This feels like rock bottom. Again.
With Dikembe Mutombo courtside and Georgetown looking at its best chance to notch its first Big East win of the season, the Hoyas were embarrassed by a shorthanded DePaul in Chicago, 82-74. The Hoyas have lost 12 straight games dating back to December 15.
DePaul dressed 7 scholarship players, as leading scorer and rebounder Javon Freeman-Liberty (21.1 ppg) and Javan Johnson were both out. It didn’t matter, as DePaul rode a 26-0 second half run to sprint away with the win. DePaul’s David Jones also notched the program’s first-ever triple-double (22 pts, 14 rebounds, 10 assists).
Yes, there was a 26-0 run. The game was tied 49-49 at the 11:44 mark, and the Hoyas gave up 26 straight points without scoring until the 3:51 mark. That’s 7:53 without a point, while giving up 26. DePaul hit 5 3’s on the run (7 total in the second half). Inept offense was coupled with bad defense for this stretch, and the Hoyas were handicapped by a coaching error that didn’t help matters.
Coach Patrick Ewing called Georgetown’s first timeout just 1:23 into the second half, leaving them with only 1 timeout for the rest of the half (this is a rule in college basketball). Ewing used the team’s final remaining timeout with the Hoyas down 60-49 midway through the fateful run with 8:44 left, but it was too little, too late. Having an extra timeout to attempt to stop the bleeding when the deficit was not in double-digits may have helped matters.
Georgetown provided various signs of life the first 28 minutes of the game. The Hoyas had a 19-7 lead in the first half and were buoyed by 12 first-half points from Donald Carey and better-than-usual defense to start the game. Georgetown held a 31-30 lead at halftime, even with Aminu Mohammed shooting 0-8 from the floor and having 5 turnovers. There was some hope. Then DePaul went off.
Georgetown’s leading scorers were Kaiden Rice (24 pts, 8-13 3pt), Mohammed (16 pts, 10 rebounds), and Carey (12 pts).
There are various adjustments that could at least be attempted in the remaining 8 games. How about a zone defense? Can Tyler Beard play a lot more (Dante Harris was -23 in tonight’s game)? Can Kobe Clark or others who have not played give you some good minutes down the stretch?
There’s not much left to say at this point in the season. I feel bad for the players who work hard and want to win. There are 8 games left and 7 of them are against probable tournament teams. It’s obvious to this point that the coaching staff is not putting the players in a position to be competitive. The remaining games look daunting on paper. The lede here was “this feels like rock bottom”. For the sake of Coach Ewing and the program, I hope it was.
The Hoyas next two games are against Creighton (14-8, 6-5 in Big East play), as they return to action at Capital One Arena on Saturday at Noon.