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Game Grades: Hoyas Improve in Loss to Champs

Does avoiding a blowout to #1 UConn count as progress?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 14 Georgetown at UConn Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This was a weird game. It felt like your Georgetown Hoyas were simultaneously playing horribly and well. Despite UConn shooting fireballs from three, they were in the game (down less than 10) for much of it.

How did everyone look?

Supreme Cook - B

18pts, 5-7 71% FG, 8-13 FT, 13 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 31 MIN

Honestly, I have no idea how to grade Supreme in this game. I think you could make convincing arguments for anything from a D+ to an A. On the positive side, this was his best offensive game of the year. He was literally their only offense early in this game, scoring their first 10 points. He’s only shot three or four of them, but he hasn’t missed on that little 8-foot pull-up jumper and hit one again today. That’s a nice shot for him. He was tough and engaged when it seemed like very few Hoyas were. On the other hand, he fouled himself out of this game with more than 6 minutes to go. And I do mean that he fouled himself out of this game. His final series featured him getting a double tech after getting in the face of a UConn player who fouled him hard (you can hear the conversation on the broadcast if you’re interested). That wasn’t an issue. It was a dirty play, and he had a right to take exception. The next possession down, he lines up a UConn player on a rebound and just shoves him directly in the back to pick up his 5th. I genuinely have no idea what he was doing except that he must have just been done. After that, the Hoyas really had no shot (not that they had an opening before). You could again take that as a positive or negative for Supreme. There were a couple of the defensive breakdowns that I’ve talked about on here, and that, plus sitting out the last 6 minutes of this game, are why I ultimately came down with a lower grade. But he was genuinely good offensively in this game, and at times, he was great. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

Dontrez Styles - C

11pts, 2-7 28% FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-6 FT, 3 REB, 0 TO, 31 MIN

He does a great job of getting good shots and did so again in this one. He just couldn’t get a shot to fall. He missed a couple of layups and an open three. He had a really nice drive early on after attacking a UConn closeout. He missed the layup, though probably got fouled, but that’s what I want to see from him. He’s been good at attacking closeouts this year, but he’s settled for a lot of mid-range jumpers. He knocks those down at a high rate, but going all the way to the rim is only going to help make it harder to defend. He has that skillset, he just needs to use it more.

Ismael Massoud - D

4pts, 0-2, 0-1 3PT, 4-4 FT, 5 REB, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 32 MIN

Georgetown had it down to 6 with 12 minutes left in the second half. Massoud had the most wide-open-three opportunity you’ll ever see from a nice drive and kick from Epps. Ish missed it so badly that I think it hit the backboard first. To me, that looks like a confidence and rhythm thing. Maybe the hand is still bothering him. Maybe he’s just off. Whatever it is, he needs to find the answers quick.

Jayden Epps - C

16pts, 5-19 26% FG, 0-5 3PT, 6-9 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 37 MIN

The field goal percentage says it all. He had a really rough offensive game. He missed a handful of layups and just didn’t look in rhythm at all. It’s hard to look beyond that, but I thought his on-ball defense was OK. One thing I’ve noticed is he is frequently looking to split defenders when he is doubled. He did it again in this one and got stripped. Those are unnecessary turnovers. Just pass it out of the double and cut.

Rowan Brumbraugh - NO GRADE

0pts, 7 MIN

Rowan was benched in the second half of this one. He hasn’t been effective recently, and it came to a head in this game. He had two wide-open shots on one possession in the first 2 minutes of this game. They were good shots. He followed that possession with a somewhat ill-advised layup attempt through traffic. That was not as good of a shot. I wonder how much of his struggles right now are related to confidence. His entire day might have changed if he made just one of those three. Those are the ups and downs you expect from a Freshman. It will be interesting to see if Coach Cooley goes back to him against Xavier or inserts Heath back into the starting lineup. I’d like to see him stick with Rowan for the benefit of both players, but Rowan is very much in development mode, which can be rough sometimes.

Jay Heath - B

13pts, 4-8 50% FG, 2-4 50% 3PT, 3-4 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, 31 MIN

This might have been Jay’s best game this year. He’s looked better the past two games, and I thought he was the Hoyas’ most consistent contributor in this game. He has been more under control on the offensive end. Defensively, he was active and was communicating well. He hit a couple of threes in the second half that were big shots for them. This Heath helps this team win.

Wayne Bristol Jr. - B-

3pts, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, 31 MIN

Wayne had a good game. Again, it would be great to get him more involved offensively, but that just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. When he does get involved, it looks good. He definitely could look for his shot more, but at a certain point, you have to accept players for what they are and put them in positions to be successful. I think he’s finding that groove right now and contributed again in this one.

Drew Fielder - NO GRADE

2pts, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 15 MIN

I didn’t really notice Drew in this one. He’s been on a tear recently, so he may have been due for a quiet game. Let’s see how he responds against Xavier

Other Grades

Offense - D

This grade is really just about poor shooting. In particular, missed layups. That was the start and end of the offense in this game for me. They missed a boatload of layups and shots at the rim. Both contested and easy ones. They missed 23 of 31 shots in the paint, including 10 of 27 (37%) at the rim. According to Shot Quality, that is only their 3rd worst performance of the season. To state the obvious, that has to improve. The offense ran fine. They were able to get some good looks. They just missed way too many layups. For those who like pain, Shot Quality had this as a 74-73 win for UConn based on the shooting from both teams. That’s kind of what it felt like to me. Georgetown was more in this game than I thought but shot it so poorly it didn’t matter how else they played.

Defense - D-

On the flip side of that, Shot Quality’s expectation of a one-point game is UConn finishing with their best overall three-point percentage of the year, 54% on 13 of 24 and 83% on 5/6 open threes. With those numbers, it’s actually remarkable this was only a 13-point loss. The three-point percentage tends to be more random than we think. There is usually not much a defense can do to make a team shoot better or worse (though previous Georgetown teams have certainly put that to the test). Defenses can absolutely limit three-point attempts, and that’s really what went wrong in this one. On top of that, giving up six open threes to a team that shoots and UConn is a death sentence. 12% of their looks were open threes. They are averaging 11% for the season. You may think that is not a big difference, but it’s massive when it comes to open threes. Their 11% season average ranks them 298 in CBK for the frequency of open threes. 12% would rank 6th. They also have the 2nd ranked open three-shooting percentage in the Nation, so either the gameplan or execution was off because that’s basically the one thing you want to take away.

Next up - Xavier

Xavier is kind of a baffling team. In part because I find them kind of dumb and boring, and I don’t care about Sean Miller. But more so because they are ranked 28th on Kenpom, yet they have only one more win than 175th-ranked Georgetown. They have the 5th toughest schedule in the nation but didn’t have a great non-conference win. They lost to Houston by 6, Purdue by 11, Washington by 3, and Delaware (go Hens!!) by 7. Their signature conference win is their blowout at Providence, but that came after Hopkins went down, and the wheels have come off. They are top 60 in both defense and offense. This is another older-than-average team that tries to play in the paint.

In my season preview I predicted this as a blowout loss for Georgetown. I am not sure we will get run out of the Cintas (whatever that is) center, but I see a close loss. I’d like to see Rowan getting going in this game, and Xavier plays a couple of small guards that he could have some advantages over.