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.