There were some BIG reasons for not producing a rewind the last few days, notably involving almost TEN million dollars a year. Anyway, here’s a look back at Tuesday. …
FORTUNES RISING, TEAM
Georgetown. The Hoyas were exceptionally sloppy in their opener, then were never threatened by Liberty despite just a nine-point margin. So there were questions when they went to Brooklyn this week.
Georgetown comes home with a triumph over UCLA and an overtime loss to Indiana. Competitively, the Hoyas might be irked with a split. In reality, it was an immensely promising trip north.
UCLA is littered with younger talent, and the odds are good the Bruins will wind up a quality nonconference victory. Indiana is arguably the nation’s most complete team, and it was only after foul trouble caught up to the Hoyas in overtime that the Hoosiers pulled away.
Look, depth could turn out to be a significant issue down the line for Georgetown. Four starters —- all but forward Mikael Hopkins —- played at least 35 minutes in both games in New York. But that starting five as a whole is solid, certainly solid enough to nudge the Hoyas into the top 25 before long.
FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL
Nick Faust, Maryland. A late-night shooting session after Friday’s defeat of Long Island paid dividends for Faust, who scored a season-high 13 points and added eight rebounds as Maryland shrugged off Lafayette 83-74.
This wasn’t necessarily Faust at his best, but he was surely better than he showed in the Terrapins’ first three games. And if Maryland gets this version of Faust on most night —- not jump-shot happy, under control, capable on defense —- it probably won’t complain a whole lot.
On a team littered with newcomers, coach Mark Turgeon has made it clear he needs a poised Faust on the floor. Last night was the first time all season Maryland received precisely that from the Baltimore product. [TWT]
Howard. It’s been a rough 0-4 start for the Bison, but their greatest issue at the moment may well be Calvin Thompson‘s shoulder injury. The hard-luck fifth-year senior missed his second straight game as Howard fell 55-43 to Gardner-Webb in Cancun.
Let’s be realistic: The perception of Howard’s season will be determined by how it does from January on, maybe moreso than most of the teams in the area. Early-season losses aren’t fun, but certainly aren’t crushing for the future. Thompson’s status, though, is a significant concern as the Bison move forward.
Twenty-point nights for Georgetown guard Markel Starks in the Hoyas’ two-day trip to New York. The junior guard had only one such outing (last year at Louisville) in his career before torching UCLA for 23 points and Indiana for 20 points this week.
Starks has the opportunity to become a potent offensive option for Georgetown, especially if more attention is paid to the likes of Otto Porter and Greg Whittington. This week is a sign he’s more than capable of cashing in those chances.
Navy had a strong showing, falling 47-45 at Texas Christian. Worth Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Midshipmen (2-3). … UMBC held a one-point lead in the final minute of overtime before yielding a pair of free throws with five seconds to go in an 83-82 home loss to Central Connecticut State. The Retrievers fell to 1-3. … Freshman Justin Anderson scored 14 points as Virginia knocked off North Texas 80-64 in NIT consolation play.
BEYOND THE CORRIDOR
James Madison edged a solid Youngstown State bunch 69-68 in Legends Classic regional play in Pittsburgh. It was the Dukes’ first win of the season. … Richmond improved to 4-1 with a 64-58 defeat of perpetually well-coached Wofford.
George Washington (1-1) visits Notre Dame in what amounts to a return game for last year’s BB&T Classic. And yes, Notre Dame played Maryland in that event, but it is the Colonials who head to the Midwest. … Howard wraps up play in Cancun against Western Carolina.
—- Patrick Stevens