Georgetown Basketball: Less is More

At the beginning of the season, it was obvious that Georgetown head coach, Patrick Ewing was trying to please everyone. He had an 11-man rotation. There were games where those 11 players would play in the first half. It was reminiscent to rec basketball where all the kids were required to get a certain amount of playing time.

The results of it was the Hoyas had a hard time developing chemistry. There was already a stylistic change with Omer Yurtseven being on the court. For as much as he was built up as a “stretch-big”, he hasn’t come close to being on the perimeter as much as Jesse Govan was last season.

What kept getting lost, especially in Georgetown’s loss to Penn State, was how this impacted the guards. Mac McClung and, the new departed James Akinjo, didn’t get as many quality looks in their scoring zone as they did last season. There wasn’t as many lanes open or high screen-and-rolls/screen-and-pops. It takes time for any player, nevertheless young ones, to adjust. Couple the large rotation and chemistry was happening at a snails pace.

What has happened with the departure of Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc is the rotation has shortened. The roles on the team are more defined and players are starting to look more cohesive on the floor. “It was hard for me when everyone was here, to play 11 guys… that’s what I was doing,” said Ewing after the Hoyas win at SMU.

It’s easy to see that McClung has benefited from a shorter rotation. With the ball in his hands more, he averaged 26 points a game on the two game road trip. He was getting to his spots more frequent and his shooting percentage showed that. McClung was a combined 18-32 (9-17 from three) against Oklahoma State and SMU.

A shorter rotation also benefited players like Jahvon Blair and Terrell Allen has been the beneficiaries of the shorter rotation.

In the last two games, Blair has shot 7-14 from the floor (all three-pointers) in a combined 31 minutes of play. In the previous six games he was a combined 6-23 from the floor. Blair averaged 15.5 minutes a game on the road trip. In the prior six games, he was averaging 11.

Prior to the Oklahoma State-SMU road trip, Allen hadn’t played more than 17 minutes in a game. He played 33 against the Cowboys and 29 against the Mustangs. Though all of Allen’s impact can’t be measured in a traditional statistical manner, his increase in assists is a good place to start. Allen had 15 assists in the two games. In the previous six games combined, he had a total of eight assists.

“Everyone was crying about minutes. Everyone was crying about touches but here you are. You have the opportunities, take advantage of them,” said Ewing.

Next up for the Hoyas is their old Big East rival Syracuse. It will be the first home game with the current roster.

Georgetown hopes to continue the prove that less can be more.

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