Saturday, February 10, 2007

Georgetown Runs Winning Streak to 7

On a day celebrating the 100th anniversary of Georgetown basketball, the Hoyas made a capacity crowd filled with Georgetown greats of old, including Patrick Ewing, proud with a convincing 76-58 victory over #11 Marquette. As usual when Georgetown wins, their two stars, Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert both played superbly with Green putting up a career high 24 points and Hibbert going for 23 and 11 rebounds.

It seems like the Hoyas have turned a corner ever since an embarrassing loss at home to Villanova last month. In their 7 game winning streak, they've beaten up on the teams they should beat, and now have proven that they can beat a top-15 caliber team by defeating the Golden Eagles, who were riding an 8 game streak of their own.

I'm not exactly unbiased here, but it's looking more and more like the Hoyas could make a deep run into March. They have size that most teams can only dream about, an offensive philosophy that places a premium on quality possessions, and experience from a Sweet 16 appearance last year. That being said, there are also a few things could doom them. First is their free throw shooting. Jonathan Wallace, Green, and DaJuan Summers hold their weight, but it gets ugly after that - starters Jessie Sapp and Hibbert are in the 60% range, and none of the first 4 players off the bench shoot better than 50% at the line.

Also, despite playing in an offense where any given starter could lead the team in scoring on any night, Green needs to get opportunities to score against quality opponents. Except for a close loss against a good Pittsburgh team, Green has been a non-factor scoring-wise in all of the Hoyas' defeats. He's picked it up big time in the last four games, probably the team's most impressive four game stretch of the season.

Next, Georgetown gets West Virginia at home on Monday night. The Mountaineers blew #2 UCLA out of the building at home today, and have played surprisingly well this year even after the graduation of their two stars Doug Gansey and Kevin Pittsnoggle. I'll be interested to see if the 'Eers build on the momentum from today's upset or suffer an emotional letdown after their biggest win of the year.

If the Hoyas win their next 3 games, in which they'll be favored in all of them, that'll set up an enormous game against current Big East front-runner Pittsburgh at the Verizon Center in what could be a game that ends up deciding the regular season Big East title. Now that'll be a charged atmosphere.

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