“A blind man could have scored today. I promise you we will correct that.” – Ed Cooley after the St. John’s loss.
After probably suffering through hell in practice this week after Ed Cooley promised to improve the defense, the team responded with a tough defensive performance on the road against the 12th ranked Georgetown Hoyas but ultimately lost 49-40. The offense? Yeah, that may need to be corrected at a later time by a future Ed Cooley press conference tirade. The team scored TEN points in the first 17 minutes of the game and dug themselves in to an early 14 point deficit. Georgetown and their zone gave the Friars some problems, and it didn’t help that Council kept turning it over, Bryce Cotton missed open threes, and nobody could hit a layup. Despite the offensive ineptitude, PC didn’t let the game get too out of hand in the 1st half because of strong defense (shoutout to Brice Kofane!) and only trailed 27-19 after the offense had a nice little 3 minutes.
Vincent Council stepped up late in the 1st half (welcome to the BIG EAST season, bro!), and started to open up some scoring opportunities by setting a faster tempo. If only he finished some of his drives, or even was able to keep the ball out of Gerard Coleman’s hands. I’m loving what Coleman has done for the team this year, but that was just a terrible all-around performance that probably cost a shot at an upset win. The sophomore forced a lot of bad shots, finishing 1-10 from the field. His lack of passing was almost Greedy Peterson/Black Hole-esque, except without the production. I would applaud the fact that he was able to draw fouls, but he went 1-8 from the foul line, including two big misses with PC trailing 43-40 in the final minutes. PC’s lack of depth shows up again, since the Friars don’t have any other scholarship guards to spell Coleman, Council, or Cotton. If any one of them have nights like this, the offense is going to have serious problems.
On several possessions late in the game, PC had a chance to tie or cut the lead to 1, but Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman both missed threes. Georgetown finally decided they would be a little less worse, and closed out the game with some foul shots and a Michael Starks field goal.
Despite the problems on offense and the off night from Coleman, it was definitely great to see the team bounce back after the terrible performance in Queens. The team could have wilted after coming out of the gate slow again, but fought back and put themselves in a position for a road upset. Wins might be few and far between this year in BIG EAST play, but effort and defensive improvement should make Friartown excited for the future.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
Hit up the rest of the recap after the jump.
Turnovers were obviously the big difference in a game where both teams had issues offensively. PC was sloppy in the 1st half, getting 8 of their 13 total turnovers and coughing up the ball on more than one quarter of their possessions. When you have more turnovers than field goals in a half, you should consider yourself lucky to be trailing less than 10 points.
The Friars may have had a higher offensive rebounding percentage, but the Hoyas registered a 12-7 advantage in second chance points. They had several of those in the beginning of the game to set up their big lead, but the biggest was obviously Otto Porter’s grab in the final minutes to give the Hoyas that 43-40 lead.
OTHER STAT NOTES
* 1st Half: 62.5
* 2nd Half: 71.0
* 1st Half: 88.9
* 2nd Half: 74.4
Otto Porter – The freshman’s offensive rebound and putback was the difference of the game. Didn’t score much, but who really did?
Jason Clark – Everyone else shot so terrible that his 6-12 line stands out as the absolute best.
LaDontae Henton – A double-double machine, sent from the future to change the fortunes of a struggling basketball team. I’ll ignore getting schooled on that one play trying to defend Nate Lubick.
Brice Kofane – Had some nice defensive plays, 9 rebounds, and even shed some blood after getting nailed in the eye by LaDontae Henton. Battle scar!
Vincent Council – Gave the Friars the best chance to win, but just couldn’t shoot well enough to put them over the top. 13 turnovers over the last
Henry Sims – Probably sent Coleman a text thanking him for allowing him not to have the worst shooting performance.
Gerard Coleman – Let’s never talk of this performance again. He will bounce back.
BOXSCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS
AROUND THE INTERWEBS
NCAA.com: Providence – Georgetown Highlights
The Friars came out strong in the second half, going on a 16-8 run to tie the Hoyas, 35-35, with 8:03 to play. In the final 4:41 of the game the Friars did not score, as the Hoyas went on an 8-0 run to claim the victory, 49-40.
Georgetown saw a 14-point lead in the first half disappear in the second half as the Hoyas struggled from the field – connecting on a season-low 30.5 percent of their shots – but took a six-point lead, 41-35, after a layup from Sims with 5:24 to play in the game. The Friars responded as Vincent Council hit a three-pointer with 4:54 left and LaDontae Henton hit a layup with 4:32 left to make it 41-40.
Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley
“This was the first time, I think, as the head coach at Providence that we had a complete 40 minutes of effort and Georgetown’s a very very good basketball team. John does a phenomenal job, his kids are long, they’re athletic, they’re disciplined, very well coached team. You know, when you’re building a program and you’ve got games in your hand I thought we had momentum in this game for probably the second twenty minutes of this game, I thought a lot of it played into our hands, it’hs just you know when you are limited on depth and limited in certain areas you’re gonna come up short in some game, it was right there. What I told my team in the locker room is that we have to learn how to win, we gotta face adversity, I thought we had stops but second shots under four minutes really hurt us. They was a stretch where 8 of their last 10 points before the last 2 layup were off second shots and if we can be detailed and physical enough to get one and done our programs gonna grow. I’m very proud of our group, I am, I am very proud of our group, the progress we’ve made from the other night to tonight. We’ve play, I think, one of the best teams in the country. Georgetown’s winning a lot of basketball games and Providence going to continue to grow. Can’t put our head down, got another tough game again on Wednesday hopefully our young men will learn in our preparation for our next game.”
On Providence’s Defensive Effectiveness…
“Pride. I am just trying to teach our kids what it is just to man up, pride. We’re playing against great players every single night. We wanted to crowd the post and make them make tough two’s, we wanted to try and limit their 3 point shooting. Pride.”
Down 17-4, Adjustments Providence Made to Get Back into the Game…
“I told our players how much I love them and I told them, “Hey, we’re gonna have a run, we’re gonna do some things. You know, we just gotta maintain our focus, stick to our game plan, stick to our scouting report and see what happens.” Our kids stepped up. It wasn’t so much the adjustments we made we just had a game plan and stuck to it.”
Hoya Hoops: Post Game Press Conferences
Washington Post: Georgetown vs. Providence: Hoyas escape with win over Friars
The twelfth-ranked Hoyas endured their worst shooting performance of the season against Providence on Saturday. But freshman Otto Porter and senior Henry Sims came through in the clutch, and Georgetown eked out an inelegant 49-40 victory at Verizon Center that extended the Hoyas’ winning streak to 10 games and the Friars’ futility on the road. The twelfth-ranked Hoyas endured their worst shooting performance of the season against Providence on Saturday. But freshman Otto Porter and senior Henry Sims came through in the clutch, and Georgetown eked out an inelegant 49-40 victory at Verizon Center that extended the Hoyas’ winning streak to 10 games and the Friars’ futility on the road.
Beyond the Arc: It was a struggle, but surprising Hoyas just keep winning
Not always exploiting a size advantage on the block, the Hoyas shot 3-of-19 from distance, allowing Providence to get out in transition, which sparked a 12-4 run for the Friars that tied the game with just over eight minutes remaining in the second half.
It was the textbook definition of a defensive struggle, and credit that to Cooley’s commitment on that end of the floor. It wasn’t sloppy, with just eight Georgetown turnovers, but the Hoyas were forced into difficult shots and, simply, were not converting.
Ballin’ is a Habit: Hoyas display toughness in 49-40 win over Providence
Freshman forward LaDontae Henton is going to be good. Like, really good. He took just seven shots, but logged his fourth double-double of the season. Vincent Council will continue to take a majority of the shots for this team, but Henton is an athletic wing that poses a lot of match-up problems for opponents. The Friars need depth. Ed Cooley used just seven players against Georgetown. The Big East is too much of a grind to rely on just seven players.
GoLocalProv: PC falls again on the road, 49-40 at Georgetown
Credit the Georgetown zone defense over the last four minutes, with a switch made by Coach John Thompson III to put extra length at the top of the zone (6-8 freshman Otto Porter and the 6-3 senior Clark) that gave the Friars fits. With the PC big men in foul trouble – both Kadeem Batts and Brice Kofane fouled out of the game – the tentative play against that zone, coupled with clutch shooting by the Hoyas, proved to be the difference.
Friar Basketball: Friars Can’t Capitalize on Defensive Effort
Defense going forward: So, is this more the team that gave up 91 points to St. John’s or befuddled Georgetown on Saturday? It’s probably somewhere in between, but with such a limited offensive club Friar fans will be thrilled if Providence can continue to make strides on the defensive side of the ball until offensive reinforcements arrive.
A word of caution: when the Friars upset #7 Villanova last season the Wildcats went 4-22 from three point range. Ditto for #15 Louisville who went 4-23. Alabama shot 2-13 from deep versus PC at the Dunk.
Even bad defensive teams catch opponents on horrible shooting nights, but what was encouraging was that Georgetown didn’t have many shots in rhythm today – perhaps the biggest difference from those upsets a year ago.
With just under 8 minutes to go, Jason Clark would wrest the lead from Providence for good with a lay-up off a missed shot. Henry continued to struggled to connect down low and finished with a 2-13 night from the floor, but he managed to soften that off-night 7-9 from the line, with a number of those makes coming down the stretch. And Otto Porter continued to do big things — scoring a huge lay-up off an offensive rebound with four minutes left after Providence had cut it to one. He also put the game out of reach when he controlled an offensive rebound with 45 seconds left and the Hoyas up four. In the next 45 second the Hoyas finally kicked it into another gear with two final scores to push the lead to a deceptively comfortable number.
Hoya Prospectus: Recap: Georgetown 49, Providence 40
It gets worse – you could be a Providence fan and watch Gerald Coleman shoot an amazing 1/8 on FTs. Yeah, I thought it was a typo too, so I checked multiple box scores to confirm. He came into the game shooting 69% [=61/88] for the year.
Over the Hilltop: Bad Beats Worse: Georgetown 49, Providence 40
What and how much to take from this game is in the eye of the beholder. Pessimists will say that Providence has unlocked the Georgetown offense, exploiting suspect Hoya three-point shooting by denying looks in the lane. That interpretation would ignore the fact that Clark, Starks, and Hollis Thompson have all been lethal from deep at various points this season, and that the Hoyas shot just 16 percent from three on Saturday, well below their 38 percent average coming into the game. Optimists will argue, as Doris Burke claimed in the waning minutes, that Georgetown just comes up with big plays down the stretch. That’s also a bit shaky: aside from Thompson’s three at Alabama, it’s hard to think of too many such big plays this year, and they’ve shown a worrying tendency, at least in the Louisville and Alabama games, to lose sizable, late leads.
TWEET OF THE GAME