6:10 PM (Monday, Jan. 25): 14. A 14-0 run to start the game by Georgetown against their hated rival, the Syracuse Orange. Shots fall, defense swarms the Orange offense, creating turnover after turnover, and everything seems to be smooth sailing for the Hoyas.
8:05 PM (Same Night): The Dome rolls on the campus of Syracuse University; Jim Boeheim and his team celebrate another huge win against a top ranked team, as they continue to boost their computer numbers. Greg Monroe and company cannot believe what the scoreboard reads—Syracuse 73, Georgetown 56. John Thompson III knows his team has let just another game get away from them.
After a great start and knocking the rival Orange back on their heels, the Hoyas let it all get away from them. The game was all but their's for the taking. Yet again, an inconsistent game and team cost Georgetown another tally in the win column.
Austin Freeman came out shooting (and playing) the best I've ever seen him. He started out hitting three triples from outside and was pacing Georgetown with 11 points to start the 14-0 run. Freeman has been a huge surprise for us so far this season as he has evolved into a third scorer for Thompson and his team.
But where was he after that roughly three or four minute start? We didn't hear much of anything from him did we? He added twelve more points in what was probably 36 minutes of play.
Chris Wright didn't have his best shooting night, only converting three shots, none of which were three-pointers; it was a very uncharacteristic game for a great shooter and player in Wright.
Despite his poor shooting, he didn't let it effect his overall play. He dished out seven assists to those that were open or to hot shooters like Austin Freeman. That has been something we have needed all season as well—a playmaker for everyone. Wright tried his best to fulfill that role last night and I have to give him credit for that.
Greg Monroe had a miserable night in all aspects of the game. Syracuse had his number as they threw a blanket over him every time he caught a pass or even tried to catch one. I have to give the Orange credit, they had a great game-plan for Monroe and they went out and did what they needed to do.
Even if the Syracuse defense was performing well, Monroe still needs to find some way to effect the game. He wasn't using his long arms to alter other players shots or to pull down every rebound that came his way.
His night can be summed up with this—he fouled out with roughly six minutes left in the game, which is way to early for a player that is as valuable as Greg Monroe. But, what could Thompson do? Watch his team suffer a bitter defeat with his star on the bench beside him?
This didn't even seem like we were watching the same team from the two previous games played against Pittsburgh and Rutgers. Actually, we weren't seeing the same Hoya team. It's all about being consistent and Georgetown didn't have a good showing of it against Syracuse.
I'm a firm believer that the biggest problem for John Thompson's team right now is consistency. I think it could help solve all our problems eventually. When this team plays consistent basketball, more and more doors open for them.
We saw two different teams Monday night—the team that Georgetown can be, as well as the team's Mr. Hyde. Fans and viewers alike saw how good and well rounded the Hoyas can be, as they opened the game on a 14-0 run. Granted everything was falling, but they did some little things as well.
The defense was forcing the Orange into bad shots. Everyone had that high energy level that you expect college basketball players to have and they came out using it. I believe the high level of energy helped the rebounding as well.
If Monroe, Wright, and Freeman can become more consistent from game to game, I believe we can be huge contenders in the Big East Tournament, as well as the NCAA Tournament. However, it's not only those three players that need to continue to play well. There is such thing as a bench right?
On Monday our bench was nonexistent; that was what John Thompson thought about Jim Boeheim's bench. Well, that back-fired a bit. In order for Georgetown to continue to succeed, the bench will have to become effective. If not, we could keep tumbling and tumbling; just as we did last season.
This team has the talent and the ability to go a long way this year. However, if the Hoyas expect to do any thing in March, consistency will be the key. If everything falls into place, that key (consistency) could open more and more doors for Georgetown.
Expect to see a better team for the rest of the season. I anticipate that John Thompson has a lot in store for his team in order to get them to play consistently well, which will open more possibilities for this team.