Monday, March 9, 2009


Well folks, it's been fun. But all good things must come to an end, but in this case I am just moving to a new, prettier and fancier venue. Check out the new blog at:

Be sure to sign up to be a member and participate in discussion boards. All my old postings shall be transferred over at some point so you will have something to look back at when you feel nostalgic. Pretty sure you will be able to figure out my blogging name...

For some reason, this is the only song I am singing in my head as I take this huge step in my blogging life:

Good talk.

One Last Chance

The basketball gods have a cruel sense of humor. They gave Georgetown countless ways to guarantee a NCAA Tournament berth during the regular season and the Hoyas failed to take advantage of the generosity. In a final attempt to give Hoyas fans something to cheer for, the gods have given Georgetown quite possibly the easiest draw into the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. St. John's --> Marquette --> Villanova.

St. John's
- the team Georgetown should have beaten and should be looking for redemption against.

- the team that has lost four straight since a season-ending injury to its star guard.

- the only team with a winning record that Georgetown has defeated in the past two months.

Big East Tournament Bracket

(Click picture to expand)

Three straight wins could potentially put Georgetown on the bubble again, but don't get your hopes up. Here's looking forward to more heart-break.

Good talk.

Sucks for Summers

Congrats to Greg Monroe for being named to the Big East All-Rookie team.

Congrats to no one else on the team.

After being named to the preseason All-Big East Team, DaJuan Summers received no recognition whatsoever. Going to suck when he has to explain that to his future employer.

Good talk.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's Finally Over

The much awaited end to this season has come. JT3's worst season as a head coach and one of Georgetown's most disappointing seasons ever is officially over. It is remarkable that the same selfish and out-of-sync group of players donning the Georgetown uniforms on Saturday beat UConn in Hartford a little over two months ago. It is remarkable that this group of uninspired players has beaten four teams this season that were at some point ranked in the Top Ten. And it is remarkable that this team itself was once ranked as one of the Top Ten teams in the country and has spent nearly 70% of the season ranked in the Top 25.

Here were my preseason predictions. Not too far off on these, I was 9-4 in the major games I forecasted, two games off my 18-11 finish to the season and three games off on my 10-8 prediction for the conference season. I knew we would lose some bad ones, but never thought we would lose to Seton Hall and St. John's in the same season. If we had won one of those games we would still have a fighting shot for a tourney spot come Sunday. Now our only shot is to win four straight to be a bubble team and five straight to get an automatic bid.

Here were my midseason predictions. I was way off on these, but I was trying to predict the sloppy and sporadic play we saw through the first half. I knew we would lose a really bad game and win a really good one. I just thought it would be a South Florida loss and Syracuse win instead of the actual St. John's loss and Villanova win.

For the midseason review, I split the conference season into two types, Good Georgetown and Bad Georgetown. Not every win was good (Providence) and not every loss was bad (Notre Dame). But for the end of the season, there aren't enough games considered to be good to make any type of statistical comparison relevant. The only good wins were UConn, Syracuse and South Florida. The other four wins were horribly played games where we pretty beat a much weaker opponent (South Florida, DePaul and Rutgers) or we lucked out (Villanova). So instead, I will just split the conference season into games we won and games we lost and look at the difference in the teams through the same six categories.

Good Georgetown committed 17 infractions a game, whereas Bad Georgetown committed 19. Opponents of Good Georgetown (teams that lost to us) averaged 11 points from the line and opponents of Bad Georgetown (teams that beat us) averaged 16 points. But the numbers are all over the place; in the loss to Pitt, the Panthers only made 3 foul shots, whereas Marquette scored 30 from the line when they beat us for the first time.

Good Georgetown averaged 16.1 giveaways which were converted into 15.9 points by opponents. Those figures are skewed by the Villanova win where Georgetown had a season high 23 turnovers and miraculously won the game. Bad Georgetown averaged 13.4 turnovers a game which were converted into 17.8 points by opponents. So Good Georgetown actually had more turnovers, but opponents were less likely to take advantage of the mishaps.

Good Georgetown averaged 18.3 points off of 15.3 turnovers by opponents, whereas Bad Georgetown averaged only 12.7 points off of 12.6 turnovers by opponents. So Bad Georgetown was more likely to have Chris Wright throw a layup off the bottom of the rim after a turnover.

Assist to turnover ratios for Good and Bad Georgetown were the same; both were below one, a telling sign since we run an offense so dependent on precise passing. This marks the first time a JT3-led Georgetown team has had more turnovers than assists in a season.

64% of the field goals for Good Georgetown were created by assists whereas only 54% of field goals for Bad Georgetown had the same attribute. Seems logical, Bad Georgetown had a tendency to forget the principles of its offense (i.e. Summers shooting off balance jump shots with 25 seconds left on the shot clock whilst trying to impress NBA scouts with his lack of an outside game).

Both Good and Bad Georgetown were badly rebounded on the offensive glass, embarrassing since they normally had a height advantage over the teams they played. Major problem for this season and probably will be in the future until Monroe learns how to... wait for it... BOX IT OUT.

With the offense we run, it is okay to not get many offensive rebounds since we take high percentage shots. But there is no excuse to allow opponents to hit the offensive boards as much as they do. We are not a running, up-tempo offense; there is no need for our five players to be out of position when a shot goes up. Opponents realized this very early on and took advantage. Opponents of Bad Georgetown took five more jumpers and three pointers than opponents of Good Georgetown.

Opponents of Good Georgetown averaged 10 assists a game and had an assist to turnover ratio of 0.65. Opponents of Bad Georgetown averaged 15.5 assists a game and had an assist to turnover ratio of 1.22. That is where the games were lost. We were unable to shutdown opponents' best players and often were unable to get a defensive stop in critical times. Good passing leads to easy buckets, something that affected Georgetown on both sides of the court.

Good Georgetown gave up 56 points a game (very skewed by Rutgers, South Florida and DePaul games but those make up half our wins...) and Bad Georgetown gave up 74 (also skewed by the three overtime losses).

Good Georgetown averaged 67 points a game and Bad Georgetown averaged 65. Good Georgetown shot 50% from the field whereas Bad Georgetown shot 43%. Surprisingly, both types of teams took and made the same types of shots. Of Good Georgetown's 49 shot attempts a game, 58% were layup/dunks, 25% were three pointers and 16% were jump shots. Of their 24 field goals a game, 45% were layup/dunks, 34% were three pointers and 21% were jump shots.

Of Bad Georgetown's 55 shot attempts a game, 56% were layup/dunks, 25% were three pointers and 19% were jump shots. Of their 24 field goals a game, 45% were layup/dunks, 34% were three pointers and 21% were jump shots. Interesting that despite the opponent, we still managed to do the same thing on offense, miss the shot.

What does all this mean? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, so sorry for wasting your time. It really comes down to intangibles. It comes down to execution in crunch time, it comes down to making the play when it counts and it comes down to heart. Georgetown has shown all of the above at different times this season but was never really able to put it together for a meaningful streak (we haven't won two in a row since Jan. 14). Before this season, JT3 was 5-1 in overtime games at Georgetown and had won his last three conference overtime matches. This season, JT3 was 1-3 in overtime games and lost all three conference overtime matches.

Syracuse found a way to regroup in overtime against us in order to thwart a crushing and historic collapse. We couldn't find a way to do that against St. John's. Good teams find ways to win when it matters. People call it luck but at the end of the day it is really about confidence in yourself and trust in your teammates. This team severely lacks both.

A quote to sum it up:
"We've got a serious challenge on our hands and I've got a young team."
As said by JT3 in a preseason press conference when asked about his expectations for this season.

Good talk.

Game 29 - DePaul

This miserable season is finally over and Georgetown ended it in fitting fashion, playing quite possibly its worst and least inspired basketball of the season. To say this game was ugly is an understatement.

A look at the Big season as a whole will come later, but there are only a few stats that say it all about this game:

- Greg Monroe shot attempts: 2 (all in first half)
- Greg Monroe shots made: 2
- DaJuan Summers three point attempts: 7
- DaJuan Summers three pointers made: 1
- Fewest amount of points scored by Georgetown in a Big East, regular season win

Good talk.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Change is Coming

Hire Esherick is moving websites shortly. The change should be seamless, all my absurd posts, biased rants and offensive statements will be archived on the new site. The new venue will have more features including a discussion board, picture, video and quote sections and quick links to Hoya Basketball information. And followers will have more ability to interact and voice opinions, including remarks that I am most likely two tacos short of a combo meal. I will also have a similarly delusional blogging buddy, who will represent my first non-inflatable friend!

Be excited. Change is a comin'.

Good talk.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Fuel to the Fire

Former class of 2009 Hoya commit DaShonte Riley has just committed to Syracuse. Congrats to the 6'11'' idiot. No better place to get attention as a big man than Syracuse.

Let's take a look at the most notable Hoya and Orange big men over the last thirty years. Here is a list of centers post-1980 that have played in the NBA.

Craig Shelton
Patrick Ewing
Dikembe Mutombo
Alonzo Morning
Othello Harrington
Jahidi White
Jerome Williams
Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje
Mike Sweetney
Roy Hibbert

Roosevelt Bouie
Danny Schayes
Rony Seikaly
Derrick Coleman

Well thought out DaShonte. Maybe 'Cuse was the right decision for you, academically speaking of course. Look forward to laughing at you for the next four years.

Good talk.

Hip Hip Hooray!

The normally reliable and accurate has taken Greg Monroe and DaJuan Summers off their list of prospects for the 2009 draft. Both had been lottery picks for most of the year and if they decided to leave after this tragedy of a season, the Hoya program would be in shambles. Imagine a starting lineup of Clark, Wright, Freeman, Thompson and Vaughn. I just cried into my own puke after thinking Vaughn could be a starter.

Both, however, are listed as lottery picks in 2010 draft. Summers will be forced to leave since will be a senior but I am hoping Greg stays at least three years. But that is for a discussion next year, when we hopefully have a couple of off-days in rounds 1 and 2 of the Big East Tournament.

The Big East is projected to have 11 players taken in this year's draft, more than any other conference. I already discussed the experience of this year's conference, a look at what to expect next year will come soon.

Good talk.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Music for the Soul

There are five things I was told that I would have to abide by in order to enter the blog world:
(1) You cannot plagiarize,
(2) You cannot do anything but play Dungeons & Dragons on Friday nights,
(3) You cannot deny that you wear sweatpants all the time,
(4) You cannot deny that you live in your grandmother's basement,
And most importantly,
(5) You cannot mess with Kelly songs.

Well I had enough of this season so I am going to tempt fate and take off my sweatpants and move out. And I am also going to re-write a Kelly song. Presented for your auditory pleasure: My March Is Free Because of You by my future wife.

Guess this means it's over,
Our tourney hopes are naught.
Guess this means N-I-T,
Cause you miss foul shots.
Never had a leader,
No one would step up.
Cause you couldn't box out,
I'm left to cry and pout.

Lost to St. John's and Seton Hall, yeah.
I can't believe this huge downfall, yeah.
I put my faith in you,
And it fell through.
My March is free because of you.

Maybe I was naive,
For believin' we were fine.
Maybe I was dumb for,
Trustin' such young guys.
I know we had some bright spots,
But we had some bad ones too.
Now my heart is broken,
I'm empty thanks to you.

Lost to St. John's and Seton Hall, yeah.
I can't believe this huge downfall, yeah.
I put my faith in you,
And it fell through.
My March is free because of you.

Watching you play,
Takes years off my life.
Have to hope that next year,
Will rid me of this strife.
Oh yeah.

Lost to St. John's and Seton Hall, yeah.
I can't believe this huge downfall, yeah.
I put my faith in you,
And it fell through.
My March is free because of you.

Good talk.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Game 28 - St. John's

The sky is really falling this time.

The inexperienced Hoyas square off with the banged-up Red Storm in a battle of traditional Big East powers. That was Comcast's description of this game. And they could not be more spot on.

Free throws and rebounds lost it for us. Don't really want to look at the numbers because it will make me sick. But that is one of JT3's worst games of his career. And the only positive in this disaster is that since we are unranked, no one will really care that Georgetown just collapsed in historic fashion.

And oh, Greg Monroe, the 2008 Parade High School Player of the Year, got outplayed by a 6'6'' player that averaged 13 minutes and 6 points a game. His name was Rob Thomas. And he tore my heart out and spat on it. And then sang a duet with Santana.

If anyone needs me I will be in my car with the windows down and the exhaust funneling in sweet fumes of serenity.

Good talk.


Cause I'm laughing too hard. Is this the next logical step for my songs?

Special shout-out to follower Sweet 16 for passing along this gem.

Good talk.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Calhoun Follow-Up

Well I might not agree with the name of his site (I did at the end of January and for most of February and all of 2002-2004), but I certainly agree with the results of his investigative reporting.

Here is reason number two why Jim Calhoun is a dirtbag courtesy of Hoya Suxa: He is a liar.

Reason number one is because he is dirty coach (link attached for those that don't remember my Happy Holidays post).

Kudos to Hoya Suxa. Only for the next 2 minutes... And I'm over it.

Good talk.

Big East Tourney Quick Look

With all 16 teams making the trip up to MSG this year, the Big East Tournament has become a five-day marathon. The top four teams get a double-bye until Thursday and teams ranked 4-8 get a single-bye. Georgetown, due to it piss-poor play in late January and most of February has no shot of being ranked anything above 10th going into the conference tournament.

To add insult to injury for the back-to-back regular season champions, the first-round games will not even be televised. But they can be viewed online

So where will Georgetown end up? Right now we are tied for 11th with Seton Hall, who has the tiebreaker over the Hoyas since they beat us head-to-head. I just teared up when I wrote that. Georgetown has two games left, against St. John's and winless DePaul. Seton Hall plays at Louisville and Cincinnati. They should lose both of those matches and assuming that we do not collapse in Esherick-like fashion in the final two games, we should have sole possession of the 11th spot come Sunday. We are currently a game out of the 10th spot and would need a lot of help to take sole possession. Since Notre Dame has the tie-breaker over us, we would need to win both of our games, and them to lose both of their games. They play both Villanova and St. John's at home, where they are 12-2 this year.

So assuming the 11th spot, four spots behind our pre-season predicted finish, we could play the 14th seed in Round 1 of the Tournament. South Florida currently occupies the 14th spot and has no way to more higher than that as they are two games out of the 13th spot (St. John's) and has already lost to them this season. They can fall to the 15th spot if Rutgers beats Syracuse tomorrow and then beats South Florida on Saturday. Unlikely scenario but don't put it by Cuse to choke. So the Tuesday matchup would put us against a South Florida team that we defeated by 15 points earlier in February.

After that, we would play the 6th seed, which is currently Providence. Given the current standings and records, there are a total of 5 teams that could end up in that spot, Villanova, Providence, Syracuse, West Virginia and Cincinnati, but tie-breakers would most likely lead Providence back to the top spot. Unless... Nova loses to Notre Dame and then loses to Providence, in which case there is a shot of us playing Nova again in the second round. I probably could figure out the tie-breakers but I really don't want to so I will just caveat everything I say by probably and could and maybe. Or we can just see what SportsCenter has to say:

No point in pondering over the far future when our fate could be determined tomorrow. Fun times.

Good talk.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Game 27 - Villanova Part Deux

Still living off a high of actually beating a ranked team in a close game. Quick look at the numbers and trends below:

- Welcome back DaJuan, although you had 8 turnovers, the most you have ever committed in a game.
- Welcome Nikita - although you still scare me when you have the ball.
- 23 turnovers, 25 including the two team turnovers - most this season, by far.
- More turnovers than rebounds, quite a remarkable feat. Georgetown was more likely to hand the ball over to the other team than chase down the ball after a missed shot (which there were a lot of).
- Assist to turnover ratio of 0.65, one of our worst for the season.
- But Nova had a ratio of 0.45, along with 20 turnovers.
- Despite having one player over 6'6'', Villanova out-rebounded us.
- Second largest differential in shooting percentages against a Big East opponent this season.
- Fewest amount of layups/dunks we have missed against a Big East opponent this season.
- We average 11 misses, we only had 5 against Nova.
- And I wore the hat again for the first time this season.

Many people asked for it so here it is: We are gonna lose to St. John's.

Good talk.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Game 27 - Villanova

Only one thing to say and it was astutely stated by T^3 as he sat on my couch nervously chewing on his red Burger King straw: Disgusting.

God was on our side in this one.

And Jay Wright was wearing purple.

Good talk.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sky is Falling - Part Three: Expectations

This season sucked. The way the players wore out at the end. The way the fans gave up on the team. The way the students stopped showing up to home games. The way the message boards are plastered with posts questioning the team's effort, the team's conditioning, the team's preparation and the team's coach. I too have many times complained about all of the above throughout the season but sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

I remember when Georgetown was a joke. I remember when a UConn fan asked me outside of Madison Square Garden before the 2004 Big East Tournament if Georgetown was still playing Division 1 basketball. I remember when I would be excited for our games to be broadcast on TV; I still have the tape of the time we played Cal State Fullerton in the second round of the NIT in 2005 and it was broadcast on ESPN. I remember when I asked President DeGioia why he gave Esherick a contract extension, as the room full of ass-kissers gasped that I would have the audacity to question the President of our beloved and perfect University. And I remember when we lost the last nine games of the 2003-2004 season. Here's the last six years as I remember it:

- In 2004, Georgetown failed to make a post-season tournament.
- In 2005 Georgetown had its first year under a brand new coach and had incredible, invigorating and inspiring wins against Pittsburgh, Villanova and Notre Dame.
- In 2006, Georgetown went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
- In 2007, Georgetown went to the Final Four for the first time in 22 years.
- In 2008, Georgetown won its second consecutive Big East regular season title, the first time in school history.
- In 2009, after losing three key players and having three players from the 2007 Final Four team drafted by NBA teams, fans are worried about the state of the program. They are worried about the team consisting of mostly of freshmen and sophomores who this season defeated two teams currently ranked in the top 5 and have played the hardest schedule in the history of the program.

Lofty expectations lead to disappointment. Disappointment leads to rationalization. Rationalization leads to optimism or anger. For the first time ever as a Georgetown fan, I am sticking with optimism. We will be good. Very good. This is 2005 all over again. And look where that ended up.

Hopefully this isn't where the delusional part of my tagline comes into play.

We're going to lose tomorrow. And it will not be pretty. But that's ok. The future is bright.

Good talk.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Sky is Falling - Part Two: Consistency

So we are young. If you look at the current top eight teams in the Big East, seven of them also rank as the most experienced in the league. The only young team included in top half of the standings is West Virginia, which replaces Notre Dame, an experienced team that is in the lower half of the standings. But next on the docket is the notion that somehow this season ruins any chance of JT3 and Georgetown building a true program, and that we have taken a step back from the turnaround over the past four years. But first a story.

A team enters the season with 8 freshman and 5 sophomores. Every analyst in the country has labeled them as "very young and very talented." They are ranked 18th in the preseason polls. After tearing through their November and December schedule they find themselves at 11-0 and ranked 9th in the national polls. Young, energetic and excited about the national attention, they open their conference schedule with a loss on the road. They climb back by winning their next 2 out of 3 conference games, but sandwiched in-between those games is a road loss to an out of conference ranked opponent. They are now sitting 12-3, ranked 23rd in the national polls. They win an easy road game against a bottom-feeder conference foe to rebuild confidence and momentum. With 14 games left in the season the young team runs out of steam. They lose 10 out of those 14 games, including 8 to unranked teams. The stretch consists of a five game losing streak and ends with a three game losing streak. They lose in the first round of their conference tournament and do not go to a post season tournament for the first time in twenty years. The season is a major disappointment and fans of the program wonder what went wrong.

This team was the 2006-2007 UConn Huskies. A program three years removed from winning their second National Championship in a six year span. Two years later that same group of young and talented freshman and sophomores are now experienced and NBA-bound juniors and seniors. They have won 26 out of 28 games so far this season, been consistently ranked as one of the top five teams in the nation and are on the brink of being ranked #1 in the country on Monday.

Sticking with the UConn program, two years after winning the first national championship in school history in 1999, they failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They eventually lost in the second round of the NIT to the Titans of Detroit Mercy. I will repeat. The Detroit Mercy Titans. Three years after that shocking and embarrassing loss, they won the national championship again.

One of the most storied and legendary basketball programs in NCAA history has a similar story. In 2005, North Carolina won its fourth national championship. This was also the school's 16th Final Four appearance, a record at the time. The team was led by a talented group of juniors and seniors who as freshman, failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They ended the 2003 season by losing to Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

The UNC story is also a good way to address a point Anonymous made after the Louisville game. In response to my argument that a program wins national championships, not a team, Anonymous responded "Agree, but this team will hurt the program by scaring recruits away." The three UNC juniors that won in 2005 were recruited to the program in 2001-2002. While being recruited, they saw Matt Doherty run the storied program into the ground. While seniors in high school, UNC failed to qualify for a post-season tournament and accumulated a 8-20 record, the first losing season in 40 years for the program. They stuck with their commitment, even after the coach that had recruited them was fired and those three Doherty recruits ended up bringing the UNC program back to national prominence.

Recruits commit to a program, a coach, a system and a story. And not all of those have to stay constant for them to remain interested in a particular school. I am hard-pressed to believe that a high school player is scared away by a losing season. A look at the recent post-season tournament history of the current top 25 illustrates that point:

# 2 Connecticut - Nothing in 2007
#3 Oklahoma - NIT in 2004
#4 Memphis - NIT in 2005
# 6 Louisville - NIT in 2006
# 8 Missouri - Nothing in 2006, 2007, 2008; NIT in 2004, 2005
#10 Marquette - NIT in 2004, 2005

#11 Arizona St. - NIT in 2008; Nothing in 2006, 2007
#12 Villanova - NIT in 2004
#13 Clemson - NIT in 2006, 2007
#14 Wake Forest - Nothing in 2007, 2008
#16 Purdue - Nothing in 2006
#18 LSU - Nothing in 2007, 2008
#19 UCLA - Nothing in 2004
#20 Illinois - Nothing in 2008
#21 Washington - CBI in 2008, Nothing in 2007
#22 Xavier - Nothing in 2005
#23 Butler - NIT in 2006
#25 Florida St. - NIT in 2008, 2007, 2006

So 75% of the teams voted to be the Top 25 teams in the country today have some point in the last 5 years failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Nearly 50% have failed to qualify at some point in the last 3 years. And nearly 30% failed to qualify last year alone. Now I realize five or any stretch of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is indeed a great feat but the above is to just refute the point that a bad season scares recruits away. If this were the case, none of the teams that failed to make even a post-season tournament appearance in previous years would be able to attract recruits to bring them to a Top 25 ranking today.

All teams go through dry spells. That is what happens when you have a work force that loses it's most experienced workers every year. But what creates a program is the ability for players to learn and build off of a bad year.

Consistent programs get to the Sweet Sixteen every year. They have good underclassmen and reliable upperclassmen. Great programs win National Championships. They take those good underclassmen and mold them into unstoppable upperclassmen. The jury is still out on which program JT3 runs.

The Sky is Falling - Part Three: Expectations to come later.

Good talk.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Sky is Falling - Part One: Youth

I think this is the perfect opportunity to mention to those new to the website or that have not already figured it out, that the name of this blog is a joke. A very bad joke since the Georgetown season has now dropped to the point where people actually think I am serious when I say Hire Esherick. But to all of those who are running to the bunkers and stocking up on canned tomatoes and powdered milk to survive the nuclear winter that is now Georgetown basketball, I offer the following: This season has been a major disappointment and we have played poorly, but why were we expecting anything different?

After our loss at home to Cincinnati, which was our sixth loss in seven games, our first overtime loss in four years and our first overtime loss at home since 2003, I mentioned that all programs go through slumps. I tried to rationalize that teams that have as much attrition as we had last season take time to rebuild the program. I am going to expand on this a little further. And I know there are plenty of ways to debate, refute and argue what I am about to propose, so I welcome all the naysayers. And I also accept that this year has been particularly hard by the seemingly careless, selfish and lackadaisical play by some of our supposed leaders. And for those who know me, I am always the last to drink the Kool-Aid and always see the downside in everything so maybe I am on to something here...

Much has been said about the lack of experience of the Georgetown team. We have 2 upperclassmen on scholarship, a starting lineup that consists of 1 senior, 1 junior, 2 sophomores (one of whom missed 18 games last year due to injury) and 1 freshman, and a bench that consists of 2 sophomores (one red-shirted last year), 2 freshman and 1 transfer. Before the match against Louisville, Barker Davis of the Washington Times wrote:
According to basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy, Georgetown's roster ranks 314th among 344 Division I programs and 14th in the Big East with an average of 1.12 years of experience. Given that Pomeroy credits Mescheriakov with a season of experience, Wright with a season (though he was injured throughout league play in his freshman campaign), and seldom-used walk-on Bryon Jansen with a season, Georgetown is even younger than 1.12 years suggest.
Youth equals energy which equals more late game spurts and wins right? Let's take a look at the last four NCAA Tournament Champions, and the experience of their starting squads and benches. To add transparency to my madness I'll set forth the following definitions:

Starting Team - players ranked in the top five in minutes per game for the season
Bench - players not included in the starting team that average ten or more minutes per game
Contributor - player that averages 10 or more minutes a
Experience - 3 years for seniors, 2 years for juniors, 1 year for sophomores and 0 years for freshman
Age Classification - as listed on roster, regardless of injury, transfer or red-shirt status
(Note: Not the same as Pomeroy calculations)

Some things to note from the above:
- In the past four years, there have only been two freshmen that have contributed to a national championship team.
- Georgetown currently has two freshmen contributors.
- They have three freshmen contributors if Nikita were counted as a freshman, since he red-shirted last year.
- They have four freshmen contributors if you consider that Omar averaged three minutes of playing time as a freshman, the least amount any sophomore contributor averaged in the previous year. The average sophomore contributor saw twenty minutes of playing time as a freshman.
- They have five freshmen contributors if you factor in that Wright missed 18 games last year.
- On average, 71% of a championship winning team's contributors are upperclassmen.
- 25% of Georgetown's contributors are upperclassmen.
- On average, a championship winning team has 2 upperclassmen bench players.
- Georgetown has 0 upperclassmen bench players.
- The 2008-09 Georgetown starting five has 32% less experience than the average starting five of the past four national champions.
- The 2008-09 Georgetown bench has 227% less experience than the average bench of the past four national champions.
- The 2008-09 Georgetown team has 75% less experience than the average team of the past four national champions.
- Take away a freak Florida team that won back-to-back championships with a roster that included three of the top nine players selected in the 2007 NBA draft and two additional players drafted later in the first and second rounds, this Georgetown team has nearly half the experience of an average winning team.

Before you say it, I'll try and address the comment first. Yes, there is a difference between the current Georgetown team and a national champion. So below is the same analysis applied to Big East Tournament Champions of the past four years.

Teams that have won the Big East Championship have starting teams with the same average experience as NCAA Tournament Champions, but average less experience on the bench. The current Georgetown team is still vastly younger than the average Big East Tournament Champion, by over 40%.

So we are young. Very young by champion standards. Equate that downwards and maybe we are right about where we should be in the standings. Now add on the fact that JT3 runs an incredibly complicated offense; an offense so complicated that Pete Carril, the coach attributed to creating the offensive scheme, had trouble teaching it to NBA players when he was an assistant coach at Sacramento. Don't forget about losing three seniors contributors from last season. And oh yeah, we played one of the toughest schedules in the country. What were we really expecting?

The Sky is Falling - Part Two - to come later in the week.

Good talk.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Game 26 - Louisville

Before the game I half-jokingly mentioned that when we lost, I hoped it would be by a lot so I wouldn't have the nagging heart-broken feeling I have had after the past six losses. The same feeling where I get my hopes up after we amount an impressive comeback and end up losing due to lack of clutch shooting and poor ball control. Well we lost tonight, by a lot. And I still feel awful.

Granted we started fouling with 2 minutes to go in the game, tonight is still tied for our worst home defeat in JT3's career at Georgetown. How bad was it? Well after we lost of West Virginia by 17 points way back in January (that was only our 5th loss of the year) I outlined previous games in which we got destroyed. Below is the updated version.
- Largest margin of defeat since losing at UConn by 19 points on March 2, 2005, 136 games ago. This was JT3's first year.
- Tied for the largest margin of defeat at home since losing to Temple by 18 points on November 22, 2004, 77 home games ago. This was also in JT3's first year.
- Largest margin of defeat at home since losing to Duke by 19 points on January 24, 2004, 78 home games ago. This was in Craig Esherick's last year.
- Largest margin of defeat at home against a Big East opponent since losing to Notre Dame by 23 points on March 4, 2000, 65 home Big East games ago. This was in Craig Esherick's first full year as head coach.

That pretty much says it all but first a comment on DaJuan Summers. It is clear to everyone that has watched him play over the past month that there is only one thing on his mind; his professional career. He was the reason our momentum stopped in this game. He took incredibly selfish shots, firing up quick three pointers and jump shots every time we had a chance to cut the Louisville lead below double digits. He wasn't even square to the basketball on most of the shots and his momentum from running up the court was still carrying him forward. When you miss a fadeaway, you are most likely to hit the front of the rim or airball the shot. When you shoot while still moving, you are most likely to miss by hitting the side of the rim you are falling towards. Most of Summers' shots hit the back of the rim; means he was pretty much taking a running shot. He made one shot in the game, which cut the lead to 8 but then after a Louisville conversion he fired up a horrible three with over 25 still on the shot clock. Go pro DaJuan; it's obvious you don't want to be a team player anymore. Luckily you are still projected to be a first rounder, and possibly a lottery pick in a very weak draft class. Take the money and run.

More morbid thoughts:
- The officiating was horrific in this game, but can't really complain because it wouldn't have changed the outcome. And we wouldn't have hit our free throws.
- We couldn't hit our three pointers; we were 3-16 from beyond the arc which impressively is only our third worst three point shooting performance in Big East play this season. West Virginia and Seton Hall losses were worse.
- But not to be outdone, there is one stat from this game that makes it our worst of the season: We only converted 8 out of our 20 layup/dunk attempts. But this was just the worst percentage-wise; we missed 14 layup/dunks in the Notre Dame and West Virginia losses.
- Summers finished the game 1-8 from the field, and 0-4 from behind the arc.
- Wright was our leading scorer but total points don't define a good play. He was 3-12 from the field, 1-4 from three-point land, and 5-8 from foul line. He also missed all 6 of his layup/dunk attempts in the second half and turned the ball over 4 times while only accumulating 1 assist.
- Our worst night on the boards since the loss to West Virginia; Terrence Williams and Earl Clark had more rebounds than our starting team.
- Speaking of starting team, I think the Nikita experiment is officially over; Clark started the second half over him.
- Freeman didn't start the second half for the first time all season.
- Student attendance woefully pathetic, especially for an ESPN, Big Monday game. But the crowd was loud when he had to be.
- Louisville had an incredible shooting night, they hit more of their three point attempts than they did layup/dunk attempts.
- They hit their first 9 shots and first 7 three pointers of the game.
- Team looks dejected and burned out. Unfortunately we still need to win at least one out of the next three to guarantee a NIT spot.
- But the bright side: We are very young. And we are very talented. And we will be very good in the years to come. Remember, the same team that led us to the Sweet 16 as sophomores and Final Four as juniors lost their last 5 games of the season and blew a NCAA Tournament berth as freshman. A program wins a national championship, not a team.
- This season hurts, bad.

Good talk.

WSJ Wants Georgetown in the NIT

With the newspaper industry in a death spiral and the recent announcement of Journal Register seeking Chapter 11 protection fresh in media moguls' minds, the Wall Street Journal has decided to make a bold move and stray into the world of poorly thought out sports opinions. Unfortunately, they will soon find out that this niche sector is already saturated with the likes of Dick Vitale and Doug Gottlieb. Today, the WSJ attempted to argue that mid-major schools should get more bids to the NCAA Tournament. First off, there are only three reasons why mid-major schools should even be in the Tournament.

(1) They have super-sweet lax-bro nicknames and mascots.
(2) Their fans are egregiously more intoxicated and entertaining when their team is playing since they know they have no shot of winning and their invitation to the Big Dance was out of courtesy for going 25-4 against high school-level competition.
(3) It creates gender and age equality because they are the only reason why the boss's daughter wins your NCAA pool. And those who know me are aware that I am always a fan of equality. And sweatpants.

But where this article really makes me laugh at its pitiful attempt at journalism is the final paragraph:
The republic will survive if Georgetown and Notre Dame land in one of the three-letter tournaments. Instead of rewarding them for compiling a losing conference record, the sport would be better off letting the little guys try to keep winning.
So if the republic will survive if two mid-majors get in over Georgetown and Notre Dame, does that mean the republic will fall if they don't? I don't know about you but I would much rather watch a game between two teams in the middle of major conferences, say Arizona and West Virginia, than two teams at the top of mid-major conferences, say Chattanooga and Long Beach State. That is like asking if you would rather watch Gossip Girl or Matlock. The question like, totally, like answers itself, like.


Gossip Girl

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Calhoun = Dirtbag = Funny

Not much to be happy about this weekend but the following video is awesome. A freelance reporter questioned Jim Calhoun's salary after their win over South Florida and Calhoun goes off on him.

ESPN picked up the story as well. (1) Calhoun is a dirtbag. (2) But this is funny. (3) And he is right. (4) Cuse lost.

Good talk.

Game 25 - Marquette: Part Deux

I said it after the second loss to Cincinnati and I feel the same exact way after yesterday's repeat loss to Marquette. We are just not a good team. We have the personnel, we have the coaches, and most importantly we have the talent. We just do not have the experience, yet. And that will come. But we will have to wait until next year.

I left the game shaking my head. We played so well for 35 minutes, just like we have in other losses. We showed so much promise, so much potential but could not maintain the momentum for the full game. I often talk about the Connecticut win as giving a false sense of hope for Hoyas fans but in reality the last few losses closely resemble the Memphis win, except for the outcome. In that game, we were badly outplayed and magically came away with a victory in overtime, which always seemed to be the case in previous years. Regardless of the score, we were the steady, calm and confident team that could slowly chip away at any lead and play exceptionally well under pressure. That is not this year's team. We came close at Syracuse but couldn't hit the shots when they mattered in overtime.

But potential doesn't mean anything when you keep losing. Amazingly, we still have a shot at making the tourney with two straight wins again Louisville and Villanova but I wouldn't count on it. We will lose just like we did to Marquette, in heart-breaking fashion. Some more quick thoughts:

- Turning point of the game was Monroe missing the front end of the 1 and 1 with 6 minutes left. He missed the shot, Summers picked up his 4th foul on the rebound and Jimmy Butler hit both of his free throws to make it a 4 point game.
- Said it before and will say it again, Monroe is not clutch.
- And he is soft and can't rebound. Lazar Haywood led both teams in rebounds. He is 5 inches shorter than Monroe.
- JT3 made his point with starting Nikita for three straight games but it has to end. Nikita is terrible. He had 5 fouls and 2 turnovers in 15 minutes of playing time. Put Sapp back in the starting lineup, at least I trust him with the ball.
- Welcome back bad-Bowman/Summers. Wild, out of control drives near the end of the game lost it for us. 5 turnovers, 5 fouls and 12 points. Not something to write home about.
- Looking at the numbers, it was actually one of our best offensive games. We hit more threes, jump shots, and field goals than we average against Big East opponents. And we had fewer turnovers.
- But we made and attempted fewer foul shots, and fewer of our field goals were from assists. And it was the second largest difference in turnovers in a loss this conference season. We had 12 turnovers, Marquette had 6.
- Officiating was poor. 6 fouls were called in the first 5 minutes of the game. Only 7 were called for the remaining 15 minutes of the half. Lot of hand checks and nothing down low. I don't care if you allow them to play rough; I actually think it is better. Just call the came consistently.
- Third acknowledgment of existence from Ed Hightower this season. I thought it was a good sign Georgetown was 2-0 when Hightower blows kisses in my direction. I was wrong. We lost.
- Sucks we lost on the 25th anniversary celebration of the national championship. But still not as bad as when Darrel Owens hit two free throws in 2005 to seal a victory against Villanova on the day they were celebrating their 20th anniversary of defeating Georgetown in the great upset in NCAA championship history. And oh, the free throws left the final score at 66-64, which was coincidently was the final score of the game they had won 20 years earlier. So things could be worse.
- Maryland beat #3 UNC and Vasquez put up one of the best performances this year by any player. Things can't get worse.

Good talk.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Game 25 - Marquette

There is only one way to describe my feelings after yet another loss.

If I hear another person talk about how we can get into the Tourney by winning here and doing a backflip there, I am to throw my shoe at them. Maybe even both shoes if the person is funny looking.

More thoughts about the game tomorrow, going to drown my sorrows in a big Root Beer Float.

Good talk.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Truth in Advertising

While perusing the Internet this afternoon, in search of news on the legendary Kelly Clarkson and her not yet announced new tour, I came across an advertisement informing me of the aforementioned legend's IQ.

I questioned the intrusive and seemingly impossible advertisement which contends that the creator of the ad has either gotten on Kelly's super-busy schedule to administer the test or legally obtained documents proving the score. Thus I decided to investigate further. As I dug deeper and deeper into the Truth in Advertising standards created by the FTC, I came across the following section simply entitled, The Internet. It stated:
Every word, sentence and picture displayed in an advertisement on the Internet is true. Given its broad reach, the Internet is closely monitored by both the FTC and FCC and users should feel secured that anything they are offered, whether or not they are asked to provide monetary recourse, is in fact a valid and legitimate legal contract. All statements and claims have been thoroughly checked and researched. Caveat emptor does not apply to the Internet.
After reading that I felt assured. So I decided to find out what other IQ tests I could find. I ventured over to ESPN and noticed that they had the IQ of the fans of every major college program. Listed below for your viewing pleasure are the IQs of Big East fans.

Now, to be completely fair and unbiased, as is the goal of any analysis put forth in this blog, I checked each school three times and chose the lowest score that appeared at least twice. I also doubled checked against non-Big East schools to make sure the range of scores made sense holistically. Harvard had an average IQ of 128, which seems reasonable. Duke had an average IQ of 99, which again seems on par. I have always questioned the intelligence of any student willing to blindly and unconditionally follow a coach that preaches seeking the audible and shriek sympathy of partial referees through exaggerated, voluntary and self-induced loss of body control (i.e. flopping). Also, I hear there is lead in the face paint.

School / Avg. IQ
Providence - 120
Notre Dame - 114
Georgetown - 113
Syracuse - 109
Marquette - 105
Pittsburgh - 104
Villanova - 103
St. John's - 103
Cincinnati - 103
West Virginia - 103
Louisville - 101
South Florida - 101
Connecticut - 101
Depaul - 99
Rutgers - 98
Seton Hall - 97

Here's what the scores mean:
*Over 140 - Genius or near genius
*120 - 140 - Very superior intelligence
*110 - 119 - Superior intelligence
*90 - 109 - Normal or average intelligence
*80 - 89 - Dullness
*70 - 79 - Borderline deficiency
*Under 70 - Definite feeble-mindedness

Congrats to Friars fans. You guys are way smart brosefs.

Good talk.

The Weather is Nice Today

The last four games I have previewed we have lost. So because I am superstitious I am just going to put the below quote from JT3 after the USF win and say no more. Additionally, the last time I went to a home game wearing pants and deodorant, we lost too. Well I guess tomorrow is gonna suck for the people sitting next to me.
"Hopefully we can get a little momentum from this, winning on the road and coming home. Our fans are great and we're going to need them."
I love it when he politely and indirectly tells me what to do. There are only two people that I listen to unconditionally. The first is JT3. The second is Billy Mays. JT3 gives me hope and Billy Mays gives me a variety of products to repair and clean my house. What more can an ol' fashioned country girl like myself ask for?

Good talk.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Game 24 - South Florida

We finally won a game we were supposed to win in decisive fashion. Not too much to say about this one. Don't get your hopes up, we still aren't that good.

The Big East Network announcers made a comment which I think was more interesting than the game itself. They said that the UConn win did more harm than good, arguing that it gave the team a sense of false confidence. They are correct in that the win did more harm than good, but for the fans, not for the players and team. People should stop referencing the UConn game as evidence of this year's potential, in reality it was a lucky win due to poor coaching by Calhoun. On average, opposing Big East teams attempt 22 layups/dunks per game and make 13. UConn took only 19 and made 10, despite having the deepest frontcourt in the Big East. And UConn only managed to take 49 shots in that game, the second lowest for them in conference play. Calhoun lost the game, Georgetown did not win it.

The only stat that could point towards us playing well is that we only turned the ball over 12 times against the Huskies, but in the next two losses vs. Pitt and Notre Dame we only turned it over 8 times each. UConn did turn the ball over 17 times against us, the only team to do so more times was Rutgers. I think the UConn win should jk (I am so hip) the Seton Hall loss. As far as I am concerned, neither happened.

What does this have to do with the South Florida game? Absolutely nothing. Here is some random observations about this game.
- JT3's first win at the Sun Dome, hip hip hooray.
- The most encouraging sign for this team occurred with one minute left in the game. Sapp took a three pointer, missed badly, but was actually in the paint to get the rebound. I can't remember the last time one of our players followed their three point attempt.
- 18 turnovers tonight, our most since the West Virginia loss.
- Monroe had 5 turnovers.
- We tried the backdoor way too much, led to horrible passes.
- 58% shooting from the field, our best since Cuse win.
- Because we only took 14 three point attempts, the fewest since Providence game.
- Here's a fun fact, we are 3-0 when we take less than 15 three pointers, and 2-8 when we take more than 15.
- We hit 75% of our layup/dunk attempts, first time in conference play we have hit over 70%. We hit 11-13 in the second half, countering our tendency to suck in the last 20 minutes.
- Freeman's free throw woes continued.
- As expected, Monroe was a perfect 4-4 from the line further proving he is not clutch and hits his shots when they don't matter.
- Vaughn took and subsequently missed his first three pointer since the UConn game. He has yet to hit one this season.
- South Florida had 5 fewer turnovers than us, tied for the second largest differential this season yet we outscored them by 12 in points off turnovers. This is a classic sign of us playing an inferior opponent. Do not expect this to happen in the next three games.
- Nikita continued his impressive streak of taking and missing as many threes as fouls he commits. He is now 0-7 from the field, 0-7 from beyond the arc and has committed 7 fouls since becoming a starter.

Good talk.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Music for the Soul

I am hurting. And when I hurt, I turn to literature. And when I turn to literature, I reach for an Archie Comic. And when Archie's wild and crazy antics are not enough to cure an aching heart, I seek guidance from Big Bad Billy Shakespeare. And he spoke to me. He said:
When griping grief the heart doth wound,
and doleful dumps the mind oppresses,
then music, with her silver sound,
with speedy help doth lend redress.
So I took his advice. And I now present to you: Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton.

Wasn't expecting too much
Knew that we were very young
But then the upset at UConn
Brought back faith and changed my views
I need to know, which team are you?
Stop messing with my mind
I was so happy til Duke then you hurt me

Un-break my heart
Say you'll win a big game
Don't turn the ball over
Stop missing the big shots
And important free throws
Play some defense
We shouldn't be so bad
Un-break my heart
My heart

Last shot against the Bearcats
The usual late game collapse
Both bring back my greatest fear
Keep the Esherick years away
Out of eight games, we've lost seven
This year is such a bust
Now we need an upset to make the tourney

Un-break my heart
Say you'll win a big game
Don't turn the ball over
Stop missing the big shots
And important free throws
Play some defense
We shouldn't be so bad
Un-break my heart

Wasn't expecting too much
Knew that we were very young
I was so happy til Duke then you hurt me

Un-break my heart
Say you'll win a big game
Don't turn the ball over
Stop missing the big shots
And important free throws
Play some defense
We shouldn't be so very bad
Un-break my

Un-break my heart, Oh Hoyas
Come back and win a big game
Un-break my heart, Damn Hoyas
Don't go back to the Esherick years
Esherick years....

Good talk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Georgetown Everywhere

Despite receiving no national attention due to their pathetic play over the past month, Georgetown is still everywhere. Case in point:

For tonight's hyped matchup between UConn and Pitt, ESPN is relaying the following facts:

- UConn has won 12 out of their last 13 games against ranked opponents.
- Pitt has lost 10 of 11 road games vs. ranked opponents.

Read between the lines and what do you get? GEORGETOWN!

The last ranked team to beat UConn was the Hoyas and the only road victory against a ranked opponent for Pitt was against those very same Hoyas.

Georgetown is like the nerd that always gets picked on by the jocks in high school. Yeah they are stuffing us in a locker, but at least they are noticing us, right?

Good talk.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Game 23 - Syracuse: Part Deux

Well as promised here are my full thoughts. I'll try to keep it brief since I already wrote once.

But first I need to purge myself of the ridiculous thoughts that crept into my head during the game. Before the game I thought I would be disappointed with anything but a win. After the past four years of Hoya Basketball glory, I had rid myself of the bad Esherick-era habits of thinking moral victories equaled actual victories. But after seeing us down by 16 with 8 minutes left, and the announcers consistently telling a national audience that Georgetown has no true leader, I decided that I would be content with a respectable loss. And that seemed to be the fate of the young Hoyas, as Syracuse was always able maintain at least an 8 or 9 point lead. We would make small runs to cut into the lead and create a three possession game but could never get closer. And despite the fact that we almost miraculously won the game due to a historic collapse by the Orange, I still felt content with the outcome after the game. We played with heart, we played well in the end and despite the loss, we showed we had character for the first time since we last played Syracuse. Then I woke up today. And I am absolutely ashamed of myself for feeling that way after the game. There is only one outcome that should have been acceptable, and at the end of the day, a loss whether we were embarrassed by 20 points or took it to overtime is still a loss. "A loss by any other name would suck as much, especially to the dirty Orange," Big Bad Billy Shakespeare once said.

After JT3's first visit to the Carrier Dome, where we tied the game on a Bowman jump shot that was inches from being a game winning three but eventually lost in overtime, Boeheim had this to say:
"I'm kind of sorry a Coach Thompson's back at Georgetown,"
Those words have stuck with me since. Sure he meant well but he said it in a condescending, holier than thou attitude, where he laughed at the valiant attempts of a rebuilding Hoya team and gave a sideways compliment while arrogantly thinking his program would always be superior. Well Jim, you were wrong, and if there was one takeaway from the loss on Saturday it is that you are not that great of a coach and you nearly blew a 16 point lead due to poor substitutions and lack of control over your players. And for the Georgetown team, fans, casual followers and me: It is not okay to lose to Cuse, and no loss will ever be a moral victory to our biggest rival. Not then, not now, not ever.

That being said let's go over the game.
- In the Notre Dame post I talked about how the team played a faster-paced game which resulted in us attempting more shots than in most other games. Well we took 60 shots against Notre Dame. We took 73 shots against Cuse.
- Those 73 shots were the most shots we have ever attempted in a game during the JT3 era.
- And the 94 points are the most we have scored in a Big East game under JT3.
- After never giving up 90 or more points in the previous four seasons under JT3, we now have three games this season in which we have done so.
- This is the most points we have ever given up, tainted because of OT, obviously.
- First time under JT3 that we have been under .500 in OT games in a season
- In the ten Big East games not against Cuse, opponents have averaged 19 layup/dunk attempts per game, converting 12 of them.
- In the two games against Cuse, they have averaged 37 layup/dunk attempts, converting 20.
- The three point shooters of Cuse aren't beating us by shooting, they are destroying us by driving. Makes me wonder why we only attempted to play zone against them for a few minutes in the second half.
- The game was similar to Marquette loss in amount of fouls we committed, and free throw differential between the two teams.
- We had 12 turnovers in the first 30 minutes of the game and 3 in the last 15 (not counting the one team turnover not attributed to a player).
- We actually had the best assist to turnover ratio in this game since our slide began against WVU.
- Only the second time this Big East season we had a better assist to turnover ratio than our opponent and lost the game.
- Commentators kept making references to the great matches between the two teams in the 80's. Apparently Syracuse has kept the same cheerleaders since then:

- Either that or Cuse takes their cheerleaders from the local DMV. No wonder Donte Green left the school early...

Good talk.

Game 23 - Syracuse

That game was for anyone who doesn't think that Georgetown/Syracuse is and will always be the biggest rivalry in the Big East.

Long weekend so it will take me a long time to get over this one. Here are some quick thoughts. Will come back later with numbers, trends and pictures of the trolls on the Cuse sideline to whom they give pom-poms.

- We put on some Old Spice after the last TV timeout in the second half and got our swagger back
- Free throw shooting lost us the game. At the end of regulation and in overtime. Again.
- GREG MONROE IS SOFT. There is no reason why Onuaku should have had such a big second half in the paint.
- Bold move starting Nikita, too bad he sucked.
- I don't know why we played zone for 2 minutes in the second half and then went away from it, it was the only way we stopped them from scoring.
- Len Elmore is a horrible announcer.
- Turnovers kept this game close in the first half.
- Boeheim being an idiot sent this game to overtime.
- Thank you Chris Wright for making me believe again, too bad I will have to wait until next year to use the re-discovered faith.
- JT3 still hasn't won at the Dome, although two of the four losses went to overtime.

Good talk.

Game Day

New season starts today. Take it away Al (when he says football he really means basketball, he's just trying to see if you are paying attention):

Assuming the Orange in the Syracuse Orange represents the fruit and not the color, I recommend the following:

Rip em' apart Hoya gents. Fight for freedom, democracy and all that is Holy in this world.

Good talk.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy "Manley Fieldhouse Is Officially Closed" Day!

It is the 29th year anniversary of the great day on which Manley Fieldhouse was officially closed! Tomorrow, Georgetown will play its 81st game against Syracuse, below is an overview of the series:

- Syracuse leads the series 43-37.
- Since the inception of the Big East, Syracuse leads the series 32-31.
- Georgetown is 7-18 at the Carrier Dome.
- Georgetown has won twice at Syracuse in the past 15 years.

I recently reached out to a bunch of Syracuse players to ask how they prepare for facing their biggest rival. Below is a summary of the best responses:

- Eric Devendorf said he releases built up energy by punching girls.
- Devendorf followed up to say that before his new found interest in beating females, he used to hang out with his friends from 8 Mile before big games.
- Andy Rautins said he experiments with new metro-sexual hairstyles to ease the tension.
- Johnny Flynn walks on his tippy toes to see what it feels like to not be a midget.
- Arinze Onuaku closes his eyes and pretends that a 33% free throw percentage isn't embarrassing.
- Paul Harris likes to rap 50 Cent to himself in the mirror and sent the below video:

Stay classy Cuse.

Good talk.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Many Faces of Jim

Most people think Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is two-dimensional. He is a coach and a whiner, and that's it. But this could not be further from the truth. Boeheim, or Versatile Jim as his acting classmates refer to him, is in fact a very talented and accomplished thespian. Through superb facial expressions and incredible body control, Versatile Jim is able to project a wide array of emotions and states of being. Presented below for your viewing pleasure: The Talented Mr. Boeheim.

Good talk.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where It All Began

Date: February 13, 1980
Location: Syracuse, New York/Canada
Closest Landmark: Auburn Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison

Throngs of unattractive, uneducated and unbearably annoying Syracuse fans poured into Manley Field House on a cold winter night. It was a monumental occasion for the Cuse faithful; you see this was the very last home game ever to be played at this special arena. And it was on this court that their beloved Orangemen had defeated 57 consecutive opponents, which at the time represented the longest home winning streak in the nation. The team was scheduled to move to the newly constructed Carrier Dome the following season, and fans gathered at Manley Field House to remember the past, celebrate the present, and toast to the future.

And oh yeah, there was a game that night. The #3 ranked Syracuse Orangemen faced off against the visiting Georgetown Hoyas. This was the inaugural season of the Big East Conference, and the Orangemen sat atop the standings with a 20-1 record, 3-0 against conference opponents. Meanwhile Georgetown came into the game with a 17-5 record, 4-1 in conference play. Both teams were led by young coaches trying to establish themselves and their teams in the newly formed Big East.

The Hoyas were led by John Thompson Jr., a Washington D.C. native who took over the Georgetown program in 1972. Thompson was a former All-American center for Providence College and had a brief stint in the NBA where he was most known for being the backup to the legendary Bill Russell. After the NBA, Thompson returned to D.C. to coach St. Anthony's High School for seven years before being offered the Georgetown head spot. When Thompson took over, Georgetown was coming off of a 3-23 record and had only two NIT appearances and one NCAA Tournament berth in its history. He turned the program around and led the Hoyas to five winning seasons, two NIT appearances and three NCAA Tournament berths in seven short years. And he now faced one of his biggest challenges as a coach against an energized Syracuse team and crowd.

The Orangemen were led by Jim Boeheim, a former Syracuse player, graduate assistant and full-time assistant coach. Boeheim was a walk-on his freshman year and rose to team captain by his senior year. He played professionally with the Scranton Miners for two years and returned to Syracuse to serve as a graduate assistant. He was promoted to a full-time assistant a few years later and rather unglamorously took over the program in 1976 after head coach Roy Danforth departed for Tulane. Boeheim was not the leading candidate for the position but after a long search yielded nothing, he became the default choice. He took over a program that had made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was National Champion Runner Up in 1975.

Georgetown and Syracuse had met 17 times before, with Orangemen leading the series 11-6. Thompson was 2-0 against Syracuse in his short career, but both wins were at neutral sites. This was Thompson's first visit to the imposing Manley Field House. In the days leading up the game, local papers hypothesized on only the margin of victory for the heavily favored Orangemen, as the concept of anything but a win in the last game at the hallowed home arena was unfathomable. The halftime score validated this notion, as Thompson and his Georgetown team found themselves down by 14 points. Fans celebrated what seemed to be a certain victory. But Georgetown refused to give up and they cut into the Orangemen lead with a 15-5 run late in the second half. After a goaltending call on Syracuse, the score was left tied at 50 with seconds left on the clock. On the next play, Georgetown's Eric "Sleepy" Floyd was fouled after a poor pass by Syracuse. He was sent to the free throw line with 5 seconds left in the game. He sank both free throws and as time expired the stunned and silenced Syracuse crowd looked up to the scoreboard to see an unaccustomed sight. The scoreboard read Georgetown 52, Syracuse 50. Georgetown had done the unimaginable.

In the post game conference John Thompson Jr., fresh off the heels of the incredible victory on the closing night of an arena in which 57 consecutive visitors were defeated, proclaimed the famous statement that to this day still echos across the greater Northern New York region. He boldly declared, "Manley Field House is officially closed."

And with those words, one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball was born.

Cuse on Saturday. Get excited.

Good talk.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Game 22 - Cincinnati: Part Deux

I am purposely beating a dead horse here since that is probably the only thing the Hoyas can beat now a days. I took a short hiatus to regroup and focus my attention on why Georgetown sucks. And I have come up with the resolution. If Iverson was The Answer then I now present to you The Solution:

OMG JK LIKE WHOA OMG! He can't play for Georgetown. We are stuck with the current roster full of talented yet woefully pathetic players until next year. Here are my random thoughts on the game, not many because it hurts me to write:

- First time ever JT3 has done a complete line change, substituting all five starting players for five reserves.
- Jesse Sapp was benched for most of the game despite finding his shooting rhythm before the Rutgers game. Something is going on behind the scenes there.
- Georgetown was 0-8 from the field in overtime.
- Georgetown had one field goal in the final 12 minutes of the game, including overtime.
- In the final 7 minutes of regulation, Georgetown had one field goal, 4 free throw and 4 turnovers
- Georgetown starters shot 31% from the field. Georgetown reserves shot 69%.
- Greg Monroe was 1-4 from free throw line in overtime. That alone lost us the game.
- After a four day rest, we looked tired and sluggish in the second half, again.
- This season is a disaster and a lost cause.

Good talk.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Game 22 - Cincinnati

I normally throw a lot of numbers out there to prove a point but today I will just try to rationalize through words. I'll probably go into the numbers more during the week long break before Cuse but for now this is what I gotta say. At the end of the day, we are not a good team. JT3 has one objective left in this season. It is not to guide us to an NCAA Tournament Championship. Heck, it is not even to guide us to the NCAA Tournament. The only thing he has to do is to make sure that the players believe in him, his coaches and his system. And the only way to measure the success of JT3 on that objective is to compare the roster at the beginning of this year to the roster at the start of next year. Only one name should be missing, Jesse Sapp.

Decent, good, great and legendary programs all go through slumps. Two years ago UConn did not make the NCAA tournament and they are ranked #1 in the country today. Everyone remembers the incredible Georgetown victory over UNC in the Regionals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament but do people remember our victory over them in the quarterfinals of the 2003 NIT Tournament? That's right, Craig Esherick has as many victories over the storied UNC program as JT3. Kansas won the national championship last year and is barely hanging onto a Top 25 ranking this year. Florida won back-to-back championships and cracked the Top 25 once out of 21 times the following year.

Last year was our year to win the national championship. And despite our monumental collapse against Davidson, we still are left in the same position as if we had won. We lost three important contributors and return only three players with significant playing time. Over the last few years we were spoiled by winning in close games. Hibbert's dunk against Notre Dame. Owen's free throws at Nova. Wallace's free throws against Nova and Marquette. But not this year. We are a young, inexperienced, emotional and volatile team.

Today, we did everything we needed to do to win except win. We missed all eight of our shots in overtime and missed three free throws. And it still came down to the last possession. The last shot was reminiscent of an Esherick play. The last possession of regulation in 2003 against Notre Dame were we didn't even shoot. The last possession against St. Johns in the NIT finals in 2003 where Gerald Riley fired an off balance three. Today JT3 designed a play, Greg Monroe was wide open in the box, but we just did not execute. It is basketball karma. We used to lose games like this under Esherick, then came Thompson and we started to win. Now it is time to come back to reality. One bitter loss at a time.

Good talk.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Lied, And For That I Seek Forgiveness

What a day of college hoops yesterday!

Wake gets destroyed by Miami.

Notre Dame loses its sixth straight, this time at the merciless hands of Cincinnati.

And Duke gets completely embarrassed on national television by Clemson. Did anyone else see Kyle Singler in the closing seconds of the game, when his team was down by 27 points and Clemson was nonchalantly standing to run out the clock, punch the ball out of the hands of Clemson guard K.C. Rivers? Singler was of course demonstrating the fine sportsmanship he often sees on the sidelines when his coach whines, cries and complains when calls don't go in his favor. I guess Singler was just baffled by amount of physical play accepted and lack of charge fouls called by the refs, especially when he and his teammates put so much work into sliding across the floor after being barely bumped by an opposing player. Almost positive that the fraud and detriment to the game of basketball arrogantly known only as Coach K uses a slip n' slide in practice to help his guards rid themselves of any athletic skills that would otherwise lead to a lucrative professional career.

A loss in February, however, is what we have come to expect from an always over-hyped and over-rated Duke team. In the past five years, they have averaged 1.4 losses in November through January and 2.4 losses in the month of February alone.

But that is not why I am writing this post. I am actually writing to apologize to all the followers, casual observers and friends that periodically check-in to see if I have been institutionalized yet. I ask for forgiveness because the Hire Esherick blog is based on a lie. The purpose, mission and objective of this hastily put together collection of ridiculous ramblings is in fact built upon a foundation that has just crumbled to the ground. And while I too am completely in shock over the news that I am about to share, I feel it is my responsibility to bear and suffer the consequences. Ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls and other folks, hold your breath, fasten your seat belts and reach for the nearest bottle of spirits because Craig Esherick is actually gainfully employed.

My desires to hire Esherick are no longer valid. I feel like an explorer landing to greet the native people of a brand new land to only be told that Columbus had been there first. I am left with the same sense as the time that I was going to be the first to leave a mark on the bathroom stall of a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop only to see the heart wrenching scratch Tony Wuz Here. Damn you Columbus. And damn you Tony.

Craig Esherick is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. Among his wide areas of academic interest are sports history, coaching, parenting and the leadership of athletes, and my favorite, the club sports system in Europe. I would not be left in such an exposed position now if only my daily Google searches for the man had yielded results earlier. But alas they did not, and I am left to contemplate my future, for if you as a reader cannot even trust the basis of the tablet upon which I scribe, how can you trust the etchings?

Good talk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Game 21 - Rutgers

You can't spell UGLY without GU. That adage normally applies to Georgetown cheerleaders but it is also applicable to last night's contest against Rutgers. But that is exactly the type of game Georgetown needed to snap out of five-game losing streak. By no means was this game pretty, and against any other team with the possible exception of DePaul, the Hoyas should have lost. This was the last leg of a brutal 12-day stretch where Georgetown played 5 games, 3 of which were on the road. And they ended with a horrific 1-4 record. Georgetown now has an 11-day stretch with only 2 games, which hopefully gives the team enough time to work on fundamentals. And despite the win, the team needs a lot of practice.

The turning point of the game was a Jason Clark three 11 minutes into the game. At the time, the score was tied at 14 and Georgetown was 6-15 from the field and 1-6 from beyond the arc. Four different players had missed three point attempts and the team missed 3 layups. After the Clark three, Georgetown went on a 10-4 run to end the half and continued the hot streak out of the locker room scoring 16 out of the first 21 points in the second half to capture a game high 20-point lead. Georgetown still managed to make the few in attendance groan with inexcusable mishaps and poor shot selection that allowed Rutgers to get within 9 points. But that was as close as it would get as time ran out and Georgetown ended up all smiles in the locker room. If this was a 45 minute game, as opposed to the usual 40 minutes, Georgetown would have lost. But they played well enough for just enough time to hold onto the lead.

Lowest shooting percentage (39%) and most turnovers (21) by a Big East opponent this season. Jesse Sapp thinks it was because of the swarming Georgetown defense:
That was just us paying attention to detail. We are a team that can get 21 turnovers if we play defense the way we're capable of.
But in reality it was because of a poor Rutgers offense. We did play very well in the zone in the second half, causing two straight Rutgers turnovers, but when the Scarlet Knights started hitting their threes, we were forced to man up. The defense is getting better, and I think it has to do with what Thompson said in his post game comments:
With young teams, they tend to get too emotional. When you're missing shots it affects your life and that's natural that happens. Understanding that first half that we were missing shots but we still executed in every other aspect of the game and that's something we haven't been good at.
We were much better at keeping the offensive woes from affecting the defensive intensity in this game. Overall, it was a good effort against a bad team. But we will need a great effort to knock off some of the ranked opponents we have coming up.

Other random observations:
- I have always hated people that tell me when to cheer and what to cheer and to encourage my team unconditionally (i.e. people that wear blue wigs) and I would never want to turn into one of those idiots - but -
- Student turnout at this game was embarrassing. I realize this is the longest losing streak that anyone on campus has witnessed as a student but it is still pathetic to host a night game against a Big East opponent and have the student section filled less than halfway.
- Students complain about having to sit in the 400 sections for big games but why would Verizon ever expand the student section if no one shows up to games like last night.
- Nearly 2,000 more people were in attendance for a game against Mount Saint Mary's than last night against Rutgers.
- Nikita Mescheriakov has now fouled out of the last two games. Maybe he is the thug John Thompson Jr. said this team needed?
- Welcome back Jesse Sapp, first time in double digits since December 8th, 14 games ago.
- Georgetown missed 10 layups, but only 3 in the second half.
- Free throws reared its ugly head again, as Georgetown was 8-15 from the line, their worst percentage this season in Big East play.
- Greg Monroe had his worst conference game from the free throw line, shooting 40%.
- Here's a fun fact: Monroe shoots 73% from the line in Georgetown's wins and 60% from the line in Georgetown's losses. Before the win against Rutgers he shot 90% from the line in wins.
- The team as a whole however, shoots 70% in both wins and losses.
- After a stellar performance against Marquette, Chris Wright took over the role of GTS - Guard That Sucks, from Jesse Sapp with a 2-9 shooting effort.
- He needs to learn that trick shots, although very impressive in games of Horse, are not very effective in actual games.
- Bench play was again strong, led by great efforts from Nikita Mescheriakov, Jason Clark and Henry Sims.
- Never would have thought that at this point in the season that Georgetown would have more conference games where their bench outscored the opposing bench than the other way around.
- Julian Vaughn averaged a remarkable foul per minute of playing time.
- Least amount of points scored in a win this season.
- Rutgers scored 29 points in the second half, 17 of them were from Mike Rosario.

Cincinnati on Saturday. The team hasn't changed since I last previewed them. We could have won against them on the road if we didn't fade out in the final five minutes. Here's hoping that the extra rest gives us more energy come crunch time.

Good talk.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Midseason Review Sponsored by Kleenex

Midway through the Big East season, Georgetown sits barely at number ten in their conference with an ugly 3-6 record, 12-8 overall. Many knew the troubles Georgetown would experience in January, facing three top teams in a week but few expected the colossal collapse of the Hoyas against the bottom feeders of the conference. Or did we?

Here was my prediction for the season after the first game against Jacksonville:
(18-11, 10-8) 8 Seed come March
Key Wins: Syracuse (H), West Virginia, Marquette (H), Villanova
Key Losses: Memphis, Duke, 2nd Game of Old Spice, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Marquette (A), Syracuse (A), Louisville

Strength of schedule/conference gets us in. We drop out of top 25 by end of January back in by end of season. Rough January BE schedule will put us below .500 in the league for the first time in JTIII's tenure (excluding 1-2 start to '06-'07 season)

First time I have looked at that prediction since writing it and I suddenly don't feel that bad about the way we are playing. People saw this team's potential, or lack thereof, after the first game of the season and chose to ignore what they saw after surprising wins against Memphis and UConn. At the end of the day, we are not a very good team. We are still capable of ending up 10-8; I think 9-9 is more likely if we play like we did against Marquette on Saturday. But I'm not counting on it.

Much has been written about the Big East. Terms like best, deepest, toughest, hardest, and most competitive have been used often when describing the sixteen teams that make up this conference. Consider this: If an upset is defined as a nationally ranked team losing to a team of lower or no ranking, then as of February 1, 2009, there have been 13 upsets in the Big East. There have only been 70 Big East games played so far. So 1 in every 5.4 Big East games played results in an upset.

Side note, all the analysis by commentators on which is the best conference, Big East or ACC, is ridiculous. It is just used as a method for creating viewer interest in otherwise boring and meaningless ACC games. ESPN has a backlog of sappy ACC stories so if there was not an interest in conference games, all those unbearable pieces with Dick Vitale interviewing Duke fans that fell in love when their gazes crossed paths while observing their unskilled point guard slap the floor with two his hands would go to waste. There is no question that the Big East is the best conference. Yes, the ACC is 9-6 vs. the Big East in head-to-head matchups but 8 of those 9 victories are against teams in the bottom half of the conference. Applying the same upset analysis from above to the ACC, an upset only occurs once every 8.2 games. The ACC has 4 teams in the top 20 RPI, the Big East has 7. Okay, that was more than a side note, I can keep going on but this post is supposed to be about Georgetown sucking, not the media sucking the ACC....... gotta keep it kid-friendly otherwise my sponsors will run for the hills.

So what is the reason for Georgetown's poor play in January? There are six possible reasons. Shooting, defending, rebounding, passing, turnovers, and fouls. All six of these categories at some point have contributed to a Georgetown loss. But which is the overwhelming culprit? I suggest we take a look at the numbers. Sound good? Great. Let's split the nine Big East games into two types. There is good Georgetown, which represents games where we played reasonably well, even though we might have lost. Included in this set are the wins against UConn and Syracuse and the loss against Notre Dame. And then there's bad Georgetown, or games where the team played embarrassingly poor. Include in this set are the losses against Pitt, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Cincy and Marquette and the win against Providence. Startin' in reverse order cause I'm a rebel:

Bad Georgetown on average committed 2.5 more fouls per game but opponents averaged roughly the same amount of free throws against both good and bad Georgetown. So fouls are not the reason for Georgetown's poor play.

Bad Georgetown averaged 15 turnovers per game which were converted into 19.5 points by opponents. Good Georgetown averaged 10.7 giveaways which were converted into 12 points by opponents. Additionally bad Georgetown averaged 4 more turnovers per game than their opponents, whereas good Georgetown averaged 3 less turnovers per game than opponents. Moral of the story, turnover ratio is a huge factor to success.

Hard to define passing by looking at a box score but the best indicator of a team's success in distributing the basketball is their assist to turnover ratio. For the most part, turnovers are due to errant passes, either poorly thrown perimeter passes or bad entry passes into the lane. Good Georgetown had an assist to turnover ratio of 1.44, reminiscent of the Hoyas of the old (old like last year, not old like the eighties). Bad Georgetown averages an assist to turnover ratio of 0.92, meaning they are more likely to turn the ball over than make a pass that leads to a basketball. Not a hugely meaningful statistic because assists are dependent on the player that receives the pass actually making the basketball, something to be discussed later.

I gripe about it a lot but good Georgetown and bad Georgetown are dead even on rebounding. Both average the same amount of offensive and defensive rebounds and both give up the same amount to the opposition. This by no means suggests that bad Georgetown is proficient at rebounding, it just means good Georgetown sucks at rebounding as well.

Ah, the fun stuff. Good Georgetown on average gives up 70 points a game while bad Georgetown surrenders 74 points. I think this is the perfect juncture to make something very clear to all columnists, announcers and ESPN idiots that talk about the vaunted Georgetown defense. It is no longer there. In their 9 Big East games this season, 6 opponents have scored 70 or more points against the Hoyas. In the two previous years, only 5 Big East opponents have put up that many points against Georgetown. To repeat, conference opponents scored 70 or more points in 6 out of 9 games this season. In the last two years, conference opponents scored 70 or more points in 5 out of 40 games. As for good Georgetown and bad Georgetown, both are equally as inept at preventing opponents from scoring. The opposition is shooting 46% from the field against both sets of Georgetown teams, which is nearly 10% higher than last year.

Last but certainly not least, it is time to discuss the offensive woes. Good Georgetown shoots a respectable 49% from the field, and 42% from behind the arc. Bad Georgetown shoots 43% from the field and a woeful 28% from beyond the arc. And that's where the game is lost. Both good and bad Georgetown take and make the same number of layups a game, but the standard deviation for bad Georgetown is significant, meaning there is no telling what bad Georgetown is going to do to screw up the game offensively. Good Georgetown averages 76 points a game, while bad Georgetown averages 66. And sadly, the average margin of victory for good Georgetown is 6, whereas opponents defeat bad Georgetown by 9 points on average.

So there you have it, the difference between two Georgetown teams. Bad Georgetown tends to take less shots because they turn the ball over more, and the shots they do take go into the basket at a much lower rate than good Georgetown. The unfortunate part is that bad Georgetown should really be called real Georgetown and good Georgetown should be called lucky Georgetown. Sad day for all.

Revised Prediction
We go 5-4 in our remaining 9 games to end up at 8-10 in conference and 17-12 overall.

vs. Rutgers - Stop the losing streak and win
vs. Cincy - Beat them at home
@ Cuse - Upset Special, Thompson gets his first win at the Carrier Dome
@ USF - Upset Special, Thompson continues his winless streak at the Sun Dome
vs. Marquette - Lose, but its close
vs. Louisville - Lose, badly
@ Nova - We could win this game, this will be the difference between a guaranteed tourney spot and a nervous Selection Sunday but I think we lose
@ St. Johns - Win
vs. Depaul - Win

The 8-10 conference record gets us the 9th spot in the Big East Tournament, meaning we have to play Tuesday. Win our first two games against 16th and 8th seeds. Then we face the #1 seed on Thursday and lose.

Somehow this gets us into the NCAA Tournament, with a 10-11 seed. Big East gets 8 teams again, but West Virginia gets in over ND. We lose in first round of Tourney.

** If my Upset Special doesn't happen, and we lose at Cuse and win at South Florida, then we don't get into NCAA Tournament.

I hope I'm wrong but I've learned not to hope.

Good talk.