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.