The Georgetown Hoya basketball team has started 2-0, eeking out a comeback victory over a solid Old Dominion squad and dominating Tulane at home.
The 2-0 start looks pretty on paper, but let's go ahead and take a deeper look into the first couple of games.
Can the guards protect what the big men have built?
Known as a factory for producing quality big men (Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe), the Hoyas are without a dominant post presence this season.
However, they do have three solid guards, two of who are former McDonald's All-Americans. Austin Freeman was selected as the Big East's preseason Player of the Year.
Early in the season they have not disappointed. Freeman, Jason Clark and Chris Wright are averaging 20, 17.5 and 13 points respectively and are the three leading scorers for the Hoyas.
The trio spurred the late-game comeback against Old Dominion and a 21-3 that put Tulane away early. They are shooting well over 40 percent from the field.
Can Monroe be replaced?
In a word, no. It doesn't look like Julian Vaughn, Jerrelle Benimon, Henry Sims, or Freshman Nate Lubick will be able to collectively fill the shoes of Greg Monroe.
Sims and Vaughn have both started down low and neither seem capable of scoring or rebounding at the same clip that Monroe did.
In the Tulane game, the Hoyas scored only six points in the paint in the first half and did not make it to the foul line. With a small lineup, the Hoyas have got to get production and rebounding out of the center position.
The Hoyas have got to get more out of their bigs if they want to make any noise in the Big East or NCAA tournament this year.
Is the bench better?
Last season the Hoyas struggled to get any production from their bench. Hollis Thompson, last season's most productive bench player has been moved into the starting lineup.
Thus far, the bench has not been much more successful. While Vee Sanford did put up 10 points against Tulane, Benimon and Lubick have not been able to put many points on the board, though they have rebounded well.
A little added firepower from the bench would certainly make this team stronger, especially during a grinding Big East schedule that will wear out the starting guards and front line players.
Live by the 3 die by the 3
The Hoyas have hoisted a combined 50 3pt attempts through two games. This high risk-high reward strategy has paid off early as the Hoyas have knocked down 20 of those attempts.
However, this shooting percentage is hard to maintain and the Hoyas must find some ways to get into the lane rather than relying on the deep ball.
Two years ago, when the Hoyas struggled, they relied too heavily on the perimeter game, and this start is reminiscent of that season. Shooting the three also creates scoring droughts. The Hoyas, at least in my four years at school, have consistently been plagued my scoring droughts.
This season's start is no different.
Against Tulane, the Hoyas scored only four points in the last six minutes of the first half and three opening minutes of the second. Doing this against Tulane won't kill you, but against the Big East's best, the Hoyas will find themselves in deep holes.
Overall, Hoya fans have got to be please with the production from the guard position, but should be concerned about the lack of production inside the painted area. Both the big men and guards have got to do a better job of creating shots close to the basket.
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