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GAME GRADES: Hoyas Repeat Past Mistakes in Big Test with Texas Tech

Georgetown wasn’t quite in the same class as Texas Tech

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#8 - Hoyas vs. Texas Tech - 11/30/22 - Here’s how I saw that game: Georgetown was good when Texas Tech had no interest in the game whatsoever. Call me a pessimist or anti-Hoya or whatever (actually, please don’t call me that, in fact, don’t call anyone that). Despite the strong start and the second-half run, I just don’t leave that game feeling much different about the team than I did going in. Their overall margin for error remains razor-thin because of their approach on offense and defense.

Georgetown v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

They seemed to have a solid game plan going in and took advantage of a Tech team that had no interest in playing any defense early, but as soon as Tech locked in, Georgetown had no answers. In the second half, they took the momentum through energy and then, again, when Tech locked in, Georgetown had no answer.

I watch a fair amount of basketball. OK, I watch A LOT of basketball at both the college and professional level, and despite valiant effort at times, that game just emphasized to me how unserious of a basketball team Georgetown really is. And how far away we are from being competitive. For about 60%, our good, not great, opponent played HORRIBLE, and Georgetown can only walk away from the game with a couple of good minutes to watch on film and a 14-point L.

Accountability Check: I said 75-63 Tech. The game ended up 79-65 Tech. That’s like, dead on. Two in a row that I’m counting. That puts me at 2-6 on the season. So there’s one that the Georgetown Hoyas have a better record than.

Alright. Here’s how I saw it.

Primo Spears - C+
13 PTS, 5-12 (41%), 0-3 3PT (0%), 3-4 FT, 3 REB, 7 AST, 4 TO, 38 MIN
First, the positive - second game in a row that Primo has more than 6 assists. It’s 6 and 7, but that is certainly closer to where you’d like to see him. I thought a big part of the early success was Primo looking to drive and dish more than looking for his shot. The ball was certainly moving better in the early minutes, and Primo was a catalyst for that. For me, that’s where the positives stop. I think Primo is a really talented basketball player with a lot of offensive skills. I have not liked his overall game so far this year.

Here’s a thought experiment: how different has Primo’s game looked from one James Akinjo? I mean, really think about it. Maybe it is the emphasis of the offense - there’s actually good reason to think that - but the over-dribbling, the looking for his shot first, and then the play that sealed this one for me - the step-back three when Georgetown had gotten it to one after dribbling for 20 straight seconds. That’s an Akinjo special. I just don’t see that Primo’s success and the team’s success are always aligned right now. Again, he may be playing the way the coach wants him to, but I would personally like to see a lot more ball movement, a lot more running the offense and a lot less dribbling.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Heath - C
5 PTS, 2-8 (25%), 1-4 3PT (25%), 4 REB, 2 AST, 3 TO, 34 MIN
ROUGH offensive night for Jay, as it was for several Hoyas. He finishes with an offensive rating of 60. That means in 100 possessions with Heath on the floor (about the average number of possessions an NBA team has during a 48-minute game), his team would score 60 points. When is the last time you’ve seen an NBA score with a team at 60? So yeah, even correcting for a college game, that’s bad.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Murray - B
18 PTS, 8-13 (61%), 2-6 3PT (33%), 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 6 TO, 37 MIN
Pretty clear that Murray is their best offensive player. I love Akok’s overall game but he doesn’t have the skillset on the offensive end that Murray has. I like Murray’s game a lot. I don’t think it fits well on this team right now. Most of that is because of the scheme and guard play. It’s a lot of your turn/my turn with Primo and even Heath. It’s OK, even sometimes helpful to have one ISO-heavy player on your team who can go get a bucket on his own when you need it. But when that’s basically your entire offense, I think you minimize the effectiveness of all of those players. Still, he was Georgetown’s best starter on the night.

Akok Akok - NO GRADE
0 PTS, 0-4 (0%), 0-3 3PT (0%), 6 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 35 MIN
Akok finished this one with a 0 offensive rating. He managed the best defensive rating - 99. But due to my overall admiration for Akok’s game, I REFUSE TO ISSUE A GRADE. Still, though, it was rough. And not encouraging that up against true high major competition, he put up a stinker. I choose to view this as an outlier.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Qudus Wahab - NO GRADE
13 PTS, 0-4 (02%), 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 13 MIN
I am giving Q a No Grade for basically the exact opposite reason as Akok. Well, not exactly the opposite, but he was so bad that I don’t think I could issue him a grade and uphold my no Fs policy. Maybe he deserves one, but he’s very clearly in a bad way and has been for most of this season. Maybe Maryland broke him. Maybe he just hasn’t developed since Freshman year, and this is the result. Maybe he’s just in a really bad slump. I honestly don’t know what it is, but he has not looked great this year, and it came to a head in this game where he was unplayable.

Bryson Mozone - B+
18 PTS, 7-10 (70%), 4-7 3PT (57%), 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, 20 MIN
Bryson’s best game of the year by far, and it really just comes down to shot-making. He looked more engaged and focused to me, and he just made his shots. He can still do more on the glass and more to move the ball, but he was either their best or second-best player on the night (with Murray), and I think he was probably #1.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Bristol - C
3 PTS, 1-2 (50%), 1-2 3PT (50%) 0 REB, 0 TO, 7 MIN
I didn’t notice Bristol a lot again. In a game like this, I think that’s probably a net positive, as he fits in nicely. He’s a solid piece of the puzzle. The problem is some of the other pieces and the person putting them together. He is a good team defender. He should rebound more.

Bradley Ezewiro - ALL THE GRADES
5 PTS, 1-2 (50%), 3-5 FT, 2 REB, 1 BLK, 13 MIN
Brad gets every grade imaginable. All of the grades. He was a monster at times. He was running into his own guys at others. His energy is what changed the game in the second half. He came in for Q and gave them a real boost. Did he earn the starting job over Q? No. But he definitely earned more minutes.

Denver Anglin - A
3 PTS, 1-1 (100%), 1-1 3PT (100%), 4 MIN
Denver did what he was supposed to do. He came in and knocked down a three. I have absolutely no clue why he can’t play more at the one. I just don’t get it.

Offense - Fail
I found it hard to grade both units in this one, so I am resorting to a Pass/Fail grade. The offense failed. Aside from the start of this game, which looked about as good as we’ve seen from Georgetown this year, the offense looked largely the same. They managed 11 assists and had 18 turnovers. That, as much as anything else, has been the hallmark of an Ewing offense. 26 three attempts are good. A lot of that was Mozone getting good looks and taking them. I don’t know, and I don’t see this team playing offense in a way that can lead to success in the long term.

Georgetown v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Defense - Pass
I’ll give the defense a pass, but just barely. They managed to limit Tech to 19 three-point attempts. That’s about what Tech has averaged so far this year. For Georgetown, that’s exceptional defense. Tech did shoot 42% on those 19 attempts, which hurts, but I’ve said before that limiting the attempts is the focus, and they did that. Georgetown lost this game on the boards. Texas Tech outrebounded them 41-23. That is horrendous. Georgetown is now 292nd in CBK in offensive rebounding % against. Some of that is they’ve played more zone, and Q has not been able to stay on the floor consistently. But their rebounding is now officially a problem. Outside of last season, when they finished 251st in offensive rebounding percentage against, they have been OK in that category over Ewing’s tenure. If they can’t improve there before the start of conference play, watch out.

Next Up
Georgetown comes home to face a South Carolina team ranked 167 and fresh off a beatdown from George Washington. Yes, you read that right. So my guess is this one is going to be wild. Last year Georgetown was handled by SC 80-67. I would like to say that Georgetown returns the favor by the exact same score, but I expect SC, led by Lamont Paris and no longer Frank Martin (good riddance to that bully), to come out with something to prove to the city of DC.

Unfortunately, I think Georgetown probably has a letdown after focusing on Tech. I think this ends 75-70 Gamecocks. Hope I am wrong!