A few thoughts after the first D1scourse in-person look at Georgetown this season, an 81-58 defeat of IUPUI at Verizon Center …
1. The most impressive thing for the Hoyas? Their ability to value possession. This isn’t reading too deeply into an outing against a less talented opponent. Georgetown’s turnover totals through six games: 14, 10, 11, 15, 9 and now 7.
The seven-turnover performance against IUPUI matched Georgetown’s best of last season, and its last six-turnover game came against West Virginia in the Big East tournament title game in 2010. At no point did the Hoyas seem out of control on offense, and that’s impressive considering they easily could have still been working on Maui time after last week’s trip to Hawaii.
2. Rebounding stood out, too. That’s especially true at the offensive end, where Nate Lubick managed six of his 14 rebounds. The Hoyas’ 42.9 offensive rebounding percentage was a promising collective effort.
3. IUPUI’s passing stood out at times. Yes, the Jaguars are 2-5, with three single-digit losses on the road. But they managed to make the Hoyas’ defense look shoddy throughout the first half, in part because of some nifty passing.
IUPUI was picked fourth in the Summit League, but it will be a nuisance in a conference likely to be controlled by Oral Roberts and Oakland. Members of the world-famous Jerome pool take note: The Jaguars could be a sneaky play in the Summit tournament come March.
4. Alex Young’s pretty good. So was Georgetown’s defense on him in the second half. The IUPUI star scored his team’s first 10 points and had 16 points in the first half. Then he shot 0-for-8 from the floor after the break.
“We just said ‘Let’s defend him. He has half their points. Let’s play some defense,’” guard Markel Starks said. “We played some defense in the second half.”
Young was the Summit League’s preseason player of the year. Blanking him for a half is a promising sign for the Georgetown defense.
5. Freshman Otto Porter is an intriguing player. This is not really news, especially for those who got to see the Hoyas in Maui. But Porter is an exceptionally helpful player even when he’s not scoring —- grabbing rebounds, passing well, avoiding turnovers.
Something else to like: Shot selection. Porter has shot better than 50 percent in four of his first six games, and tossed a 4-for-9 in for one of the others.
6. Jason Clark picked a good time to have a forgettable night. The senior came in averaging 19 points. He managed seven points on 1-for-7 shooting against IUPUI. It happens. With Hollis Thompson (21 points, 10 rebounds) producing the second 20-point outing of his career and Henry Sims reaching double figures in consecutive games for the first time in his career, Clark’s struggles didn’t matter all that much.
Clark isn’t infallible, but Georgetown pulled away after a shaky first half for a comfortable victory without its best player enjoying a decent performance. The need for other players to elevate their games can only help down the road.
—- Patrick Stevens