The Van Buren Boys


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commentary from the world of Georgetown Hoyas basketball.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Georgetown-WVU Recap: The Jester Is Not Laughing

The Hoyas got throttled at home last night by the West Virginia Mountaineers. I'm not happy about it. I'm not happy about it, but things like that are going to happen to a young team. You're going to lose a game or two that you were expected to win. It's like Coach Thompson said during his post-game news conference. It's a "blip." You have to move on. So, I'm not happy about losing, but I can take it.

What I cannot take, however, is a team that gives up. Sometimes even well coached players lose their poise. But last night, in the waning minutes of the game, I saw a JTIII-coached team just complete give up while the clock was still running. In the last minute, or minute and a half, the Hoyas figured out that they didn't have time to come back and they just stopped caring. They let WVU get an uncontested, and monstrous, dunk. They started walking away from the ball as the last 20 seconds rolled off the clock.

I understand being upset at a bad loss. I do not understand not having enough self-respect, or respect for your fans, to let your opponent disrespect you on your home court like that. The game is 40 minutes long. You are supposed to play all 40 minutes. If I was the Georgetown coach I would sit every player on the floor at the end of last night's game for the beginning of Sunday's match-up against Seton Hall.

That's all I have to say about that.

Otherwise, the game was what it was. We shot horribly (20-51, and 2-16 from behind the arc). We turned the ball over like it was our job (19 turnovers for the game, with 11 coming in the first half). We missed free throws (16-25). WVU played good defense. They focused on Greg Monroe--denying him the ball and then double teaming him when he managed to get his hands on the rock. In return we played sloppy defense. The Mountaineers seemed to have an open shooter on every possession, and even when it was apparent that Da'Sean Butler was tearing us up (he had 15 in the first half) we couldn't manage to get a defender on him to slow him down (he finished with 27). It was just a bad game on every level, and still we were within two points with less than 12 minutes to play.

Let's hope the Hoyas shake it off for their three game road trip. The first two games, at Seton Hall and at Cincinnati are infinitely winnable. The game at Marquette on January 31st will be very tough. Let's see if these young Hoyas can remember how to fight.

44 comments:

bluediamond said...

Jester,
I'm glad you've spoken up (out) re last night's dismal performance. Was that a Thompson-coached Georgetown team that we saw? My fear is that what we witnessed was the beginning of the wheels coming off. [I also will accuse the Washington Post of engaging in a cover-up on this.] Two glaring aspects of how un-Georgetown their play was last night: 1) Tempo- they ran up & down the court, helter-skelter. It's one thing to push the ball (which this year they've done very well on occasion). It's something quite different to be out of control; 2) A complete abandonment of the Princeton offense once they got WVU within their sights at 10 minutes in the 2nd half - This REALLY irks me. They were ALL going one-on-one, even after it was Greg Monroe's passing from the high post to cutters that had gotten them back in the game: a complete abandonment of the very premise and foundation of what has made their offensive execution shine so far this year. I fear that at the midway point of the season, JTIII now has to resell his philosophy to the team. And, more problematic, the players have to go through the mental process of buying in to his philosophy.
Maybe last night was a "blip". But I think seasoned Hoyas (we all bleed Hoya Blue!) know better: the start-of-the-2nd half benching of Chris W. and Jesse Sapp against Duke on Saturday past has potentially shattered the chemistry of this team. Chris is now looking over his shoulder. Jesse is in such a deep funk that he can't be the leader this team SO desperately needs and Jason Clark thinks he's ready to play major and crucial minutes, which he's not. Dajuan meanwhile is believing all the Jay Bilas hype and is on the verge of "checking out" for the NBA draft as a lottery pick, which he very well may be. After all, there are LOTS of NBA players who never found it worth their paycheck to play a lick of defense. Greg M is asked to shoulder a load that is asking too much for a frosh. How does JTIII handle this very difficult moment? Does he ream them all out with a double set of wind sprints or does he sit them down and try to reason them back into playing the G'town basketball we have all come to admire these past 5-odd years? You tell me, Jester. You tell me.

HoyaMusa said...

Agree on all points Jester. It's a long season and bumps/blips were definitely expected with such a young team, but last night we displayed an unacceptable lack of heart and pride. Jessie, Chris and Austin are simply killing us twice over. One, the system depends on its players knocking down open, high percentage shots and these guys couldn't throw the ball in the ocean right now. Two, their brutal play is forcing coach to give way too many minutes to Jason and Omar who just aren't ready for primetime yet. Seems like coach is searching in the dark for a winning lineup and it's throwing the team's chemistry off. When times get tough, we seem rudderless. Dejuan has shown flashes of leadership (he is playing like a lottery pick but I don't think he's checked out) but as our junior star player, he's got to step it up and take control of this team on and off the court. Meanwhile, coach has got to do a better job of figuring out how to stop these long, game ending runs our opponents keep going on. He needs to step up his game re: time outs, subs and play calling. And until Austin, Chris and Jessie wake up, get more shots for Greg in the paint. He can give us way more than 11 points.
If Jessie, Chris and Austin wake up and play to their capabilities we're good for a deep March run. If not, it'll be a long season indeed.

triniman said...

IF the WVU game was bad, which it was, it pales in comparison to what happended at SHU. The bottom line is the coaching is mediocre and the players are average. Someone needs to teach these guys to shoot and rebound.

Christopher said...

I used to read this blog - that is until I realized it was run by front runners. How do you not have a post since January 23rd? Just because the team is not winning does not mean there is nothing to talk about - in fact there is more to moan and complain about when your team loses. These bloggers are the same guys that show up to the games when the Hoyas are in the Top 25 but are nowhere to be seen when the team struggles. Take down the blog you fakers.

Rags said...

I have to agree with Christopher. Is this blog shut down? CasualHoya.com is becoming the only reliable source for up to date Hoya talk.

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