Dallas Colleges: Georgetown Hoyas

Rapid Reaction: Georgetown 64, Texas 41

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
8:52
PM CT


NEW YORK -- A quick look at Georgetown's 64-41 victory over Texas on Tuesday:

What it means: Georgetown continues to look like a team capable of contending in the Big East. Texas? Well, Texas looks like it could use some help.

The Hoyas are now 6-1 on the season, after their win over the Longhorns at Madison Square Garden in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic.

Georgetown was in New York just two weeks ago -- the Hoyas upset then-No. 11 UCLA and nearly upset No. 1 Indiana in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center. They seem to like the Big Apple. And they’ll be back at the Garden on Feb. 2 to face St. John’s.

Texas, which has already lost to Division II Chaminade in Maui, drops to 5-3, and still has games against North Carolina and Michigan State before Christmas. The Longhorns desperately need star point guard Myck Kabongo, who continues to sit out while the NCAA reviews his eligibility status.

The turning point: Georgetown scored the first nine points of this game, and never lost control from there. The Hoyas led by as many as 17 in the first half, and took a 30-17 lead into the break. Texas shot just 8-for-28 (28.6 percent) in the opening 20 minutes, and committed 12 turnovers.

Texas briefly cut the deficit to single digits, 32-24, on a 3-pointer by Sheldon McClellan four minutes into the second half. But on Georgetown’s very next possession, Markel Starks answered with a trey of his own, and the Hoyas were off and running again. This was about as easy as a victory gets.

Player of the game: Georgetown entered the game with its top four scorers all averaging between 10.7 and 12.7 points per game, and it was a team effort again Tuesday night. Otto Porter filled up the box score, as usual, with a team-high 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks. Nate Lubick chipped in 13 points, making 6 of 7 attempts from the field.

McClellan had a team-high 12 points off the bench for the Longhorns.

Key stat: Texas was the No. 1-ranked team in the country in field goal percentage defense entering this game, limiting opponents to 30.7 percent shooting. No team had shot better than 36.7 percent against them. But Georgetown shot 41 percent from the field on Tuesday night -- 25-for-61. A switch to zone slowed the Hoyas down a bit in the second half, but they were still dominant.

What’s next: Georgetown will host Towson on Saturday at noon. Texas plays UCLA at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Saddle Up: Texas in the spotlight

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
2:30
PM CT
Texas vs. No. 15 Georgetown, 6 p.m. CT, ESPN: It is easy to take shots at Rick Barnes. It is easy to look back at the NBA talent that has passed through Austin, and to contrast that with the lone Final Four on Barnes' résumé, and accuse Barnes of not actually being able to coach, and to accuse Texas fans of being too obsessed with football to even notice (which seems especially questionable). If you can relay these sentiments in a comedic manner, well, that's just the icing on the cake.

Barnes has himself to blame for some of this. Some of his best teams should have gone deeper in the tournament than they did, and the buck has to stop somewhere. But it is hard to look at Barnes' overall record -- 14 straight NCAA tournament berths, three conference titles (in a league, standard disclaimer, that also includes Kansas), a 333-130 record entering this season -- and not start to wonder whether the backlash doesn't deserve a backlash of its own.

Or maybe it's just easy to feel bad for Barnes this season.

If you saw Texas in Maui in November, you saw the youngest team in the country play some of the more tentative, ugly offensive basketball you could ever see. As a result, the Longhorns lost -- not only to the ever-ugly USC Trojans but to Division II Chaminade. So it was easy to rip Barnes once more.

But when you consider the fact that Barnes spent pretty much all offseason expecting to have star point guard Myck Kabongo available, and then lost his team's undisputed leader and best player to an NBA-workout/agent-relationship-related NCAA inquest a few days before the start of practice. Under similar circumstances -- loaded with youngsters, missing its best player and leader -- what team wouldn't struggle?

In any case, there are some green shoots in Texas. For one, Kabongo shouldn't miss the whole season (this seems about right, but we'll see). More than that, though, is that Barnes' team has already played some of the best defense in the country -- one of his recent teams' most consistent trademarks -- by holding opponents to the worst 2-point field goal percentage in the country so far this season, and by blocking 19.8 percent of their opponents' shot attempts. (Highly touted freshman center Cameron Ridley is clueless on offense, but boy can he protect the rim.) Granted, Texas' opponents have not exactly been Indiana. But for all its offensive struggles (see: turnovers), this Longhorns team appears very capable defensively.

Do I think Barnes & Co. will beat Georgetown on a neutral floor Tuesday night? I do not. Otto Porter is too good; the Hoyas are too polished. Do I think Texas is better than that whuppin' the Silverswords gave them in Maui? I do. Will Kabongo's eventual return make them a top-half Big 12 team? I think so.

Sure, this could be the year Barnes finally misses an NCAA tournament. But I wouldn't bet on it just yet.

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