Georgetown upset No. 5 Louisville 53-51 to improve to 4-3 in the Big East and 14-4 overall and now looks to build off back-to-back wins against ranked opponents. Behind the strong play of Otto Porter Jr., the Hoyas are ready to make a big run through the Big East down the season's stretch.
In its last two games, Georgetown's defense propelled the team to knock off Notre Dame and now Louisville. Notre Dame is averaging 73.1 points per game on the season but was held to 47 points by the Hoyas. Louisville averages 75.7 points per game and was held to only 51 points.
The Hoyas will be able to frustrate teams much like they did Louisville. That strong defense and shorten-the-game tempo on offense will force opponents to make mistakes when they can't play their own style of basketball.
Going forward, the key for Georgetown is to force its tempo on other teams. The Hoyas can't afford to try to play a more athletic, fast-breaking type of game. They simply don't have the offensive talent or system to make that work.
Porter's play in recent games has helped Georgetown find its edge. Against Notre Dame, Porter scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Against Louisville, he finished with 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
In Georgetown's four losses, Porter is averaging just 5.0 rebounds per contest. In the 13 wins in which Porter played, he averaged 8.8 rebounds per game. This team is at its best when Porter is rebounding and playing strong.
Georgetown's somewhat unattractive style of play won't do it any favors with rankings, but the team's resume is strong. They now have wins over No. 5 Louisville, No. 24 Notre Dame and No. 11 UCLA. They also took No.1 Indiana to overtime before losing 82-72.
In its next three games, Georgetown should be able to take care of business. The Hoyas play at home against Seton Hall, at home against St. John's and away at Rutgers. Those three games should help Georgetown move up in the Big East standings and prepare the team for a final stretch that includes playing Syracuse twice, Cincinnati and Marquette.
Georgetown has the coaching and style of play to disrupt the rest of the Big East. As long as Porter continues to play good basketball, this team will make some noise heading into February and March.