This space is usually reserved for Roster(de)bating before games, but there is no pressing issue that merits a full blown breakdown. Villanova will, certainly, as Xavier looks to battle a team that can shoot the ball from deep. This weekend, though, presents the Musketeers with Georgetown, a team that should have been a Big East contender but instead comes into this game at 14-13 and off the bubble on the wrong side. Rather than being one of the blue bloods of the conference preparing for a tournament run, the Hoyas essentially need to win out to be back in consideration. Why?
1. DSR has fallen off.
This probably doesn't all land on the man himself, but DSR hasn't been as good this year as he was last year. With the exception of his assist rate, his tempo free numbers are down across the board. His shooting numbers are down, his rebounding is down, and even the amount of fouls he draws is down. Simply put, DSR isn't even as good this year as he was in his sophomore season. Still pretty good? Yes. Capable of carrying the team as he being asked? Definitely not.
2. The defense is one dimensional.
Georgetown blocks a lot of shots, but they don't do much else defensively. In blocking shots they get themselves out of position on the boards, they don't turn teams over, and they commit a ton of fouls. Teams shoot poorly inside the arc against the Hoyas, but get an absolutely incredible 28% of their points against Georgetown from the line. Only three teams in the nation surrender that many points from the line. Five of the Hoyas nine rotation players would foul out if they played 40 minutes and every single deep bench player would join them. Georgetown either blocks your shot or they send you to the line. There is no defensive in between.
3. Late game scenarios have been a disaster.
Georgetown very nearly saved their season with a storming comeback against Providence last Saturday. Down 26 at one point, they cut the lead to one with 1:12 to play...and then didn't get off another shot until two seconds remained. In the previous game against Providence, Ben Bentil went 6-6 from the line in the last 37 seconds. Against Seton Hall on Feb 6, Georgetown was within two with five minutes to play and then promptly went 3:34 without scoring in a stretch where they went 0-1 from the floor, 0-2 from the line, and turned the ball over twice. This is just a representative sampling of how bad the Hoyas have been in killing time this year. Call it bad sequencing, call it bad luck, or call it bad coaching, there's no question it's been bad.
4. Slow starts.
The Hoyas tend to get boatraced early in games they lose. after just ten minutes of play they've been down by an average of six in games they've lost this year. That may not sound like a lot, but it puts them on pace for a 24 point loss. In conference play that number jumps to over a seven deficit. Basically, the Hoyas are burying themselves and then not being able to get out of the whole. That's at least partially because...
5. The offense cripples itself.
Georgetown is actually a mediocre shooting team. They shoot 35% from deep, 50% inside the arc, and 76% from the line. The free throw number is good, the others are basically average. Those aren't great percentages, to be sure, but they aren't the reason the offense struggles sometimes. The Hoyas turn the ball over on 19.1% of their possessions and only grab 28% of their misses. Both of those numbers are really bad and directly contribute to the feeling that this offense isn't very good.
All those factors add up to a 14-13 team that some people thought was in position to challenge for the Big East conference title before the season started. As the NIT looms, it's fair to wonder just how much longer John Thompson III will be in possession of a job.