John Thompson III led the Hoyas to the Final Four in 2007. Can he do it again this year?
After being picked fifth in the preseason Big East rankings, expectations were relatively tempered for the Hoyas heading into this season.
During their non-conference schedule, Georgetown was up and down. They had impressive performances against stiff competition, but continually struggled on offense.
The early impressive performances included a win over then-No. 11 UCLA and a close loss in overtime to No. 1 Indiana.
Although they had these impressive outings, the Hoyas also had a few perplexing efforts.
They defeated Tennessee at home, but only scored 37 points in the game. Georgetown also beat Towson with only 46 points. Yes, they were winning games, but they were not earning any style points and doubts persisted as to how they would fare against the Big East gauntlet.
Their performance early in the Big East season did not remedy those doubts.
The inconsistencies on the offensive end continued early in Big East play. The Hoyas lost their first two conference games, which included a 28-point drubbing at the hands of Pittsburgh.
A few games later, Georgetown lost to South Florida and found themselves at 2-3 in the conference, still searching for an identity at the crossroads of their season.
Following the loss to the Bulls, something clicked and the Hoyas have not looked back.
Georgetown has not lost since the defeat to South Florida and has been the hottest team in the country. In total, they have won nine games in a row including four wins over ranked opponents.
Will Georgetown make the Final Four?
This hot streak has put the Hoyas on top of the Big East standings and has people talking about a potential deep run in the tournament.
Although the Big East is not as dominant as it has been in the past, it is still the second-best conference in the country and any team that can win the conference has the ability to go all the way in March.
Georgetown is the class of the conference and here is why they will make it to the Final Four.
Porter was selected to the preseason all-conference team and has more than lived up to expectations. Because of the Hoyas inconsistencies on offense, they have relied heavily on him for production, and he has not disappointed.
Porter is currently averaging 15.9 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. He is one of the leading candidates for the Wooden Award and is the catalyst for the Hoyas.
Porter is coming off one of his best performances to date. In the final Georgetown-Syracuse game at the Carrier Dome, Porter exploded after a sluggish start to shoot 12-19 from the field and scored 33 points while tallying eight rebounds en route to a Hoya victory.
The statistic that is most indicative of Porter’s value to Georgetown was that the Hoyas only scored 57 points against the Orange. This meant that Porter accounted for 58 percent of the Georgetown offense.
As Porter goes, so do the Hoyas. If Porter’s production stalls, the Hoyas could be in trouble, but he shows no signs of slowing down and, Georgetown could ride Porter all the way to Atlanta for the Final Four.
As evidence by the first half against Syracuse, Georgetown still struggles on offense, but they have the defense that will keep them in the game.
The Hoyas can go through stretches of offensive ineptitude, but their defense is always on. They have only given up more than 62 points twice since Dec. 15.
Their defense plays big and shuts down passing lanes. The Hoyas’ length on defense disrupts the rhythm of their opponent’s offense and every shot is contested.
Every team has an off game in the tournament, but the challenge is finding a way to win that game when a team is not on its “A” game. Even when their shots are not falling, Georgetown’s defense has the capability to carry them through that “off” game and take them deep in the tournament.
Thompson III has been a consistent winner at Georgetown ever since he took the helm in 2004. He has restored the prestige at the program that his father help built.
Thompson III brought a version of the Princeton offense to Georgetown and, since his arrival, the Hoyas have been one of the most offensively efficient teams in the country.
The Princeton offense slows down the game and, with the constant back cutting, does not allow the defense to rest. The Hoyas capitalize on overly aggressive defenses.
Thompson III has the pedigree to take Georgetown deep in the tournament. He won back-to-back Big East championships in 2006 and 2007 and also led the Hoyas to the Final Four in 2007.
Will Georgetown win the Big East?
Thompson III has done the best coaching job of his career this year. As mentioned before, few experts had the Hoyas contending for a Big East championship and early in the season, the Hoyas looked they would be lucky to just salvage a bid to the Big Dance.
Now, Thompson III has the transformed the Hoyas into contenders.
They are now the favorites in the Big East and in line for a possible two-seed in the tournament. Georgetown is not one of the most talented teams in the country, but they find ways to win and that is a reflection of good coaching.
Once March comes, the attitude of every team is simply win and advance. Style points have no value come tournament time. The Hoyas certainly do not win pretty, but they win nonetheless.