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Game Grades: Hobbled Hoyas Outlast Feisty Tigers

A banged-up Georgetown held off Jackson State

GUHoyas

No Ish? Fine. Rowan out sick, and Donovan Grant down with a concussion? No problem. How about a one-footed Jay Heath or one-handed Jayden Epps? All good. The Thanksgiving Holiday was seemingly rough for the Georgetown Hoyas, who were down to 8 active scholarship players and maybe 4.5 healthy ones. Your Hoyas tamed a feisty Tiger’s team and put them away late in what can certainly be described as a tough win.

Supreme Cook - B

7pts, 1-3 33% FG, 5-7 FT, 7 REB, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 26 MIN

Solid, if unspectacular game from Supreme. He was in the trenches and taking some shots from Jackson St. He was also delivering some shots and things got chippy at times. He definitely doesn’t back down from anyone. I still would like to see him be a better positional rebounder rather than just relying on his first jump. He really needs to be averaging double digit rebounds right now and he isn’t, hence the Hoyas getting beat up on the boards. He went 5-7 from the line which is a great improvement.

Dontrez Styes - A

22pts, 9-13 69% FG, 2-5 40% 3PT, 2-3 FT, 5 REB, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 36 MIN

I continue to be really impressed by Trez. He is playing with a ton of confidence. I really don’t have any specific analysis of his game against Jackson St. other than that, he was just excellent…again. So, let’s look at what he is doing early this season as a whole. He is top ten among Big East players in basically every offensive metric, including my personal favorite, Points Per Possession. He is 7th at 1.080 PPP on par with names like Clingan, Kalkbrenner, Spencer, and Karaban. You get the idea. He is scoring both efficiently and a lot. And perhaps most impressive - he has 3 turnovers on the year. All of those came against Rutgers. Saturday was his third straight game without a single turnover. He is top ten in turnover percentage among BE players and the only guys better than him with a higher usage rate are Pierre Brooks and Justin Moore. In other words, he has the ball more than most other guys who turn it over as infrequently as he does. Just a joy to watch right now.

Wayne Bristol Jr. - B

11pts, 4-8 50% FG, 1-4 25% 3PT, 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 TO, 32 MIN

I thought Wayne was really good stepping into the starting lineup for a sick Rowan Brumbaugh. He did a lot of the typical WBJ things - hustle plays, good defense, and general energy. He took the opportunity to get a few more shots up and looked pretty comfortable despite only going 1-4 from three. He was opportunistic in his shots and seems to be looking for those catch and shoot threes, which I think is right. I’d like to see him knock those down more consistently, but it’s hard to argue with his overall effort. 2 rebounds isn’t enough, in my opinion, particularly as the Hoyas once again struggled on the glass.

Jayden Epps - A

34pts, 10-18 55% FG, 7-9 77% 3PT, 7-11 FT, 4 REB, 4 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 36 MIN

He’s just hitting everything right now. He goes for 34 after putting up 31 against American. And he did it with a discolated finger. I think he shot 5-7 from three after the dislocation which is INSANE. He’s shooting 45% from three on the year on almost 8 attempts per game. That’s absurd. I thought his overall game in this one was very solid. Two turnovers as the lead ball handler and with basically one hand is great. And his defense, which has been spotty this year, was by far his best. He seems to be settling in, and it’s fun to watch.

Jay Heath - A

13pts, 5-9 55% FG, 3-6 50% 3PT, 7 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO, 38 MIN

I refuse to give Jay lower than an A simply for the fact that he played 38 minutes on basically one foot and was largely positive. This was just a tough performance from him. He clearly has been struggling with what we now know is turf toe, and he was in varying degrees of hobbled throughout this entire game. Despite that, he managed 13 points and 9 assists and gave them 7 big boards. They don’t win this game without Jay Heath, and I have a ton of respect for how he played through clear pain.

Drew Fielder - B-

1pts, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 18 MIN

Another incredibly solid game for Drew, including a highlight real pass to WBJ on a cut that resulted in a dunk. He’s not scoring yet, but everything else looks really good. He also had an absolutely MONSTER block late that Jay Heath thought was his. Drew just ran down the floor and kept playing, but it was really big.

Cameron Bacote - C-

0pts, 1 AST, 1 TO, 13 MIN

Cam has been a needed piece so far this year, and I think he’s contributed well to this team. This game should be a bit of a check on those calling for him to play more or start. He was not great in his 13 minutes, but they needed a body, and he delivered. When his role expands beyond spot minutes, I think it highlights his ceiling a bit, and that is fine. When he’s in his role, he’s a solid contributor.

Ryan Mutombo - No Grade

0pts, 2 MIN

One of these days, I am going to have to say something about Ryan’s play, but it is not today. He’s not playing a ton right now, and I don’t necessarily think that’s the wrong decision. He needs to focus on his activity when he does get minutes on both ends.

Other Grades

Coaching - A-

I continue to be really pleased with the coaching early in this season. This team was seriously shorthanded and got moreso throughout the game. Jackson St. was coming off a huge win at Missouri and is not as bad as their record. This is a game that Hoyas teams have dropped in the past, but they looked prepared and well organized. I also really noticed their after-time-out (ATO) sets in this one. They scored 1.200 points per possession on 11 ATO opportunities, which is very good. On the year, they are averaging .851 PPP on 74 possessions - in the previous two seasons, they were around .700. It’s just one indicator, but it’s an easy way to judge the overall execution preparedness of a team and coach.

Next up - The Hoyas have a fun week coming up with a Wednesday night matchup against Merrimack followed by a Saturday night tilt against TCU. I’ve had both of these circled on the schedule, as you can read in my season preview. Merrimack is coming off a bad loss to Alabama St but went 18-16 last season and won their conference tournament only to be kept out of the dance due to NCAA rules on teams moving up to D-1. TCU is ranked 30th by Kenpom but has not played a team ranked above 200 yet. They have just been beating up on cupcakes. Can Georgetown catch them napping and punch them in the mouth? Will Ish Massoud make his Hoya debut? Could be a fun week!