The Van Buren Boys


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Monday, December 15, 2008

Rankings, Memphis, and Where For Art Thou VBB?

I admit it. We've been pathetic. Georgetown not only played cross-town "rival" Maryland, but whooped them, and The VBB are silent. The Hoyas rip off one of the most lopsided victories in school history against Savannah State and what do you get, adoring public? That's right. More silence.

What can I say? We suck. Much like this year's Hoyas, The VBB do not seem to have the same kind of depth that they've had in year's past. Imagine this. They Hoyas are deep in Big East play and Greg Monroe finds himself in serious foul trouble. JTIII has to sit him. Where does that leave you? Can you rely on Sims to pound it down low? No, you can't. All he wants to do is shoot three pointers (and he is likely to continue to want to shoot three pointers after finally hitting one against Savannah State). That's how The VBB have been this season. Greg Monroe has been in foul trouble and there's no one else to turn to. But, never fear, I'm coming off the bench with four fouls and I am ready to make an impact!

Yes, you read that right. I just compared myself to Greg Monroe.

And with that done, here are some thoughts.

Second, the rankings. With that victory over Memphis the Hoyas have climbed to 13 and 15 in the ESPN/USAToday and AP polls, respectively. I am a very pleased with the Hoyas play this year, but I am still not convinced that we are a top-15 team. Those 90 points that Tennessee hung on us in Orlando are still leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. Especially, after Tennessee got beat by unheralded Temple.

Memphis Win

First, what a great win this weekend. It was an ugly win, but a great win. I think that the three most important games that the Hoyas are going to play this year are their out-of-conference match ups against Tennessee, Memphis, and Duke. The teams in the Big East are going to bloody up each other in conference play. Even the elite teams will likely have several losses. So, when it comes time to "dance," how you performed in non-conference games are going to be real important. The Duke game is at Cameron. That's tough. Tennessee was a neutral floor and Memphis was at home. Escaping the Tennessee-Memphis stretch with a least one with was very important.

It was also important in what it showed us about our team. First, after a slow start, DaJuan Summers is really starting to assert himself more. If he plays every game with the intensity and physicality he showed against Memphis the Hoyas will be just fine this year. The problem with DaJuan has always been that he tends to disappear some games. He needs to bring that intensity night-in and night-out during Big East play.

The next big point I took from Saturday's game is that Chris Wright is the man! He is the same kind of steadying force on the floor that we used to have in Jonathan Wallace, except that he about ten times quicker. He also showed some serious defensive intensity against Tyreke Evans in overtime. That was huge.

Finally, I am officially worried about our depth down low. Henry Sims got Z-E-R-O minutes. Thompson obviously does not trust him when it counts. Vaughn also got very limited time--only three minutes. Monroe played 42 minutes. I don't think he'll ever make it through the Big East scheduled playing that much. I really hope Vaughn and Sims step up in our two primer games before our trip to Connecticut.

Rankings

Still, that is nothing compared to what I found today. I love Ken Pomeroy. I, like many, have found his rankings to be one of the greatest barometers of a team's actually talent and chances of winning. Well, today I checked kenpom.com and he has the Hoyas ranked number one. What? I know that Ken has been tweaking his formula. But I'm pretty sure he must have forgotten to carry a number, or misplaced the decimal point, or something. Still, I hope that the Hoyas prove me wrong!

2 comments:

HoyaMusa said...

Thanks for coming back Jester. I love this site when it's rolling. Agreed that Memphis was a big win. We'd been winning pretty for 2 weeks and needed to show that we can also win an ugly as sin rock fight. BE play is upon us and we needed to toughen up.
I loved DeJuan's aggression and desire to be a presence. He keeps that up and we're a Sweet 16 team at least. And you're dead on about C.Wright. What John took with him in shooting, Chris returns with back breaking dribble drive penetration and blazing speed.
There's so much potential there but the eventual downfall will be depth and rebounding.

Joshua said...

'Bout time. It's good to have you back, Jester. Now when are the other VBB going to step up?