Thursday, March 11, 2010
Halftime: Syracuse 40, Georgetown 37
By Dana O'Neil
NEW YORK -- After a few avert-your-eyes games on the first two days of the Big East tournament, Georgetown and Syracuse have revved the energy in the building. What this game lacks in defensive intensity it more than makes up for in entertainment. Bodies are flying all over, shots are going up in rapidly and no lead is safe. Good stuff.
Here's a few things to keep an eye on when the second act begins:
Neither coach can be terribly pleased with the defense. Syracuse is shooting 59 percent and Georgetown 48. I expect both teams to come out with more intensity on that end of the floor when play resumes.
The Cuse has been entirely too sloppy The Orange has turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 16 easy buckets for Georgetown.
Georgetown has done a terrific job getting inside the Syracuse zone but has been less effective shooting over it. The Hoyas have matched Syracuse for points in the paint with 18 but have struggled to shoot just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc, compared to 6-of-11 for the Orange. I am curious to see how Jim Boeheim adjusts defensively to plug the gaps and if the outside shooters can get rolling for Georgetown.
Wes Johnson finally looks like a player of the year candidate again. Stymied with a hand injury, he's been less dominant in recent weeks. Today he has 12 points at the break. He is demanding the ball and is really active on the offensive end. Can he keep it up in the second act?
Credit Greg Monroe for keeping active in the game, even when he is not scoring a bunch. He only has four points, but has dished three assists and four rebounds. Usually when Monroe isn't a factor in the first half, he has a big second half. We'll see how it plays out this time.
The bench could be a critical factor here. Georgetown doesn't have much of one. Syracuse, on the other hand, has one of the best in Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph. The duo already has 17 combined.