Hoyas snipers' aim is true
Uncanny Austin Freeman and super efficient Georgetown are on the rise
If you're a traditionalist who believes that all it takes to understand any college basketball team is simply to watch it play, have I got a team for you. In the case of Georgetown, your eyes are exactly correct. At 11-1 and ranked in the top 10 nationally in both major polls, John Thompson III's team is winning for one very basic yet very powerful reason. The Hoyas' shots just go in. Over and over and over again.
Maybe I shouldn't be happy about such obvious excellence. After all, I'm more accustomed to uncovering the surprising facts that your eyes may have missed while watching the games in real time. But, hey, I'm always ready to hop on a bandwagon when the facts merit. And in the case of the Hoyas, there's no arguing with the facts. Any team that makes 58 percent of its 2s and 43 percent of its 3s is going to score some points. Sure enough, Thompson's men scored a remarkably efficient 1.18 points per possession over their first 12 games.
Give a lot of the credit here to Thompson and Austin Freeman, in that order. Georgetown's accuracy this season may be extreme but it's not exactly out of character. Last season, Syracuse garnered a lot of notice for leading the nation in field goal percentage, but in Big East play the Hoyas were actually the most accurate team in the conference. Throughout the Thompson era, Georgetown has excelled at getting open looks close to the basket -- which, not coincidentally, is exactly what a Princeton-based offense is designed to do.
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John Gasaway's 'Poll Position'
John Gasaway has written for Basketball Prospectus since its inception in 2007. His college hoops commentary appears weekly on ESPN Insider. John's writing has also appeared at SportsIllustrated.com, as well as in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Playboy.