Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Georgetown at Seton Hall

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - Forget another miserable day of snow, ice and slush. These games are what make Winter enjoyable, or at least bearable. Georgetown edged Seton Hall 80-75 in entertainingly competitive Big East meeting at the Prudential Center.

Outside the Rock
post game

Efficiencies for the game:

Seton Hall68110

Both teams opt for a low to mid sixties pace. The tempo was a little faster because of the Hall's transition game, more on that later.

The Four Factors:

Seton Hall47164212

A very good offensive performance (shooting wise) was offset by Georgetown's occasionally sloppy play that resulted in an over the limit TO rate. On the other side the Hall took great care of the ball but was not as strong from the field. The pirates were 2 of 12 from three. In addition they were a subpar 11 of 18 from the charity stripe. That 61% free throw mark was significant.

The Rock from the baseline

A Quick Start
At the half the Hall trailed 38-31. They came out the second half and went on a 21-7 tear over the first 8 minutes to built a seven point lead. The Pirates got out and ran, made a number of shots in transition and by converting, were able to utilize their full court pressure to speed the Hoyas up and force turnovers. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard naturally was pleased with the 8 minute start but did add that better free throw shooting following that run, could have increased the lead more.

The home team is on a game altering run. The crowd is ecstatic and you are facing your second conference road game in four days. The time was ripe to fold. Georgetown did not and maintained composure when needed most.

At the Big East media day coach John Thompson III said he is not really involved in tempo-free breakdowns. In a distant way he is. Thompson noted that when Seton Hall was building their lead, each time out, he reminded his club the time left and what they could do. "We know as a team over the given minutes just what we can accomplish in that time," Thompson said. "And there was a lot of time remaining."

Pope Fouled Out.
Herb pope had a solid 16 point 9 rebound effort for the Hall. He fouled out late in the game, a significant juncture, as Georgetown's Julian Wright (11 points 6 rebounds) was defended by a smaller Jeff Robinson.

Austin Freeman showed why he was chosen pre-season Big east Player of the Year. The Georgetown senior guard scored a game high 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting. Freeman produced when needed most. "He is a fun player to watch," Willard said of Freeman. "He hit some big shots in the stretch but he is fun to watch the way he moves without the ball." And what he does when it is in his possession.

Final Numbers
Georgetown improved to 14-5 and 3-4 in the Big East. Seton Hall is 8-11 (2-5). Jeff Robinson led the Hall with 15 points. Jordan Theodore had a strong 17 point , 6 assist outing. Jeremy Hazell had 15 points. Hazell shot 5 of 16 from the floor and Willard pointed out his senior guard will need a few weeks to 'get his legs back' following a good two month layoff due to the injury.

Classic Response
With roughly 10 seconds to go the Hall trailed by three and Theodore hit a corner jumper near the Hall bench. It was clearly a two. So much so the officials did not even need a monitor to verify. Willard was asked his thoughts on the shot. "It definitely was a two (pointer)," he said. "If I thought it was a three and the officials called it a two I might have acted like my predecessor," he said jokingly before adding," I'll probably get a phone call in the morning on that one."

John Thompson III, flanked by
(Left to Right) Austin Freeman and Chris Wright
Not pictured Julian Vaughn

greyCat's comments
The first half at 32 possessions, was a more typical pace for the two teams. Seton Hall struggled to a 0.95 points per possession efficiency (0.95 * 100 = 95.1 rating) while Georgetown scored about a 1.17 points per possession (1.167 * 100 = 116.7). Considering their shooting efficiency (66.7% eFG%) the Hoyas should have been up by more than seven points (38-31), but they did not value the ball as a 21.5% turnover rate atests, and, given a paltry 27.3% offensive rebounding rate, were limited to one shot only on many possessions.

With the clock at 4:00 in the second half and the home team with a five point lead, Georgetown began to chew into the lead for the final time. They switched Clark on Jeremy Hazell (" one person can guard him...too crafty...too talented..." -- John Thompson) and tightened the defense one more time. Of the last series of possessions for each team...

Seton Hall2713580.63

The Hoyas implemented a "deny Hazell the ball" defense, to the point where, up three pionts with 5 ticks left on the clock, Thompson decided to put Keon Lawrence on the line rather than risk a 3 point attempt by Jeremy Hazell. When debating the risks that a might entail if Lawrence made the first but missed the second, Thompson gave the go ahead "because Julian promised me he would get the rebound".

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