 5 TO, 37 Min
15 points, but he was bad. 6 assists but 5 turnovers. I’ve written extensively about how I view Primo’s game in previous posts, and nothing has changed. Too much dribbling. Too many jumpers. Not good enough on defense. Somehow, he finished +2. Not sure how. His points per possession was a horrid .714. A lot of it is scheme-related, but not all of it. Point guard play needs to be better.

Jay Heath - C-
10 PTS, 4-9 (44%), 1-1 3PT (100%), 1-2 FT, 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 29 MIN
Looked frantic and erratic to me. Has not found his footing in the offense, which I think has a lot to do with the scheme or lack thereof. Still, very little to point to in this one. He did finish a +9 with a .909 points per possession. His defense is maddening to me. He’s a very solid on-ball defender, absolutely horrible off-ball. I don’t know if it’s the scheme, there’s some evidence it is, but he was late on a lot of rotations, left shooters, doubled for no reason and was generally just bad when not defending the ball.

Bryson Mozone - D-
5 PTS, 1-8 (12%), 0-6 3PT (0%), 3-4 FT, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 TO, 25 MIN
Brandon was out with a back injury, so Bryson slotted into the starting lineup. He again looked lost and, at times, overmatched. His shooting is off right now and has been since the start of the year, but it’s the other aspects of his game that are bigger issues and make him, in my opinion, unplayable at the moment. He is a minus on defense right now. He is not contributing on offense and actively hurt his team in this one. He finished a team low -14 and an unheard-of .455 points per possession. I simply don’t think he needs to play right now.

Akok Akok - C+
14 PTS, 5-13 (38%), 3-6 3PT (50%), 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 36 MIN
Again, he is the best player on the floor but is not able to do enough on his own. Akok has all of the tools to be a pro. He’s fun to watch on both ends. 4 turnovers is too many, but I have zero issues with his game.

Qudus Wahab - C-
8 PTS, 2-6 (33%), 4-6 FT, 9 REB, 4 STL, 3 TO, 28 MIN
Finished a minus two and .667 points per possession. Not much to be said for his performance in this one and so far this year. He has not looked demonstrably better in really any facet of the game since his first year at Georgetown. That’s a problem on it’s own, but add to it that teams have a tried-and-true plan to totally shut him down, and he has become a real negative on the court.

Wayne Bristol - B
7 PTS, 3-7 (42%), 1-3 3PT (33%), 2 REB, 1 STL, 1 TO, 20 MIN
I thought Wayne was pretty good in this one. Gave a bit of that three and D that they need. It’s just nearly impossible for anyone to come off the bench and establish a rhythm. Georgetown made only 6 threes, he made one of them.

Jordan Riley - C-
2 PTS, 1-3 (33%), 0-1 3PT (0%), 3 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 11 MIN
The stats REALLY don’t like Jordan’s game in this one. He finished a -20. That’s absurd for 11 minutes. To be honest, I didn’t notice him much. That’s generally not a good thing, as he is at his best when he’s active on both ends. It’s hard to tell what is just an off night and what is an inability to find a rhythm. I think it’s both, but he needs to be better. Still, he is not the reason they lost.

Ryan Mutombo - B
6 PTS, 3-4 (75%), 0-2 FT, 5 REB, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 11 MIN
Ryan has been good on offense and not a huge liability on defense. He looked good in this one. I don’t have a ton of faith that he can replicate this against higher-level competition, but I think it’s worth finding out. Given the way Q is playing, I think you could make an argument that Ryan and Q should be closer to a 60/40 or even 50/50 split.

Denver Anglin - A+
3 PTS, 1-1 (100%), 1-1 3PT (100%), 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 3 MIN
Play Denver, period. It’s almost funny (almost). He comes on in garbage time and gives you EXACTLY what you need from a guard. He hits a three - his only shot - get’s an assist and a steal. Yes, he has a turnover, but I mean, what are we doing here? Play the kid.

Offense - F
This is a grade for the coaching, the scheme, the rotations and the gameplan. 6 made threes is ridiculous. Only taking 19 is a factor in that, but they also are unable to run anything to get easier three-point shots. The team remains one of the worst in college basketball in three-point attempts and assists. Those are both things the gameplan, preparation and scheme can emphasize. It seems they don’t. Georgetown should not be one of the worst in college basketball in ANYTHING. The offense is a disaster.

Defense - D-
This is a grade for coaching as well. The offense is much more of an issue right now than THE defense. Which is really saying something because the defense is still pretty atrocious. They still are pressing which I truly don’t understand, and the few minutes of zone they played in this one looked really bad. I think they should still try and work that in a bit. Their individual defensive principles remain baffling. They continue to overhelp and leave shooters. They double the post for seemingly no reason, and their pick-and-roll coverage seems to change by the possession. The overall defense looks no different than it has in the past. The difference this year is they have better individual defenders and, frankly, Akok, who erases a lot of mistakes.

UMBC Prediction
Georgetown will take on their second lowest-rated opponent this season in the 295th-ranked UMBC. Does anyone have a clue how this will go? I sure don’t. If there are significant changes I think they should roll. But I really don’t see those happening. My guess is Georgetown probably wins but I would hardly be surprised if they lost. Let’s say 76 - 72 Georgetown in a bad win. If such a thing exists. (N.B. This was all written prior to the UMBC game. -whipple)