This is not the big-man Hoya team with Dikembe Mutombo wagging his finger in an opposing player’s face or Patrick Ewing dominating. But, this new crop of Hoyas are no slouches by any means.
Take out one Thompson, plug in another Thompson (I intentionally left out the Esherick era because quite honestly, it’s not worth mentioning minus one NCAA run into the Sweet 16) and this Hoya program is a new kind of exciting.
Sure there have been big men in the JT3 tenure, but it’s hard to place Monroe, Hibbert or Green or anybody in the same company as Mutombo, Ewing or Alonzo Mourning.
JT3 is accomplishing something quite different with Hoya basketball than his old man.
And it is something that speaks volumes for his coaching ability as well as the new style of Hoya basketball. He’s converted a Princeton offense utilized by smart, (it is Princeton after all) lightly-recruited basketball players into an efficiently run offense played out, at times to perfection, by much more talented guards.
He doesn’t have to run the offense around his big men. Quick, without looking, tell me who Georgetown’s starting big men are without cheating. Yep, that’s what I thought.
The point is this: Chris Wright, Jason Clark and Austin Freeman are exciting to watch in this style of offense. Anyone watching the Mizzou thriller knows what I’m talking about, because that was pure brilliance.
Mizzou would make a basket and the Hoyas would have an inbound pre-coached play converted into a basket before you could scream, "Don’t do this to me Hoyas!!!"
I recall talking about this game the following day and couldn’t shut up about the game plan. JT3 deserved credit for that win just as much as his players did. Hell, he probably deserved that win more than any other I’ve seen him coach.
Now I’ll admit this offense needs good ball handlers and smart players to work like it is. I’ll even admit it hasn’t always worked in this Hoya system.
Jonathan Wallace made me pull my hair out when he handled the ball in past years. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to watch at times. But this crop of guards has put my nerves to rest and I can just focus on a fine tuned offense overseen by JT3.
Don’t get me wrong. I will gladly take a Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Morning or Dikembe Mutombo to dominate the inside. Who wouldn’t?
But I’ll tell you this, JT3 can win and keep the Hoyas as a powerhouse without the big man. And that, my friends, is the new era of Hoya basketball.