By: Joe Cardoso
We all have heard the clichés:
“They are young”
“It’s a moral victory”
“They will grow from this”
In the case of this year’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team, I believe all of the above to be true. The Hoyas are exciting, that’s for sure. And I don’t recommend for fans with heart issues or high anxiety to try to catch a game. At least not right now. This is a scrappy, gritty bunch that, once they put it all together, will be a problem for the rest of the Big East. And there lies the question. WHEN will they get it together? On Saturday, we had a double OT win over Providence that saw freshmen guards James Akinjo and Mac McClung hit two amazing clutch shots. This was the Hoyas second conference win and it seemed to have the perfect upswing before facing #15 Marquette. In last Saturday’s game, we saw senior Jessie Govan go off for 33 points and continue his strong senior campaign. Nice to get win number two under their belt and prepare for the next one. But before we could even get the beer stains out of our shirts from Saturday, the Marquette game happened.
With leading scorer Markus Howard out with back spasms, it seemed this would be just enough for a home victory. Instead, we saw a different look from the Golden Eagles as they played a great game of team ball and bullied the Hoyas in the paint. Sam Hauser poured in 31 points and 8 boards along with Theo John, who chipped in 14. They attacked and dished to open teammates in a display of real old school hoops resulting in their fourth straight win. Coach Steve Wojciechowski can only hope to put this type of play in a bottle and break in case of emergency.
For the Hoyas, Mac McClung came out aggressive and shot it well from three, something I hope to see him develop more as the season goes on. He finished with 24 pts. Jessie Govan added 14, but really wasn’t involved in the offense until late. Also, the spark to end the first half was, without a doubt, Kaleb Johnson. He finished the game with 12 pts. The poor shooting of James Akinjo continued and that’s not even the worst part of his Big East play so far. He is a kid that’s still growing as a point guard. It was crazy to see all of the bashing and hate directed to him via social media. Coach Ewing called a play to get Govan the last shot, and for whatever reason, James’ choice was hero ball. At 6 feet, to take it into those trees was not ideal and he knew it the moment his shot was rejected. But he will figure it out. He was a top recruit for a reason, folks. Let’s all chill and give him some time.
(All Video via Making The Cut With Mook)
With 6 days until the next game, I hope the coaching staff uses this as a quick reset moment. Let’s get the rotation down and stop the head-scratching moves. Such as a player who hasn’t played in weeks on the floor in crunch time. With two star guards who are getting a ton of shine, take something from Marquette and move the ball around. I wonder if players are jacking up wild shots because they think this is their only way to get involved? Instead of the risky floaters and contested jumpers, kick it to the open man for the easier look. This break is a unique chance to get things moving towards the goals that were set.
The talent is here, the challenge is to mold it and get the team to play good basketball.
Until Monday, follow our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP or me @JoeCardoso301. Hoya Saxa.