Making a return back to the NCAA Tournament this year after missing the 09′ version are the Georgetown Hoyas. The Hoyas are once again looking like the 07′ Georgetown squad that went to the Final Four, losing to Ohio state, the eventual runner up. Georgetown has slipped in the Big East standings, which may hurt their chances at a high seed in this year’s tournament. The Hoyas are 21-9 overall this season, with a 10-8 record within the Big East, a Conference that has just 3 teams currently under the .500 mark on the season. The Hoyas are one of 5 top 25 ranked teams in the Big East, currently ranked #22 by both the Associated Press and by the Coaches Poll. Georgetown opened the season winning 8 straight games before a December 19th loss at Old Dominion, but have come down to Earth , losing back-to-back Conference games on February 14th and 18th, and again on Feb 27th and March 1st.
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Team Offense – The Goergetown offense is led by Junior Guard Austin Freeman, who leads the Hoyas with 17.3 points per game, but the Hoyas offense is not a one-man unit. Georgetown has a different leader in various other offensive categories, including Sophomore Center Greg Monroe, who easily leads this Hoyas offense with 9.6 rebounds per game, and Junior Guard Chris Wright leads the Hoyas with 4.0 assists per game. The most impressive stat for this Hoyas offense is that they rank 4th nationally in field goal percentage, currently shooting at a 49.8% clip. Fellow Big East rival Syracuse shoots 51.5% from the field, which leads the entire NCAA. Other than field goal percentage and maybe three point field goal percentage (38.8%, #24 ranked), the Hoyas offense is just all sorts of average. Just once has this offense reached the 100-point plateau in a single game this season, but it was one of their more impressive victories of the season, knocking off #10 Villanova on the road on Feb 6th. Given that the Hoyas play in the toughest Conference in the NCAA, their 73.1 points per game average is not horrible, but there must be some improvement before this tournament begins on March 18th.
Team Defense- Just like their offense, the Hoyas defense is nothing spectacular. Although their 65.5 points against per game is not horrible in a difficult Big East Conference, it barely cracks the top 100 in points against per game throughout the nation. The Hoyas play a strong defensive game in the paint however, as they average 4.9 blocked shots per game, thanks to Sophomore Center Greg Monroe and Junior Forward Julian Vaughn who both average 1.5 blocks per game and both have a total of 44 on the season, easily leading the team. However, the Hoyas transition game needs to improve as they turn the ball over more than they steal the ball. As we know, as this tournament progresses and the intensity rises, transition from offense to defense and vice versa is vital to tournament success. Their turnover margin is -1.1, which doesn’t even crack the top 200 in the nation. This is a team looking to tighten up and hit a win streak in order to create some momentum for themselves going into this tournament.
Tournament Prediction – In 25 tournament appearances in school history, the Hoyas have managed to crack 5 Final Fours, and came out on top in the 1984 tournament. With an overall tournament record of 45-24, the Hoyas have not been major disappointments every March, but they wouldn’t mind re-positioning themselves as a tournament powerhouse. However, their Conference play has slipped severely over the last 6 weeks, as has their national ranking. I cannot see this being the year where Georgetown breaks out and makes a serious run again, and I believe the Sweet Sixteen is very wishful thinking for this Hoyas ball club.