Georgetown’s loss to Radford was bad, but not as bad as it may have seemed.
Hold on. I’m not as crazy as you might think.
The Hoyas have a history of playing at the level of their opponents. Georgetown is not often on the giving or receiving end of blowouts. Last season, in the span of a month, the Hoyas lost to eventual national runner-up Wisconsin by three points and beat Charlotte by the same margin. Two seasons ago, the Blue and Gray beat Doug McDermott’s Creighton Bluejays and lost to a 21-loss DePaul team only eight days apart. Sure, this loss looks bad. But it’s typical Hoya basketball and if history is to be believed, it’s no sure indicator that the team won’t be able to compete with Maryland on Tuesday.
Also, all the players on the Hoyas who fans had questions about played well yesterday. The three freshmen logged court time in a game that was consistently close. Marcus Derrickson had an awful shooting day, missing all four of his shots from the floor, but logged four points, three rebounds, and three assists in 23 minutes on the floor. Jessie Govan scored 11 points in 15 minutes. Of course, the Hoyas could have used more scoring from Derrickson and Kaleb Johnson, who didn’t take a shot, but every freshman played and looked like a rotation player, something that couldn’t have been said about Isaac Copeland or Tre Campbell on opening day last year.
Bradley Hayes had career highs in both scoring and rebounding and for the second time in his career, looked like he belonged on the court. These four players contributed to the rotation, calming fears about a lack of depth. If the opener was an indicator that Hayes, Derrickson, Govan, and Johnson can be counted on to play well on a semi-consistent basis, then that’s a big positive.
Though Copeland and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera maintained decent stat lines, few who watched the game would argue that they played up to their regular standards of performance. Smith-Rivera was a non-factor in the first half and shot 2-of-7 from behind the arc. Copeland also took time to heat up offensively and committed five turnovers, many of which led to Radford points in transition. Anyway, it’s unlikely that both of the Hoyas’ most dependable players will struggle to the same extent on Tuesday, even playing against a much, much better opponent.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a bad loss. The last time the Hoyas lost a non-league game at home (with the exception of last year’s loss to Kansas, which is hardly a comparable scenario) was in 2009 against Old Dominion. But, this loss doesn’t mean that making the NCAA Tournament is already out of the picture. Things will most likely get worse before they get better given the Hoyas’ schedule. But once the Blue and Gray get a chance to settle in, there is good reason to believe that they can give any team a run for their money.
If you believed that the Hoyas were a Sweet Sixteen team on Friday, you should still believe that now.
I’m not crazy, I think.