Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recap: Georgetown 91, Syracuse 84

Georgetown rode the incredibly efficient offensive performances of Chris Wright, Greg Monroe and Jason Clark to an upset of top-seed Syracuse at the Big East tournament today.  This was the first win by the JTIII-led Hoyas against Syracuse away from the Verizon Center.

The Hoyas will take on the Marquette Golden Eagles, who pulled a mild upset of Villanova, tomorrow evening in the semi-finals.


Let's run the numbers:

TEMPO-FREE BOX SCORE
 
.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Syracuse         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            35        39        74

Effic.        106.3     137.2     123.2       114.9     111.8     113.7  
 
eFG%           53.2      75.0      63.2        70.4      57.8      63.6  
TO%            17.2      15.2      16.2        31.6      15.2      23.0  
OR%            25.0      38.5      31.0        41.7      18.8      28.6  
FT Rate        12.9      92.3      49.1        14.8      25.0      20.3  
 
Assist Rate    66.7      66.7      66.7        62.5      56.2      59.4  
Block Rate      0.0       4.3       2.6        20.0       0.0      10.3  
Steal Rate     20.1      15.2      17.6        14.4      12.7      13.5  
 
2FG%           60.0      78.9      69.2        62.5      47.8      53.8  
3FG%           27.3      42.9      33.3        54.5      55.6      55.0  
FT%           100.0      62.5      67.9        50.0      87.5      75.0

The big picture number today is the final offensive efficiency for Georgetown today.  The Hoyas finished the game averaging over 1.2 points per possession.  In their first 31 games of the season, the Syracuse Orange had only thrice allowed a team to score more than 1.1 points per possession:  Louisville (2 losses) and Providence (a win).

Because of the vaunted 2-3 zone, Syracuse normally forces teams to shoot a lot of outside shots:  opponents attempt 3FGs as 41% of all shots from the floor, which is the 10th highest rate against in Div-I.  Today, Georgetown resisted that temptation, as they shot 18 3FGAs on a total of 58 shot attempts [= 31%], just about at their season average [30%].

Instead, the Hoyas pounded it inside.  A lot.  If you've been paying attention around here, you may have noticed a post earlier this week breaking out each player's shot selection over the past three months of the season.  As a team, the Hoyas take 67% of their 2-pt shots as either dunks, layups or tip-ins - a fantastic percentage.  In today's game, Georgetown was even better, taking 82% of the shots from in close.

Those shots came from a variety of ways, either on the secondary break, post moves from Greg Monroe or off touch passes to a guard running the baseline (especially Chris Wright in the 1st half, but all the guards in the 2nd half).  And a lot of them went in - 67% of them, in fact.  That's actually not much higher than the Hoyas have averaged on layups and tips all season (61%).

This wasn't a fluke offensive performance, but rather a team successfully running a game strategy.  Of course, cutting the turnover rate down about four percentage points from the conference season average certainly helped by adding 4 possessions with a scoring attempt.


The biggest non-Georgetown story of the game was the shocking injury to Arinze Onuaku late in the game.  The extent of his knee injury should become known on Friday, but hopefully it just looked much worse than it was.  


INDIVIDUAL NET POINTS STATS

Georgetown            Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
Wright, Chris          72   23.4  145.7   24.5      72   107.4   15.5      +7.8  
Monroe, Greg           72   17.3  146.3   18.2      72    98.2   14.1      +5.0  
Freeman, Austin        67   23.1  111.3   17.2      68   103.4   14.1      +2.2  
Clark, Jason           65   18.6  136.5   16.5      67   115.8   15.5      +1.8  
Vaughn, Julian         16   11.8   94.0    1.8      18   180.6    6.5      -3.2  
Thompson, Hollis       48   20.0   95.2    9.1      48    89.8    8.6      +0.5  
Sanford, Vee            7   25.0   85.7    1.5       7    90.0    1.3      +0.1  
Benimon, Jerrelle      14   16.7   28.6    0.7      13   108.5    2.8      -2.0  
Sims, Henry             4    0.0    -      0.0       5   165.3    1.7      -1.7  
TOTALS                 73         123.7   89.6      74   108.1   80.0     +10.5  

Syracuse              Off     %           Pts      Def           Pts   
Player                Poss  Poss  O.Rtg   Prod     Poss  D.Rtg  Allow    Net Pts
JACKSON, Rick          60   17.9   59.7    6.4      59   122.2   14.4      -7.4  
RAUTINS, Andy          74   19.8  117.3   17.2      73   126.7   18.5      -1.4  
JOHNSON, Wes           69   23.8  126.1   20.7      68   117.2   15.9      +3.1  
ONUAKU, Arinze         30    9.6  105.7    3.1      27   100.8    5.4      -1.1  
TRICHE, Brandon        32   14.6   82.1    3.8      31    94.3    5.8      -1.3  
JARDINE, Scoop         47   29.5  117.5   16.3      48   129.7   12.4      +1.1  
JOSEPH, Kris           58   17.5  155.9   15.9      59   126.4   14.9      +2.0  
TOTALS                 74         113.5   83.3      73   119.9   87.5      -4.4 

While for long stretches of the game it looked like the Wright and Monroe show, neither player used as many as 25% of available possessions, with Monroe actually using less than 20%.

Chris Wright had a great shooting game today - those driving layups that we talked about yesterday were dropping for him.  His shot selection (twice as many 2FGAs as 3FGs) was outstanding and appropriate.  He also was second on the team with 6 rebounds (5 defensive), as his motor looked to be running about one gear faster than everyone else out there.

Greg Monroe may still be receiving complaints for his passivity, but he willingly drew defenders to facilitate open looks for his teammates.  A point I only hear Doug Gottlieb mention afterward was that Monroe's defense against the Syracuse bigs was also a key aspect of the game.  The net points tracker brings it out a bit, but Monroe did a great job denying Onuaku touches and harassing Jackson all game.

If someone's seen Austin Freeman's outside shooting touch, please return it to MSG immediately.  Freeman is now 0-6 on 3FG in the Big East tournament.  Today he recognized what was working and what wasn't, and went hard to the basket to get layups and FTs.  He'll need to start making some outside shots for the Hoyas to continue to advance.

Jason Clark has been doing his best to cover for his teammate behind the arc:  his 3/7 3FG shooting today brings him up to 7/13 for the tourney, as it appears that his late-season shooting slump [9/31 in the seven games prior to this week] is over.  His excellent play so far is the biggest difference over the past few weeks, and if the announcers can get his name correct, I hope they acknowledge him a bit more.

Julian Vaughn didn't see a lot of playing time today, as he struggled defensively and was often replaced by Hollis Thompson.  Thompson was solid for a freshman in his first BET, until late in the game at the FT line where he missed 4 consecutive attempts.  At one point Austin Freeman clearly suggested that he "MAKE THEM."

Vee Sanford continues to see playing time with Freeman back, and continues to be a plus off the bench - his ability to be at least a modest scoring threat allows the offense to continue to run seamlessly when he's in (as opposed to Benimon and Sims).


HD BOX SCORE

Georgetown vs Syracuse
3/11/10 12:00 pm at New York, NY/MSG
Final score: Georgetown 91, Syracuse 84

Georgetown              Min   +/-   Pts  2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A  FGA    A    Stl    TO   Blk    OR    DR   PF
Wright, Chris          38:48  + 9  27/89  8-11  2- 5  5- 6 16/57  6/22  2/72  3/72  0/36  1/30  5/27   2
Monroe, Greg           38:26  + 6  17/88  6- 9  0- 0  5- 8  9/56  7/26  4/72  2/72  1/37  1/29  9/27   3
Freeman, Austin        36:48  +10  16/84  6-11  0- 3  4- 4 14/52  3/24  3/68  1/67  0/37  2/27  2/27   2
Clark, Jason           36:44  + 4  17/83  3- 4  3- 7  2- 3 11/53  4/25  2/67  1/65  0/37  2/27  1/25   0
Vaughn, Julian         11:53  -11   4/19  2- 2  0- 0  0- 0  2/17  0/ 6  0/18  1/16  0/ 8  0/ 9  0/ 2   2
Thompson, Hollis       23:21  +18   8/66  1- 1  1- 3  3- 7  4/36  0/19  3/48  1/48  0/28  3/19  2/20   2
Sanford, Vee           03:36  + 3   2/ 8  1- 1  0- 0  0- 0  1/ 5  1/ 2  0/ 7  1/ 7  0/ 2  0/ 2  0/ 4   0
Benimon, Jerrelle      07:44  + 0   0/14  0- 1  0- 0  0- 0  1/10  1/ 6  0/13  1/14  0/ 6  0/ 5  0/ 5   2
Sims, Henry            02:40  - 4   0/ 4  0- 0  0- 0  0- 0  0/ 4  0/ 2  0/ 5  0/ 4  0/ 4  0/ 2  0/ 3   0
TOTALS                 40:00       91    27-40  6-18 19-28    58 22/33 14/74 11/73  1/39  9/30 20/28  13
.                                        0.675 0.333 0.679       0.667 0.189 0.151 0.026 0.300 0.714    

Syracuse                Min   +/-   Pts  2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A  FGA    A    Stl    TO   Blk    OR    DR   PF
JACKSON, Rick          33:02  -14   4/65  2- 6  0- 0  0- 0  6/49  2/24  2/59  5/60  2/33  2/23  3/21   4
RAUTINS, Andy          40:00  - 7  14/84  1- 1  4- 9  0- 0 10/59 11/27  0/73  5/74  0/40  1/28  3/30   1
JOHNSON, Wes           38:14  - 6  24/79  7-12  3- 5  1- 2 17/55  1/20  3/68  3/69  2/37  2/26  5/28   5
ONUAKU, Arinze         17:02  + 6   3/37  1- 2  0- 0  1- 2  2/22  1/12  1/27  0/30  1/18  0/10  3/13   2
TRICHE, Brandon        18:07  + 4   2/39  1- 2  0- 0  0- 0  2/26  3/14  3/31  2/32  0/19  0/11  1/11   2
JARDINE, Scoop         23:44  -12  19/50  4- 9  2- 3  5- 6 12/37  1/13  0/48  2/47  0/24  0/19  2/22   3
JOSEPH, Kris           29:51  - 6  18/66  5- 7  2- 3  2- 2 10/47  0/18  0/59  0/58  0/29  2/23  3/25   4
TOTALS                 40:00       84    21-39 11-20  9-12    59 19/32  9/73 17/74  5/40  8/28 21/30  21
.                                        0.538 0.550 0.750       0.594 0.123 0.230 0.125 0.286 0.700    

Efficiency: Georgetown 1.247, Syracuse 1.135
eFG%: Georgetown 0.621, Syracuse 0.636
Substitutions: Georgetown 21, Syracuse 24

2-pt Shot Selection:
Dunks: Georgetown 0-0, Syracuse 1-1
Layups/Tips: Georgetown 22-33, Syracuse 17-29
Jumpers: Georgetown 5-7, Syracuse 3-9

Fast break pts (% FG pts): Georgetown 4 (5.6), Syracuse 7 (9.3)
Pts (eff.) after steal: Georgetown 23 (164.3), Syracuse 14 (155.6)
Seconds per poss: Georgetown 18.8, Syracuse 13.9





Occasional contributor Ray Floriani was at the game, and sent along his thoughts:
NEW YORK CITY - The offensive numbers were impressive. Georgetown had a 125 OE while Syracuse checked in at 114. The deciding factor was turnovers. The pace was 74 possessions as Syracuse will run. Georgetown is known for its Princeton (variation) offense but will push if the opportunity arises, especially off turnovers. Georgetown had an 11-9 scoring edge off fast breaks. Hoyas cared for the ball with a 16% rate while Syracuse was too high at 23%.

Georgetown missed a number of free throws in the stretch but still had a significant 50-20 edge in free throw rate. A look at three point attempts shows why. The Orange took 39% of their attempts beyond the arc, Georgetown took only 20%. In late game Syracuse was in a fouling mode which inflates the FT rate, but the Hoyas simply did a better job attacking the basket all game.

John Thompson III noted after beating a good South Florida team on Wednesday, his club is physically and emotionally at their best right now. It showed against Syracuse. The Hoyas are very loose yet playing hungry, poised to make a significant tourney run.

Coach Thompson also commented on Austin Freeman’s diabetes noting it hasn’t altered his stamina or performance. The changes are in his [Freeman’s] regular life as Thompson noted and in practice and games there is always someone there to monitor his condition.

Greg Monroe. At times I feel he should do more. The Hoya big man did go for 15 points 10 boards 7 assists, a nice complete game. Monroe doesn’t force the issue nor do they force it into him on offense. Thompson utilized his center's passing skills out of the mid- and high-post and when the time came he got the looks inside and utilized his nice baseline move on the blocks. His numbers and performance today were just fine.

Friday night is for the Big East Jesuit title, Georgetown-Marquette. Fully expect this to go to the wire.


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Stats pages will be updated after the Big East tournament.

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