By Mark F. Gray
In one of my recent on air conversations with former Georgetown guard and current broadcaster Mark Tillmon – during The SportsGroove Radio Show (M-F 7-10 ET www.woldcnews.com) – we talked about how good this year’s addition of the young pups could be.
“If they can ever put two halves together and do it consistently there’s no telling how good this team can be,” he said.
Saturday, with President Obama in the house, the Hoyas put two halves together and put an old fashioned beat down on Duke. That Georgetown beat Duke didn’t tell the story. It was the nearly flawless performance and the precise execution that was the story of this contest. They put the pedal to the floor and drove the Blue Devils like a recalled Toyota never letting up.
Oh what a feeling!
An 89-77 final score was a cosmetic outcome given Georgetown shot 71.1 from the field and got whatever the wanted whenever they wanted against Coach K’s army. If the Blue Devils learned anything from this game is that strength doesn’t necessarily come in numbers. Duke had the deeper bench but the Hoyas had the best two players on the floor and they dominated the contest.
Greg Monroe showed the national TV audience why he was the nation’s top recruit two years ago. His athletic 21 points and five rebounds wore down Duke’s big men and should have NBA scouts rethinking Kentucky’s John Wall as the top pick in this year’s draft. The Blue Devils had no way to stop him in the paint and as he made seven of his 11 shots. However, in transition he was Usain Bolt turning the floor of the Verizon Center in Chinatown into his personal 100 meter final in Beijing crossing the finish line with authority at the rim.
But college basketball is about the guards and it was Georgetown backcourt who made the biggest statement. Chris Wright and Austin Freeman combined for 41 points and seven assists. Meanwhile, Duke’s guards – Jon Schyer and Nolan Smith shot just 11 of 29 from the field with only one assist. Had this been an MMA event the Blue Devil backcourt would have had to submit.
Georgetown made a statement by responding after a tough loss to Syracuse with a virtuoso performance against Duke. The Hoyas have set themselves up for a top four seed in any NCAA region barring a epic collapse. They will be a nightmare for teams who haven’t seen them to matchup against on short preparation come March.