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Without Chris Wright, Georgetown appears to be treading water

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

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On Friday, Georgetown got some positive news, learning that senior point guard Chris Wright could be back by the NCAA tournament after undergoing surgery on his fractured left hand.

That didn't help much on Saturday, though, as the Hoyas were dumped at home by Syracuse, 58-51.

Wright suffered the injury Wednesday night in a home loss to Cincinnati, and instead of starting his 94th consecutive game, he was sidelined on his Senior Day.

For two hours, Georgetown tried to replace Wright by committee, but very little worked, and it appears that the Hoyas will be simply be treading water until he's back — If he comes back at all.

What Georgetown (21-8 overall, 10-7 Big East) struggled the most with was busting up Syracuse's 2-3 zone. It kept big men Hollis Thompson and Nate Lubick from getting involved, as they were a combined 2-of-10 from the floor with seven points in 52 minutes played. The Hoyas also committed 16 turnovers while trying to solve the puzzle.

In all, it was just ugly. It's absolutely no coincidence that as a result of being without Wright for three halves, now, Georgetown posted its two lowest-scoring efforts in Big East play this week, finishing with a season-low 46 against the Bearcats.

"At points, we were holding the ball a little bit too long, looking for something, instead of just passing it around," senior guard Austin Freeman said.

Added coach John Thompson III: "We came out on the losing end, but whether Chris is out there — when Chris gets back, until then — we're going to figure this out."

Thompson's words don't exactly make him sound like a guy brimming with confidence as his team stumbles to the finish line without its lone steadying influence.

It's safe to say that opponents will copy plenty that they see on Saturday's game tape and throw healthy doses of zone at the Hoyas.

Give them some credit for coming back to take a late lead after trailing by double digits early in the second half, but between Freeman, Jason Clark, Vee Sanford and Markel Starks, Georgetown suffers a major drop-off in terms of an alpha dog running the show.

It's really unfortunate timing for Thompson's club, which has now dropped three of four after winning eight straight Big East games and looking like a contender for a top seed in the league tournament.

All that remains in the regular season is next Saturday's trip for a rematch with Cincinnati.

The late slide is only making the upcoming Big East tournament more daunting for the Hoyas, and you have to wonder at this point how much their NCAA tourney seeding is getting hammered.

There's not much that Wright can do to turn the tides in street clothes.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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