I should admit that I agreed to this Q&A before State had played a single game in Charleston, and the basketball gods may have taken out my hubris on Tracy Smith's knee. That's my bad. Won't happen again. My thanks to the guys from Casual Hoya for being good sports, and my condolences for the decisive defeat it's clear this weekend has in store for them. I answered a few questions from them over at their place.
As you guys probably know, Chris Wright was all set to come to NC State before Herb Sendek moved on, at which point he changed his mind and went to Georgetown. I've heard he turned out well. I've also heard that we have not received so much as a thank you card for this gift. How do you respond to these allegations and when can we expect an apology fruit basket?
Dammit. We definitely sent you an online card in 2006, your email address is still 8thBestTeamInCarolina@aol.com. right? Let me see if I can dig it up. Ah, yes, here it is: Thanks for Chris Wright, Friends.
I noticed the Hoyas weren't quite as reliant on three pointers last season as they have been in the years prior to that one--do you guys still run some derivation of the Princeton offense, or has that changed? Herb Sendek installed a Princeton hybrid while he was here that was wildly unpopular despite its effectiveness--it was considered sort of a junk offense, a gimmick. Are there Hoyas fans who feel that way about Georgetown's system (if it's still styled after Princeton, that is), or does the program's success under John Thompson III make that a non-issue?
Simple answer to the first part of the question - Georgetown's best player was a 6'10 center drafted in the lottery (where he has been - ahem - playing like a collegian). For the Hoyas to be successful, Monroe had to touch the ball every time down the court and that really cut down on the number of threes.
This year's team boasts three of the top guards in the Big East (and the country) in Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Jason Clark, and there's definitely been early reliance on the outside shots. Though there's been plenty of bitching on various chat sites, the team has shot a really high percentage and many of the threes have come off assists.
Just like with Sendek, Thompson runs a modified Princeton offense, valuing precision passes and cuts. As that offense transitions from the Ivies to the major conferences, there's a different caliber of athlete, and particularly big men, that change the feel of the offense. Fans will always find things to complain about with the offense, and it's generally a refrain that it's not the Georgetown of old - for instance, Roy Hibbert was consistently away from the basket (where he was clearly most effective) and this year's team relies a lot on the outside shot. Importantly, JT3 has adapted the offense to his team, with the past few years featuring a very deliberate tempo (when he had dominant big men) and this year's team opening it up a bit more and even implementing a press.
With that as a backdrop, Thompson's system has produced an incredible high (the Final 4) and countless lows (last year's horrific flame out). On par, it's developed several NBA draft picks and made players like Jonathan Wallace into local legends. Although Coach Sendek recently proved he can do the Dougie, Thompson really understands his system and has done a better job recruiting players who can thrive in it and then adapting his system as the players developed.
Now that Greg Monroe is gone, who's going to do the bulk of the scoring in the paint? He was an outstanding defensive rebounder as well--any concerns that that's going to be a problem?
Yes, huge concern. Before the game against Wofford, Georgetown had gotten very little production in the paint. In the Wofford game, however, Julian Vaughn and Henry Sims combined for 18 points and 15 rebounds. Granted, Wofford didn’t have a single player over 6’7", but still. Vaughn, Sims, and freshman Nate Lubick will have to fill the gaping hole left by Monroe, and Georgetown’s success this season in the rugged Big East will likely depend on their ability to do so. We know the guards will be there, but whether the bigs can produce is a different story.
Skip ahead to the six minute mark of this video and tell me how it is that you sleep at night.
I sleep fine. The sweet gentle sounds of Brent Musberger narrating my dreams. Are you some kind of retard? I AM A GEORGETOWN FAN. I am supposed to feel some kind of bad because a close call went my way? Boo hoo on you.
[Editor's note: Corchiani is so going to haunt you after he's dead.]
Is there a freshman or maybe a reserve on last year's team that you expect to have a big impact on the team this year? How will the scoring distribution go this year? Is Austin Freeman going to be the go-to guy?
The freshman that will have the most impact this year will be Nate Lubick. He and Markel Starks were the heralded recruits coming out of high school, but Starks will have less of an impact trying to get minutes in our loaded back court. Lubick, on the other hand, needs to play 15-20 minutes a game from the start because we don't have a ton of big bodies. He's in the mold of Larry Bird, Tyler Hansbrough, Christian Laettner, Bob Mikan, Rick Barry, John Stockton, Steve Nash type player. Oh, also, he's white. As for a reserve that will have a bigger impact this year, the most likely candidate will be Hollis Thompson. He has moved into a starting role and seems infinitely more comfortable in the system this year. I expect him to score somewhere between 8 and 11 points a game by the time the season ends.
Scoring distribution will be Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark, with a little bit of Hollis Thompson sprinkled on top. So far Wright, Freeman and Clark have scored 77% of our points.
Freeman is absolutely the go-to guy. He can score from anywhere and gets to the basket at will. Clark and Wright are pretty awesome too, but Freeman is an absolutely lethal scorer. He should end up shooting +50% from the field, +40% from 3 and +90% from the free throw line.
The year is 2047. It's day 16 of the Big East tournament. Georgetown has fought valiantly through a number of Florida-based directional schools. Do you think we'll have flying cars?
No. And that will be a shame because the Jersey turnpike will STILL suck and that asshat of a state will STILL not let you pump your own gas so to avoid entirely the horifficness of the drive up, you'd either have to take the Shuttle and get literally raped, not strip-searched, RAPED, by an employee of the federal government before boarding your plane, or you'll get on the Acela 2.0 which will probably plunge you into a ravine (albeit slowly), preventing you from ever geting to the Floating Madison Square Garden and paying 75.50 Chinese Dollars for a Bud Light Pomegrante. Christ, the future is going to suck.