Thursday, January 31, 2008

Analysis: Georgetown 74, St. John's 42

Better late than never, as they say.

I've got a source working on getting me the individual player stats for the St. John's game by half, but for now I'll just post the tempo-free box score:

Offense Defense

1st Half 2nd Half Total 1st Half 2nd Half Total
Pace 30 34 64

Eff. 135.9 96.6 115.0 46.4 81.9 65.3

eFG% 60.3 58.3 59.4 12.5 27.4 22.3
TO% 16.6 32.2 24.9 43.1 17.6 29.5
OR% 55.6 28.6 43.8 33.3 46.2 41.5
FTA/FGA 44.8 37.5 41.5 81.3 54.8 63.8
FTM/FGA 20.7 20.8 20.8 62.5 35.5 44.7

Assist Rate 66.7 69.2 67.9 50.0 50.0 50.0
Block Rate 5.0 18.8 11.1 30.0 13.0 18.2
Steal Rate 3.3 11.7 7.8 23.2 5.9 14.0

2FG% 50.0 68.8 58.3 20.0 30.4 27.3
3FG% 55.6 25.0 41.2 0.0 12.5 7.1
FT% 46.2 55.6 50.0 76.9 64.7 70.0

The 1st half almost defies description - the difference in efficiency between the teams (Efficiency Margin) was 89.5, which means that Georgetown was scoring 0.90 points per possession more than St. John's. Only the 2nd half against Radford was more lopsided than this, and keep in mind that Pomeroy rates the Red Storm 127th of 341 teams after this game, while Radford is 310/341.

Other points:
  • The 56% OR Rate was the best half on the offensive glass this season. This, more than the customarily high eFG% and low TO % seems to have boosted the Hoyas 1st half offense.
  • The contrapositive was occurring at the other basket, as St. John's couldn't make a shot and didn't get many attempts, as they committed an amazing 13 turnovers on 30 possessions.
  • After seemingly being licked, ugly free-throw shooting returned in this game. Excluding Austin Freeman's 6-8 FTs, the rest of the team shot a woeful 5-14 at the line. While it's expected to lay the blame on Vernon Macklin (2-5 FTs), this also was due to Jeremiah Rivers ugly shooting night (0-3 3FG, 1-5 FTs).

Ray Floriani came through and sent in a report from the game, along with pictures and a Hoyatalk celebrity sighting!

NEW YORK CITY – Sixth ranked Georgetown visited St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. On paper this looked like it could be all Georgetown. To date though, the results in the Big East serve as proof virtually anything can happen. Following is a summary broken down by media timeouts.

1st Half
20:00 – 15:48
St.John’s shows a little zone and some man Hoyas patiently set up and see what is available. First few minutes give no indication of what is in store.
6-2 Georgetown

15:48 – 11:45
Austin Freeman steals the ball and goes coast to coast. Jeremiah Rivers hits a jumper and suddenly it’s 10-2 Hoyas. Coach John Thompson III is looking to get out and run. St. John’s is running some nice sets off screens and dribble penetrations but cannot finish as Georgetown’s size inside is a factor.
15-2 Georgetown

11:45 – 7:54
Jonathan Wallace drains a three just under 10 to go to increase the margin to 18-3. Time out St. John’s. The boos start during the T.O. and "Fire Norm" chants slowly emerge.
24-3 Georgetown

7:54 – 3:54
Georgetown starts subbing frequently. Rivers gets an MSG cheer of approval on a nice penetration. Both clubs are in man to man defenses. Justin Burrell gets St. John’s first field goal of the game, an eight footer from the right of the lane, with 4 and a half minutes left. The mock cheers react to Burrell’s shot.
31-7 Georgetown

3:53 – 0:00 - It’s still the first half but both clubs have gone deep to their bench. Thompson puts the brakes on transition but still runs some nice backdoor series out of the Princeton offense. I'm impressed with Vernon Macklin who is getting appreciable minutes this first half. At the buzzer, a St. John’s half court prayer rims and goes out. It’s been that kind of night for Norm Roberts and company.
41-14 Georgetown

It’s time to get stats and grab a few pictures. Notice a good number of Hoya fans in attendance. Meet one who visits the blogs (a fan of Hoya Prospectus) and tells me he signs on forums as Jahidihoya. We talk about the days when this matchup sold out MSG. Now, St. John’s is struggling and the listed attendance of 9,924 includes a good number out to see nationally ranked Georgetown. Jahidihoya notes that as much as it’s great to be cruising on to an easy win there’s a sadness. “St. John’s is a small Catholic, urban school,” he said. “You like to see them competitive and it’s good for the Big East.”

Get back to my spot on the press row baseline and sitting behind me is a young woman with three bottles of beer. “Triple fisted?” I ask. “No,” she says laughing. “I’m holding a few for friends.” No matter. If you are a Georgetown fan, it’s time to celebrate, or a St. John’s fan, drown your sorrows.

A quick glance shows St. John’s is 2 of 16 from the field. That’s 12.5%.

2nd Half
20:00 – 15:45
Roy Hibbert gets three field goals early. One off a nice backdoor cut. Another where he tips a pass to the post right into the hoop.
Georgetown 51-14

15:48 – 11:06
St. John’s shows some 2-3 matchup zone. Hibbert and Macklin set up in a double post zone offense alignment. Looks good and is very effective.
Georgetown 56-18

11:06 – 7:57
Patrick Ewing jr. sets a high post screen for a cutter who gets the pass then dishes to an open Macklin. It’s a blowout but watching the Hoyas execute is a thing of beauty. St. John’s still keeps working. During time out a fan hits a free throw and a three pointer as part of a promotion. One writer on press row remarks "get him a uniform."
Georgetown 60-25

7:57 – 3:30
St.John’s goes back to man. Hibbert goes to the bench finishing with 11 points, 6 rebounds in 19 minutes. Burrell is active inside for St. John’s but the Red Storm are even missing the close to the basket ‘gimmes’. Fans start to head to the exits.
Georgetown 65-33

3:30 – 0:00
Still admire Georgetown ball movement and succession of passes that leads to good looks. Anthony Mason Jr. goes in and dunks on successive possessions which gives St. John’s fans something to cheer about. Bryon Jenson, a 6-6 reserve forward, banks a three at the buzzer for the Hoyas. It’s the exclamation point on a long evening for St. John’s.
Final: Georgetown 74-42

In post game interviews Thompson talks about the Hoya defense. How pleased he was with the effort and "how our guys were attentive, helped each other and had a great understanding of stopping what they (St. John’s) were trying to accomplish.”

The Hoya mentor said he expected St. John’s to make a run but it never materialized. “Their shots weren’t dropping,” Thompson said of St. John’s, “but that happens to all of us on a given night.”

Red Storm coach Norm Roberts repeated on several occasions the common mantra of taking the blame, getting ready to play and having to get his team to play tougher. On the 10 of 47 (21%) shooting, Roberts said, “we work on shooting 35 minutes a day but Georgetown is long, aggressive and may be the best defensive team in the country.” Few would argue Roberts’ last point.

Hoyas improve to 17-2 (7-1) while St. John’s is now 7-12 (1-7).

Vernon Macklin paces the Hoyas with 18 points while Burrell and Mason Jr. lead St. John’s with 9 points. The Red Storm have almost twice as many turnovers (19) as field goals (10).

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