Saturday, December 02, 2006

Georgetown Preview

Second striaght non-conference rematch game from last year. This one give Duke a chance to avenge a loss. Last year's game featured JJ Redick playing out of his head, and everyone else content to watch. The defense got torched by backdoor passes, and Georgetown also took advantage of Duke turnovers to get a lot of easy buckets. Still, Duke had the ball in their hands with a chance to win at the end of the game.

This year's game should look a lot different. I mentioned this last season, but Georgetown can't run the same kind of modified-Princeton offense when Roy Hibbert, their 7'2" center, is on the court, because he can't really handle the ball and make backdoor passes from the top of the key. Jeff Green, on the other hand, is the perfect big for that system. He had a huge game last year, and is unquestionably their best player this year. He's shooting over 50%, including over 40% from 3, and averages 11 points, 6.5 rebounds, just under 4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. Georgetown has a lot of size that they can throw out on the court - Hibbert at 7'2", Green at 6'9", Marc Egerson at 6'6", and then two freshmen: 6'8" DaJuan Summers and 6'9" Vernon Macklin. Because of all the size, the focus of GU's offense this year has naturally been inside - only 32% of their attempts are from 3, which is 202nd in the country. They also aren't really passing the ball that well - only 52% of their hoops come off assists. Georgetown has struggled thus far this year, but not really on account of the offense. Instead, the D has been letting them down. GU is in the bottom 30 in the country in forcing turnovers, and also sends opponents to the line quite a bit. Their adjusted efficiency is just north of 1 point per possession, which is very mediocre (particularly given that they have had games against Hartford and Ball State to help that number).

Duke will need to execute well on offense. Georgetown, because of its size (especially Hibbert) blocks shots well and controls the glass on the defensive side of the floor. They don't force turnovers, so Duke needs to make sure it doesn't simply give the ball away on too many bad passes and offensive fouls. McRoberts, Zoubek, and Thomas all need to stay out of foul trouble, because we'll likely need some size and activity in the post and on the boards to counter the Hoyas. This is likely to be a slow, low-scoring game - GU is 313th in the country in pace, and Duke is 291st. Score will likely be something in the 50s or 60s. Duke will win, but not by a lot, and not necessarily pretty.

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