One-and-done: What’s up with the Hoyas?

I have a couple theories of the case re:  the Hoyas string of one-and-done trips to the NCAAs.

And, they’re not the usual “too cocky” or “where was Otto?” kinda stuff.

First, the back story.

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All the world knows that the Hoyas were upset by Florida Gulf Coast University.

Poll: Raise your hand if you heard of FGCU before last Sunday’s selection show.

Yahoo Sports cut to the chase Saturday morning:

March Madness: when the Georgetown Hoyas suddenly turn into the Washington Generals.

In five straight trips to the Big Dance, the Hoyas have been busted out by a double-digit seed.

So only one conclusion can be drawn: after going to the Final Four in 2007, Georgetown has simply been an atrocious NCAA team.

JTIII has been JTI and done.

You’ve got to beat somebody eventually, Georgetown. Seriously

Ouch.

Here’s what I think is going on …

First, some teams are built for the regular season; some are built for the tournaments.

Think about it.

The famous Moneyball Oakland As were strong in the regular season and petered-out in the baseball play-offs when long-run statistical probabilities have less sway.

Play-offs are what can you do today.  Point probabilities, not probabilistic distributions. Period.

The As were built for the season when the law of averages had time to manifest itself.

Or, take Big 10 football …

Big 10 football teams are notorious for being beaten in Bowl games by way faster teams from say, the SEC.

The excuse is always that Big 10 teams need grind-it-out bulky (and slow) warriors to make it through the grueling Big 10 season.

But, when they get to the Bowls, their big & slow teams can’t match steps with the run-and-gun speedsters who end up running circles around the big boys.

My take: The Hoyas are built for their regular season schedule … not the NCAA brackets.

Their hallmark is physical defense complemented with a slow motion Hoosier-style offense.

When was the last time you saw the Hoyas really attack the basket or run the court (except by accident)?

That style works against weak teams and slow teams … the bulk of Georgetown’s schedule.

Except for Louisville (and maybe Marquette), who in the (current) Big East plays an aggressive, up-tempo game?

But, what happens when a slow-motion, physical team runs up against a lightning fast, very athletic team that knows no fear?

Think Virginia Commonwealth.

Think Florida Gulf Coast.

You’re one-and-done and back on the bus.

It’s that simple.

The Hoyas aren’t built for the tournament.

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A couple more questions to ponder

1) OK, gotta ask: Where was Otto Porter?  Aren’t stars supposed to step-up in big games?  Carrying the team against the Sisters of the Poor isn’t enough … you gotta carry the team when the competition is heightened and the pressure is on.  Friday night, I didn’t see him (or anybody else)  fighting hard to get open for shots.  Did you?

2) Did you notice how much fun the FGCU players were having — right from the opening tip?  And, their coach’s reported prodding at the half: “Run the court faster, jump higher, have some fun out there”.  When was the last time the Hoyas looked like they were having a good time?

3) Are the Hoyas players “trapped” in the slow-mo offense? Can you imagine what Markel Starks would be like on the FGCU team– unleashed to play his natural game?  My view: don’t jam city-league style players into a suburban-style Princeton offense.  It’s not natural.  Let the guys play (and have some fun).  Put some excitement in the game

4) How many folks were rooting for the Hoyas on Friday? Except for Hoya-affiliated folks and bracket-worriers, I’m guessing not many.  That’s gotta take a toll.

5) If you’re creating a basketball-only conference, don’t you have to be really good at, well, basketball? You know, noteworthy — demonstrably good — have a couple of teams in the Sweet 16.  I don’t envy the job that Catholic 7 recruiting coaches have … no post-tourney crowing rights, no ESPN TV (what the heck is Fox One?), no grudge matches against ‘Cuse.  Only guys with tougher jobs will be Verizon Center scalpers …

* * * * *
P.S. Thanks to  Gonzaga for getting us out of the headlines. … and to both FGCU & SDSU for a  fun game to watch last night … more alley-oops than I saw at the Verizon Center all season.

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One Response to “One-and-done: What’s up with the Hoyas?”

  1. Rob Marshall Says:

    I enjoyed your take. Like you, I literally had never heard of FGCU. One thing though. If “physical defense complemented with a slow motion Hoosier-style offense” is not a recipe for success in the tournament, then how do you explain Butler in ’10 and ’11.

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