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LINKS: Georgetown’s Massoud Debut and TCU News, too

Hoyas show toughness, but time to experiment has run out

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Your Georgetown Hoyas (5-2) can’t catch a break. In a nonconference schedule that was ostensibly stocked with cupcakes, the Hoyas have been on the brink of crumbling way too many times. Be it Jay Heath’s health, Rowan Brumbaugh’s illness, Dontrez Styles bleeding through two games, or Jayden Epps’ ankle, finger, or eye, getting everyone together has been the biggest hurdle to experimenting with different lineups. Georgetown certainly did not get to ease into the Ed Cooley Era through seven levels of a candy cane forest or a sea of swirly-twirly gum drops. They’re getting pretty elfed up. Facing TCU this week and Syracuse next, it seems like Coppin State (12/12) is the final chance to tune-up the lineups before the conference gauntlet. Still, Hoyas fans have to be happy about getting Ismael Massoud into his first game where he scored 9 points (2-8, 2-5 3PT), made some key free throws (3-4), and showcased some defensive hustle with 4 blocks.

In his 31 minutes, Massoud showed a little rust but generally looked like a poised adult on the floor, which is what you want in your grad transfer. Making some plays on defense always helps a team and his sniper-like reputation did appear to open the floor a bit more against the Merrimack zone.

Wayne Bristol, Jr. contributed quite a bit for the first time this season with 14 points (3-5 FG, 8-11 FTs) in 24 minutes. After a solid summer with Kenner, folks have been clamoring for more time for Bristol. Hopefully he continues to be the effort and energy guy that Cooley infuses at appropriate times.

Perhaps overshadowing Bristol’s play or Massoud’s comeback debut was Merrimack’s coach Joe Gallo complaining about the late technical assessed to his team after his angry towel throw. Gallo submitted that he would not have gotten such a call if he was a more recognizable coach of a bigger program or if the game were on national television in March.

With the anti-Cooley Barstool Sports picking up the story, the conversation expanded to quality of refereeing. The technical foul hurt Merrimack, but it didn’t change possession and there were plenty of chances for the Warriors to pull away. It was a physical, chippy game that was inconsistently called at best. Clark did travel on the jump-stop and a frustrated Gallo did blatantly throw his towel, with arm extension above his head, in front of referees that he knew were fairly temperamental.

Technical fouls have been given for far less animated coach reactions. Showing up a referee is not how you get a call or rally your team. Timing does matter but so does the obvious travel. Throwing things and risking a technical foul is not something a coach should do with 1:39 left in the game.

If Merrimack’s coach is going to act like that and then complain in a post-game press conference that coaches of bigger programs don’t have those technical called, perhaps Power 6 schools should not offer lucrative buy games to Merrimack and encourage Coach Gallo to schedule his peers more.

Here are the links:

Hoyas Survive 69-67 Against Merrimack Despite Poor Shooting, Injury to Jayden Epps | Thompson’s Towel

The Hoyas found a way to move to 5-2 on the year without star guard Jayden Epps after the sophomore left the game late in the first half with an apparent head injury. Head Coach Ed Cooley said after the game that Epps “got scratched on his eye pretty good” but indicated the injury was not severe.

Georgetown was paced by Bristol’s 14 points, eight of which came from the foul line. Senior center Supreme Cook chipped in with a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double, albeit on just 4-10 shooting. Epps contributed 11 points in just 13 minutes before leaving the game. Sophomore guard Jordan Derkack led the Warriors with 22 points in a team-high 33 minutes. Derkack singlehandedly scored Merrimack’s first 10 points.

The Hoyas were ice-cold from the field, shooting 18-50 (36%) for the game. Junior forward Dontrez Styles had an evening emblematic of the team’s night, putting up just 6 points on 1-6 shooting. The difficult outing snapped Styles’ streak of three straight 20+ point games. Styles also went 1-2 on a late trip to the line with the chance to make it a two-possession game.

Georgetown holds off Merrimack with late surge | FLM

Bristol took control for the Hoyas (5-2) after Jayden Epps was poked in the eye and left the contest three minutes before halftime. Epps, who entered Wednesday leading the Big East with 19.7 points per game, finished with 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting.

Supreme Cook notched his second double-double of the season with his 12-point, 12-rebound outing. Kansas State transfer Ismael Massoud tallied nine points and four blocks in his Georgetown debut after missing the Hoyas’ first six games with a broken hand.

Georgetown shot 28-for-42 from the free-throw line and made 18 of 26 of its attempts after halftime.

Georgetown holds off Merrimack 69-67 with questionable fouls looming large late | The Mack Report

One of the main storylines in the game was the disparity in free throws. Georgetown had 42 attempts from the line, and the Warriors had just 21. Merrimack was called for multiple fouls on three-point shots.

“Georgetown has 9-10 guys who have never played together and they haven’t really seen a defense like ours,” Gallo said. “We knew it would take them some time to figure it out. That’s why I was disappointed with the fouls on threes. We kind of gave it to them.” ...

“It’s a problem when you play these games,” Gallo said. “I’m a 10th of the coach of Dan Hurley or Greg McDermott, but in a Big East game, there’s no way that guy is calling that [technical] foul. And then to not even give me the decency to speak to him after the game?

“That’s why you see upsets in the NCAA Tournament,” Gallo said. “These guys are spoon-fed some calls in non-league games. On a neutral floor, in a national CBS game, with the whole world watching, that guy isn’t calling that foul. I wiped my hands and threw the towel over my shoulder. I’m not the tallest guy. If I throw it low, it ends up not hitting the chair. For him to do that, and take the game out of the kids’ hands, was very unfortunate.”

Shorthanded Hoyas Hold On for 69-67 Win Over Merrimack | GUHoyas

“These games are hard. I’m proud of our men as we continue to overcome a bit of adversity. I thought Merrimack’s zone gave us a lot of problems. We prepared against it for two days; I thought we’d be a little bit better. I had to have an open and honest conversation with our men in the locker room about preparation, about discipline, about toughness, about attention to detail. I think so many times when you take over a program and people are not accustomed to you as a staff, that’s what we were explaining. How important little things are when it comes to preparing to win. The other team has scholarship players, a great coach, and a team that’s coming on the road trying to get a big time win. So I’m proud of our group, we have to continue to get a little bit better, and we have to get healthy. We have a lot of guys banged up, so hopefully by Saturday we’re a little bit better” - Head Coach Ed Cooley

“My teammates were finding me in the right spots. It feels good when you have the whole coaching staff and teammates that believe in you and are pushing you every day to get better. Credit to them for finding me in the right spots and executing from there.” - Senior Wayne Bristol Jr. ...

Georgetown returns to action on Saturday, December 2 when they host TCU at Capital One Arena as part of the BIG EAST - Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff at GU’s downtown home is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on FS1 with John Fanta calling the play-by-play and Nick Bahe providing analysis. The radio call of Rich Chvotkin, in his 50th season as the Voice of the Hoyas, can be heard locally on The Team 980 and on the SiriusXM app.

Preview: at Georgetown | Go Frogs

- TCU (6-0) faces its first road test of the season on Saturday with a game at Georgetown (5-2), part of the BIG EAST/ Big 12 Battle. The game at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. will air at 4:30 p.m. CT. on FS1.

- The Horned Frogs are 2-2 in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle and have won the past two games in the schedule series.

- TCU is 8-3 under Jamie Dixon in arenas where an NBA team calls home and is 1-0 in Capital One Arena.

- TCU has won its first road game of the season in each of the last seven seasons or ever since Dixon was hired.

- The Horned Frogs are 6-0 for the first time since the 2017-18 season when they were 12-0.

- TCU’s remaining strength of schedule rank is No. 4 nationally according to ESPN’s BPI.

- TCU has won its games by an average of 29.7 points per game, which ranks third nationally for scoring margin.

- The Horned Frogs are led by JaKobe Coles’ 15.3 points per game which ranks 11th in the Big 12.

- Preseason All-Big 12 forward Emanuel Miller is averaging 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.

- Micah Peavy has scored in double-figures in each of the Frogs’ six games. He’s averaging 13.2 points.

- Coles ranks fifth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (60.7) and Peavy ranks sixth (59.4).

- Jameer Nelson Jr. leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with 3.2 steals per game.

- TCU leads the nation with 30.5 fastbreak points per game.

- TCU ranks second nationally (Kansas) in assists with 23.0 per game and shooting percentage at 53.7 percent.

Horned Frogs Take Down Huskies, 101-64 | Go Frogs

Senior guard Jameer Nelson Jr. recorded his sixth-career double-double to lead the TCU men’s basketball team to a 101-64 win over Houston Christian Monday night in Schollmaier Arena.

The Delaware transfer had 15 points and a career-high 10 assists for his first double-double as a Horned Frog. Nelson was 5-9 from the field and made one 3-pointer. He formed a back court duo with Avery Anderson III that had a combined 15 assists to one turnover on the night with the one coming from Nelson. As a team, TCU (6-0) had a season-low six turnovers and forced HCU (0-5) into 24 turnovers.

Miller Named Preseason All-Big 12 | Go Frogs

TCU senior forward Emanuel Miller was named Preseason All-Big 12 Conference on Thursday by the league’s coaches.

Miller became the fourth Horned Frog to be named one of the top five players in the Big 12, prior to the start of the season. Mike Miles Jr. was on the team last season, Desmond Bane was recognized in 2019 and Vladimir Brodziansky was on the 2017 preseason team.

Miller returns the second-most points and rebounds in the league after averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. He shot 50 percent from the field, which ranked second in the Big 12. The Scarburough, Ontario native recorded three double-doubles and led TCU in scoring six times and in rebounding 10 times. Miller scored a season-high 23 points last season against Kansas State. At 6-7, Miller was TCU’s top 3-point shooter at 39.2 percent.

Men’s Basketball: TCU remains unbeaten with win over Houston Christian | Frogs O’ War (SB Nation)

The nonconference schedule has been a breeze so far for the TCU men’s basketball team, which remained undefeated on Monday evening with a 101-64 win over Houston Christian at the Schollmaier Arena. Jameer Nelson Jr. recorded a double-double to lead the Horned Frogs (6-0, 0-0 Big 12) over the Huskies, scoring 15 points and dishing out a season-high 10 assists while adding five rebounds. It’s the second time this season that TCU has scored over 100 points in the game. The Horned Frogs tipped off the 2023-24 season with an emphatic 108-75 victory against the Southern Jaguars in mid-November.

Emanuel Miller enjoyed one of his best games of the season on Monday, scoring a team-high 19 points while anchoring the defense with three steals and two blocked shots. Micah Peavy followed with an all-around performance that included 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Horned Frogs, who shot over 58 percent from the field and went 18-for-22 from the free-throw line. TCU torched the Huskies with their fast tempo, scoring 36 fast break points and 34 points off turnovers. The Horned Frogs forced 24 turnovers while holding Houston Christian to roughly 39 percent shooting in the first half.

JaKobe Coles continued his strong start to the season on Monday, scoring 12 points with six rebounds for the Horned Frogs, who saw 11 different players enter the scoring column in the win. Avery Anderson III led the TCU bench against the Huskies, compiling nine points along with five assists and a team-leading four steals. Trey Tennyson added eight bench points for the Horned Frogs, who carved up the Houston Christian defense for 60 points in the paint.