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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

December 11, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Video: Scouting Georgetown

No. 15 GEORGETOWN
Game info: 11 a.m. Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
TV/Radio: FSN/950 AM
Coach: John Thompson III, 123-51 in his sixth season with the Hoyas, 191-93 overall in nine years.
Last season: 16-15 overall, 7-11 in Big East (11th tie)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2008
Record: 7-0
Prediction: Picked fifth in the Big East by conference coaches.
Series: Fist meeting. UW is 9-17 all-time against teams from the Big East Conference, with the last win on Dec. 6, 1989 against DePaul.
Fun fact: The Huskies would have met Georgetown and Patrick Ewing in the 1984 Elite 8, but UW lost to Dayton in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The Hoyas beat Dayton and advanced to the national championship game in Seattle where they beat Houston in the Kingdome.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— C Greg Monroe breaks the mold Georgetown’s dominating centers. He’s not a classic low-post scorer. He can step out on the wing and drain a mid-range jumper and will shoot the occasional three-pointer. Monroe is also a very willing passer and the Hoyas will run their offense through him at the high post. He’s quicker than most big men and gets a lot of points in transition.
— G Jason Clark played in 31 game last year as a reserve, but this season he’s moved into the starting role where he does a little of everything for the Hoyas. He’s their best on-ball defender and leads the team with 16 steals.
OVERVIEW:
— Defensive-minded team that’s allowing 54.9 points per game, which is fewest in the Big East. The Hoyas use multiple defensive sets, including man-to-man schemes and various zones.
— Georgetown runs the Princeton offense, which is predicated on precision passing, backdoor cuts, constant motion and discipline. The Hoyas are averaging 72.6 points per game, 26 field goals and 14 assists.
— Georgetown starts three guards, but four post players (starters Monroe and Julian Vaughn and reserves Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims) highlight the rotation. The Hoyas use primarily a seven-man rotation, with each player averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Three reserves are part-time players averaging 6-7 minutes.
— Freshman forward Jerrelle Benimon (6-7) suffered a high-ankle sprain early in the season that kept him out of three games. He played 14 minutes in the win over American last Saturday and five minutes on Wednesday.
— The Hoyas return three starters and they’ve used just one starting lineup this season.
— Last season Georgetown started 12-3 and cracked the top 10 rankings, but finished 4-12, including a loss in the first round of the NIT.
KEYMATCHUP:
— Monroe vs. Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Tyreese Breshers and Darnell Gant. I’d imagine coach Lorenzo Romar will throw everything he can at Monroe, including assistant Paul Fortier if he could. UW hasn’t faced a center like Monroe since it played Kansas when Cole Aldrich finished with a career-high 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in a 73-53 Jayhawks victory.

STARTING LINEUP:

F – Vaughn, 6-9, 247, Jr., 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds
C – Monroe, 6-11, 247, So., 15.3, 10.7
G – Clark, 6-2, 170, Sr., 12.0, 5.0
G – Chris Wright, 6-1, 208, Jr., 12.6, 2.6
G – Austin Freeman, 6-4, 227, Jr., 12.3, 3.4

An interview with Washington Post reporter Liz Clarke:


(Is Georgetown using this week’s games against Butler and Washington to find its identity?) “Absolutely. They’re first six opponents were unranked and of the bunch really Temple was the only team I think that gave them a bit of a challenge. I’m pretty sure they trailed at one point and it wasn’t by any means an easy victory. … This particular Georgetown team is quite young. There’s not a senior on the squad and it’s really dominated by sophomores. There’s three juniors in the starting lineup so they’re quite young. In this five-day span, they’ll face two-ranked teams. Butler on (Wednesday) night and Washington on Saturday. Throw into that both are neutral sites. They traveled to New York for (Wednesday’s) game and they’ll be traveling across the country for the Wooden Classic game. According to coach John Thompson, it’s very much by design. He wanted to set up two tough games within a five-day window to see what he’s got and to give his players, particularly the younger ones, the experience of having to get up for a big game and do the same thing right away because that’s very much like the Big East schedule once things get rolling. It’s a really tough conference. And it’s physically tough too. The style of play is very, very tough.
(More) “Georgetown last year really had a lot of talent but the team kind of fell apart down the stretch. They just didn’t close games. I’m not so much suggesting it was physical fatigue, but there was a lack of toughness. A lack of mental and emotional toughness with that group it seemed like. As a coach I don’t know how you build that. I’m sure that’s something John Thompson has in his mind. So this five-day stretch is a simulation of that.”
(How does Georgetown match up with Washington?) “I think it’s going to be really wild for people used to seeing Georgetown basketball. I’ve only seen Washington play in the Texas Tech game, but clearly they are very contrasting approaches to basketball. Washington plays a much faster tempo, up-tempo game. It forces the pace and takes a lot more shots. Georgetown is very, very methodical. I’m not saying they can’t play fast because they’ve got some really fast players. But the style of basketball that Georgetown plays under John Thompson is really about treasuring every possession. Working the ball around. Sharing the ball. It’s not that it’s designed to work the clock down, but you just don’t race down the court and take the shot. You work the ball around and you get it into the hands of the guy whom the matchup favors. It’s fairly uncommon for them to score over 70 points. I think there’s a lot more shooting ability on this team, a lot more running ability on this team. I’m real curious to see which team will dictate the tempo. Who can impose their style of play on the other.”
(How good is Greg Monroe?) “(Tuesday) night was a real revelation for me and probably a lot of people who watch Georgetown basketball. (Tuesday) night against Butler he had a career high 24 points and a career high 15 rebounds and those two numbers may not make an average person gasp with awe, but for Monroe who is unbelievably unselfish with the way he plays the game it was a real breakout stunner. Just the fact that he took 20 shots that really is a departure from the way he’s been playing. I’m not saying he had some personal transformation and went crazy, the opportunity was really there for him against Butler. He’s just a sophomore, but his whole freshman year, people and me included kept yearning for Monroe to look for his shot. He would be in a really advantageous position under the basket and he’d kick it out. He’s the ultimate good, sharing guy. You just thought there was a lot more to get out of him if he got a little selfish. Now I didn’t see anything selfish in what he did, but if he looked for opportunities to exploit his size, his touch and his speed. It was totally entertaining to see. I think he’s terrific. He’s still to me growing into his body. I think the third year he’ll be better than second year. Whether that third year is in the NBA or college who knows? I’m really thrilled for him he came back to college because it’s like seeing almost a flower blossom under that time-lapse photography. When you see something just grow suddenly. It’s been great to watch him.

(Outside of Monroe, who should fans watch?)
“The most dynamic, charismatic, all-around, scrappy player is a sophomore named Jason Clark whose one of the guards. He’s just been terrific this year. He’ll do everything. He’ll be on the floor after loose balls. He’ll defend. He’ll look for his teammates. He can shoot the three. He’s the most opportunistic player or resourceful player. He gets steals. He blocks shots. If you needed a mult-purpose, lay-your-heart-on-the-court guy this would be the guy. The other two guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman are both very talented as well, but they kind of alternate. They bring different things each night.”
(Who do you think will win?) “I’m so bad at that kind of thing. I’ll you had Georgetown lost to Butler I wouldn’t like their chances. Not simply because they lost to Butler, but I would have questioned could they emotionally rebound from such a disappointment. That was their first time on ESPN this season. Their first time really in front of a big audience, but they got to be feeling great about that they accomplished against Butler. That said this isn’t a real showboating group. They don’t get ahead of themselves. They’re very much like they’re coach. They’re very measured and mature and take one game at a time. I know that’s a mushy answer. I don’t know. I’m as intrigued as anybody. I think Washington has the shorter road trip, but these are young kids. They do all-nighters. They can handle all of the things that travel involves. I can not say. It’s not because I mind putting my neck out there. They’re just so different. They’re so different. I don’t know who imposes their game.”

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