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GAME GRADES: Hoyas Can’t Get Extra Credit in S. Carolina Gamecocks Exam

Georgetown takes some F’s with the L

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 03 South Carolina at Georgetown Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#9 - Hoyas vs. South Carolina - 12/3/22 - Well, it was close! Never mind, that is not really a positive, is it? South Carolina comes into their second DMV contest fresh off of a beatdown from George Washington. That’s right! South Carolina got absolutely smacked by what can only be called the superior DC college basketball team. For parts of this one, Georgetown looked in control. Alas, as any seasoned Hoya watcher knows, it was only a matter of time. Did it feel like Georgetown giving up the lead and ultimately losing this one was inevitable to anyone else? Am I just sick?

BREAKING: I am now reversing my policy of not grading the coaching! I will, however, attempt to stick to grading only one I can objectively see/determine. I have tried to stay away from grading coaching because, well, quite simply, it is kind of a bummer. And also, as opposed to how players perform in a game, much of the coaching performance is not something we are privy to, meaning we’re doing a lot of guesswork. We’re at the point where I just don’t think it’s fair to grade the players and not grade the coach on what we can, in fact, see. I will attempt to be as objective as possible, as I am sure we all will.

Accountability Check: I said 75-70 South Carolina. I didn’t have this one going to OT, but that’s three in a row that I am taking as dead-on accurate! So, maybe you just want to skip to the end of this post, where I correctly pick the result of the Siena game…
Let’s get into it.

Primo Spears - C+
18 PTS, 8-18 (44%), 0-2 3PT (0%), 2-2 FT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 0 TO, 41 MIN
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I struggle with Primo’s game. He played well for much of this game. It’s just that he dominates the ball and takes way too many shots for me. 18 shots, even in an OT game, is just a lot for a primary ball handler, particularly when you’re offense struggles on the whole. His offensive rating was second-best among starters, and that’s unsurprising because of how many points he scores. And you may say, well, isn’t that the point of the game? Well, sort of. The point is more to win, which does require points to be scored, but it requires more team success than we’re seeing, and I think a lot of that is Primo is really the primary scorer.

ShotQuality is a great analytics platform that evaluates the quality of shot attempts, based on the value of the shot (three vs two points) and the likelihood of the shot going in (based on the player’s individual metrics) TLDR: It’s a fancy analytics platform that does a good job of evaluating players and the shots they are taking. The platform grades players’ possessions as good possessions (possessions that are in the 66th percentile or above of expected points per possession - 1.24) or bad possessions (possessions that are in the 33rd percentile or below of expected points per possession - .77). Of Primo’s 19 possessions in the game, 15 of them were graded as bad possessions. That is, 15 of his 19 possessions were expected to produce fewer than .77 points per possession. 3 were good possessions, and those were likely his 3 possessions that resulted in assists.

That is how I view Primo’s game in a (somewhat complicated) nutshell. If none of that made sense to you. Sorry! I will continue to try and use and explain the ShotQuality metrics in the future, as I think they are very useful.
HOMEWORK: Shoot less. Much less.

Jay Heath - B
23 PTS, 7-14 (50%), 3-9 3PT (33%), 6 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 43 MIN
Heath was pretty good offensively. He had the highest offensive rating by a lot - 147. That’s a result of fairly efficient shooting and hitting 3 of his 9 threes. He has a knack for knocking down threes late in possessions with a hand in his face. That’s great! It’s not so great that those are the most consistent looks he gets from behind the arc. I think that is more a scheme issue and, well, see the above grade, than it is a failure of Heath’s. I like the 6 boards, but he needs to have more assists. Defensively he was fine.
HOMEWORK: Consistency is key.

Brandon Murray - C-
13 PTS, 5-14 (35%), 0-5 3PT (0%), 3-5 FT, 1 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 42 MIN
Not a particularly active game for Brandon in this one. And 0-5 from three is definitely not going to get it done. All of his shots are so difficult, though. He’s a really good one-on-one offensive player, and he does do a nice job of driving into space and kicking to an open man, but I would just love for him to get easier shots. Again, the scheme is more the issue than his individual play there.
HOMEWORK: Rebound!

Akok Akok - C-
6 PTS, 3-5 (60%), 0-1 3PT (0%), 0-1 FT, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 41 MIN
The stretch of rough games for Akok continues. He takes the best shots of anyone in the offense. The problem is the offense doesn’t get that many good shots, so he doesn’t take that many. He made a couple of really bad turnovers, and in general, I think he can look to get to the rim/get to his spot more. That’s just not really his game. I thought he was OK on defense. More on that below.
HOMEWORK: Keep shooting!

Qudus Wahab - D+
5 PTS, 2-6 (33%), 1-3 FT, 9 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, 25 MIN
Q is in a bad spot. He is a negative on the offensive end, which is just such a bummer to watch. His 80 offensive rating in this one is just…bad. Georgetown is getting absolutely SMOKED on the glass this year. They were only outrebounded by 2 in this one, but on the year, they are 278th in CBK in defensive rebounding. Most of that is frankly that Q is their best rebounder and can’t stay on the floor consistently.
HOMEWORK: Work quicker in the post.

Bryson Mozone - NO GRADE
0 PTS, 0-1 (00%), 0-1 3PT (0%), 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 TO, 8 MIN
I have no thoughts on Bryson’s game. He took one shot and got 1 board in 8 minutes. I assume Jordan is still not quite ready to play off of his ankle injury but otherwise, I just don’t see much need to play Bryson. I get that Ewing trusts him more than some of the young guys, but if he is not knocking down shots or getting rebounds, he’s not helping you win, and he’s not helping you build to anything.
HOMEWORK: Hit shots.

Wayne Bristol - C+
0 PTS, 0-2 (0%), 4 REB, 1 STL, 0 TO, 16 MIN
Bristol was OK. 4 boards in 16 minutes is pretty good, particularly because many of those minutes saw Georgetown in a zone. I’d like him to be more active on the offensive end, but he is a victim of this scheme. He’s not a go-get-your-own-shot guy, so he is just kind of SOL.
HOMEWORK: Keep rebounding and shoot threes.

Bradley Ezewiro - B
6 PTS, 3-5 (60%), 0-2 FT, 3 REB, 1 STL, 0 TO, 10 MIN
Brad is active when he’s in there. That’s good. He’s certainly raw, but he ultimately helps the offense because he basically takes away, or should take away, the Hoyas’ impulse to play through the post. They should only run pick-and-roll when he is in the game (they don’t). He had a couple of nice finishes in tight, and he takes up space on both ends.
HOMEWORK: Keep going!

Denver Anglin - INC
Came in for 30 seconds at the end of the first half in what could be generously called an offense/defense substitution with Primo. Except, Denver came in on the defensive end and then was immediately subbed out. That does not make sense. He should play (see coaching below).

Offense - Fail
I am sticking with P/F grades for the offense and defense, and I give the offense another Fail for one primary reason. 75% of Georgetown’s shots came at the rim or from 3 (ShotQuality). That is exactly on par with their season average, which is 357th in CBK. They also only had 10 assists in this game, and an Assist/Made FG rate of 35% is abysmal. Their season average is 43% which puts them 316th in college basketball. The D-1 average is, yeah, I guess two reasons for the fail.

Defense - Fail
Very close to a pass for me, but just not good enough in the end. Looking at the same rim and 3 stat from shot quality. South Carolina got 91% of their shots at the rim or from 3 in this game. They typically get 84%. So Georgetown just did a really bad job of forcing them into bad shots and allowed them to get to the rim and kick for open threes. They also really struggled against GG Jackson in the second half. That’s not inherently a problem because he is really-really good, but at a certain point, you have to either stop him or not get beat by both him and Meetchie Johnson (who is decidedly less good). They tried zone late in the second, which I think helped, but they needed to go to that sooner.

Coaching - Fail
I am also going to grade coaching P/F, and boy, was it a fail in, and after, this one. Not playing Denver Anglin when you desperately need three-point shooting is just an ongoing problem. But the weird offense/defense substitution with him coming in for 30 seconds on the defensive end is just baffling.

After-time-out sets are typically a good way to judge coaching. Basically, the theory is the first play after a time out, the coach is setting up something specific that they think is most likely to be successful. It’s pretty intuitive and would not shock you to learn that Georgetown is not particularly good in ATO sets. In this game. Georgetown had 13 ATO possessions, they scored .750 points per possession on those. South Carolina had 17 for .813 points per possession. That’s getting beat pretty substantially. The switch to zone when GG Jackson was absolutely destroying you in the second half was a good decision, but it came way too late, in my estimation.

And then there are the post-game comments. I encourage you to listen to the full comments. But, yeah, I didn’t like it.

Next Up
Georgetown faces its last winnable game - if you believe KenPom, ShotQuality and Vegas. Georgetown is expected to be an underdog in all remaining games after their Wednesday showdown with the 200-ranked Siena Saints. The problem? Siena might be pretty good. They already beat Seton Hall and Florida St. Neither team are juggernauts but well…Georgetown.

Siena profiles as just a solid team across the board. They do one thing exceptionally but don’t do it a lot. They shoot 38% from three. That’s 25th in CBK. They don’t take a ton of three’s though. That’s pretty much the nightmare matchup for Georgetown. If Siena can continue to shoot a high percentage on the higher volume that Georgetown is going to give up; watch out.

My prediction? I don’t like this one at all. I think Georgetown goes down 74-68.