'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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It wasn't enough time for Georgetown coach John Thompson III to reflect. He was not 20 minutes removed from his second-seeded Hoyas' loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament.
In a perfect world, defense wins championships. But when the second-seeded Hoyas began their NCAA tournament quest Friday night, defense failed them in a 78-68, upset loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast.
Georgetown players said they weren't taking No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast lightly. Armed with the memories of last year's upset loss to N.C. State early in the NCAA tournament and a 2010 loss to Ohio, the second-seeded Hoyas figured this time it would have to be different. It wasn't.
Before his Georgetown Hoyas left for their trip to China in the summer of 2011, coach John Thompson III began to see what he had in Otto Porter Jr.
The Hoyas seem to be in a better situation than a year ago. Friday they'll open the NCAA tournament at Wells Fargo Center as a No. 2 seed against No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast with memories of last year's upset fresh in their minds.
The coach who almost always measures his words carefully and avoids big-picture statements whenever possible has, in his own way, let it be known that he's expecting more than the usual when his Hoyas, seeded No. 2 in the East, begin the NCAAs with a round of 64 game against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday in Philadelphia.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III usually measures his words carefully and avoids big-picture statements whenever possible.
Porter's breakout performance — 33 points, eight rebounds, five steals while playing all 40 minutes — in Georgetown's final Big East game at the Carrier Dome left no doubt that both the sophomore forward and his team belong near the top.
Porter scored 16 points while playing in foul trouble and Starks hit the biggest shots down the stretch, rallying the Hoyas to their seventh straight win on Friday night, 62-55 over Cincinnati.
Lubick, who entered the game shooting 70 percent (23 of 33) from the field over the previous five games, hit 8 of 10 shots and added 10 rebounds as the Hoyas won their fourth straight and sixth in seven games.
The arrival of the Big East schedule promised to clear up some issues for a Georgetown team whose murky play during the nonconference slate left some wondering about the prognosis for this young group. So far, the results have not been pretty.
Rebounding is one of the aspects of basketball that can be difficult to teach, given the unpredictable nature of where the ball will bounce, combined with the complex chemistry of positioning, strength, agility and desire needed to corral it, all the while fending off an opposing player hoping to do the exact same thing.
Georgetown has played in its fair share of uncomfortably close games during the first eight contests of the season. While the optimist might suggest this kind of trial by fire will prepare the Hoyas for the rigors of the Big East campaign, the pessimist has an eye on another issue.
Standing on the free throw line with 2:39 remaining on Tuesday night, Georgetown junior forward Nate Lubick had no idea he had a chance to set his career-high in points. Neither did coach John Thompson III.
After the offensive nightmare that was its 37-36 victory over Tennessee on Friday, it shouldn't be a surprise that Georgetown wants to get back on the court as quickly as possible. The Hoyas will have their chance Tuesday in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic against Texas at Madison Square Garden.
"At the end of the day, you've got to make the best decision for yourself," Lubick said.