Saturday, December 31, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 49, Providence 40

The Georgetown Hoyas and Providence Friars conspired to set back organized basketball at least 50 years with a nearly unwatchable performance this afternoon at the Verizon Center. The good guys pulled it out, 49-40; the game was considerably closer than the final score indicates.

How bad was it? The Hoyas failed to record an assist in the second half, which I suppose would be a bigger deal if they had made more than eight shots from the floor in the Vespers half.

Henry Sims was the second-best player on the floor today for Georgetown, but made only 2/13 2FG attempts. That included settling for six jumpers (and missing them all).

It gets worse - you could be a Providence fan and watch Gerald Coleman shoot an amazing 1/8 on FTs. Yeah, I thought it was a typo too, so I checked multiple box scores to confirm. He came into the game shooting 69% [=61/88] for the year.

As a team, the Hoyas ended up shooting 33% eFG - very close to the 34% effort against Howard five games ago.  Georgetown has only record two sub-40% shooting games in the previous two seasons (the two losses last year against Cincinnati), so this is clearly the stat to keep an eye on as conference-play unfolds.

So how did the Hoyas pull it out?
  • the aforementioned Gerald Coleman disaster on the FT line
  • limiting turnovers
  • defense
The defensive effort, highlighted by Alan in yesterday's post, is going to have to be where the Hoyas make their bones this year - for the first time since 2008, the Hoyas have an adjusted def. efficiency below 90% (yes, it's still early).  Rust never sleeps, and defense doesn't slump; so long as Georgetown can keep this up, they'll have a puncher's chance in games when their shots aren't falling.

But the other positive to take away is that the Hoyas played another game without committing many turnovers [TO rate = 12%].  Now the Friars aren't a team built on steals [265th nationally on turnovers forced coming into the game], but Georgetown was able to finish the game with a 13-7 turnover edge.  Those 6 extra possessions ending with a scoring opportunity - in a game where the Hoyas averaged 0.82 pts / possession - was roughly equivalent to a +5 point advantage.  A huge difference when G'town led by only four points with less than a minute left.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Providence         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            30        30        60
Points          27        22        49          19        21        40   

Effic.         88.9      74.4      81.8        62.5      71.0      66.8  
eFG%           39.7      26.7      33.1        26.0      30.8      28.4  
TO%             6.6      16.9      11.7        26.3      16.9      21.7  
OR%            20.0      40.0      31.1        33.3      31.8      32.6  
FTA/FGA        20.7      30.0      25.4        40.0      38.5      39.2  

Assist Rate    70.0       0.0      38.9        33.3      57.1      46.2  
Block Rate     20.0      22.2      21.1        11.1       8.3       9.5  
Steal Rate      6.6      13.5      10.0         3.3       6.8       5.0  
2FG%           38.9      33.3      35.7        25.0      27.8      26.3  
3FG%           27.3       0.0      17.6        20.0      25.0      23.1  
FT%            66.7      66.7      66.7        60.0      50.0      55.0

more stats after the jump

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Comparison

Color me optimistic this morning.  I'm pretty sure the source is simply halo from the Louisville win and general guilt from having let Brian carry this blog for the past two months, but either way, it occurred to me that this team is kinda, sorta, in that-wow-we-might-be-really-good way similar to the last Hoya Big East regular season champs.

This website keeps non-conference stats, and 2011-12 has all of one conference game played, so non-conference stats are what I'm going to use to compare.  I won't be ignoring the important (read: conference) games in the commentary, but the stats listed will all be non-conference.

The Center of Attention.
Stat           Hibbert [Sr]       Sims [Sr]
Poss%             26                 29  
ORating          122                118
OReb%             14                  9
DReb%             17                 18
ARate             15                 31
TORate            14                 18
Goofiness          8                 10
Block %           10                  8
Team Def Rating   88                 86
Indiv D Rating    89                 84
Monster Points     1                  0

I know. I'm as surprised as you. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but offensively, they have been similarly effective. We know that Roy's performance translated well to conference play -- his low post moves did not lose effectiveness, but we did see his offensive rebounding decline and turnovers increase as he became the focus of better defenses.

That's a concern for Sims; similar slides in either or more games where his shot is rolling out, and his effectiveness will start to rely almost entirely on his passing. And we know from experience the backdoors are severely cut down in conference play.

It is interesting to note that this year's Hoyas are statistically superior to the '07-08 Hoyas in non-conference defense. Some of that is opponent, but it's a nice sign for this year's Hoyas and Sims in particular.  

Verdict: Sims isn't having a Ya-Ya year; he's having what we'll call a Sims year in the future. Ya-Ya went from nothing to decent; Sims is well beyond that. But Roy was still better, though possibly by not as much as I thought.

the rest of the breakdown after the jump

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 71, Louisville 68

Georgetown survived a late 11-point run by the Louisville Cardinals to pull out an impressive road win against the #4-ranked team in all the land to kick off Big East conference play.

I didn't get my hands on the Hoyas stats package until late tonight (thanks as always to Mex Carey for coming through in the clutch) so you'll get only a stats dump tonight.

The briefest of summaries:
  • Hoya bench (Trawick, Hopkins) - good
  • Otto Porter - very good
  • Markel Starks - tremendous

(Edited to add some morning-after thoughts)

Having had a night to sleep on it, I'm beginning to wonder if last night's game isn't the perfect example of why Georgetown tends to struggle to live up to early season expectations.  The Hoyas were unconscious from behind the arc in the second half, and now delusion is running rampant.

The important stats to consider from last night were:
  • Turnovers.  The Cardinals win by turning over their opponent - it fueled their late-game comeback.  Indeed, of Georgetown's 16 turnovers, 13 were by Louisville steals, i.e. live-ball turnovers.  The Hoyas entered last night's game having turned the ball over 17.3% of possessions, good for 25th nationally.  That trend was out of character for JT3-coached teams, who tend to be far too sloppy with the ball.  Last night's game may indicate that the team is regressing towards the mean now that the level of competition has improved.
  • Outside shooting.  There are few better ways to punish an opponent than to make a high percentage of 3FGs.  The Cardinals are a great defensive team against inside shots [def 2FG% = 37.9%, 4th], but just mediocre against shots behind the arc [def 3FG% = 35.5%, 223rd].  The Princeton-variant offense that the Hoyas use is very good at generating open looks from deep, and Markel Starks and Hollis Thompson certainly took advantage.  But the Hoyas aren't going to shoot 64% from deep in most games, no matter how open they are.
  • Defense. The Hoyas starters yesterday struggled a bit with the Cards version of the dribble-drive offense.  Nate Lubick especially ended with a poor defensive rating in limited minutes, but all the starters were at or above a defensive rating of 100 for the game.  But here, the Hoyas real strength this season came to the fore - the massive length that Coach Thompson can roll out from his bench.  Porter, Trawick, Whittington and Hopkins all got serious burn last night in their first conference road game, and all rated better than the starters defensively.  And that may be the key to the Hoyas' season:  for the first time since 2008, Coach Thompson may have - and trust - his bench.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      LOUISVILLE         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            33        33        66

Points          32        39        71          35        33        68   

Effic.         97.7     118.4     108.1       106.9     100.2     103.5  
eFG%           47.8      62.0      55.2        51.7      45.2      48.3  
TO%            27.5      21.2      24.4        15.3      12.1      13.7  
OR%            40.0      28.6      34.5        31.6      31.8      31.7  
FTA/FGA        56.5      44.0      50.0        31.0      25.8      28.3  
Assist Rate    50.0      46.2      47.8        61.5      58.3      60.0  
Block Rate      0.0      10.0       5.6        16.7      10.5      13.5  
Steal Rate      9.2       3.0       6.1        21.4      18.2      19.8  
2FG%           44.4      42.1      43.2        56.2      40.0      47.2  
3FG%           40.0      83.3      63.6        30.8      36.4      33.3  
FT%            76.9      72.7      75.0        55.6      62.5      58.8

Monday, December 26, 2011

What's a good early season worth?

If you've been reading the Hoya interwebs since the Memphis game, you may have come across a note that Georgetown has wrapped up the pre-Big East part of the schedule with a 10-1 record, and this is the fifth consecutive season that the Hoyas have started the season 10-1.

Of course, not all 10-1 records are the same.  As I write, Georgetown sits 12th in both polls, and 14th in Ken Pomeroy's ratings.  Meanwhile, the Seton Hall Pirates have run off an 11-1 record so far, but can get not a whiff from either poll and Ken rates them 55th overall.  While the teams have played comparably difficult schedules so far [G'town = 252nd, SHU = 274th], the Hoyas rate high by beating the bad teams by a lot, and for beating (or losing to) some better teams - Georgetown's only loss was to Kansas, while the Hall fell to Northwestern.

But that's not why I'm writing.

What I am actually curious about, is whether early season performance is a useful predictor of what comes later in the year.

The simple answer is "Yes."

I want to be careful to spell out a few definitions before I proceed.
  • The data set shown in the figure above is for all Big East teams for the seasons 2006 to 2011 (the six seasons played since the expansion with Conference USA teams)
  • Early season refers to games in November and December - I'm not discriminating for whether a game is conference or non-conference here.  Early season is represented on the x-axis
  • Later games means just that:  all games played after Dec. 31st. More pointedly, I'm not limiting the discussion to merely how a team performs in a single-elimination tournament (conf. or NCAA).  Late season is represented on the y-axis.
  • I'm not going to be using win-loss record but rather Ken Pomeroy's stats [adjusted efficiencies] to evaluate how a team performs.  The stat of interest here I'll call "net adjusted efficiency" which is simply adj. offensive efficiency [aOE] minus adj. defensive efficiency [aDE].  You can find aOE and aDE on Ken's ratings page (free to all).  I'm happy to acknowledge that his "Pythagorean" rating is probably a bit more accurate, but it's also a lot more complicated.
The scatter plot is fairly impressive - using Ken's stats, there is a clear linear trend between how well a team plays early and how well they will play later.

Lots of fancy-pants analysis, what it means for Georgetown, and predicted Big East wins for all teams after the jump.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 70, Memphis 59

 Georgetown jumped out to a big lead, then began coasting a bit too early tonight but hung on to win convincingly, 80-69, against the Memphis Tigers at the Verizon Center.

After a fairly evenly matched first 18 minutes, Georgetown used a 20-3 run bracketing half time to jump out to a big lead against the Tigers tonight. The spread grew to as many as 20 points before Memphis switched into a 2-3 zone to slow down the Hoyas' offense. Georgetown began to bog down in the half-court, and a spate of six turnovers in a nine-possession stretch brought the Tigers to within 7 points with 4:26 left in the game. But the Hoyas managed to score nine points over their next seven possessions, never allowing the Memphis to get any closer in the game.

Vegas pegged the the Hoyas to be -5 coming in, and Ken Pomeroy agreed (favoring the Hoyas by 7), so an 11-point win should feel like a big deal to Georgetown fans - but I didn't feel particularly excited about the win.  Part of this might just be the quality of the game itself, with the frequent fouls and turnovers, but a bigger part is a worrying trend creeping in: blowing big leads.
  • Against Alabama, the Hoyas lead by nine points with under 3:00 left in the game and watched the Tide take the lead before Hollis Thompson hit a game-winning 3FG.
  • Against Howard, the Hoyas jumped out to a 17-0 lead and still were ahead by 16 points with a minute left in the first half, and watched the the Bison close to with two points several times, including with less than 6:00 in the game.
  • And now tonight.
I'll suggest that this is the sort of thing that happens with a young team - the Hoyas rank 273/345 nationally in experience as per KenPom - and is just something that the fans will have to suffer through this season.  So far, the results - a 10-1 record and a nationally-ranked team - have made it worthwhile.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Memphis         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            32        34        66
Points          35        35        70          28        31        59   

Effic.        109.1     102.1     105.8        87.3      90.4      89.1  
eFG%           58.0      38.5      48.0        45.5      46.6      46.1  
TO%            21.8      23.3      22.7        31.2      23.3      27.2  
OR%            30.8      57.1      47.1        28.6      36.8      33.3  
FTA/FGA        32.0      84.6      58.8        40.9      27.6      33.3  

Assist Rate    53.8      66.7      59.1        55.6      69.2      63.6  
Block Rate     12.5       4.5       7.9         5.3      16.7      10.8  
Steal Rate     15.6      14.6      15.1         3.1      17.5      10.6  
2FG%           52.6      38.9      45.9        43.8      54.5      50.0  
3FG%           50.0      25.0      35.7        33.3      14.3      23.1  
FT%            75.0      68.2      70.0        88.9      50.0      70.6

More stats after the jump

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 81, American 55

After struggling against the American Eagles in the first half, the Hoyas stopped turning the ball over and started making shots, and that was your ballgame, 81-55.

There was considerable consternation last time out as the Hoyas struggled with their shot against the Howard Bison, but today's result hints that it was a one-time performance. Georgetown's eFG% of 65% was their best effort from the floor since their game at Chaminade during the Maui tournament.

The biggest difference between halves was turnovers. American went into half-time with a 9-5 advantage in turnovers forced [and 5-2 in steals]. The Eagles weren't necessarily turning the errors into points - only 4 points after steals - but rather the turnovers were symptomatic of the Hoyas sloppy play. Georgetown ended 9 of 31 [= 29%] offensive possessions without a scoring attempt. No single player was the cause of all the give aways as Starks, Sims, Lubick and Clark all ended the Lift-off half with multiple turnovers.

Coach Thompson made a clear adjustment in the locker room, as the offense pointedly ran through Henry Sims at the high post in the Vespers half - Henry had all of his 6 assists in the second half with only a single turnover.  For the half, Georgetown had the better of American 10-3 in turnovers and converted six Eagle live turnovers (i.e. steals) into 11 points.

Meanwhile, the Hoyas suddenly were running amok in the paint in the Vespers half - Georgetown shot a ridiculous 18/19 after the break on dunks, tips and layups, while attempts only 12 jump shots (and making just three). This was after attempting only one (!) in-close shot in the first half while hoisting 19 jumpers.

And with today's win, the Hoyas have wrapped up the easy part of their schedule: the previously over-rated (pay) but now under-rated Memphis Tigers arrive at the Verizon Center on Thursday night for a rematch of the overtime battle in Hawaii, then Georgetown heads to Louisville for a brutal road opener of conference play.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      American         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            31        34        65
Points          32        49        81          26        29        55   

Effic.        102.5     145.0     124.3        83.2      85.8      84.4  
eFG%           55.0      71.0      64.7        39.3      53.8      46.3  
TO%            28.8       8.9      18.4        16.0      29.6      23.0  
OR%            40.0      25.0      31.8        20.0      26.7      22.9  
FTA/FGA        65.0      22.6      39.2        21.4       7.7      14.8  

Assist Rate    77.8      52.4      60.0        70.0      41.7      54.5  
Block Rate     18.8       0.0       9.7         9.1       4.2       5.7  
Steal Rate      6.4      17.8      12.3        16.0       0.0       7.7  
2FG%           45.5      79.2      68.6        50.0      53.3      51.6  
3FG%           44.4      28.6      37.5        16.7      36.4      26.1  
FT%            76.9      71.4      75.0        66.7      50.0      62.5 

More stats and thoughts after the jump

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 62, Howard 48


In a game where the Hoyas could simply not make a shot in the second half, Georgetown gutted out a closer-than-the-score win today against the Howard Bison, 62-48.

The Bison are not a nationally-ranked powerhouse (currently sitting at 306/345 per KenPom's ranking), so I suppose I should be in hysterics. After opening the game with a remarkable 17-0 run, Georgetown seemed to completely lose offensive focus and watched Howard reel off a 32-17 run of their own.

And this was a game where the Hoyas missed their last 11 attempts from behind the arc - many wide open - as well as several bunnies near the rim. The shots were simply not going to drop in the Vespers half, no matter how easy the look.

But I just couldn't get that excited - it felt like the Hoyas had another gear on defense that they could reach for if they had to (and they did). After the under-8:00 timeout in the second half, the Bison made a jumpshot to close the score to 42-40, then grabbed Jason Clark's missed jumper to go back on offense with a chance to tie or even take the lead.

Over the next 14 possessions, Georgetown outscored Howard 18-2 while forcing 10 turnovers. That stretch included 18 free throw attempts by the Hoyas, as they finally took advantage of their size and athleticism to overwhelm the Bison.


Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Howard         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            33        37        70
Points          30        32        62          17        31        48   

Effic.         91.4      85.4      88.0        51.8      82.8      68.1  
eFG%           38.0      29.2      33.7        29.6      47.4      37.0  
TO%            24.4      10.7      17.0        30.5      34.7      32.6  
OR%            41.2      18.2      28.2        27.3      30.8      28.6  
FTA/FGA        56.0     116.7      85.7        14.8      94.7      47.8  

Assist Rate    55.6      28.6      43.8        42.9      62.5      53.3  
Block Rate     15.0       6.7      11.4         0.0      10.0       5.6  
Steal Rate     12.2       8.0       9.9         6.1       8.0       7.1  
2FG%           50.0      35.0      41.7        25.0      40.0      31.4  
3FG%           11.1       0.0       7.7        28.6      50.0      36.4  
FT%            78.6      64.3      69.0        25.0      72.2      63.6

More stats after the jump

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 84, NJIT 44

Not a lot to say after today's game, as the Hoyas turned a 14-point halftime lead into a 40-point rout of the NJIT Highlanders at the Verizon Center, 84-44.

Ken Pomeroy predicted a 26-point victory for Georgetown before tip-off, so the murmurs of discontent near the end of the Lift-off half were a bit misplaced. To be fair, there were two rough patches in the first half where Hoya fans could find room for complaint:  a 12-possession stretch midway through the half where the Hoyas committed 6 turnovers including 5 steals by NJIT, and an 11-possession stretch on defense where the Highlanders scored 18 points.  As these lapses overlapped, Georgetown watched its lead shrink to nine points [30-21].

Of course, a 29-2 run that started just before the intermission quickly swung things far the other way.

It's hard to get too excited about individual performances by the starters in a game like this, but Hollis Thompson's outside shot [6/7 3FG] was ridiculous today.

What this game does represent is an important opportunity for some of the Hoyas' bench players to get game time in order to impress the coaches. Mikael Hopkins [Net pts = +6.6] and Tyler Adams [+6.0] had a good old time out there abusing the smaller Highlanders, but I thought Jabril Trawick [+1.4] had the best afternoon of the non-rotation players:  it seemed to me that he took a personal affront to the Highlanders narrowing the score before halftime and helped wake up the defense.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      NJIT         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            32        33        65
Points          42        42        84          28        16        44   

Effic.        130.8     129.0     130.2        87.2      49.1      68.2  
eFG%           66.0      56.9      61.1        46.2      19.0      31.8  
TO%            21.8      21.5      21.7        15.6      21.5      18.6  
OR%            33.3      56.2      46.4         6.7      23.1      17.1  
FTA/FGA        40.0      34.5      37.0        15.4      24.1      20.0  

Assist Rate    69.2      42.9      55.6        60.0      20.0      46.7  
Block Rate     33.3      47.4      41.9         8.3       5.6       6.7  
Steal Rate      9.3       6.1       7.8        15.6      15.4      15.5  
2FG%           50.0      50.0      50.0        50.0      21.1      32.3  
3FG%           53.8      45.5      50.0        28.6      10.0      20.8  
FT%            90.0      90.0      90.0       100.0      71.4      81.8

More stats after the jump

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 57, Alabama 55

One great defensive half, one very good offensive half was just enough for the Hoyas to sneak out of Tuscaloosa with the win, 57-55.

I don't have a lot of scintillating analysis to offer tonight -  I find games like this effectively turn my brain to mush. Just a few thought before I go to bed:
  • The story line throughout the first half was how uncertain Alabama was against the Hoyas 2-3 zone.  Georgetown baited Alabama into playing a perimeter offense, and the Tide's cold outside shooting [0/9 3FG] played well into that.  But I thought Coach Grant's halftime adjustments ("Get it inside to Green.") and his team's ability to execute the game plan in the Vespers half was going to end up as the lead for the game recap, until Hollis Thompson came to the rescue.
  • The real story tonight (and one certain to be lost in all the excitement of the Hoyas' big road win) is the offensive game Georgetown played.  Make no mistake, Alabama is a great defensive team [ranked 7th by Pomeroy after tonight's game].  They do it by forcing other teams to miss shots [def. eFG% = 37.4%, 5th nationally], both in close [def. 2FG% = 37.8%, 10th] and from deep [def. 3FG% = 24.5%, 13th].  The Hoyas made their outside shots tonight [7/17 = 41%], but also maded just enough inside with a number of cutting layups [14/31 = 45%].  Scoring more than a point per possession on the Tide's home court is kind of a big deal.
  • In spite of all the pre- and early-season chatter about how deep this Georgetown team is and how much larger the rotation will be as the Hoyas play aggressive defense, tonight's game was a look at what we can expect for the rest of the season.  Nate Lubick played limited minutes thanks to three early fouls, but we saw essentially a 7-man rotation tonight (the starters + Porter and Whittington).  Coach Thompson plays a short bench in big games, and I don't think we'll see much of a change this year after all.
  • Jason Clark is obviously the offensive star for this team, but I think he's starting to spoil me in that I didn't feel that he had a remarkable game, just a solid one.  In fact, he was the best player on the court all night.
  • Hollis Thompson, on the other hand, may have made the step forward in confidence that this team needs to remain dangerous.  And I'm not just talking about that final shot - against Kansas and Memphis, Hollis used about 19% of the team's possessions when he was on the court.  That's typical of a role player.  Tonight, Thompson used more that 25% of available possessions, while still keeping his efficiency high
  • I expressed some doubts this morning about whether Henry Sims is legitimately having a breakout senior year. I always withhold the right to change my mind, and tonight's game is a start.  Would have loved to see Sims finish his reverse drive to the hoop with just under a minute left that would have gone a long way to lower my blood pressure, but otherwise little to complain about tonight.
  • I'm guessing the cognoscenti will be in full lather tonight about cutting Lubick's playing time, especially after his silly off-the-head turnover in the second half. Stats don't lie, and the fact is that Lubick actually didn't have a bad game - he struggled on the defensive end, but was better on offense that either Starks or Porter. With little indication of help coming from the bench at the 4/5 positions, I think Lubick will continue to get time to work through his issues on the court.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Alabama         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            25        30        55

Points          23        34        57          16        39        55   

Effic.         90.9     113.2     103.3        63.2     129.9      99.7  
eFG%           43.5      58.0      51.0        31.6      60.4      47.7  
TO%            23.7      16.7      19.9        23.7      10.0      16.3  
OR%            37.5      15.4      27.6        21.4      28.6      25.0  
FTA/FGA        21.7      20.0      20.8        31.6      54.2      44.2  
Assist Rate    66.7      58.3      61.9        66.7      46.2      52.6  
Block Rate     10.0       5.9       7.4        17.6       0.0       9.7  
Steal Rate      7.9      10.0       9.1         7.9      10.0       9.1  
2FG%           41.2      50.0      45.2        60.0      58.8      59.3  
3FG%           33.3      45.5      41.2         0.0      42.9      18.8  
FT%            60.0     100.0      80.0        66.7      76.9      73.7 

more stats after the jump

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 81, IUPUI 58

After struggling throughout the first half in a lightly-attended game against the IUPUI Jaguars at the Verizon Center, Georgetown started the second half with an 11-0 run and reeled off another 11-2 run midway through the Vespers half to break open a close game and cruise to a lopsided win tonight, 81-58.

The Hoyas committed 7 turnovers on 63 offensive possessions tonight - that's an 11% turnover rate, for those of you who struggle with math.  This is the fourth time in six games played this season that Georgetown has given up the ball on less than 20% of their possessions.  As I pointed out over this weekend, I have no expectation that the Hoyas will continue to be so stingy as the season rolls along, but it's certainly nice to hope so.

A few random thoughts before calling it a night:
  • The star of the game for the Hoyas was Hollis Thompson, who managed a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.  After using 20% or less of the Hoyas' possessions while he was on the court the past three games, Hollis showed much more assertiveness - especially useful since Jason Clark was having a quiet game.  After tonight, Thompson is shooting 62% [=22/32] on 2FGs and 50% [=9/18] on 3FG for the season. 
  • Nate Lubick finally got off the schnide with an 8-pt 14-reb game.  Those 14 rebounds included six on the offensive end (out of 23 available missed shots by the Hoyas when he was on the floor).  There was some chatter than Nate was merely padding out the stat sheet by grabbing his own misses - three of his six offensive boards were off his own shots.  But he should also be credited with converting those rebounds into 3 scoring possessions (he twice grabbed two off. reb. in a row, and once the Hoyas failed to convert after his extended the possession).
  • IUPUI's Alex Young is the Jaguar's volume scorer - he's taken nearly a third of the Jag's FG attempts while on the floor during his first three seasons.  At the break, he had scored 16 points rather efficiently [2/4 2FG, 2/3 3FG, 6/6 FT] and I'm sure I was not alone in thinking the Hoyas were once again going to allow a career game. The second half was a different story [0/4 2FG 0/4 3FG 0/1 FT]. Since I was forced to listen to the dulcet tones of Rich Chvotkin rather than watch the game, I'm curious if Coach Thompson changed defensive strategy after halftime or if it was merely a case of regression to the mean.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      IUPUI         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            30        34        64
Points          32        49        81          31        27        58   

Effic.        106.4     143.0     126.2       103.1      78.8      90.4  
eFG%           43.8      61.4      53.0        44.4      31.8      37.5  
TO%            10.0      11.7      10.9        10.0      17.5      14.0  
OR%            36.8      50.0      42.9        23.5      44.4      36.4  
FTA/FGA        18.8      20.0      19.4        29.6      39.4      35.0  

Assist Rate    53.8      65.0      60.6        72.7      30.0      52.4  
Block Rate      5.3       8.7       7.1        13.0       3.8       8.2  
Steal Rate      3.3       8.8       6.2         3.3       8.8       6.2  
2FG%           47.8      65.4      57.1        47.4      39.1      42.9  
3FG%           22.2      33.3      27.8        25.0      10.0      16.7  
FT%            66.7      85.7      76.9        87.5      46.2      61.9
More stats after the jump

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's way too early to start looking at stats
But I've started to wake up the stats pages anyway (if you're new here, the stats pages are linked at the tool bar at the top of the page).

Right now, I've got the team and player advanced stats, along with player plus/minus and shot selection up and running.  Let's wait until next weekend (after the 'Bama game) to wake up the plots for net points and the performance charts - I do have the table on the net points page live, though.

The stats pages will get updated weekly, depending upon what else is going on with my schedule.  Now that Ken Pomeroy has moved most of his site behind a pay wall, I suspect that the pages here will be in bit higher demand.  Feel free to prod me (e-mail is at the upper-right) if you just can't wait for something.  Also, do let us know if you see a mistake, don't understand what a stat means, or have just thought of the greatest new basketball statistic of all time.

A few thoughts from what is now available:
  • Henry Sims and Jason Clark are using a huge number of possessions so far [34% and 27%, respectively vs. Kansas and Memphis], and their efficiency on offense is suffering a bit because of it [ORat = 104 and 107, respectively]. Hollis Thompson and Markel Starks managed much better offensive ratings by being more selective [125/16% and 141/14%].
  • Otto Porter is playing really well, whether against all teams or just the top-100 (I don't think you needed the stats to know that).  He's been the best defender on the team while using his possessions efficiently [130/18%].  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 91, Memphis 88 [OT]

Brian may or may not get the stats up tonight, so I'm going to write up some notes blind. Undoubtedly I will get some things wrong.

[ed. note: stats now added]

Without further ado, here's my thoughts on Georgetown's performance in the Maui Classic:
  • Just to be clear, I'm going to be pretty wishy-washy here. The Hoyas played well against a couple of highly ranked opponents, which is fantastic. But that said, Memphis isn't anywhere near the 8th best team in the country and I'm a bit suspect of Kansas at this point as well (though mid-teens seems fair). To be fair, I seem to perpetually underestimate Tyshawn Taylor.
  • That said, Georgetown was almost certainly at least the fourth best team in this tourney and perhaps third despite finishing fifth.
  • Henry Sims! The chorus for Henry has either been unadulterated praise or off hand comments like "everyone is lighting up Memphis' frontcourt." Here's why the latter is somewhat wrong - big, burly Tarik Black stayed in the game today. Yes, he's not Dikembe, but he's exactly the kind of guy who would push Henry around so much last year. Henry saved the Hoyas, and while he's not going to be Alonzo or even Roy, he's well on his way to his Ya-Ya year (and likely much better than Ya-Ya).
  • Just to highlight why Henry was such a dynamo tonight -- he scored efficiently, passed well, turned over the ball a bit but not too much -- but his biggest contribution might have been the extra five possessions he created on the offensive boards. Awesome.
  • Memphis also respected Henry enough that the helping second defender created off. rebounding opportunities for others, like Greg Whittington.
  • I have to admit I was not hopeful about Jason Clark making a leap this year. But he has. His shot is still streakier than I'd like, but have we seen anyone improve their handle more than Clark in one year? Amazing. And it's led to a much better ability to drive the ball, pull-up, etc. Clark has turned himself into a dynamic offensive player.
  • This team makes the difficult lay-ups they haven't made in years.
  • I can't decide what my favorite part of Otto Porter's Memphis line is -- the four steals or the fact that he played forty minutes and committed just one turnover.
  • Wait, it's the steals.
  • Lubick had an atrocious game and has not looked confident, but the team needs him. Neither Adams nor Hopkins are ready to play against big time opponents and the Porter-as-PF lineup was helped by Memphis not having a PF and having many of those minutes occur with Black in foul trouble or fouled out. Having the ability to play Porter at PF is wonderful; having him as the only PF the team can rely on is awful.
  • I love Jabril Trawick's defensive stance. Just awesome.
  • Markel had a quietly fantastic offensive game versus Memphis. Both he and Clark have surprised me with their ability to drive, and even better for Markel, he made his threes.
  • Perimeter defense is still an issue, though. Despite talk of Georgetown's improved D, it really wasn't very good. They fouled a ton, didn't close out on perimeter shooters and couldn't keep any guards from any team -- KU, Memphis or even Chaminade -- out of the lane. It's a problem when you can't defend the three or the drive, somehow. Memphis was shooting well, but the guards weren't making it hard for them, either.
  • There were a couple stretches where the Hoyas dominated the boards. It's there; it's possible; but it's not quite in the Hoyas' grasp yet.
  • I wouldn't get too high over this, yet. This game feels like Missouri last year. Memphis committed a lot of unforced errors that offset how well they shot and Georgetown gutted out a close game. But the parallels to last year's team may stop there -- last year's team was not as young nor as deep as this year's and last year's team lost its most important player at the most important time of year.

The usual stats extravaganza after the jump.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 88, Chaminade 61

After a very short turnaround from last night's hard fought loss against Kansas, the Hoyas took the court against the Chaminade Silverswords this afternoon in Maui.  After a trading 3FGs in the opening minutes, the Hoyas ran off 12 consecutive points to build an early lead and never looked back.  Georgetown eventually prevailed in a 27-point victory.

Of course, the Silverswords are a Div-II opponent in a game that was little more than an exhibition, especially in the eyes of the tournament committee come March.  But nine Hoyas got significant burn this afternoon in a tune-up for the hopefully exhausted Memphis Tigers.
Not much in the way of a recap tonight, unless Alan can step in to take up the slack.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Chaminade         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            35        34        68

Points          45        43        88          33        28        61   

Effic.        130.3     128.1     129.2        95.6      83.4      89.5  
eFG%           73.2      58.6      65.8        50.0      52.0      50.9  
TO%            26.1      17.9      22.0        26.1      23.8      25.0  
OR%            50.0      50.0      50.0        23.5      14.3      19.4  
FTA/FGA        21.4      41.4      31.6        17.9      20.0      18.9  
Assist Rate    82.4      31.2      57.6        72.7      41.7      56.5  
Block Rate     14.3       6.2      10.0         6.2       5.0       5.6  
Steal Rate     11.6       6.0       8.8         8.7       8.9       8.8  
2FG%           62.5      70.0      66.7        35.7      62.5      50.0  
3FG%           58.3      22.2      42.9        42.9      22.2      34.8  
FT%            66.7      75.0      72.2       100.0      40.0      70.0 

Recap: Kansas 67, Georgetown 63

Just a stats dump this morning for last night's game, what with the late ending and all.

Quick thoughts before I hit the "Publish" button:
  • Georgetown gave up ten dunks last night (and nine made dunks).  That may be a record for a single game by a Hoya opponent since I've been keeping track.
  • Otto Porter was the best player on the court for either team last night (yes, even better than Mr. Robinson on Kansas).  That may be the most important take away from last night's game for the Hoyas.
  • Markel Starks led the offense about as well as any game he's played in his career so far.  I think he silenced some doubters. Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark made some shots last night, but not quite enough to carry the team to a win.  All three were a bit exposed by the speed of the Jayhawk guards.
  • Nate Lubick was getting a ton of grief last night after the game on the Hoya interwebs as I went to bed.  Nate actually played a solid defensive game while having to guard an absolute beast in Robinson.  I think fans generally focus on the offense (Nate and Henry Sims were both brutal) and ignore the defensive end for the most part.
  • Freshmen report other than Otto (FROTO): Greg Whittington was a bit overwhelmed on the offensive end by Kansas' tough defense, but played well enough defensively (especially as a freshman) to stay on the court.  Jabril Trawick played his expected solid defense but needed to add something offensively to be useful.  Mikael Hopkins looked like the game was moving too fast for him.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Kansas         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            34        32        65

Points          35        28        63          37        30        67   

Effic.        104.3      87.8      96.3       110.3      94.0     102.4  
eFG%           53.7      39.3      46.4        51.9      52.1      52.0  
TO%            17.9      15.7      16.8        14.9      21.9      18.3  
OR%            18.8      26.3      22.9        33.3      28.6      31.2  
FTA/FGA        29.6      35.7      32.7        51.9      33.3      43.1  
Assist Rate    25.0      30.0      27.3        66.7      41.7      54.2  
Block Rate     18.8       5.3      11.4         7.7      16.7      12.9  
Steal Rate      3.0      12.5       7.6         6.0       6.3       6.1  
2FG%           53.8      44.4      48.4        50.0      57.9      54.3  
3FG%           35.7      20.0      29.2        36.4      20.0      31.2  
FT%            75.0      60.0      66.7        64.3      62.5      63.6

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Offensive Versatility, 2011-2012 edition

As we enter the third generation of the Thompson III era at Georgetown, there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about this group of players. Many of them are on defense: the increased athleticism, height and length of the players means their defensive potential is higher than some of the previous teams, even without a defensive anchor in the center of the court.

Some of that may even manifest itself this year.

It's harder to be as optimistic about the offensive side of the ball, at least in the short term. Both Austin Freeman and Chris Wright were strong offensive players. Their departure leaves a large void for this year, and only Hollis Thompson really stands out statistically as a player who might be capable of assuming a much larger role.

There's another way to look at the offense aside from straight up efficiency, and that's through offensive versatility.

Because defenses can game-plan to stop one or two elements of an offense, truly effective offenses -- those that succeed against quality teams -- have many ways to score in which they are above average. There are roughly six ways to score: dribble drive; perimeter shooting (3's and mid-range); post play; motion/offensive plays; offensive rebounding and transition.

I define above-average loosely, but if a team has to change its basic defense for some aspect of the Hoyas' offense (say, double team in the post or extend the D on three point shooters), that's above-average.

Let's take the Final Four team: they had post play; offensive rebounding; perimeter shooting and motion/offensive plays. The offense had four different ways to hurt you if opponents played them straight up -- a team could double team Roy Hibbert in the post, but that would leave Jon Wallace open for three or DaJuan Summers on the back cut. If the opponent didn't need to bring an extra defender on Roy, then those other options can be more easily defended.

Last year's team was not versatile. The Hoyas had above average motion/offensive plays and outside shooting and... Well, nothing, right? Wright could drive, but he was one player. Transition was mediocre at best. The Hoyas got very few offensive boards. Julian Vaughn was a fine post player against weak teams but against more athletic defenders he could be guarded one on one.

In other words, there were two positives on offense. And when the outside shooting was cold, how hard is it to shut down backdoor cuts? It's not. Is it any wonder that offense died when Chris went down, taking what little dribble penetration and transition offense the team had with him?

So, what about this year? There's surprisingly a bit more hope. My report card as of this moment:
  • Dribble Drive: No
  • Perimeter Shooting: Maybe
  • Post Play: No
  • Motion/Plays: Yes
  • Offensive Rebounding: Maybe
  • Transition: Maybe

It's too early to tell, but the size and athleticism, combined with another shooter stepping up to help Hollis out on the outside, may actually give this team more ways to score than last year's. It may not be as good, but it may be harder to shut down.

Of particular interest is the offensive boards. Transition offense is fantastic because the shooting percentages tend to be so high on fast breaks, but the downside is that is really doesn't open up other aspects of a team's half court offense much.

Offensive rebounding, however, can do a bit more. A really strong offensive rebounding team can take opponents out of a zone, opening up the back cuts and outside shooting and even some dribble drive. It can also take advantage of opponents sagging or helping on those cuts if someone like Mikael Hopkins is gathering weak side offensive rebounds while standing right where the help defender could have been.

Don't get me wrong: this offense still lacks strong versatility. If you had a choice, you'd want to be strong in penetration, post play and outside shooting. The Hoyas really only have a shot at one of those. But given the personnel restrictions, hitting the offensive boards would be playing to this team's potential strengths.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 86, UNC Greensboro 45

In their final tune-up before heading out to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, the Hoyas put on a defensive clinic in the lift-off half at the Verizon Center and cruised to an easy victory tonight over the UNC Greensboro Spartans, 86-45.

During the opening 20 minutes, Georgetown was able to force 14 turnovers in 35 defensive possessions while limiting the Spartans to only 1/10 shooting from behind the arc.

Meanwhile, after shooting out the lights in the first game of the season, Georgetown returned to more pedestrian level tonight, making just a third [9/27] of their 3FG attempts and just above half [21/40] of their shots from inside the arc.  The biggest driver of the regression towards the mean is the difference in 2FG jump-shooting between Saturday [8/14] and tonight [1/11].

None of that applies to Hollis Thompson, however.  Hollis is now shooting 5/9 2FG, 7/9 3FG on this young season.  Dare I say, en fuego.

Coach Thompson has taken advantage of the relatively light competition by getting extra court time for the first year players.  After logging a combined 65 minutes against the Savannah St. Tigers, the youngsters (Porter, Whittington, Trawick, Hopkins, Bowen, Adams) played a total of 106 minutes tonight, actually getting more court time than the returning players.

And so the Hoyas can now look forward to a week of classes and practice before next Monday's tilt with the Kansas Jayhawks at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      UNC Greensboro         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            34        35        69
Points          41        45        86          16        29        45   

Effic.        121.4     127.1     124.3        47.4      81.9      65.0  
eFG%           44.1      59.1      51.5        25.0      42.9      34.3  
TO%            11.8      16.9      14.4        41.5      22.6      31.8  
OR%            47.6      50.0      48.7        38.9      31.6      35.1  
FTA/FGA        35.3      30.3      32.8        23.1      42.9      33.3  

Assist Rate    53.8      58.8      56.7        66.7      40.0      50.0  
Block Rate      6.2       6.2       6.2        15.0       0.0       7.5  
Steal Rate     17.8      11.3      14.4         0.0       2.8       1.4  
2FG%           45.0      60.0      52.5        31.2      37.5      34.4  
3FG%           28.6      38.5      33.3        10.0      33.3      22.7  
FT%            91.7      60.0      77.3        50.0      41.7      44.4 

When you get an e-mail from a real basketball blogger asking how good Georgetown's defense (or how bad UNC Greensboro's offense) actually was in the first half, that's a sign that things were a bit one-sided.  It turns out that the Spartan's 0.47 points per possession in the first half was the lowest allowed in a half by the Hoyas since allowing the Temple Owls to score only 0.44 ppp in that brutal game at Verizon two years ago.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Recap: Georgetown 83, Savannah State 54

Is this thing still on?

After Alan and I swore a blood oath (okay, perhaps not; but we did exchange several e-mails) that we'd put together an in-depth season preview for our reader, we dropped the ball.

So . . . you're going to have to rely upon one of the other season previews for your Georgetown Hoyas now floating in the ether. A not-very comprehensive list:

And with that, the Georgetown Hoyas basketball season tipped off today at noon at the Verizon Center, where the good guys used a 20-2 run early in the second half to put away the over-matched Savannah State Tigers, 83-54.

Meanwhile, I was at the zoo enjoying a surprisingly warm mid-November day with my family, so I didn't see any of the game. Not a second of it. So the stats will have to suffice for tonight.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Savannah State         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            33        32        65
Points          32        51        83          24        30        54   

Effic.         97.0     159.0     126.9        72.7      93.5      82.6  
eFG%           70.5      77.6      74.5        38.9      40.3      39.7  
TO%            24.2      18.7      21.4        21.2      28.1      24.5  
OR%             9.1      66.7      35.0        19.0      54.5      37.2  
FTA/FGA        27.3      20.7      23.5        29.6      25.8      27.6  

Assist Rate    57.1      70.0      64.7        75.0      50.0      60.0  
Block Rate     17.6      30.4      25.0         0.0       0.0       0.0  
Steal Rate     15.2       9.4      12.2         9.1       9.4       9.2  
2FG%           73.3      71.4      72.2        17.6      47.8      35.0  
3FG%           42.9      62.5      53.3        50.0      12.5      33.3  
FT%            16.7     100.0      58.3        37.5      62.5      50.0

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In case you missed it

We participated in a Big East bloggers round table along with a select group of just about every other Big East blogger. (h/t
Pico Dulce over at Rumble in the Garden was kind enough to herd us cats into providing answers to five burning questions during the off season:

1.  Which player's loss will be felt the most by the team?
Our answer:  Chris Wright

2.  Which returning player needs to step their game up?
Our answer:  Henry Sims

3.  Which returning/ incoming player will surprise (positively)?
Our answer:  Jabril Trawick

4.  Who are you most excited to see on campus?
Our answer:  Otto Porter

5.  Who is the future of the program, whether on campus, verbally committed, or not-yet-committed?
Our answer:  It's complicated

I'm proud to say that Alan and I provided the most verbose answers, if nothing else.

Now if we'd only provide some actual content here . . .

Monday, September 19, 2011

The ship be sinking

Pittsburgh and Syracuse have chosen to leave the Big East for the ACC, and Connecticut and Villanova (at least) are also pursuing this path. 

The end of the Big East as we've known it the past 30+ years is upon us.  Georgetown finds itself in a precarious and fluid situation right now.

However, this blog is certainly not the place to turn for late-breaking news and collected rumors around the web - we don't have much time in the off-sason for posts (if you haven't noticed), and specialize in grossly overanalyzing statistics, not digesting political/financial events.

Your best sources of Hoya-centric information during the end-of-days would by, CasualHoya and HoyaTalk.

Good night and good luck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hoyas win again, wrapping up China trip

Image courtesy
Your Georgetown Hoyas completed their road trip to China with an 83-64 win against the men's national team of Chinese Taipei (aka Taiwan).

As per Google, this generated ~250 hits just within the past 24 hours for the search phrase "Georgetown basketball 'without incident.'"

A cursory comparison of the box score versus the Taiwanese team's roster indicates that the Hoyas did play the national team, not a junior-version or a second string.  The crack staff over at Casual Hoya tells us that Taiwan was ranked 41st in the world by FIBA - for context, Villanova beat the #27 team (Israel) but lost twice to the #35 team (Senegal).

Let's run the numbers:

.                Visitor           Home   
.               Georgetown       Chinese Taipei        
Pace               66

Score              83                 64

Eff.             126.3               97.4

eFG%              48.1               40.2
TO%               10.7               13.7
OR%               51.2               27.8
FTA/FGA           16.9               87.0
FTM/FGA           11.7               58.7

Assist Rate       58.8               26.7
Block Rate        17.2                0.0
Steal Rate         7.6                1.5

2FG%              50.9               27.6
3FG%              27.3               41.2
FT%               69.2               67.5

2FG               0.84               0.44
3FG               0.33               0.26
FT                0.20               0.61

Today's game was the slowest paced of the three that were completed on the trip - much more in line with last season's pace than the first two up-and-down affairs.

The biggest factor in today's game was the huge advantage the Hoyas had on the offensive glass - Georgetown gathered more than half of their own missed shots [22/43] while keeping Taiwan from gathering many of their own.

Taiwan also couldn't make many shots inside, thanks largely to the 17% block rate [blocks / 2FGA].  Georgetown finished the trip blocking 17.5% of their opponents' two point attempts, which would be a very high rate for a collegiate season.

The Hoyas shot poorly from behind the arc today [6/22], but also made more than 2/3 of their free throw attempts for the first time on the trip.  Speaking of free throws, the Hoyas were once again at a big disadvantage on free throw attempts [13 to 40].  It's not clear to me if the officials were "biased" once again towards Georgetown's opponent, but the Hoyas ended the trip with a split of 54 to 172 (FT taken to opp FT taken), including the reported 15/57 fiasco in the aborted second game.

And with that, the Hoyas wrap up a most eventful 10-day goodwill tour of China and fly home tomorrow, just a few days ahead of the start of the academic year.

After the jump, full player stats for the three official games.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hoyas play game in China; no one bum-rushed

Image courtesy of IndiaTimes
Well, that happened on Friday.

I didn't feel the need to get into specifics of the incident, as HoyaTalk had a couple of first-hand accounts posted (link, link), the HoyaSaxa front page did the full Zapruder-treatment on the available video of the melee, and Casual Hoya had the salient media links.

But time moves on, and there was another game to be played today in Shanghai. And the Hoyas rolled easily today, whipping beating defeating the Liaoning Dinosaurs 91-69 in front of a packed house. I guess a little publicity brings them out.

Let's run the numbers:

.                 Visitor           Home   
.                 Georgetown        Liaoning        
Pace                 75

Score                91              69

Eff.               121.1            91.8

eFG%                59.7            45.7
TO%                 16.0            18.6
OR%                 38.2            18.2
FTA/FGA             15.3            85.1
FTM/FGA              6.9            55.3

Assist Rate         51.3            10.5
Block Rate           9.4             5.6
Steal Rate          17.3             2.7

2FG%                57.4            43.8
3FG%                44.4            33.3
FT%                 45.5            65.0

2FG                 0.72            0.43
3FG                 0.24            0.20
FT                  0.15            0.53

The box score indicates that this was a 40-minute game (four 10-minute quarters), unlike the first two games which were scheduled for 48 minutes.  So those 91 points the Hoyas put up were actually more impressive than the 98 they scored against the Brave Dragons.

The game was played at a fast pace again with the Hoyas forcing a ton of steals - hard to say if this is a preview for the upcoming season, but it's something worth watching.

Once again there was a big disparity in fouls and free throws [26 fouls / 11 FTs vs. 11 fouls / 40 FTs for the Hoyas and Dinosaurs, respectively], but this report on HoyaTalk indicates that the officiating was much more even-handed than last time out.

Some simple player stats after the jump . . .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Basketball in August?

Image courtesy of
Apparently so. 

Georgetown tipped off their extended "cultural exchange" trip to China with a 48(!) minute extravaganza against the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons at Beijing’s Olympic Sports Center.  And the Hoyas started off their (exhibition) season right with a 98-81 thumping of the Dragons.

This was clearly an international spectacular, drawing such A-listers as Joe Biden, Gary Locke and Paul Tagliabue.

This is usually the point where I write "Let's run the numbers" but those numbers are a bit hard to come by for the game.  A simple box score is all that I can find in the interwebs, so there's not much for the HP Cray IITM to process tonight (it remains idle but alert in my mom's basement).  And, after all, it was merely an exhibition.

Let's run the numbers:

.                 Visitor           Home   
.                 Georgetown        Shanxi Zhongyu         
Pace               79

Points             98                 81

Eff.             103.1               85.2

eFG%              49.4               47.6
TO%               21.0               23.2
OR%               36.0               25.5
FTA/FGA           16.7               55.6
FTM/FGA           10.0               33.3

Assist Rate       51.2               37.0
Block Rate        23.8                1.4
Steal Rate        13.7                1.1

2FG%              47.9               50.0
3FG%              36.8               28.6
FT%               60.0               60.0

2FG               0.90               0.53
3FG               0.24               0.27
FT                0.19               0.44

The score of the game would lead one to believe that this was either a defense-optional affair or a ridiculously-paced game, but neither is actually true.  The game went 48 minutes over 4 quarters rather than the standard 20-minute halves, so all the counting stats were naturally inflated.

Georgetown carried over the unusually defensive-minded Kenner League playoffs into this trip, by grabbing a ton of steals and blocking nearly 1/4 of all 2FG attempts during the game.  A strong effort on the defensive glass also helped.

Some simple player stats after the jump . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Crossover on Display

Not the typical fare for us, but there is a nice video on the New York Times website right now discussing the art of the crossover.

It features Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway and Pearl Washington.  And Dean Berry.

Yes, that Dean Berry.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Season review: Lineup stats

Hola amigos,

It's been a while since I've rapped with you all, but things have been pretty hairy here at Chez HP, what with another depressing end of the season for the Hoyas and real life and all.

But, I've dusted off the Cray II in my mom's basement and fired it up for the first time in a couple of months to take a look at last season, because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

For today's episode, we'll take a look at lineup stats from last season.  I'm going to break the stats out two ways:  for all games played against Top 100 teams, and looking at the last ten games played (all games in Feb and March, as the Hoyas went 4-6).

Here we go:

vs. Top 100 Opponents (min. 15 poss both off and def)

.                                             Offense                 Defense
Lineup                                 # poss  OEff   Time     # poss  DEff   Time
Clark-Freeman-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright    288    126    17.4       277   103    19.5
Clark-Freeman-Lubick-Vaughn-Wright      221    103    17.1       221   103    18.6
Clark-Freeman-Lubick-Sims-Wright         88    101    18.2        90   121    19.3
Clark-Freeman-Sims-Thompson-Wright       88    123    17.0        86   107    17.3
Benimon-Clark-Freeman-Vaughn-Wright      63    114    17.7        64   123    19.7
Clark-Freeman-Lubick-Thompson-Vaughn     57     83    18.9        58   109    20.1
Freeman-Lubick-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright    47    132    18.5        44   100    20.5
Benimon-Clark-Freeman-Sims-Wright        38    111    16.4        42    88    18.3
Freeman-Lubick-Sims-Thompson-Wright      30     83    19.9        34    74    17.6
Clark-Lubick-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright      28    125    17.4        30    80    17.1
Clark-Freeman-Lubick-Starks-Thompson     22    100    16.6        17   100    16.1
Benimon-Clark-Freeman-Sims-Thompson      19    126    22.3        18   117    15.9
Freeman-Lubick-Starks-Thompson-Vaughn    18     61    23.5        16   138    15.7
Clark-Freeman-Lubick-Sims-Starks         16    100    20.4        18    56    22.3
Benimon-Freeman-Sims-Thompson-Wright     18    106    16.6        16    38    18.8
Benimon-Clark-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright     17     71    19.8        17   106    20.6
Freeman-Lubick-Sanford-Sims-Wright       18    100    20.3        16   163    18.1

For the season as a whole, Coach Thompson had two preferred lineups, with his four upperclassmen (Clark, Freeman, Vaughn and Wright) and either Hollis Thompson or Nate Lubick playing the "4".  These represent the main two starting lineups used, where Lubick replaced Thompson as a starter for the second St. John's game forward.

The immediate takeaway from the top two lines is that JT3's move to insert Lubick into a more prominent role by making him a starter didn't work.  I'm unaware of a direct quote as to why Coach Thompson swapped the two midway through conference play, although it was likely to improve a struggling defense.  However, the stats reveal that the team was equally efficient defensively with either player on the floor, but gave up a huge amount on the offensive end without Hollis on the floor.  In fact, effective offensive lineups for the Hoyas last season [120+ OEff] had only one constant:  Hollis Thompson.

More interestingly, of those lineups with at least 20 possessions played on both ends of the court, the two most effective last season had Lubick and Thompson on the court together [Freeman-Lubick-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright: +32 net efficiency; Clark-Lubick-Thompson-Vaughn-Wright: +45].  It's expected that Hollis will move to the "3" spot next season, so this bodes well.  Of course, neither Chris Wright nor Julian Vaughn will be around to help.

A look at the last ten games of the season after the jump

Friday, March 18, 2011

Recap: VCU 74, Georgetown 56

Image from here.
It turns out, Chris Wright wasn't the answer.

The Georgetown Hoyas succumbed to a barrage of open 3FGs by the VCU Rams while failing to do much of anything on the offensive end, losing in a rout, 74-56.

Storyline #1:
The Rams made 11 or their first 19 shots from behind the arc, including 5 of their first 7 to start the Vesper half, in moving out to a 18 point lead with 11:13 left in the game.  Meanwhile, outside of Hollis Thompson [4-6 3FG], the Hoyas managed to shoot 1 for 20 from 3FG for the game (inside of Hollis Thompson, it's too dark to shoot).

Storyline #2:
With less than a minute left in the first half, Georgetown trailed VCU by 6 points when Chris Wright missed the front end of a 1-and-1.  Over the next 21 possessions for each team (14+ minutes of game time), the Rams outscored the Hoyas 33-14 and had built an insurmountable 25 point lead with only 7 minutes left in the game.  Eight of the Hoyas' 21 possessions during that stretch resulted in a turnover.

Storyline #3:
The Hoyas ended the game with only three more field goals made [20] than turnovers committed [17].

But the stat of the night for Hoya fans is likely what time they turned the game off.

At this point, Coach John Thompson III has a public relations problem that he's going to have to deal with:  the reputation of having teams that either implode [2009, 2011] or suffer a bad upset in their final game of the season [2008, 2010].  One of those is a tough label to shake, but the combination can be - dare I say - professionally fatal.  How JT3 deals with tonight's embarrassing effort, and the implications it has for his career, will be interesting to say the least. 

As for the players, it should be noted that the four seniors - Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Julian Vaughn and Ryan Dougherty - have all been outstanding representatives of the university both as players and as students.  At different times, they all brought excitement and joy to Hoya fans this season (remember Ryan's layup against Appalachian State?).

I do feel sorry for those guys, because the legacy of flaming out by the end of the season is likely the one that most fans will associate with them, rather than any successes that they had.  I'm quite certain that they are at least as upset about the way Georgetown's season (and their careers) ended as any fan.

With the graduation of the three senior starters, the Hoyas will enter next season with few expectations of success.  Hollis Thompson comported himself well tonight and it looks like it will be his team to lead for the next two years

For the last time this season, let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Virginia Commonwealth         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            30        33        62
Points          24        32        56          35        39        74   

Effic.         81.2      97.5      89.8       118.4     118.9     118.7  
eFG%           38.0      48.1      43.3        52.2      57.1      54.5  
TO%            30.5      24.4      27.3        10.2       9.1       9.6  
OR%            44.4      25.0      35.3        31.2      18.8      25.0  
FTA/FGA        28.0      22.2      25.0        73.9     104.8      88.6  

Assist Rate    77.8      45.5      60.0        66.7      88.9      77.8  
Block Rate      9.1       0.0       5.3        15.4      15.4      15.4  
Steal Rate      6.8       3.0       4.8        10.2      12.2      11.2  
2FG%           61.5      53.8      57.7        27.3      37.5      31.6  
3FG%            8.3      28.6      19.2        50.0      46.2      48.0  
FT%            71.4     100.0      84.6        64.7      68.2      66.7