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