Sunday, December 16, 2012

Whittington and team glide to victory 81-68

I knew before the game what type of team Western Carolina was. The Hoyas did also. The came out of the gates rather quickly. The "pressure defense" was was key until junior forward Catamount Tom Tankelewicz caught on fire knocking down four three pointers in the first half. Timeout called by Coach Thompson III before the half to address the perimeter issue of Tankelewicz's barrage of three pointers.

The issue was fixed before the half and most of the second half of the Hoyas ability to shut down what it seemed the Catamount's best shooter for the remainder of the game although he hit two other three pointers in the second half, but they weren't crucial. Thanks to Otto, Jabril and Greg. Whittington's length on the perimeter defense continues to be key for the Hoyas.

Hoyas sophomore forward Greg Whittington laid down the law grabbing rebounds on the both ends of the court, knocking down three pointers, pushing the ball in transition and making magical passes to teammates. People wonder why I call him "Lil Magic." This is why. He can do everything on the court. Another thing I like about Whittington is his ability to quickly notice a mismatch, and back his man down to get a high percentage shot. His double double and third of the season is a great thing for he and his team. Make no doubt about it he definitely goes to work. I know everyone remembers the Tomahawk dunk attempt in transition by Lil Magic. Man, that dunk would have been vicious. The attempt surely was! 

Always great to see guard Jabril Trawick toughness and smart play during critical moments in the game. He's definitely a game changer. He knows the game has to be played inside out, this helps him get to the line at will. Junior Hoyas point guard Markel Starks continues to show his leadership and also making dazzling plays on offense.

 His abiltiy to communicate with teammates on defense is a major key. Coach Thompson was able to other reserves in the game. Domingo, Ayegba, Bowen are stepping up to the challenge and gaining playing experience everytime on the court as of lately. Sometimes they learn by mistake. It's cool because they're able to learn from those mistakes and move on. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nothing could be finer than to play Western Carolina

Glide - Pleasure

I was reading up on the Southern Conference's Western Carolina Catamounts. Checking on some of their games they seem to be a pretty good team especially in their conference (2-0). Overall record (4-6). Away road record is (1-5).  They've lost two games out of the last three. The Catamounts won their last outing against conference foe Appalacian State (70-64).

Previous game before the Appalacian State game the Catamounts lost to the #13 ranked Fighting Illini of Illinois U by eight points (72-64). The games was tied 54-54 with 5:53 to go in the game. The Catamounts also had (22 turnovers) in this game.

This is not a so called "cupcake team," and I would call this a trap game as some would say. This Catamount team is legit, but I know the Hoyas will not take this team lightly and come out gliding high. It's what they do. This game will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

It feels good to be 8-1, but will definitely feel better at 9-1. So let's get behind our team and rally them onto to victory.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keep playing great defense and the offense will come

Numbers - Kraftwerk

Walking over to the Verizon Center aka "phone booth," before gametime I thought, man, it's gonna be a rout tonight by our Georgetown Hoyas. It was. The Hoyas routed the Longwood University Lancers 89-53. This is something that was due and well needed by our players. I read some articles pertaining to writers saying the Hoyas cannot score against low or mid level college basketball teams. I knew this wasn't true because I know and understand the game of basketball.

The Hoyas came out with energy and great intensity. They learned how to challenge themselves and I thought this was a lesson well learned. I heard a podcast from ESPN (9:24) college basketball analyst's Seth Greenberg and Andy Katz speaking on behalf of super forward Otto Porter on how he couldn't score points in D.C. and had to score more points to be considered a first team All-American. Well well Mr. Katz just to let you know he scored 22 points last night in D.C.  Great to see our floor general junior point guard
Markel Starks (17 points) find his rhythm by letting the game come to him. Starks said,"sometimes we just gotta let the game come to us." He's right. It did.

It was good to see all our Hoyas play tonight. I always knew every player on this team has something to offer. This team can be very very dangerous. There are all kinds of things you can do with this squad. Red shirt sophomore Aaron Bowen is so electricfying when he gets into the games. He's been around for a while and he's showing more and more why he should be playing more. His intensity level is very high. He's a really scrappy player and makes nice passes. Bowen's dunks are very exciting! He's been around for a while now. I think he's wearing number 23 for a reason. Surely great to see Moses Ayegba play hard and very energetic. He was playing with a purpose. Big Mo, I call him was moving rather quickly and managed to get a two handed dunk in the game.

He's also a super rebounder and very strong. Super shooter freshman Stephen Domingo entered the game early knocking down seven points with one three pointer and playing great defense. The Hoyas had 14 steals, 25 assists (season high), but were outrebounded 30-22. The Hoyas had 11 players score in this game. 6-20 in 3 pointers (30%), but shot well from the field 36-67 @ 53.7%.

When your number is called your ready. This is the type of team the Hoyas have. Versatile. Just sub in and out. Good rotation of players. Bril, Devo, Domingo, Big Mo and AB are ready and up for the challenge. Great reserves for the Hoyas. I haven't forgotten about the rest of the team. It was just good to see all of our team on the basketball in the "phone booth."  Hoyasaxa baby!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

11 steals

Young Forever - Jay Z

I realized some of the teams we play are veteran teams. They know the Hoyas are a young team, so they're testing their hearts and I think we're finding out how tough are young Hoyas are. Know matter if it's a close game the Hoyas are being battled tested, and have been thus far. Just think the Hoyas will be "battle ready!"

"It was one of those games where we said, 'Let's try to 
make it as ugly as possible,' " Thompson said. "This group, we can win a lot of different ways. We can win at a fast pace. We can win at a slow pace. We can win what purists may call pretty. But we can also win ugly, and I thought that in the second half we had to win ugly today." 

Great way to put it coach! 

For a moment the game felt like the Tennessee game. Hoyas won a close game 46-40. The Towson Tigers hailing in from Baltimore came into phone booth hoping for an upset. Transfer forward now Tiger, Jerelle Benimon's return since he left the Hilltop .  Jerelle was still chewing gum as hard an anyone. It was great to see Jerrelle, but as he and I knew it was time for battle. Nothing else mattered. 

The Hoyas had to get the win. Once gain, they played tough defense  It pulled them through. A good defensive highlight for the Hoyas was eleven steals, Towson only two. Some of those steals were during crucial moments of the game which was good. Some were make up steals also. Well needed! Smile.

Hoyas shot poorly in the first half, but by the half the only shooting highlight in the stat box was from the free throw line (5-7). (5-30) field goals, (2-10) threes. Hoyas were in the bonus early than expected in the second half. Attack at will or get the ball inside. Automatic two freebies baby. 

Sitting here typing and watching a game former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, now an ESPN analyst today said, "one thing about John Thompson team's - they always find a way to win." That means a lot. I think after everyone says, "it was an ugly win" it's true, what Greenberg said, "the Hoyas always find a win no matter what the circumstance." 

Tiger defense played tough defense in the first half taking away easy shots for the Hoyas, but the blue and gray kept fighting through doing whatever it could to get a bucket. There was one person that knew perhaps more than what some the Hoyas team knows about their offense."I could read stuff.  I played in the offense, so it's just a whole bunch of reads, 
so once you see one thing you can sniff it out,"Benimon 
said. "It helped a lot, especially in the first half."

Gotta like our coach's awareness to answer some of these crazy reporters questions

Asked how many such games it will take before the lack of scoring becomes a trend of real concern, Thompson answered: "When we get there, I'll let you know."

Good and tough win for our Hoyas! R.I.P Coach Rick Majerus! 

Some great photo shots of the game photos courtesy of Christine Burns

more to come:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Defense is the key

Glide - Pleasure

More, more, more defense. I always told my teams to say, "I love defense!" You have to have the will to play defense. Defense wins chips! All facts. I wrote an earlier blog talking about defense, but now I decided to write another blog about my team's defense, I'm sure I'll do more  "defense" blogs in the near future. The sense of urgency, communication and point communication on defense continue to be key for the Hoyas. This is the mark of a great team in the making that is truly destined for greatness., but first and foremost the Hoyas know it's all about staying focused and taking things one game at a time.

Sophomore Mikael Hopkins goes up to blocl/alter a Texas' player's shot

Sophomore Jabril Trawick dives for loose ball and gets it

Sophomore Gregory Whittington stretches out to defend shot

Sense of urgency defense being played by the Hoyas

Sophomore Otto Porter goes up for block

Hoyas' defending Texas player

Otto Porter snatches the ball from Texas player

On this play Porter missed a free throw Texas player grabbed the rebound and he hits the ball out of players hands get the ball and scores...what a play

“I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus.” - Michael Jordan

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't ever give up, don't ever give up

Don't Give Up - Kevin Rudolf 

Hoyas glide to a 64-41win. As a coach you always tell your teams "don't give up no matter what just keep playing hard something will work itself out through hard work, keep working hard." Let's Go! 

I found myself having to practice what I've always preached when I lost my son, Chavis 2004 to (osteosarcoma a form of bone cancer). Chavis, never gave up I could see it in his face. He was always a fighter. His biggest thing I think he knew was my biggest thing was to graduate from high school. He did a year later than normal. This blog is in memory of my son, also for the Georgetown Hoyas fans, students and team.

This Jimmy V Classic has been phenomenal in 2012, and it's one thing I'll always know, "don't ever give up, don't every give up!" - Jimmy Valvano

The game was a good game for the team. A good game for me and I know it was a good game for you. The Hoyas outpaced the Longhorns and forced many turnovers in the first half, and I think about 11 maybe 20 by games ends. Good to see junior center Moses Ayegba get his first two points of the season, a two handed dunk. Good to see freshman forward Stephen Domingo knock down two nice jumpshots.

 Commentator Jay Bilas said, "Domingo has a nice stroke on his shot," just a moment later Domingo knocks down another jumpshot and Bilas says, "he must've heard me, do you think he heard me." I thought that was very funny. Yeah, but this young man Stephen is gonna be a force to be reckoned with, and it won't be long from now. He's only just begun. Sophomore forward Aaron Bowen basline jam was BAM! Nice. 

Good shooting night for the Hoyas. Good defense. Good to quickly figure out the zone in the second half and attack the paint whichever way they wanted to.The ball moves faster than anything. I like those inside passes and up for two. 

Junior point guard Markel Starks floater was phenomenal! His point guard play is on point. He will keep this up. Once the Hoyas got back up in the second half they didn't look back. Super sophomore forward Otto Porter keeps showing the world why he's the best player in America. He showed an array of moves and defense was major. Yes, the 

Good to see junior forward Nate Lubick back on the court in full force from his previous game injury. He balled out. I wrote on twitter, "attack the zone get a good lead and don't look back," especially in the second half. It's exactly what the Hoyas did, they didn't look back. 


Don't ever give up, don't ever give up - Jimmy Valvano

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What a game

Find A Way - Tribe Called Quest

If some games are close like this one and the Hoyas win so be it. It's all about, "one game at a time." As we always say in sports, "a win is a win no matter how you get it." Obviously, the Hoyas earned this win. Folks have their opinions of this game, "ugly game" etc. Learning too for yesterday, 'how to overcome adversity" They we're determined to win, no matter what it took. Whatever the case the Hoyas knew "defense" was the key. 

As long as they kept playing good defense things would hopefully be okay. It was.

Seems as if there was some type of  lid on the basket last night. As soon as you knew the shot was falling in the basket it didn't. I was like, "whoa," how'd that happen. It happened so many times. During the first half, I had already accepted  this game would be close all the way through. It was.

In the first half the stat sheet showed both teams neck to neck. The Vols had outrebounded the Hoyas in the first half and both teams shot poorly. The Hoyas were 6-22 in field goals and 0-3 in 3's. What this told me was that the Hoyas were taking good shots but they weren't falling. The good thing about it the Hoyas were not relying too much the 3 ball which was good. No ill advised 3' were taken in the first half.

The second half the Hoyas came out of the gates strong, but crucial turnovers began to play a big part in this game. Nine turnovers for the Hoyas, twelve for the Vols. Second half the Hoyas quickly came out of the gates and went on a 4-0 run. First five minutes the Hoyas scored eight points on all layups Tennessee called a timeout. Both sophomores Greg Whittington and Otto Porter both had three steals a piece. 

The Vols had committed five team fouls by the 12:19 mark in the second half. I was hoping the Hoyas would keep attacking because very soon they would be in the bonus. It's a smart thing to do, and  your team can win the game on the free throw line. That's smart play!. Remember the Hoyas were (4-9) free throws.

The strategy for me as a point guard when I start a game I want to go at the opposing team's big man, and get him in foul trouble early first and foremost. Another thing I want to do is to be able to kick the ball into the post while my big man goes to work.

Only two players went to the line for the Hoyas the whole game. Stats at the free throw line were (4-9) (44%). This would have been ideal for the Hoyas to get to the free throw line and make shots.

Hoyas junior point guard Markel Starks hits the game winner at 4:08. Neither scored afterwards. Hoyas get the win 37-36. A very low, but historic game for the ole blue and gray. Comments were from a couple of legendary Hoyas' Michael Graham and Gene Smith a status I wrote on Facebook. 

Michael Graham Reminded me of the game in 1984 during the NCAA 

Tourney when we played SMU and won 37-36

Kent Adrian I mean like the whole arena was saying, "a win is a win." lol

Michael Graham 


Gene Smith @ Big Mike....remember SMU game 37-36....

Kent Adrian Hoya legends Gene Smith Michael Graham saw and talked with Bay Bay Duren before the game...Dem Hoyas!

Gene Smith
 yes, now we are talking legends....thanks for are ride or die @ Kent Adrian

My pre game meal was a Chipotle steak burrito. Yes, it was good! 

Almost gametime

Hoyas warming up before the game

Action photo of lady eating a hot dog and me clapping it up for the Hoyas 

I really thought this photo was unique and spoke for itself

Magic Johnson discusses "Overcoming Adversity"

After all this was the Jimmy V Classic
Never give up, never give up...

The Hoyas never gave up...