Monday, February 25, 2013

Georgetown Finally Getting Credit It Deserves

Otto Porter and Georgetown are climbing up the ranks of the nation's best teams at the right time. (

Blind resumes are popular in college basketball this time of year, so let's try one now. Here's one team's breakdown:

This team has a  21-4 record, 11-3 record in the conference, a RPI of 13, strength of schedule of 32 and a 3-2 record against top 25 teams.

Not bad, right? Well, if your deductive reasoning skills are sharp, then you know from the headline this team is Georgetown. Does that surprise you?

The Hoyas will move into the top 10 in the country this week and are riding a nine-game winning streak. All of a sudden a team that wasn't on anyone's radar a month ago now has an outside chance to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday's 57-46 win over then-No. 8 Syracuse finally drew the national attention to Georgetown that it had been deserving for weeks. But Syracuse was not the only big-name Big East team to fall to the Hoyas during this win streak. Georgetown has defeated Notre Dame, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati and the before-mentioned Cuse since Jan. 21.

One of the reasons for the Hoyas' jump in rankings and popularity is the play of sophomore forward Otto Porter, who is averaging 15.9 points per game, 7.7 rebounds and came up huge with 33 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's win over Syracuse. When Porter gets going, he's as fun to watch as almost any player in the country. He takes good shots, shooting just over 50 percent from the field, and can shoot the three effectively, hitting 45 percent of them this season, which is outstanding for a 6-foot-8 forward. Markel Starks is the Hoyas second best scoring option, averaging 12.1 points per game.

Georgetown isn't the prettiest offensive team. The Hoyas only average 65 points per game and when they've lost, it's usually due to a lack of scoring. With the exception of the Indiana game, in which the final score was 82-72 in OT, the Hoyas have not been able to crack 60 points in their other three losses. But that doesn't mean Georgetown can't score. When the famous Princeton motion offense is flowing, the Hoyas are efficient enough to win games. This is mainly because of defense, which could adequately be referred to as smothering. During Georgetown's nine-game winning streak, only two teams, Rutgers and DePaul, were able to score more than 60 points.

The Hoyas deserve all of the credit being tossed their way, but what took so long? As conference play began, the Hoyas only had one loss, and it was to now and then-No. 1 Indiana in overtime, yet the buzz wasn't this strong. Granted, conference play didn't begin particularly well, but even back-to-back wins over Notre Dame and Louisville wasn't enough to get people to buy in to the Hoyas' stock after those early Big East losses. Now, after nine wins, the Hoyas bandwagon is overflowing. Coach John Thompson III has done a terrific job getting this team better over the course of the season and allowing the Hoyas to peak at the right time.

It doesn't matter if it's pretty or high-scoring, the only numbers to be concerned with are the wins and losses, and right now Georgetown's win numbers are as good as anyone in the country. And in March, that is the only number that matters.

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