January 08, 2011
There isn't another team in college basketball that's made me look like an idiot more often than Georgetown the past two seasons.
I touted the Hoyas as a darkhorse Final Four contender last March after their Big East conference tournament run, and they lost by 14 to lightly regarded Ohio in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I labeled them Big East favorites two weeks ago after non-conference wins over Old Dominion, Missouri and Memphis and now they're backsliding faster than a fat kid sledding up hill.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time ... you aren't fooling me a third time.
I'm officially off the Georgetown bandwagon for the rest of the season after the rapidly fading Hoyas suffered a 65-59 home loss to West Virginia on Sunday to fall to 1-3 in Big East play. Four consecutive Georgetown possessions resulted in turnovers after the Hoyas closed to within three with 2:35 to play, short-circuiting any hope of a comeback victory.
Georgetown might not have needed a late rally had its vaunted backcourt duo of Austin Freeman and Chris Wright not struggled again.
Freeman, the preseason Big East player of the year, followed up a dismal six-point, 2-for-10 shooting night against St. John's with a quiet 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting against the Mountaineers. And Wright made an effort to get going but couldn't find his shooting touch against West Virginia, scoring nine points on 3-for-13 shooting to lower his shooting percentage to 22.6 percent in Georgetown's past three losses.
Perennially underrated Jason Clark had an efficient 16-point effort on Sunday to keep the Hoyas competitive, but they need more than one of their three elite guards to shoot well to offset a frontcourt lacking scoring punch. That frontcourt also struggled rebounding the ball, enabling West Virginia to out-rebound the Hoyas 32-23 including 15-4 on the offensive glass.
Despite an atypically unimposing frontcourt, the Hoyas have plenty of talent to recover from this slow Big East start, just like they had plenty of talent last year to finish better than 9-7 in league.
Maybe Georgetown taps into that talent, upsets Pittsburgh on Wednesday and finds a way to play with consistency the rest of the season. The Hoyas will have to prove it the next three months before I believe it because I'm not buying in again.