With the Georgetown Hoyas beating the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday night, 81-76, to end a 29-game conference-record losing streak, many fans feel like both nothing changes and everything changes, simultaneously. It is perfectly fine to be glad to see Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas finally get a win while maintaining a suitably surly attitude about the overall state of the program. “Relief” might be the right word for many Hoyas fans but these Georgetown athletes should be praised for their toughness accordingly. Closing that chapter is important and hopefully breaking the streak allows them to have a little more fun, relax on and off the court, and trust each other a bit more.
As stated in the game recap and elsewhere, the Hoyas stayed aggressive, kept driving, and made their free throws when it counted. Not every game will allow this approach and not every opponent will reward an aggressive team with a plethora of fouls. The modern college game is different from the NBA or even college ball from the 2010s (or 1980s). But, that night, driving to the hole worked for the Hoyas.
There was no great epiphany in strategy that led to the win. Georgetown’s defense got some stops at the right times and anchored two solid second-half runs, but there were few answers in the waning minutes as DePaul had a 13-6 run to finish the game. It was good to see Akok moving and communicating well. However, this is still not the defense of Ewing’s 2021 team, let alone a squad led by a coach named Thompson or Esherick.
Offensively, if there were any key improvements that urged the win they might be seen in shot selection. The emphasis on keeping the Blue Demons in foul trouble led to fewer lower-percentage, mid-range jumpers. There were still a lot of longer jump shots, but the shots that were taken by Murray and Spears were typically from preferred spots from possessions that almost looked like sets.
Georgetown only had 13 assists, which probably typifies the drive-and-get-fouled offensive approach, but recent games against Xavier (31 assists, 9 TOs) and Marquette (29 assists, 9 TOs) yielded higher shooting percentages. The Hoyas looked a bit more comfortable moving the ball and only had three second-half turnovers (Spears, Riley, and Wahab). The tight loss at Villanova yielded only 9 assists (only 7 TOs) but the Hoyas had their highest filed goal percentage (53.8%) since beating Green Bay (61%). Moving the ball is still the best approach, moving forward.