Georgetown advanced to the national semifinals last March behind disciplined play in a Princeton-style offense. Coach John Thompson III now has the team speeding things up.
The fifth-ranked Hoyas look to build on their most lopsided win of the season Saturday night when they face Radford for the first time.
Under Thompson’s leadership for three-plus seasons, Georgetown (7-0) has been efficient offensively using a methodical system that stresses ball and player movement. That style helped the Hoyas come within one win the national championship game last season.
Thompson, whose team is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 2003-04, let his Hoyas play at a faster pace Sunday en route to an 87-55 rout of Jacksonville.
“It’s something that’s going to be there forever when you talk about the quote-unquote Princeton offense,” Thompson said. “The word deliberate usually follows it, and it doesn’t have to be. You still have to make good decisions. If we can make good decisions at a fast pace, we can play at a fast pace.”
It was the highest-scoring game and easiest victory of 2007-08 for Georgetown, which shot a season-high 58.9 percent from the field and made a season-best 11 3-pointers.
“One day in the locker room, coach said to us that he thinks we have a chance to be ‘scary good,’ and I think that’s what he means,” said Hoyas forward DeJuan Summers, who scored 14 points. “No matter how teams want to play us, we’re going to be able to be effective, whether that’s slowing the ball down and pounding it into Roy (Hibbert) or being quick in transition. It’s going to give teams a tough decision on how to play us.”
Hibbert, the 7-foot-2 preseason All-American, scored only eight points in 15 minutes. He still leads the Hoyas with 13.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Summers appears to be breaking out of an early season slump. The sophomore forward is averaging 16.0 points and hitting 57.7 percent from the field over the last three games after shooting 32.0 percent while averaging 7.0 points in the team’s first four contests.
The Hoyas also are benefiting from solid play off the bench from freshmen guards Austin Freeman and Chris Wright, who combined to make 12 of 16 shots Sunday to finish with season highs of 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The duo could see increased playing time against the overmatched Highlanders (4-6), who haven’t faced a ranked team since losing 92-52 to then-No. 6 Wake Forest on Dec. 18, 2000.
Radford, which has won three of its last four games after opening the season 1-5, has been off for a week for final exams.
The team hopes Kenny Thomas can overcome the layoff and build on two standout performances which earned him Big South player of the week honors. The junior guard had 23 points in a 75-68 win over Campbell last Saturday, five days after scoring a career-high 24 in a 100-97 double-overtime victory at Gardner-Webb.
Thomas is second on the team with 13.8 points per game behind fellow junior guard Martell McDuffy, who averages 15.3 points. McDuffy made a season-low two baskets on eight attempts for 11 points last Saturday.
Radford last won three consecutive games from Nov. 25-Dec. 2, 2006.