Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recap: Notre Dame 69, Georgetown 55

So who do you think is more embarrassed right now, Tarik El-Bashir or John Gasaway?

The Georgetown Hoyas responded to a pair of glowing articles about their extraordinary shooting prowess with a brutal display from behind the arc [4/22] tonight in South Bend, falling to the Fighting Irish 69-55.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Notre Dame         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            33        31        64

Effic.         78.3      93.8      85.8       102.4     113.2     107.6  
eFG%           41.1      51.9      46.3        42.6      48.0      45.2  
TO%            21.1      25.9      23.4        21.1      12.9      17.2  
OR%            28.6      30.8      29.4        38.9      25.0      32.4  
FTA/FGA        25.0       7.7      16.7        51.9      52.0      51.9  
Assist Rate    80.0      61.5      69.6        60.0      80.0      70.0  
Block Rate     21.1      11.8      16.7        13.3       5.9       9.4  
Steal Rate      9.0       9.7       9.4         3.0      16.2       9.4  
2FG%           46.7      70.6      59.4        36.8      35.3      36.1  
3FG%           23.1      11.1      18.2        37.5      50.0      43.8  
FT%            42.9     100.0      55.6        78.6      84.6      81.5

The stats for the game are a bit surprising, in that they belie the impression I took away from the game that Georgetown was beat in about every facet.
  • The Hoyas were just a bit worse shooting from the field in the Lift-off half than the Irish, and were better shooters in the Vesper half.  Overall, the Hoyas actually out-shot Notre Dame.  How?  In spite of going 4/22 [18%] from 3FG for the game, the Hoyas were much better on 2FGs tonight, 19/32 [59%] to 13/36 [36%].
  • Georgetown was more effective inside because they took better shots inside - 15/22 [68%] on dunks, layups and tips versus 4/10 on 2-pt jumpers.  Notre Dame was forced into taking half of their 2FGs as jumpers [4/18, 22%], and only converted half of their layups [9/18].
  • Rebounding was a big concern tonight coming into the game, as the Irish were the third best defensive rebounding team in the nation at tip-off.  Notre Dame did win the battle, but not in any sort of rout [29% vs. 32%].  ND simply grabbed one more offensive rebound than the Hoyas on the same number of opportunities - almost a statistical draw.  The big difference was that the Irish were able to generate more points off of those offensive rebounds [16 to 9], with nine points on second chances in the first half.
  • Turnovers were another interesting story coming into the game, a sort of irresistible force (NDU, at 15.3%, was 2nd from last in TO% forced coming into the game) versus the immovable object (Georgetown gives the ball up on 20.7% of its possessions).  Tonight the object won in a landslide, as the Hoyas managed 15 turnovers on 65 possessions (23%), although only 6 were via Notre Dame steals.  Strangely, the Irish were also generous, as they committed 11 turnovers themselves, above expectation - Notre Dame's TO% on offense was also 15.3% coming in.

So where did the wheels fall off?

Obviously the outside shooting was a big problem, but this wasn't Georgetown's first bad night shooting from outside this season - they went 2/9 vs. Utah State.  But against the Aggies, the Hoyas compensated by pounding the ball inside [35:9 2FGA:3FGA] and got to the line, outscoring Utah St. 20-4 at the stripe.

Not tonight, as Georgetown sent the Irish to the bonus at 9:57 of the first half, and ended up trailing 11-3 in FTM at the break.  It didn't get better in the second half (11-2), but quite a bit of that difference came on futile fouling by the Hoyas late in the game.

    In the end, the combination of a bad night from behind the arc and Karl Hess behind the whistle was the downfall for the Hoyas.

    But it wasn't nearly as bad as you think.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    BE Game of the Night: UConn at Pitt

    The Big East season kicked off tonight on ESPN2 with UConn playing at Pitt.  Since I actually got a chance to watch most of the game, and since the play-by-play data was clean, I decided to run the game through my stats parser.

    A few thoughts after running the numbers:
    • Pitt won the game going away, 78-63, with ~66 possessions played.  Hats off to Ken Pomeroy, who wasn't very far off with his prediction (76-66 in 66 possessions).
    • For UConn, the narrative coming into the game was whether they were worthy of the #4 ranking, or if their reputation was a bit inflated by Kemba Walker's hot outside shooting touch.  The answer appears to be the latter, as Walker struggled from outside tonight [3/11 3FG] while using fully 40% (!) of his team's possessions while he was on the court.
    • A bit more on Walker:  it's easy to rip a guy who scores 31 points on 27 shots and only has 2 assists, but you need to consider the context.  Here is his shooting line for the game, compared to his teammates while he was on the floor:
      .               Pts  2PM-A  3PM-A  FTM-A   eFG%   TS%
      Walker           31   7-16   3-11   8-11    43    48
      Rest of team     27   6-18   1- 7  12-15    30    42
      The fact is that Kemba is actually a rational actor here - he's generally better off shooting than passing, at least for tonight.
    •  If Walker is going to pass, his best options usually are Oriakhi, Lamb and Smith.  Tonight, Oriakhi was plagued with fouls (and lousy defense) and couldn't stay on the floor while Roscoe Smith couldn't make a shot (much to the schadenfreude-licious delight of Hoya nation).  Jeremy Lamb was about the only Husky that you could point to and say "Kemba should have passed him the ball more."
    • Pittsburgh, meanwhile, looks as good as advertised.  What I was really impressed with tonight was how well they shared the ball.  The top six players in possessions played (5 starters plus Woodall) all used between 20 and 25% of available possessions, and only Gilbert Brown had much of an off night on offense.
    • The Panthers won in spite of being out-rebounded by the Huskies, and only gathering (gasp) 41% of their own missed shots. Only Texas was previously able to pull off that trick against Pitt this season, and the rebounding margin [40.7% - 47.6% = -6.9%] was much worse tonight.  Pitt countered by making their shots, and once they stopped turning the ball over in the 2nd half their #1 ranked offense got rolling.
    • I realize he doesn't shoot much, but why doesn't Dante Taylor get more burn?
    All the gory stats products after the jump

    Big East preview

    The Big East conference season kicks off tonight with a match-up of top-10 teams as the UConn Huskies head to the Peterson Event Center to take on the Pitt Panthers.

    The Hoyas don't tip off their conference slate until Wednesday with a tough road game at Notre Dame, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to run through a few of the normal features we run at the end of the pre-conference season, all in one big blog post.

    First, Alan joined a number of fellow Big East bloggers in answering a series of questions over at the east coast bias.  Parts one, two and three have already posted, with at least two more to follow this week.  And VBTN takes a look at Big East home/road splits so far in the respective non-conference schedules.

    One bit of eye candy we haul out each season around this time is the Big East aerial, which shows the relative offensive and defensive strengths of all of the conference teams right as conference play gets rolling (2008-9 link; 2009-10 link).

    Here's how the teams stand right now:

    You'll need to read this post to understand everything in this figure, but simply:  upper-right = good; lower-left = bad.

    Some observations:
    • Pitt is currently rated as the best team in the Big East, and their doing it mostly with their offense.  This isn't a surprise, as the last great team at Pitt (2009) was also dependent upon their offense.  Right now, Pitt's adjusted OEff is actually higher than the '09 team, mostly due to an obscene 48% off. rebounding rate.  They're also turning the ball over less this season.
    • Pitt, Georgetown and Notre Dame are the most dependent upon their offense, while So. Florida is the only team with a big defensive lean.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    The Christmas-y Non-Conference Review

    Twelve under normal.  The Hoyas shot about 12% less in eFG% in the loss to Temple than they normally do. Temple's size inside had the Hoyas' shooting 14% below average from 2 and the extended zone kept the three-point shooters from going off. It was a tough non-conference schedule, but it was also a somewhat short (in height) non-conference schedule. The Big East may test the Hoyas' ability to score against size.

    Eleven center rebounds.  Georgetown centers are combining for 11 rpg, with both of them sporting solid defensive rebounding numbers but really bolstered by Julian Vaughn's strong offensive rebounding (5th in the country in Off. Reb %).

    Ten players playing.  For the first time in III's era, the Hoyas have got themselves a legitimate ten player rotation. This seems almost crazy when coming from a coach whose first team played six and a half and went to a Final Four playing mostly seven.

    Nine good men passing.  Nine players have an assist rate of 11% or higher on the team, meaning that nearly everyone who plays can and will share the ball. Note to our PF/SF duo of Hollis Thompson and Jerelle Benimon -- catch up!

    Eight treys a dropping.  Georgetown is averaging 8.4 threes made a game, meaning that at this pace the team would break the season record of 269 in their 33rd game.

    Seven Big East rankings.  Seven Big East teams rank in Pomeroy's Top 27, with two more in that at-large conversation (Notre Dame at 32 and Marquette at 40). It's worth remembering that despite ranking GU 8th, Pomeroy projects a 12-6 BE record - for the the 8th best team in the country.

    Six -ty eight plus pace. Can we recognize how much John Thompson has evolved his offense? More than most coaches in six years, and that's with a team supposedly locked into its system. Georgetown gets over 68 possessions per game this year; in Georgetown's slowest year under JTIII, the Hoyas didn't hit 59. That's doesn't seem like a big change but it is.

    Five Gaaaaaaames at Hoooooome.  Is there another major conference team that has played only five home games in its preseason schedule?

    Four awesome shooters. The Hoyas have four perimeter players with eFG% over 63% (Austin Freeman, Vee Sanford, Hollis, Jason Clark). The lowest 3pt % in the bunch - Clark's - is still at 45%. When Chris Wright, shooting 40% from 3 and 78% from the line, is your "bad" shooter, your team can shoot.

    Third place at twos.  We knew the Hoyas could shoot, but without a proven low-post threat, could they score inside the arc? How about the 3rd best percentage in the country? Some decent low post play plus a whole lot of sweet-looking assisted layups have led to this.  This is why they're #1 in eFG%.

    Two better Os.  Only Duke and Pittsburgh have more efficient offenses so far this year, according to Ken Pomeroy.

    And One stat to watch as they play.  Defensive efficiency. Relatively speaking, the Hoyas are an all O, no D team right now with a defensive efficiency ranked 57th. But the Final Four team wasn't particularly special on D going into the conference slate; a conference slate they started 1-2.

    Merry Christmas!

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 86, Memphis 69

    Georgetown went down to Memphis and put up a big second half to pull away last night, 86-69.

    Someone else's highlight clips

    This was probably a bad game for Memphis's Coach Pastner to schedule if he was interested in getting a win:  bringing in a disciplined team of upperclassmen, led by two senior McD All-Americans, to face his talented but very raw group just wasn't going to end well.  But as a teaching point ("That was a backdoor cut.  That was another backdoor cut . . . Don't do a chin-up on the rim when you're down by 10."), it could pay dividends for the Tigers down the road.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Visitor                         Home      
    .            Georgetown                      Memphis         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            35        36        71
    Effic.        115.6     127.7     121.7       104.1      91.6      97.6  
    eFG%           58.1      64.8      61.2        45.5      42.4      43.9  
    TO%            17.3      13.9      15.6        23.1      16.7      19.8  
    OR%            26.7      33.3      29.6        50.0      31.8      40.5  
    FTA/FGA        22.6      59.3      39.7        18.2      24.2      21.2  
    Assist Rate    68.8      41.2      54.5        53.8      61.5      57.7  
    Block Rate     20.0      18.2      19.1        16.0       4.5      10.6  
    Steal Rate     14.5       8.3      11.3        14.5       8.3      11.3  
    2FG%           48.0      72.7      59.6        36.0      50.0      42.6  
    3FG%           66.7      20.0      45.5        50.0      18.2      31.6  
    FT%            57.1      68.8      65.2       100.0      62.5      78.6

    Georgetown's offense is starting to remind me of a football team.  The two main weapons (outside shooting and back cuts) are like passing and running schemes, and one can be used to set up the other.  Last night, the Hoyas started with the aerial assault, shooting 4/6 from behind the arc during the Lift-off half and forcing the Tigers to come out and guard.  That was likely the adjustment made during halftime, so Georgetown started attacking the basket.  Memphis was able to block 4 of 15 inside shots in the first half, but only 1 of 15 inside shots in the second.

    Memphis was able to keep in contact in the first half with offensive rebounding [10 on 20 opportunities, resulting in 8 points] and outside shooting [4/8 3FG].  It was basically a two-man team:  Will Barton and Will Coleman were a combined 7/13 2FG and 2/4 3FG for 22 points, with 4 OR / 6 DR.  The rest of Memphis chipped in 14 points.

    As the lead grew in the Vesper half, the Tiger offense began to lose discipline and settled for 3FGs [2/11].  Meanwhile, Coach Thompson's obvious adjustment at halftime - tightening up the defensive glass - kinda, sorta worked.  Memphis was able to grab only 7 of their 22 misses, but still managed to generate 10 second-chance points].  Unfortunately for the Tigers, that was about all that was working.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 99, Loyola MD 75

    Georgetown put together a solid offensive and defensive first half today to jump out to a 50-27 halftime lead against a Loyola Greyhound team with no answers, and cruised to victory after that.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      Loyola         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            35        39        74
    Effic.        144.0     125.3     133.5        77.8     122.7     101.2  
    eFG%           87.0      63.3      73.6        33.3      58.8      48.3  
    TO%            17.3      17.9      17.5        31.7      12.8      21.6  
    OR%            12.5      33.3      26.1        50.0      33.3      41.0  
    FTA/FGA        69.6      50.0      58.5        66.7      38.2      50.0  
    Assist Rate    61.1      75.0      67.6        85.7      64.7      70.8  
    Block Rate     14.3       8.7      10.8         0.0      12.5       6.5  
    Steal Rate     17.3      10.2      13.5         5.8      10.2       8.1  
    2FG%           93.3      62.5      77.4        35.7      47.8      43.2  
    3FG%           50.0      42.9      45.5        20.0      54.5      38.1  
    FT%            62.5      73.3      67.7        68.8      61.5      65.5

    The game should really be treated in two parts:  the competitive portion and extended garbage time.

    The question is when did the Hoyas call off the dogs?  Was it after the first media time out of the Vesper half, when Chris Wright sat down for Markel Starks?  With 13:30 left in the game, when Jason Clark and Austin Freeman grabbed some pine and made room for Vee Sanford?  Or perhaps after the next media time out, when Moses Ayegba got off the bench for some extended burn?

    Regardless, one should take the second half stats with an enormous grain of salt.  Despite the final score, Georgetown actually was putting on a strong defensive effort with the starters playing, and the offense was really humming along until the turnover bug caught the second-line players.

    This was an important game of the team, in the sense that it represents almost the last chance for the deep bench players to get some time game time and impress the coaching staff enough to remain an option once conference play starts.
    • There wasn't a lot of team defense on display late in the game (shocker!), but Ayegba's two blocks and a steal looked good enough to me to suggest that he'd be a great change-of-pace look against the bigger Big East front lines.  His free throw stroke looks sweet too (I'm looking at you, Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Sims).
    • For the season, Sanford is now shooting 8/11 on 3FG.  This isn't sustainable (he shot 3/13 on 3FG last season), but I've got to think he's done enough to steal 6-8 minutes a game from the starters.
    • Of the players with meaningful court time, Starks has the lowest ORating and the worst Net Points stat.  He's also next season's starting point guard, by default - I don't want to see Jason Clark trying to dribble through a press.  How the coaching staff balances his development with Chris Wright's minutes should be interesting.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    The Back-up Quarterbacks

    The argument for the bench players.

    Henry Sims versus Julian Vaughn

    Copyright AP 2010
    Is Henry Sims even the backup quarterback anymore? Yes, Vaughn is averaging more minutes right now, but Henry played more versus Appalachian State, Utah State, Missouri, and NC State. That's four of the last six games, excepting only Temple and Asheville.

    Vaughn does do several things better than Henry. He obviously has a better low post game from a footwork and moves standpoint.

    He's a superior rebounder right now, which actually shocked me a bit. I'd definitely say he's a better offensive rebounder (even after accounting for all those he gets off his own misses), and defensively, he's held his own as well, upping his game recently.

    I think most people would be surprised to know that he also doesn't turn over the ball as much as Henry does on a percentage basis. Neither one is exactly Roy Hibbert there -- they are both a liability. But Julian has been less of one.

    Still, Henry's been just as effective offensively. Mostly because he's a superior passer and a better shooter. Julian is shorter and isn't a great jumper, so he gets blocked/misses a lot of close in shots. Henry doesn't have as much a problem with those.

    Perhaps the biggest advantage for Henry over Julian offensively has nothing to with Henry or Julian's efficiency, but rather the focus. For some reason, when Julian is on the floor, the ball is fed to him (26% poss, 22% shooting). In fact, when Julian is on the floor, he's the #1 option.

    Julian's a good player. But he's often the worst offensive option on the floor. That's not a knock; it's speaking to the abilities of our perimeter players. He shouldn't be using more possessions than everyone else.

    Henry, in contrast, isn't taking up possessions nearly as much (16% poss, 14% shooting). Which doesn't make him a better offensively player -- he's likely worse -- but it might makes the team better on offense when he's on the floor, depending on who is out there with him. In fact, one could argue Julian is better suited to play with the bench players as there's a greater need for an offensive player.

    Defensively, Julian blocks significantly more shots, but it's my impression that he's not as much of a presence down low. No one publishes stats on altered shots (or really could), but subjectively, our interior defense seems to look worse with him on the floor.

    As evidence of this, I give you the lineup work Brian did here.

    There have been a ton of lineups, which means small samples abound, but here's some comparable lineups and their D efficiencies:
    Lineup                      w Vaughn   w Sims
    CW - AF - JC - HT              94         91
    CW - AF - JC - JB             111         87
    CW - AF - JC - NL              89         75 

    Those are the six lineup with 28 defensive possessions played or more. The next highest lineup was only on the floor for 18 possessions, and that seems a little too low to mean anything.

    Vaughn comes out as a superior defender in the net points calculation, which isn't surprising. He blocks more shots and that calculation takes overall team D during the player's time on the floor and allocates based on statistics like those.

    However, when looking at comparable lineups (above), the lineups with Sims are significantly better. Sometimes, this can be due to easier competition, but Sims' time on the floor has often been in tougher games (NC State, Mizzou, Utah State), really only missing on Temple and ODU (who are stronger defensively). In other words, it doesn't seem all that likely that the differences are competition-driven instead of actually being better defense.

    If I had to pick, I'd take Sims defensively.

    Overall, I'd really consider swapping Vaughn and Sims in general. I think there's value in giving more time to Vaughn with the backups - Lubick, Starks, etc. -- who are not offensive creators. Vaughn simply fits with them better with his superior low post moves. Most likely, III is going to continue to do what he's been doing -- playing match-ups -- with Sims' minutes moving steadily upward.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 89, Appalachian St. 60

    In a game where Georgetown ran away from the competition in the second half, the Hoyas beat the Mountaineers today at the Verizon Center, 89-60.

    Someone else's highlights clip.

    Georgetown was able to take advantage of an undersized App. State team by pounding the ball inside and kept one of the nation's top scorers in check, thanks largely to Jason Clark's efforts.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      Appalachian State         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            33        35        68
    Effic.        125.6     136.2     131.1        98.0      79.5      88.4  
    eFG%           54.8      72.4      63.3        52.0      32.3      41.1  
    TO%            15.3      19.9      17.7        24.5      19.9      22.1  
    OR%            40.0      44.4      41.7        26.7      39.1      34.2  
    FTA/FGA        22.6      27.6      25.0        32.0      38.7      35.7  
    Assist Rate    86.7      66.7      75.0        45.5      44.4      45.0  
    Block Rate     12.5      11.8      12.1         4.5       0.0       2.1  
    Steal Rate     24.5      17.0      20.6         6.1      14.2      10.3  
    2FG%           50.0      80.8      66.7        43.8      41.2      42.4  
    3FG%           44.4       0.0      33.3        44.4      14.3      26.1  
    FT%           100.0      75.0      86.7        75.0      66.7      70.0

    The story of the game for Georgetown was points in the paint [GU 60, App St. 22].  But it wasn't simply a matter of the Hoya big men running wild:  Julian Vaughn finished with 8 pts, Henry Sims with 6 and Nate Lubick with 11.  Rather, it was the quality of shots that keyed that ridiculous advantage for Georgetown.

    For the game, the Hoyas shot 48 times from inside the arc and only 11 of those were jump shots [4/11].  Instead, Georgetown relentlessly attacked the rim, and was rewarded with 6 dunks and 22/31 shooting on layups and tip-ins.  This was especially true in the Vesper half, where the Hoyas 3/9 on all jump shots (2FGs and 3FGs), but 18/20 (!) from in close.

    Now a bit of that hot shooting was luck, as I recall at least Wright, Thompson and Freeman having acrobatic lay-ins, but the principle was sound - in spite of the constant pounding down low, the Mountaineers could only get one block all game.  There was simply little deterrent to the strategy, and the game was blown open by it.

    After the Temple game, some may look at the box score and say "Hey, only 12 turnovers!" but an 18% TO rate for the game should be routine, not something to celebrate.  There certainly could have been fewer turnovers today, as several Chris Wright dimes were left on the floor, and the game got particularly messy in the later stages of the Vesper half.

    It has been pointed out that the 27 assists today tied for the most since Coach Thompson has been at Georgetown.  That translates into an assist rate - the percentage of field goals that were off of an assist - of 75%, which is high but not unusual for the Hoyas.  Indeed, they actually assisted on more than 80% of their makes earlier this year against Coastal Carolina.  This was more the confluence of a high assist rate with a very high number of made shots.  For what it's worth, the highest assist rate I've found for the Hoyas since 2004-5 was the day it rained 3s against Villanova in the Big East tournament - Georgetown has 25 assists on 28 made shots (including 17 3FG) for an 89% assist rate.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Early season lineup fun

    Edited to add:  Now updated through App. State (12/12)

    I haven't bothered to update the stats pages yet; rather, I'll wait until after tomorrow's game against Appalachian St.

    In the meantime, I've started working up lineup stats for this season.  My main observation is that there are a lot of lineup combinations this season, as the rotation has been consistently 10-deep (and Moses Ayegba is just now eligible).

    For now, just a couple of tables for your perusal.

    First, a simple breakout of the minutes played by position.

    This is the same type of table I generated over the summer for last season. Players are sorted by height, shortest to tallest, with weight serving as the tie-breaker. All heights and weights come from the GU website.

    Not all slots will add up to 40 minutes, both due to rounding and because I don't show any player with less than a minute played at a position.

    Here we go:
    1:  Wright [32], Starks [5], Clark [3]
    2:  Clark [27], Sanford [6], Freeman [4], Starks [3]
    3:  Freeman [28], Thompson [9], Sanford [2], Bowen [1]
    4:  Lubick [14], Benimon [13], Thompson [13]
    5:  Vaughn [20], Sims [17], Lubick [2]

    Not many surprises here.

    The 4-slot is an obvious position of weakness for the Hoyas, and I think this may be the story to follow over the next couple of months.

    Hollis Thompson is the nominal starter there but is undersized and spends almost as much time out on the wing when one of the big-three guards rests.

    I think the plan is (was?) for Nate Lubick to increasingly occupy that slot, but he's not been able to play well enough to dominate minutes there.  Jerrelle Benimon remains an offensive liability, but he's playing stronger defensively this year to deserve minutes.  Right now, I'd call them interchangeable pieces.

    With Ayegba about to arrive on the scene, it will be interesting to see if he is serviceable enough to start stealing minutes.

    Another option would be to play Henry Sims and Julian Vaughn at the same time, but Coach Thompson has seemed loath to try this.  By my count, they've never actually been out on the floor at the same time this season.

    If you're bored - and if you're reading this, you probably are - take a look at Alan's speculative post on minutes before the season began, compared to what's actually transpired.  Also, you can bet that the rotation will tighten up a bit once conference play starts.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Recap: Temple 68, Georgetown 65

    JT3 checks his pockets for change during the game
    Stephan Goldsmith,

    The Georgetown Hoyas fell into an 11-point hole midway through the first half against the hot shooting of the Temple Owls, and a slog of a second-half comeback came up three points short tonight in Philadelphia.

    Game stats were posted very late last night, so I'll just crunch the numbers and have a few moments of pith this morning.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Visitor                         Home      
    .            Georgetown                      Temple         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            34        32        66
    Effic.         93.7     103.1      98.3       114.2      90.6     102.8  
    eFG%           50.0      47.7      49.0        58.9      38.0      49.1  
    TO%            26.4      25.0      25.7        17.6      15.6      16.6  
    OR%            26.7      33.3      29.6        15.4      23.5      20.0  
    FTA/FGA        23.1      63.6      41.7        21.4      48.0      34.0  
    Assist Rate    63.6      30.0      47.6        46.7      44.4      45.8  
    Block Rate      4.8       0.0       2.4        17.6      20.0      18.8  
    Steal Rate     11.7       9.4      10.6        20.5       9.4      15.1  
    2FG%           41.2      60.0      50.0        57.1      38.1      47.6  
    3FG%           44.4      14.3      31.2        42.9      25.0      36.4  
    FT%           100.0      85.7      90.0       100.0      83.3      88.9

    A couple of weeks ago, I made the comment that eventually turnovers were going to bite the Hoyas.  Tonight they did.  In a one-possession game, the -6 turnover margin was as important a factor as any against Georgetown;  the Hoyas managed to end more than 1/4 of their possessions tonight without getting a scoring attempt.

    Tonight was the first game perhaps since vs. ODU that the Hoyas were confronted with legitimate size up front, and it certainly felt like they Hoyas were being man-handled.  However, the rebounding stats show otherwise, as the Owls were well-contained on their offensive glass.  Where Temple did exploit Georgetown's big men was by scoring inside, a lot.  The Owls shot 7/9 on layups and tips in the first half, to along with 5/12 on 2FG jumpers, and that efficient shooting from inside the arc was the main driver to allow Temple to open a 7-point halftime lead.

    Georgetown's defense stiffened in the Vesper half as Coach Thompson used a 2-3 zone more frequently, and the Owls' shooting touch regressed to the mean, but Georgetown continued to throw away offensive possessions and struggled to hit outside shots [1/7 3FG].  The Hoyas managed to tie the game once (at 56) and had possessions in the final seconds while only down 1 point, but couldn't find the magical touch that had delivered wins versus ODU and Mizzou.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 68, Utah State 51

    Chris Wright and the Georgetown Hoyas defeated the Utah State Aggies today 68-51 in a game that broke open early in the second half on a turnover-fueled 28-8 run.

    Someone else's highlight clip.

    Thanks to the vagaries of the sports monopoly - which is showing several Pop Warner games, by the way - the game wasn't available on-line until a pirate stream popped up for the second half (at least, that's when I found it).

    The game was a bit of a disappointment, in that Utah State went into halftime with major foul trouble that only got worse as the Vesper half unfolded.  With my lousy video stream playing on an old 15" screen (did I mention that my fancy high-res monitor crapped out this morning?), I have no idea if the officials were calling it fairly, but then end result was an eviscerated Utah State team that simply didn't have its normal firepower to stay with the Hoyas.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      Utah State         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            29        30        59
    Effic.        114.2     116.7     115.4       100.4      73.3      86.6  
    eFG%           40.0      66.7      54.5        56.5      42.0      49.0  
    TO%            13.8      20.0      17.0        27.7      23.3      25.5  
    OR%            36.4      33.3      34.8        30.8      23.5      26.7  
    FTA/FGA        95.0      33.3      61.4        21.7      12.0      16.7  
    Assist Rate    50.0      46.7      47.8        63.6      55.6      60.0  
    Block Rate     15.4       5.6       9.7        17.6       5.6      11.4  
    Steal Rate     17.3       6.7      11.9        10.4       6.7       8.5  
    2FG%           47.1      72.2      60.0        53.8      33.3      41.9  
    3FG%            0.0      33.3      22.2        40.0      42.9      41.2  
    FT%            89.5      37.5      74.1        60.0      33.3      50.0

    The games was played at a glacial pace today, even by Utah State's standards. It was a bit of the shock seeing such a slow game after coming off the high of the Missouri offensive showcase, but it matched well with the interwebs chatter coming into the game that Stew Morrill would want to limit possessions in an attempt to give his team a better chance at pulling the upset.
    HireEsherick is a weenie.
    That didn't work.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Random Thoughts after Mizzou

    Some random thoughts:
    • Where's the national Austin Freeman is Awesome articles? We've had plenty of Kemba Walker articles, but Austin is doing this over 7 games: 21.7 ppg while shooting 57% from 3 and committing only eight turnovers. Brian is waiting on the PBP from the Mizzou game to update the stats, but his ORating is probably sitting at about 140-150 after playing some darn good competition, mostly away from home. If Jon Wallace was a 180 shooter, Austin is a 201 shooter right now (60%+57%+84%).
    • Henry Sims' emergence is something we fans can learn from. I'm not a believer in not criticizing players' play -- or this would be a poor analytical blog -- but there's a huge difference in "player X is not playing well right now" and "player X will never be any good." Many fans bailed on Henry over the course of two years despite some fairly obvious signs of potential (height, a nice stroke, good athleticism for his size). All college players are early in their careers and unlike a 26-year old NBA player, they generally improve. It's just not always a linear path. So when we look at someone like Aaron Bowen (who generally doesn't look ready yet), it's important to see that he seems to have good shooting fundamentals, a guard-level handle, and great size and athleticism. There's real potential there.
    • In the whole Vee Sanford debate, I've settled into a fairly lame but reasonable position -- the "Vee is awesome but we're crowded at guard so what do you do?" Well, here's a couple ideas. One is, I think all three of the guards could have benefited from more rest in the Mizzou game (though it's important to not have Jason Clark as the ball handler when Chris is out -- Markel and Vee should be in then). But in a more fun vein, how about Vee for Power Forward? If we are going to go four guard, a la Nova in 2006, Vee should be the guy playing PF. Nate, Hollis, Julian and Henry only played 83 of a possible 90 minutes for bigs -- Jerelle got the rest. But Vee is the best rebounding guard we have, and while he'd be a really short PF, he's quick and pesky and could force a lot of steals. On the other end, unlike Jerelle, he's an offensive mismatch against a four, as he can hit the three and drive. If nothing else, he should play the three when Hollis is PF -- but I'd love to see him at PF for five minutes a game when the bigs can't play all 80.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 111, Missouri 102 [OT]

    Edited to add: Full game stats now posted; season stats will be updated Thursday night.

    (h/t: Casual Hoya)

    Just going to post some off-the-cuff thoughts here as I wait for the stats to post.
    • Scotch.  I'm not much of a drinker, but games like this are much more survivable with a little something to take the edge off.  Most times, I'm looking for a nice small batch bourbon, but tonight called for some stronger stuff:  scotch.
    • Dan Hanner probably didn't get to watch much of this game, what with UNC v. Illinois on the mothership - too bad if so, but glad for his sake that the Illini won going away.
    • Missouri fans are going to point to two plays as travesties of justice that stole away the game from them.
      • Should Austin Freeman's 3FG after the shot clock buzzer have counted?  Of course not.  Now whether those extra three points were the difference is another matter entirely, as Doug Gottleib correctly pointed out at the start of overtime.  You can't know how the second half unfolds if that shot is waved off.
      • Did Jason Clark foul after the ball was in-bounded with 0.3 sec left?  From the mid-court camera, it certainly looked like it (and Digger Phelps made sure to bring it up on Sportcenter after the game), but from the baseline camera, it is clear (to this wildly biased observer) that he never actually was able to make contact.  Reminiscent of Chris Wright versus West Virginia, and inexcusable for trying.
    • Speaking of Doug Gottlieb, I thought he was actually quite good tonight calling the game.  I suspect this may partly have been because he was balancing the Mizzou alum (Dan McLaughlin) doing the play-by-play, but I've noticed this with other games he's called.  I think it's because he forgets about the provocative schtick he uses in the studio during the game, and ends up playing it straight.
    • I'm guessing the lunatic asylums are going nuts right now.  This game reminds me of a more exciting version of the game vs. Washington in Anaheim last year - Mizzou looks to be a notch better than the Huskies were last year, but I'd put in on that level right now.  Nice win, but it's only November, folks.

    Stats have posted while I wrote the above, and look to be not very useful (e.g. no substitution data), so you'll just get a tempo-free box score tonight.  Hopefully I'll get the full stats package up tomorrow.

    Much improved stats are now posted.   Full game stats are now after the jump.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 87, UNC Ashville 72

    There is no play-by-play currently available for today's game, so just a tempo-free box score will get posted. More stats and comments to follow if/when the full play-by-play becomes available.

    In brief:
    • Austin Freeman is good
    • turnovers are going to bite the Hoyas sooner or later.

    Edited to add: Mex Carey came through once again (soon after getting off a plane from the Ohio St. match). Stats for the game are now updated, although no further comments will be added.

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      UNC Asheville         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            39        43        81
    Effic.        114.2     100.5     106.9        70.1     105.2      88.5  
    eFG%           56.9      69.0      62.9        42.6      53.0      48.3  
    TO%            23.4      32.7      28.3        23.4      21.0      22.1  
    OR%            37.5      30.8      34.5        10.5      21.1      15.8  
    FTA/FGA        51.7      17.2      34.5        33.3      39.4      36.7  
    Assist Rate    76.9      64.7      70.0        50.0      46.7      48.0  
    Block Rate     20.0       9.1      14.3        13.3       5.6       9.1  
    Steal Rate     13.0      11.7      12.3        13.0      11.7      12.3  
    2FG%           40.0      61.1      51.5        35.0      45.5      40.5  
    3FG%           50.0      54.5      52.0        42.9      45.5      44.4  
    FT%            73.3      60.0      70.0        44.4      76.9      63.

    Georgetown            Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
    Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
    Thompson, Hollis       48   16.5   99.3    7.8      50    61.0    6.1      +2.4  
    Wright, Chris          55   19.7   89.3    9.7      55    86.8    9.5      +0.2  
    Freeman, Austin        58   18.8  192.3   20.9      58    77.8    9.0     +12.2  
    Clark, Jason           49   30.4   61.2    9.1      49   101.1    9.9      -3.4  
    Vaughn, Julian         49   26.6  130.5   17.0      50    91.3    9.1      +6.5  
    Starks, Markel         28   15.2   63.9    2.7      29    72.5    4.2      -0.9  
    Sanford, Vee           23    7.5  125.7    2.2      25    96.1    4.8      -1.1  
    Sims, Henry            28   18.4   88.9    4.6      28    94.3    5.3      -0.5  
    Benimon, Jerrelle      32   10.0  147.0    4.7      31    80.3    5.0      +0.9  
    Bowen, Aaron            9   44.4    0.0    0.0       8    79.1    1.3      -2.2  
    Lubick, Nate           31   15.3  138.2    6.6      32    78.6    5.0      +2.2  
    TOTALS                 82         105.8   85.3      83    83.5   69.3     +17.3  
    UNC Asheville         Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
    Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
    Dickey, Matt           81   24.5   72.9   14.5      80    99.8   16.0      -3.4  
    Primm, J.P             67   31.7   82.5   17.5      64   112.7   14.4      -1.7  
    Stephenson, Chris      67   12.7  127.9   10.8      65   110.8   14.4      -1.1  
    Lane, Jaron            42   24.3   44.3    4.5      43   111.2    9.6      -5.9  
    Cunningham, D.J        57   18.6   85.9    9.1      56    89.7   10.0      -0.7  
    Jackson, Quinard       47   14.3   98.3    6.6      47    90.6    8.5      -0.7  
    Nwannunu, Jon          18   22.3  102.7    4.1      19    77.5    2.9      +1.1  
    Meyer, Trent           36    5.8  119.4    2.5      36    98.3    7.1      -2.1  
    TOTALS                 83          83.8   69.7      82   101.2   83.0     -13.8

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Bullet Points: Hype and anti-Hype

    I was at the Charleston Classic last week [editor's note: also see Alan's Hoya Hoop Club report here], and while I sometimes tend to watch a little less closely live than on television (what with the replays at home and the frothy beverages on the road), there's something different about seeing a game live. You notice some things you don't see as easily on television, and conversely, it distorts some things you see more clearly on television.

    If you have good seats, that is. If you're up in 400, you really don't see anything. Especially with my deteriorating eyesight.

    But luckily, Carolina First Arena is small (5,100 capacity and about a five row "upper" deck) and the worst seats we had were about ten rows from the court.

    Thoughts, mine and others:

    • The defensive intensity is there. I don't know how our defense will handle teams with a stronger inside game or exceptional offensive rebounding, but there seems to be the necessary level of intensity there to make this as good a defense as it can be. Chris Wright, in particular, is really setting a tone of flying around out there. There were relatively few defensive breakdowns as well.
    • It might be because the players are playing less minutes. I've never really taken to the argument that the team wore down because of fatigue over the course of the season last year. It's a logically odd argument, and the facts don't really back it up. But Hoyatalk poster HoyaChris mentioned at the Classic that he though in game fatigue really hurt the level of defensive intensity last year, and that's completely logical. Perhaps Chris Wright's and the other players' intensity level is coming from their ability to rest mid-game as opposed to playing 38 minutes.
    • The young guys seem to be bringing a higher level of intensity. Our upperclassmen are very workmanlike, and there's no issue with that. But it logically seems like you'd want a mix of personalities, and the younger players seem to be bringing a higher level of intensity. A much more confident Hollis Thompson was all over the place during the tourney. Nate Lubick is a constant bundle of energy as well. Markel and Vee are very active, and Henry, when he's confident, is constantly moving.
    • Jason Clark or Hollis Thompson will be the best player on next year's team, but Markel will be the leader. We're five games into the season and Markel Starks is already into his next career as assistant coach. He's constantly pointing things out and directing, even from the bench. He seems to have assumed a leadership role already (but not an ego-driven one -- see my Hoop Club Blog for a little Markel tidbit). That's a fantastic thing to see in your point guard.
    • Hollis is making the leap. Hollis has added several new elements to his game that weren't evident last year. He had several good drive and scores, as well as showed off a mid-range jumper at least once. Perhaps most importantly in the short term, he's gotten strong enough that his energy on the boards is actually manifesting itself in rebounds. The effort was there last year; the result wasn't.
    • Jason Clark has developed a nice little mid-range game. I'm not sure it's a great development simply because this team has done well avoiding those low-efficiency mid-range shots as a whole. But with little low post game, it's nice to have an option to backdoor cuts and threes.
    • Julian is shotblocking and offensive rebounding, but he isn't shooting well, isn't defensive rebounding well and turns the ball over. This is an issue for me. As we face taller teams, none of this is going to get easier. Right now, his ORating is below 100 (even with the offensive boards). He's really our only low post option, so it hurts the team when he isn't effective (whether b/c of shooting or turnovers) and his lack of defensive rebounding makes it tough to make a case for him as a defense-only player. And that's fundamentally an issue because...
    • As good as Henry Sims and Nate Lubick have looked at times... I'm not ready to count on them just quite yet. Nate had a good game versus ODU and has looked a bit more "freshman" since. Henry has now had two good games in a row, but it's about 30 total minutes. I'm hopeful, because I've always seen a ton of potential in him. And if he continues to play like this it takes the pressure off of Vaughn. But I'm not sure either of the Hoyas are as good as they've looked.
    • Why isn't the offense better? The team is shooting very well right now. Four starters have an ORating of 113 or better, with Austin at 140. So why is the team ORating only about 110? It's turnovers. Everyone with a TO Rate of under 23 (Wright is the highest at 22.2) has an ORating over 113. That's FIVE players (those starters plus Vee). Vaughn is at 23 (and a 92 ORating - ugh) and everyone else is above 26% turnovers! Only Henry manages to get about 100 in ORating despite an awful turnover rate. Everyone else is abysmal. Turnovers will kill this team if they don't take better care of the ball.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 82, North Carolina State 67

    Georgetown won the Charleston Classic with an impressive second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack tonight.  Of course, I should receive full credit for the victory, as I headed out for an evening with the wife just before halftime and wasn't able to get back to the game until after it ended. But because of my personal sacrifice, I didn't get to see the good stuff (read: Henry Sims), so the recap will be brief.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Visitor                         Home      
    .            Georgetown                      North Carolina State         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            35        35        69
    Effic.        106.5     131.7     119.2       106.5      87.8      97.4  
    eFG%           47.1      54.2      50.7        56.9      30.9      42.9  
    TO%            14.4      11.7      13.1        17.3      11.7      14.5  
    OR%            33.3      55.0      43.9        31.2      33.3      32.6  
    FTA/FGA        17.1      22.2      19.7        27.6      35.3      31.7  
    Assist Rate    64.3      66.7      65.6        46.7      10.0      32.0  
    Block Rate      4.5      29.2      17.4        15.0       3.4       8.2  
    Steal Rate      2.9       5.9       4.4         8.6       8.8       8.7  
    2FG%           45.0      51.7      49.0        54.5      37.5      45.7  
    3FG%           33.3      42.9      36.4        42.9      10.0      23.5  
    FT%            66.7      75.0      71.4        50.0      75.0      65.0

    The big stat that jumps out at me from tonight's box score is the low turnover rate for the Hoyas.  Georgetown was averaging 22% turnovers coming into the game, but managed to commit only nine on 69 offensive possessions.  This was a big driver in the high offensive efficiency Georgetown produced today.

    The Hoyas also did an excellent job crashing the offensive glass in the second half, while not getting overwhelmed on the defensive side.  As mentioned yesterday, N.C. State was not a great rebounding team last season, and the loss of Tracy Smith was probably a big deal for the Wolfpack on the glass.

    This was the worst outside shooting performance by Georgetown so far this season - although 36% isn't terrible by any stretch - but the Hoyas became much more selective from outside in the Vesper half [1st half: 5/15 3FG; 2nd half: 3/7].  Conversely, Georgetown wasn't getting it inside much in the first half [6/10 on dunks, layups and tips] but really pounded it in the paint after halftime [13/18].  Partial credit to Coach Thompson for making that adjustment during the break, and partial credit to the team to playing smart once they built a comfortable lead.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 74, Wofford 59

    Well, I never did get a recap posted last night, and I probably won't have much time today to put one together either.  Just a few quick thoughts below each box:

    Let's run the numbers:
    .            Visitor                         Home      
    .            Georgetown                      Wofford         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            29        34        63
    Effic.        126.0     109.8     116.8        81.7     103.8      93.2  
    eFG%           64.6      61.1      63.1        28.8      56.2      42.0  
    TO%            20.4      23.7      22.1        20.4      14.8      17.4  
    OR%            44.4      27.3      35.0        28.6       6.7      19.4  
    FTA/FGA        25.0     116.7      64.3        38.5      50.0      44.0  
    Assist Rate    57.1      30.0      45.8        66.7      54.5      58.8  
    Block Rate     25.0       7.7      17.2        15.8       6.7      11.8  
    Steal Rate     13.6       8.9      11.1        10.2       8.9       9.5  
    2FG%           57.9      53.3      55.9        18.8      46.2      31.0  
    3FG%           60.0      66.7      62.5        30.0      45.5      38.1  
    FT%           100.0      71.4      77.8        90.0      66.7      77.3

    The game was interesting in that the Hoyas seemed to make a deliberate effort to force the ball inside on offense, often passing up decent to very good looks from behind the 3-pt line in an attempt to feed Julian Vaughn, Henry Sims (!) or a cutter.  Georgetown had attempted 87 2FGs and 80 3FGs in their first three games - that's a 3FGA/FGA = 0.479, if you're scoring at home - but tried only 8 last night.

    The game was marred a bit by the John Cahill effect, with both teams a bit confused about what constituted a foul.  By the mid-point of the second half, both teams were in the bonus and the action ground to a slog.

    Georgetown was able to beat up on a couple of small teams so far in this tournament, and rebounding hasn't been a problem in either game.  North Carolina St. - the Hoyas opponent in the finals - are also not a strong rebounding team, especially now that Tracy Smith will miss the game.

    Turnovers are still too frequent, as the Hoyas haven't managed to give the ball away less than 20% of the time.  The Wolfpack have been very good at both forcing turnovers and not committing many of their own so far this year, so that will likely be the stat to watch as the game unfolds on Sunday.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 80, Coastal Carolina 61

    The stats for tonight's game seem to have failed to post over at the Georgetown Athletic site, so no recap will be forthcoming tonight.  Hopefully Mex Carey can get the problem fixed soon, and we'll try to process the stats before tomorrow's game against Wofford.

    Edited:  Sure enough, Mex came through tonight, but it's way too late for any sort of a recap.  A stats dump will have to suffice.  Also, the substitution data was a bit screwed up so I've made my best-guess fixes, but I may have a couple of possessions with the wrong lineups.

    If you're still looking for more on the game, Dan Hanner was there and had some comments.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      Coastal Carolina         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            31        33        64
    Effic.        103.4     146.2     125.8        84.0     106.6      96.0  
    eFG%           69.6      67.6      68.4        47.7      54.3      51.1  
    TO%            32.3      18.3      25.2        25.9      18.3      22.0  
    OR%            18.2      62.5      44.4        20.0      21.4      20.7  
    FTA/FGA         0.0      14.7       8.8        36.4      56.5      46.7  
    Assist Rate   100.0      70.0      81.2        44.4      33.3      38.1  
    Block Rate     31.2      15.8      22.9        12.5      15.8      14.8  
    Steal Rate      6.5       3.0       4.7        12.9      12.2      12.6  
    2FG%           50.0      73.7      66.7        37.5      57.9      48.6  
    3FG%           53.3      40.0      46.7        50.0      25.0      40.0  
    FT%              -       40.0      40.0        62.5      76.9      71.4

    Georgetown            Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
    Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
    Thompson, Hollis       33   32.2   74.2    7.9      32   105.3    6.7      -1.1  
    Vaughn, Julian         45   21.5  113.8   11.0      45    85.1    7.7      +3.1  
    Wright, Chris          58   18.9  141.7   15.5      57    88.3   10.1      +5.6  
    Freeman, Austin        39   15.1  205.9   12.1      40    85.2    6.8      +6.2  
    Clark, Jason           42   25.2  167.3   17.7      44    90.4    8.0      +9.0  
    Starks, Markel         15    1.9  225.0    0.7      16   144.7    4.6      -1.9  
    Sanford, Vee           17    9.9  248.7    4.2      15    97.8    2.9      +1.9  
    Sims, Henry            16    9.2   64.1    0.9      17    57.9    2.0      -0.5  
    Benimon, Jerrelle      16   10.3   85.4    1.4      13   101.5    2.6      -0.7  
    Bowen, Aaron            2   50.0    0.0    0.0       3   133.3    0.8      -1.1  
    Lubick, Nate           37   19.0   31.1    2.2      38    97.4    7.4      -4.9  
    TOTALS                 64         121.0   73.6      64    93.1   59.6     +15.9  
    Coastal Carolina      Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
    Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
    McLAURIN, Sam          41   24.7   71.6    7.3      42   123.7   10.4      -4.2  
    GRAY, Chad             33   32.5   70.0    7.5      33   125.5    8.3      -3.4  
    NIEMAN, Danny          43    9.3    0.0    0.0      42   113.0    9.5      -7.0  
    HOLLOWAY, Desmond      39   30.2  107.3   12.6      39   107.1    8.4      +2.1  
    GREENWOOD, Kierre      45   20.6  155.5   14.4      46   124.2   11.4      +2.9  
    CRAWFORD, Brandon      36   11.7  105.9    4.4      36   114.6    8.3      -2.1  
    RAFFA, Anthony         10   37.1  121.7    4.5      10   108.4    2.2      +1.4  
    MOORE, Dexter          17   10.7  127.9    2.3      18   129.9    4.7      -1.2  
    KIRKLAND, Willie       28   20.5   75.5    4.3      27   133.9    7.2      -3.1  
    GRIFFIN, Jordan         5    0.0    -      0.0       4   100.0    0.8      -0.8  
    PACK, Jon              23    0.0    -      0.0      23   116.1    5.3      -5.3  
    TOTALS                 64          93.6   57.4      64   119.4   76.4     -17.8

    Jason Clark was star of the game - he's won it every game so far this season.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 69, Tulane 53

    With Julian Vaughn unavailable, Georgetown turned to Jason Clark (!) to control the glass and lead the Hoyas to victory tonight over the Tulane Green Wave at the Verizon Center.

    Let's run the numbers:

    .            Home                            Visitor   
    .            Georgetown                      Tulane         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            30        35        65
    Effic.        112.1     100.3     105.4        72.5      88.8      80.9  
    eFG%           65.4      53.6      59.3        38.9      46.2      42.5  
    TO%            29.7      14.3      21.4        26.4      17.2      21.4  
    OR%            33.3      16.7      23.3        27.8      12.5      20.6  
    FTA/FGA         0.0      35.7      18.5         7.4      38.5      22.6  
    Assist Rate    61.5      61.5      61.5        87.5      63.6      73.7  
    Block Rate      7.7       5.3       6.2         0.0       0.0       0.0  
    Steal Rate     23.1      14.3      18.3        13.2       5.7       9.2  
    2FG%           62.5      52.9      56.0        23.1      47.4      37.5  
    3FG%           44.4      36.4      41.4        35.7      28.6      33.3  
    FT%              -       50.0      50.0        50.0      70.0      66.7

    For the second straight game, Georgetown was very sloppy with the ball in the first half.  However, the Hoyas also made 8/12 3FG to start the game and pull out to a 20-point lead only 18 possessions in, and the rest played out as a glorified scrimmage.  This was especially true when G'town came out of the locker room after halftime and missed their first four shots and committed a turnover, watching their lead shrink to 9 points.  A timeout by JT3 soon followed, and eventually the team retook control of the game.

    Without Julian Vaughn, Georgetown could have been exploited by a strong rebounding team, but luckily for the Hoyas, Tulane is not that team.  They were ranked 281st and 282nd in offensive and defensive rebounding last year, and returned no player taller than 6'7".  As an aside, I haven't heard any updates with regards to Vaughn's health, but hopefully the training staff is reacting a bit conservatively after Austin Freeman's diabetes diagnosis last year.

    Meanwhile, Georgetown continues to develop their small-ball reputation with more 3FG attempts than 2FG attempts for the game.  The last time the Hoyas took more 3FG than 2FG? Versus Baylor in the NIT.  That is a trend that will bear watching.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Recap: Georgetown 62, Old Dominion 59

    The opening of the Georgetown Hoyas' 2010-11 basketball season went according to plan, with an exciting three-point win on the road at the tough environs of the Ted.  Georgetown's three guard offense proved to be the whole show for the Hoyas.

    After watching the first half on-line, I had to pull the plug and head off to the CU Buffs vs. Idaho St. Bengals game ("Who ever heard of a tiger in Idaho?" my wife asked 5 minutes in), so I only saw the Hoyas and Monarchs as two incredibly tight basketball teams seemingly planning to miss every shot.  Since I didn't catch the exciting second half, this recap will be brief [edited to add: and Dan Hanner did a nice write up of the game].

    .            Visitor                         Home      
    .            Georgetown                      Old Dominion         
    .            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
    Pace            33        32        65
    Effic.         58.3     135.5      96.0        76.7     107.2      91.4  
    eFG%           36.5      61.7      50.0        37.5      50.0      43.3  
    TO%            33.7       6.3      20.1        30.7       6.3      18.6  
    OR%            35.0      16.7      26.3        47.4      23.5      36.1  
    FTA/FGA        15.4      30.0      23.2        28.6      62.5      44.2  
    Assist Rate    33.3      73.3      58.3        60.0      81.8      71.4  
    Block Rate      4.2       0.0       2.5        25.0      31.6      28.6  
    Steal Rate      6.1      12.6       9.3        21.5       6.3      13.9  
    2FG%           50.0      42.1      45.7        37.5      56.2      45.0  
    3FG%           10.0      63.6      38.1        25.0      25.0      25.0  
    FT%             0.0      66.7      46.2        50.0      66.7      60.9

    The pace was three possessions faster than last season's blizzard game, thanks mostly to ODU not grinding the game to a halt in the second half.  The Monarchs are actually a bit slower-paced team than the Hoyas, so those 65 possessions mostly splits the difference between what each time would normally like to run.

    Sometimes it really is great defense, and sometimes the offense just stinks.  The first half was certainly a case of the offense just stinking.  Other than Jason Clark, there just wasn't much working for Georgetown.  As Chris Wright and Austin Freeman warmed up in the second half, the offense began to click and the efficiency soared.

    While I was bemoaning rebounding in HoyaChat during the first half, it was more of a case of many turnovers hampering the Hoyas offense.  Of course, Old Dominion was being just as careless with the ball, which helped to turn the Lift-Off half into a quagmire.  The difference was the steals rate - the Monarchs were simply throwing the ball away, but they were also forcing Georgetown to give the ball up.

    Both teams held onto the ball in the second half, and I think this was the untold story of the game - ODU's defense was relying on two things in the first half:  forcing the Hoyas to throw away possessions, and hope they missed those shots they got.  The Hoyas starting making their attempts in the Vesper half, but they also weren't being forced into lost possessions anymore.  That combination lead to the big boost in Georgetown's offensive efficiency, and the comeback was underway.

    One surprising stat for me tonight is the block rate for the Monarchs throughout the game.  I'm not sure if this was a case of game-planning an overly aggressive interior defense by ODU, but they averaged 8.4% blocks last season.  This may be a sign that Georgetown's inside game is not physically up to the challenge right now.

    Empty Glass: Hoya Prospectus' Worst Season Preview

    For three straight seasons, the Georgetown Hoyas have managed to crush the souls of those foolish enough to root for them.  As the season tips off tonight, I thought I'd provide a public service and explain why Georgetown is not going to be a top team this season.


    It really is that simple.  The Hoyas simply won't be good enough defensively to hang with the nation's top teams.  Will they pull off the occasional nice win?  Sure, with the offensive firepower on the roster, the Hoyas will have a puncher's chance so long as the 3-pt shot is dropping.  But generally speaking, this season's Georgetown Hoyas will be very similar to last season's Notre Dame Fighting Irish:  good "O"; no "D".
    Conf. games only        Defense
    Player                 Poss   Rtg
    Freeman, Austin        1216  100.9
    Wright, Chris          1287   98.4
    Monroe, Greg           1236   92.0
    Clark, Jason           1198  101.0
    Vaughn, Julian         831   102.0
    Thompson, Hollis       690    95.0
    Benimon, Jerrelle      468    99.9
    Sims, Henry            144    99.3
    Sanford, Vee           147    94.9
    The only quality defensive player on last year's team has taken his talents to Detroit.  Meanwhile, of the six returning players who were part of the rotation in conference play, four [Vaughn, Clark, Freeman and Benimon] were allowing a point per possession or worse.

    Georgetown ended the season ranked 7th in defensive efficiency in conference, and should only see that rank decline this year.

    the gory details after the jump

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Housekeeping notes

    Mucking around with a new layout and color scheme.  Comments or complaints are welcome (colors are not my strong suit).  I'm trying to make the blog width more friendly without screwing up the stats pages, which are now linked at the top.


    Over the Hilltop is finishing up a player-by-player preview for this season's Hoyas.

    Ray Floriani dropped me a line to let me know that he sneaked in some advanced stats over at College ChalkTalk, speculating about what pace the four new Big East coaches will want to run this year.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Glass All the Way Full: The Hoya Prospectus Positive Outlook Season Preview

    I'm going to preface this preview, mostly because if I don't, my friends will likely try to get me some psychiatric help. I'm far from a relentlessly positive person, so taking the "The Hoyas are Going to Be Really Good" side of a positive/negative Prospectus Season Preview is a stretch for me. Rest assured, I'm the still the cynic I've always been. I'm acting, people.

    Brian will be posting something super-negative, probably much better written and definitely backed up with more stats, graphs, etc., than my following positive outlook. But there are a lot of possible positives for this year, and here are some of 'em.

    The Georgetown Hoyas are the 20th ranked team in the Pre-Season AP Top 25. They were picked fourth by the coaches in the Big East. And Basketball Prospectus guru Ken Pomeroy's as yet unnamed statistical projection system tags the Hoyas at 13-5 in the Big East and 11th overall in the country.

    Why so much angst, fans? Here's some reasons why the AP, the coaches and Ken Pomeroy are right:

    The team was really good last year.

    Yes, they lost to Ohio. And Rutgers. And... well, get it out of your system. Despite all that, the final Georgetown Kenpom ranking was 13th. Sagarin's predictor placed us at 19th. The tournament selection committee placed them in the 9-12th range. In other words, sports fans, the Hoyas were clearly a Top 20 team last year.

    The team didn't lose that much from a really good team last year.

    The Hoyas lost a lottery pick, their only 30 minute+ big man, and one of their best players in Greg Monroe.

    But this is college basketball, and over a quarter of everyone's roster turns over every year. And more of that in minutes. According to Basketball Prospectus, the Hoyas return 65% of their offense from last year and 70% of their defense. (It's a higher % of total minutes, but BP gives proper credit in terms of Greg Monroe's production versus pure minutes).

    That's more than all but 3 other Big East teams (Pitt, St. John's and Seton Hall, and if you're the latter two, that's not all that big of a positive).

    When you're a good team, and most everyone returns, that's a good thing.

    Factor in the general average level of improvement that occurs with most college players, and it's a very good thing.

    Optimism-run-rampant continues after the jump

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Deep bench, short rotation

    JT3 subs in five players - documented! (Joseph Silverman / The Washington Times)
    Alan's excellent post about likely minutes for the upcoming season got me thinking about John Thompson III's reputation for playing a short rotation.  I think this rep was developed in his first two seasons, when the cupboard was mostly bare beyond the first 6 or 7 players on the roster.  But now that he's been coaching the Hoyas for six seasons, I wonder if this reputation is myth or reality.

    But before I can dig into the question of whether JT3 goes with fewer players than he should, I need to work through some basics and find a reasonable measuring stick.

    First, we need to decide what constitutes being part of the rotation for a player, rather than just playing garbage minutes.  Next, we need to have some meaningful comparison of the size of Georgetown's rotation versus what other coaches/teams run.  Finally, we'll need to consider what to do about injured/suspended players and their effect on the rotation.

    More after the jump

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Go Big or Go Home?

    Here I made the case that the Hoyas were a better team last year with a traditional lineup of two guards, a wing and two bigs.

    Here Brian highlighted last year's minutes breakdown, at least from a defensive standpoint.

    And so there's a logical progression here, now that we likely know the roster for next year. Here's Brian's chart from the above linked post, with:
    • Greg Monroe removed
    • Julian Vaughn's minutes moved to center and bumping him up tofull-time minutes
    • Benimon's, Sims', Sanford's and Hollis' temporarily minutes removed, because that's what we're going to focus on
    Note that I'm not bumping up Austin's minutes. Yes, they are a little depressed because of missing games due to diabetes. But we don't really know how he's going to be affected this year; a few minutes off his pre-diagnosis average doesn't seem unreasonable.

    Here's what you get:
    1. Wright [36], Clark [3], TBD [1]
    2. Clark [30], Freeman [8], TBD [2]
    3. Freeman [26], TBD [14]
    4. TBD [40]
    5. Vaughn [30], TBD [10]
    Hollis got 12 minutes last year, Benimon 12, and Sanford and Sims 3 each. Instead of inserting them in, though, I'm going to bunch them, along with the freshmen, into somewhat arbitrary groups:

    Guards: Sanford and Starks
    Wings: Thompson and Benimon
    Bigs: Sims, Lubick and Abraham

    Let's take an easy early assumption to show why this team is going to play small: the guards will play the remaining minutes at the 1 and 2, the wings at the 3 and 4 (when we go small), and the bigs at the 4 & 5.

    That leaves Sanford and Starks playing 3 minutes. This is less than Vee got last year -- and that's not including any time for the highly-touted Starks.

    Hollis and Benimon with 14 minutes, around what Hollis and Benimon got by themselves. This seems unreasonable as well.

    And it leaves 50 minutes for the bigs. Henry grabbed few minutes last year. So forty plus minutes for the freshmen or an increase in Henry's minutes isn't out of the question, but it does seem unlikely, especially given Moses' reported raw game.

    If, instead we try to budget based more realistically on talent and restrict only on completely unreasonable positional assignments (e.g. Vee Sanford at PF), we get something a bit different:

    Sanford/Starks: 17 minutes, all that remains at guard and SF.

    Thompson/Benimon: 30 minutes, all effective at PF and around what they got together last year.

    Bigs: 20 minutes at C and PF.

    Leaving it to look something like this:
    1. Wright [36], Starks/Sanford [4]
    2. Clark [27] Starks/Sanford [13]
    3. Freeman [34], Clark [6]
    4. Thompson/Benimon [30], Assorted Unproven Bigs [10]
    5. Vaughn [30], Assorted Unproven Bigs [10]
    You could argue about my distribution at the margins. Perhaps Starks and Sanford get 13 minutes or the bigs impress, limiting Benimon's time. It's largely irrelevant to the overall conclusions, which are:
    • The Hoyas will play 3 guard between 33-40 minutes of the game this year unless Markel Starks is simply not as ready as expected.
    • They'll have a wildly undersized PF for somewhere between half to almost all game, unless the unproven assorted bigs of Lubick, Sims & Ayegba have two breakout players.
    Going big worked better for the Hoyas last year, but it was rarely executed. It seems like it is going to be more rare this year.