Where there’s a Jabril, there’s a way: Hoyas dispatch of Radford behind Trawick’s stellar play

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (6-3, 0-0 Big East) defeated Radford (5-4, 0-0 Big South) 76-49, Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.

Senior guard Jabril Trawick’s all-around effort, with eight points, game-high seven assists, and four rebounds paved the way for the Hoyas. Senior forward Aaron Bowen added 16 points and freshman forward Paul White scored 12 points to lead the Hoyas’ strong bench performance.

Trawick didn’t light it up with double-digit points. He didn’t take over the game. He didn’t dominate the floor. No, he played exactly how a senior guard should when surrounded by a young group: he made those around him better.

“He took the kind of shots that he should take,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III. Trawick opened up scoring for the Hoyas before taking a backseat to the bench players. He only took three shots all afternoon, but converted on all three and consistently found the open man throughout the contest with a game-high seven assists.

Hoya fans held their breath last Wednesday night as Trawick left the Kansas game early with an apparent knee injury. They can finally exhale, as Trawick experienced no discomfort during his efficient performance against the Highlanders. “My knee feels fine,” he said. It certainly seems it.

Georgetown’s blowout win brought both good news and bad. The bad news is Preseason Big East Player of the Year, junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, picked up right where he left off from his disappointing Kansas performance, shooting 1-of-9 from the floor.

The good news is the Hoya bench is more than capable of taking over when the starters are struggling. With two big men prone to foul trouble in forward Mikael Hopkins and center Joshua Smith, this talented bench can provide some solace for fans of the Blue and Gray.

Trawick was not the only productive Hoya senior yesterday afternoon. Hopkins was a playmaker from both ends of the court. His five points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals are still not indicative of his dominant performance. Hopkins provided an excellent example for the younger Hoyas, hustling to create opportunities and keep plays alive.

That being said, the biggest spark was inarguably the senior forward Bowen off the bench. The senior made up for his lack of minutes against Kansas with a game-leading 16 points, including a transition 360-dunk that left all 6,843 attendants on their feet.

Bowen shot 8-for-9 in his 20 minutes of play, dishing out the best offensive performance of the day. Paired with two blocks and a steal on defense, he earned the praise of JT3 and his teammates. When asked about the 360-dunk, Trawick couldn’t resist a grin.

“Oh I know AB’s got bounce,” he said.

Another big performance came from freshman Paul White, who’d already been getting increasing playing time. His play today explains the high minutes he’s received so far from Thompson. White was good for 12 points, including two three-pointers. Bowen, fifth-year, had nothing but high praise for White’s decision-making.

“He’s a real smart player,” said Bowen.

Coming off a Kansas game with little to no bench presence, there were plenty of fresh faces on the court for the Hoyas. Tre Campbell, Reggie Cameron, Isaac Copeland, and Bradley Hayes all saw significant minutes, and they got the job done. Georgetown shot 48.2% from the floor, limiting Radford to 38.0%. The Blue and Gray had no trouble getting easy buckets, drawing 22 fouls and forcing 17 turnovers.

With Big East-play quickly approaching, Georgetown is emerging as a worthy adversary of the nationally ranked #7 Villanova, #15 Butler, and #24 St. John’s. The Hoyas may not deserve a ranking just yet, but they have proven that they can hold their own with just about anybody. Their last-minute losses to #5 Wisconsin and # 10 Kansas are testaments to that.

Radford Head Coach Mike Jones wouldn’t be the first to confirm the talent of the Hoyas. “We knew coming into this game how good this team is…They’re big, they’re strong,” he said.

Commenting on Georgetown’s versatility, Jones made a bold prediction: “If you can win with a big power guy and with a fast team that can spread the court…you’re going to go deep into the tournament.”

Thompson agrees there’s something special about this year’s team.

“The way our team is this year, we can play a lot of different ways,” he said. “Everybody just has to be ready to step up when your name is called.”

Yesterday, Bowen and the rest of the Georgetown bench were ready.

Photo: The Georgetown Voice via flickr

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