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LINKS: Hoyas, Ewing Can’t Exorcise Demons

Lack of discipline, turnovers continue to be Ewing’s hallmarks

Georgetown v DePaul Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

There is so much going wrong for the Georgetown Hoyas (5-9, 0-3) right now that fans don’t know where to start. Naturally, the buck has to stop with head coach Patrick Ewing as he is “running Georgetown into the ground.” Even if Akok Akok (back spasms) and Jay Heath (presumed) were injured, losing to a shorthanded DePaul Blue Demons team (7-7, 1-2) should not be possible after Ewing pledged “it can never happen again on my watch.” Well, it’s happening again.

Looking at the stats, one might start with Georgetown losing the turnover battle, 18-7, and the points-off-turnovers matchup, 25-6. Primo Spears had all Georgetown’s 11 assists with 5 turnovers, and Brandon Murray scored a career high 29 points but yielded 7 turnovers. Qudus Wahab had 4 turnovers in 33 minutes with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Your top three guys had 50 points with 16 turnovers. That’s now a hallmark of the Patrick Ewing offense.

Murray has 16 turnovers through three BIG EAST games (5.3 per game) and 38 for the season (3.2 per game). Last year, at LSU, Brandon Murray averaged 2.2 turnovers during SEC conference play and 1.6 over the season. Spears has 41 turnovers in 14 games with the Hoyas (2.9 per game) and had only 62 turnovers with 30 games at Duquesne last year (2.1 per game). Both players are enjoying nice bumps in field goal attempts and percentages over their freshman year, but the turnover numbers are clearly trending in the wrong direction. For comparison, Mac McClung averaged 2.0 and 1.8 turnovers per game in his freshman and sophomore years, respectively, and James Akinjo averaged 2.9 turnovers over his 40 games with Georgetown.

Wahab’s season numbers (1.4 turnovers per game) are a bit better than his sophomore year, except for a small dip in field goal percentage and improved free throw percentage. He’s getting doubled and hacked any time he touches the ball in the paint—sometimes the foul gets called, sometimes it’s a turnover.

It’s probably not even worth discussing Georgetown’s defense, but DePaul managed to shoot 11-22 from three for the game. In that first half, the Hoyas allowed Javan Johnson (5-6) and Umoja Gibson (4-5) to shoot 9 for 11 from beyond the arc.

Was it a surprise to the Georgetown coaching staff that both these 5th-year players who shoot above 40% would be taking three pointers? Was the game plan to intentionally allow over a dozen open perimeter looks in the opening period?

While outrage towards the coaching has been deafening, not many fans have given up on the players, personally, yet. The lack of discipline allowed on the floor by the staff is appalling, but the turnovers and the three-point defense do not inspire a connection in the 14 games since these athletes transferred in. They are talented, but that is not enough. Discipline and pride have to come from inside if not coming from the coach. We are way past insanity, but hopefully real change happens before criticisms get too personal. The decision-making has been poor all around.

There are 17 conference games left. Butler (Jan 1, home) and Seton Hall (Jan 10, home) are each 0-3 as well, so a win could be on the horizon. But not if Ewing continues to let Georgetown play like this.

Here are the links:

Despite Career Nights from Murray, Spears and Wahab, Georgetown Falls at DePaul | GUHoyas

The trio of Brandon Murray, Primo Spears and Qudus Wahab all had career bests on the night but the Georgetown men’s basketball team still fell 83-76 at DePaul on Thursday night. Murray poured in 29 points, Spears dished out 11 assists and Wahab grabbed 16 rebounds in the BIG EAST setback as the Hoyas slip to 5-9 with an 0-3 mark in league action. DePaul improves to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in BIG EAST play...

“We made some good strides but, still disappointed in the loss. I thought our guys - we competed. The only thing I’m disappointed by is that we had 15 offensive rebounds but we only got 12 points out of it. We need to continue to rebound the basketball at that high clip, I thought that Q did a great job with seven offensive rebounds but we have to be able to capitalize on those. And then the turnovers - we had been doing a good job of keeping our turnovers down. Today, we had 18 and gave them 25 points off of those turnovers. If we want to win, those are things we cannot continue to do.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the game

Gibson Scores 31 as DePaul Grabs First BIG EAST Win | DePaul

DePaul’s 47-40 halftime lead quickly shrank as Georgetown (5-9, 0-3 BIG EAST) opened the second half with six-straight points. The Hoyas took their first lead of the game at the 15-minute mark on a three-pointer by Brandon Murray. Terry quickly swung the score back in DePaul’s favor with a three of his own.

Georgetown’s largest lead came with just under 10 minutes in the half, 61-58. The Blue Demons surged back on a 12-2 run, never trailing again in the game. DePaul iced the game in the final two minutes, going perfect from the free throw line for eight points, including six from Gibson.

Umoja Gibson pours in 31 as DePaul defeats Georgetown | Field Level Media

Georgetown pulled within 75-73 on Primo Spears’ jumper with 1:48 left, but Gibson followed with two free throws for a four-point lead with 1:28 left.

After Wahab split a pair of free throws with 1:13 left and Murray split another pair to make it 77-75 with a minute to go. Gibson sank two free throws to make it a four-point game with 20 seconds left.

DePaul went on a 10-4 run over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the first half to take a 47-40 advantage into halftime.

Gibson’s Career-High Leads DePaul Past Georgetown | We Are DePaul

While Murray was up to 28 points in the early portion of the half, Ewing also made a key adjustment on the defensive end to change the narrative of the game. Instead of putting sophomore guard Primo Spears on Mo Gibson, he assigned junior guard Wayne Bristol Jr. to faceguard Gibson for the entire half.

Fortunately, that was not enough to contain the entire Blue Demon squad. While Johnson only scored four points in the second half, it was the guard play of Gibson and Jalen Terry that helped the Blue Demons regain the lead.

The two combined for the final 17 points for the Blue Demons and sealed the victory at the free throw line. Terry tied his season high with 14 points as he has now recorded that number in back-to-back games.