Watching the opening minutes of UMass vs Memphis, I can only come to one conclusion. That DDM offense sure worked better with Rose and CDR. To be fair, as the game has progressed, Memphis is looking a lot better.
OK, the real reason I'm still up is because I'm typing a player-by-player recap of the Georgetown game. This makes no sense. I really don’t want to make this a “Georgetown” blog. That’s what HoyaSaxa does. But since Georgetown only has 4 returning players, one who was injured most of the previous year, and when the opener is a four point game in the final minutes, you get a long recap.
Meet the Hoyas
Omar Wattad: Oh my god, why is the 8th or 9th man in our rotation taking so many threes and missing them all? Wattad was 0-5 from three-point range and when you chip in questionable threes by several other Hoyas, bad shot selection kept Jacksonville in the game until the end. And it is too bad Wattad has no shot because he was really moving his feet defensively and trying to replace Jeremiah Rivers. Wait, Rivers was a terrible three-point shooter. Maybe he is Rivers.
Austin Freeman: You know the scene in Jerry Maguire where the WR gets knocked out in the endzone and decides to milk the crowd reaction? That was Austin Freeman in this game. Freeman who was clearly suffering from leg cramps took two of the most overly dramatic free-throws I have ever seen. He spent 5 minutes fighting to straighten his legs and then calmly went to the line. Also, as part of his 5 minute dramatic pause, he looked over to the sideline for a sub, but when he saw Wattad coming to the scorers table to replace him, I think he just decided to suffer and do it himself. He gave the second free throw a look like, “You better go in because I’m checking out of the game.”
Nikita Mescheriakov: When he checked in earlier than Henry Sims and played more minutes, I was seriously bummed.
Henry Sims: Sigh. 2 minutes, no faith by the coaching staff. Well, it is early.
Julian Vaughn: Appeared to have the immobility of Roy Hibbert (due to a leg injury), but played terrific defense. The Hoyas need minutes in the post and someone (Mescheriakov, Sims, or Vaughn) is going to provide a lot of fouls and very few points.
DaJuan Summers: People expect Summers to become the next Jeff Green. That’s tough. And I think it was Seth Davis over the summer who said that he thought Summers was not developing. My philosophy is that Summers is a guard (or at best a wing) being asked to play power forward for the Hoyas. And it just isn’t a good fit for him. But he redeemed his mediocre rebounding and post-defense with some incredible offensive athleticism in crunch time.
Jessie Sapp: The lone senior did his thing.
Jason Clark: With Freeman injured and ineffective and Wattad just ineffective, Clark got to play at the end of the game. He handled the ball well and calmly made his free throws. Not bad for a freshman. He even hustled and got three rebounds from the guard position.
Chris Wright: Wright may not be the best player on the Hoyas, but I think he has the most potential. He’s a true PG (which Wallace really was not) and he has an incredible feel for the flow of the game. Uggh, I need to stop before I jinx his season. Key Point: At the end of the game when it was still close, he called his teammates together for a huddle after the huddle with JT3. As long as his teammates accept him in the role, Chris Wright is ready to be the leader of the Hoyas.
Greg Monroe: He’s no Michael Beasley, but you can see why he was a McDonald’s All-American. I liked what I saw and I want to see more.
When you’ve watched enough championship caliber teams, you know when you don’t have one. But that’s not really fair. This was the opening game for a very young team (one senior, one junior, only four returning players).
Watching the team give up so many offensive rebounds gives me concern, but the defense played extremely well otherwise and if the Hoyas can play good defense, they can have a good season.
Truthfully, the only reason Jacksonville stayed in this game was because Georgetown had a horrible night shooting, missing a ton of wide open shots. Freeman was clearly dehydrated all game and it contributed to a 1-10 game from the field and Wattad won’t get a chance to repeat an 0-5 game. Assuming JT3 can bring the offense along, the Hoyas will be formidable by February. But they are also going to lose some games early; they may even lose to Drexel on Saturday.