Photos: Nick Baker and Matt Thees
Posts Tagged “UConn”
Feb 02 2012
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Photos: Nick Baker and Matt Thees
Feb 01 2012
The Hoyas returned to the Verizon Center Wednesday night badly needing a bounce-back after falling to Big East cellar-dwellers Pittsburgh last week. However, the Hoyas’ task was never going to be easy as they welcomed defending national champions Connecticut, a squad desperate for a rebound performance of their own, having dropped from the top 25 for the first time this season after a difficult stretch of games. Yet, it was the Hoyas who looked the hungrier team on the night, hounding UConn on defense to eventually come away with a convincing 58-44 victory.
Hollis and Henry leading the way
While the Huskies started off hot, opening up a 9-3 lead in the first three minutes, the Hoyas surged to a ten-point lead at halftime thanks to the sweet shooting of Hollis Thompson. He kept his scoring touch in the second half, finishing with a team-high 18 points and 9 rebounds. Thompson and center Henry Sims, who finished with 13 points, including a thunderous dunk over UConn star Jeremy Lamb, willed the team to victory in the second half, coming up with timely buckets to keep the lead close to double-figures throughout. Sims’ presence on the inside was invaluable, providing the Hoyas with a vital interior presence to combat the imposing figure of the Huskies’ stud freshman center Andre Drummond.
Dealing with Drummond
Drummond had a massive game for the Huskies, altering shots, collecting monstrous rebounds and finishing around the rim, something the rest of his team failed to do consistently. He was the main catalyst for the Huskies early run in the first half, with 8 points on 4-4 shooting in the first four minutes. Finishing tied for a game-high 18 points while shooting 9-12 from the field, Drummond was the only Husky to make at least half of his shots on a night his teammates will be eager to forget. Henry Sims stepped up to mitigate Drummond’s impact in the second half and while the future NBA lottery pick still influenced the game, he was unable to pull his team back from the double-digit halftime deficit.
Feb 01 2012
It’s February now, which means it’s time for the Big East basketball season to start really getting serious. It’s also a good time for Vox to get serious with its coverage, so we’ll have previews of every game from here on out. First up, the biggest home game of the season.
When we last left our Hoyas
After breaking off a three game winning streak, Georgetown suffered a setback on Saturday when the lost to Pittsburgh, 72-60. While the Hoyas were nearly upset by Rutgers a game earlier because of lackluster offense, it was their defense that let them down in Pittsburgh. The Panthers shot 52.1 percent from the field and would have been even better had they knocked down some of the open threes the Hoyas gave them. Communication seemed to be part of the issue for Georgetown–multiple times they missed switches and failed to play help defense.
Georgetown last saw UConn in the Big East Tournament, where the Hoyas became some of the first shreds of carnage on the Huskies’ path to the national championship. That young championship team remains mostly intact, save for star guard Kemba Walker, now dropping triple-doubles for the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA.
For most teams, losing a player of Walker’s caliber would mean a rebuilding year. But Jim Calhoun had plenty of talent coming in to make up for the loss, starting with 6-foot-10 center Andre Drummond. The big man was one of the top recruits in the nation, and he’s lived up to the billing, averaging 10 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
“You’re not going to play against too many people that literally are as big as he is,” head coach John Thompson III said. ”You look at the package of a big guy, I don’t know if there’s anything he can’t do.”
UConn is somewhat similar to Pitt in that both teams have underachieved this season and come to play Georgetown desperate for a win. The only difference is that the Huskies are a much better team. They have a presumptive top-5 NBA draft pick in Drummond and a preseason All-American in sophomore Jeremy Lamb, along with plenty of talent to back them up. The Huskies may have lost three in a row, but all three games were decided by one possession–UConn’s still dangerous.
Nov 10 2011
The Voice‘s annual basketball preview issue came out today, but this year our coverage couldn’t be confined to the newspaper. Below, we break down the four biggest game on the Hoyas’ schedule. Also check out our men’s preview and the rest of our coverage.
November 21 vs. #13 Kansas Jayhawks
The Hoyas face a big challenge in only their third game of the season, playing against No. 13 Kansas in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Although the defending Big 12 champions lost their top three scorers from last season, the Jayhawks are still expected to compete for a national championship. Both teams will be determined to start the season strong after being upset by VCU in last year’s NCAA Tournament—Georgetown in the first round and Kansas in the Elite Eight.
For Georgetown to have any shot at securing a signature win against this perennial juggernaut, they are going to have to match up with the Kansas big men down low and limit second chance opportunities for the physical, fundamentally sound Jayhawks. It could be a tall task—Georgetown finished an abysmal 238th in rebounding last year, while Kansas was 19th.
December 1 at #17 Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama basketball has been consistently overshadowed by the success of the school’s elite football program, but this could be a huge season for the No. 17 Crimson Tide as they look to build off last year’s success. They return most of their key players from a team that finished atop the SEC West and reached the NIT final, including the impressive forward tandem of JaMychal Green (15.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season) and Tony Mitchell (15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds). The Hoyas’ task becomes more difficult, as they must challenge ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa, where the Tide were unbeaten last year. To win, Georgetown must contain Green and Mitchell and avoid underestimating this emerging program. Read the rest of this entry »
Mar 27 2011
Mar 09 2011
Well, that was quick. The Hoyas bowed out of The Big East Tournament in the second round today, losing to UConn 79-62. It was the team’s fourth straight loss after Chris Wright went down with a broken hand. After making an amazing run to the finals last year, Georgetown will head back to D.C. early and begin preparing for the NCAA Tournament. The team will have some time to learn from their early New York exit and adjust before the Big Dance.
It can’t be stressed enough how important Wright is to Georgetown’s success. His presence on the court makes everyone better, and without him the Hoyas not only suffer offensively, but defensively as well. Today, the squad’s offense was stagnant, as they only had six assists (three from big man Nate Lubick), compared to 16 turnovers. Wright himself averages 5.4 assists per game. His absence was also part of the reason Georgetown shot only 22.7% from downtown. Without Wright, the team needs to shoot well from behind the arc to win, but they need Wright to create those open looks.
“He gets everybody open, he finds everybody and he can also create for himself,” Jason Clark said of the injured point guard.
Wright is arguably the team’s best defensive player as well and without him guarding Kemba Walker, the Huskies star player had his way with the Hoyas. Wright wouldn’t have been able to stop him, but containing him enough would have helped his teammates focus more on their other assignments.
Big Man Who?
The only thing worse than having one big man in foul trouble is having two big men in foul trouble. The Hoyas were greatly maligned because of their lack of inside game. Both Julian Vaughn and Nate Lubick got into early foul trouble and never had a chance to get in a groove. Both of them spent much of the second half on the bench, each tallying four fouls less than eight minutes into the second half. Vaughn finished with zero points in one of his worst games ever, and Lubick didn’t do much better, contributing only four points. Henry Sims couldn’t provide any relief off the bench either.
“[Vaughn and Sims] were not playing well so we went with a different lineup,” John Thompson III said. “Does that affect things? Yes. But they were not producing. You have to produce.”
The Hoyas were outscored in the paint 38-26, most of which were Freeman and Clark. The duo accounted for 43 of the team’s 62 total points.
The Hoyas will have time to improve, but there will also be a lot of waiting. They will have to wait to see what seed the NCAA selection committee will give them. They will also have to wait on Chris Wright.
“We are absolutely anticipating that,” JTIII said in regards to Wright being available for the NCAA Tournament.
Besides the prospect of Wright rejoining the team, the Hoyas can take solace in the fact that they now have plenty of time to prepare for the Big Dance.
Mar 09 2011
Mar 09 2011
Vox is in New York covering the Big East Tournament for as long as Georgetown lasts. In preparation for the Hoyas opening game today at noon, here’s a look at their first opponent, as well as some Big East accolades, and a preview of what the Hoyas will be doing on their summer vacation.
To no one’s surprise, eighth-seeded Georgetown will play Connecticut to begin its Big East Tournament. The Huskies easily dispatched perennial 16-seed DePaul 97-71 in the tournament’s opening game on Tuesday. In other completely expected news, UConn’s Kemba Walker led all scorers in that game with 26 points.
If you’ve paid any attention this season to college basketball played outside the Verizon Center, Walker needs no introduction. The junior guard has single-handedly made this UConn team a contender–at one point, Walker was the presumptive favorite for national player of the year. He and his team have seen their star fall somewhat in the latter half of the season (Walker wasn’t even named Big East Player of the Year), but they’re still a force to be reckoned with. The Hoyas know that well after Walker dropped 31 points on them during a 78-70 UConn victory three weeks ago.
That win was one of only two for the Huskies in their last six regular season games, however. But even though UConn isn’t playing its best basketball, its woes pale in comparison to Georgetown’s. While the Huskies have faltered, the Hoyas are reeling after the loss of Chris Wright. Georgetown lost its last three games by a combined margin of 41 points, shooting just 31.1 percent over that stretch. Needless to say, this is a different team without Wright.
Coming off the most lopsided of the John Thompson III-era, it wouldn’t matter if Georgetown was playing DePaul–the Hoyas have to prove themselves this afternoon. The Hoyas are already in the NCAA Tournament, but if they want to make any kind of progress in the Dance (not to mention earn a decent seed), they need to show they can play some semblance of the kind of basketball that they were during their eight-game win streak, even without their senior leader on the court. Players like Jason Clark and Julian Vaughn need to remind people that this team is more than just Wright and Austin Freeman. Read the rest of this entry »
Jan 09 2010
This year, Vox is taking a page from Deadspin and New York’s books and giving you a guide for rooting against each of the Hoyas’ Big East opponents. In preparation for Saturday’s game against Connecticut, here are three reasons to hate the Huskies:
UConn’s coach has over 800 wins, won two national championships, and is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame. Needless to say, after coaching in the Big East for nearly 25 years, Calhoun’s teams have gotten in Georgetown’s way more than a few times. But you shouldn’t just hate Calhoun because he sometimes succeeds at Georgetown’s expense. You should hate Calhoun because he is a curmudgeon.
Calhoun’s press conference tirades are legendary (and sometimes justified). Last season, when Georgetown opened Big East play with a 74-63 drubbing of the Huskies, Calhoun was unsurprisingly not too happy at the post-game presser. Specifically, when talking about Georgetown’s play, he started talking about how “the freshman was great.” A reporter offered up Greg Monroe’s name, and Calhoun in typical fashion snapped back at him for assuming he didn’t know the name of the player he had scouted. The message he sent was clear though—Jim Calhoun does not respect the Monroe Doctrine.