Word on the Street: Hoyas' hustling win

Word on the Street: Hoyas' hustling win
November 12, 2011, 3:31 pm
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By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comUpdated 8:44 p.m.Henry Sims career-best effort and the Hoyas stat-stuffing freshman lead Georgetown in opening game win. Plusa recap ofGeorge Mason's thrilling season opening victory.Entering Saturdays season opener, Savannah State coach and former Georgetown guard Horace Broadnax prepped hisTigers based on his expectations of the Hoyas talented options. No wonder Henry Sims impact in Georgetowns comfortable 83-54 win proved surprising. The Hoyas center entered his senior season with only three career double-digit outings and a penchant for not maximizing his talents.Playing against type,Simshustled his way to a career-best performance, highlighted by 19 points.I didnt expect Sims based on what hes done in the past, Broadnax said. "I guess I went against what I try to tell my kids: The past doesnt dictate the future.The 6-10 Simssank 9-of-11 shots, musclingfor offensive putbacks and knocking down qualitymid-range looks. The Hoyas collectively shot 66.7 percent (34-for-51) from the field, the fourth highest percentage in the John Thompson III era.Broadnaxs sentiment would be welcome news for Thompson, who has worked on mining consistent energy from the Baltimore native. One of two seniors on the roster, Sims worked the glass on both ends of the court, found open teammates with his deft passing touch and let the scoring opportunities find him instead of seeking them out.Ive been telling him this, sooner or later hes going to buy into accept it, do it: Henry just needs to just make hustle plays, Thompson said following the Hoyas sixth straight opening game victory. The effort he gave today, going after rebounds and a couple block shots. His points came off effort plays as opposed to worrying about shots.Additional punch came from Hollis Thompson, who scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half. Freshman Otto Porter added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for the Hoyas, who improved to 51-0 all-time against MEAC opponents.The Hoyas surrended five consecutive points in the opening 20 seconds of the second half as the Tigers pulled to within 32-29. Georgetown countered as consecutive 3-pointers and a Sims layup spurreda 12-0 for a 44-29 lead.Sims finished with six rebounds two offensive five assists and three blocks against the Tigers, whose tallest player stands 6-8. There was also one wild shot that had the Hoyas coach ranting on the sideline.Henry took an awful shot in the first half, floating, fading," Thompson said. Henry doesnt need to think about scoring. He needs effort and scoring will come. I thought his effort was very good today.Last season Sims had his moments, most notably in a win over NC State, but faded over the second half of the season when teams forced him to create offense instead of passing.Sims said heworked hard this offseason, prepping for his final campaign on the Hilltop. As the lone center currently in the rotation, the Hoyas will need reliable effort from the him. One game in, message received.Play hard, good things will happen, thats what I tried to do today, Sims said.Stat-stuffingFreshmenIn past seasons, the Hoyas coach has frequently downplayed the impact of his incoming freshmen, but has been rather robust with praise of the newcomers, four of whom saw significant action against the Tigers.Porter did a little of everything during his composed 25 minutes, entering the game before the first TV timeout along with Greg Whittington (eight points, one rebound in 17 minutes), who quickly displayed his shooting touch. The 6-8 forward drained all three of first half attempts, two coming from beyond the arc. Mikael Hopkins interior athleticism led to three rebounds and two blocks, along with four points while guard Jabril Trawick scored five points.I thought they did very, very well, Thompson said. Greg has to get more rebounds, but they all do things. They all defend. All can make shots. They give you different things, not about just putting the ball in the basket. I thought both Otto and Greg were very good today. Otto ended up with a full stat line, including a couple of blocks.Porter and Whittington joined Nate Lubick, Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark on the court in those minutes as the Hoyas went with a one-guard lineup, trotting out four 6-8 forwards. Variations of this were used throughout as John Thompson III looks for ways to capitalize on the Hoyas length.Thompson said a sprained ankle kept Tyler Adams, the fifth freshman in the 2012 class, on the sideline, but 6-9 center could have played if needed.Notes...Jason Clark scored nine points and sevenHoyas scored at least eight points...The Hoyas starting frontcourt of Sims, Hollis Thompson doled out 14 of theGeorgetown's 22 assists. "Our team is very unselfish. If youre cut and your open, your teammates will get you the ball," Sims said...The Hoyas field goal percentage topped last season's high of 64.2 against Loyola...Updated 1:07 p.m.Hoyas-Savannah State: first half analysis- Leaders: points (Greg Whittington, 8), rebounds (Otto Porter, 5), assists (Henry Sims, 4).- Team stats: 63.6 FG (14-22), 16.7 FT (1-6), 42.9 3pt (3-7)- JTIII was not lying when he said he was the freshmen would play, plenty. Porter (13 minutes) and Whittington (10) entered less than four minutes in, Mikael Hopkins (3) and Jabril Trawick (6)followed. Will need to double check the play-by-play, but JTIII used only two at a time, keeping a veteran presence on the court.- The most intriguing lineup came when Porter and Whittington entered, replacing Markel Starks and Henry Sims. With Jason Clark, Nate Lubick and Hollis Thompson remaining, the Hoyas had no true center, only one true guard, and four 6-8 players on the court.Hollis Thompson figures to play more of a swing role this season and he is clearly comfortable on the perimeter. - Welcome to college basketball Mr. Whittington. The perimeter forward drained all three of his field goal attempts, two coming from beyond the arc. Showed nice form on a perfectly executedcatch-and-shoot play with Sims.- Jason Clark's (six points, 3-5 FG) first half could prove to be an example of how his game will work this season. Played 19 minutes, took a team-high five shots, but never forced the action. In fact was the sixth Hoya to score in the half. Calming influence.- A few of us on press row noted Hollis Thompson (3 points) looks bigger this year, especially his arms. Perhaps his workouts with NBA folk gave him insight on what he needs to do if he wants to reach that level, November 12, 10:35 a.m.George Mason reviewBefore I head down to the Verizon Center for Georgetown's season opener, which I will recap here, let's talk about George Mason'sentertaining home opener. The Patriots won, survived Paul Hewitt's George Mason coaching debut in a wild affair, one that had the leading scorers for each team set a career-high in pointsandsaw 17 of the 22 lead changes come after halftime. Hard to point to any single area and say this is why the Patriots came out on top, but the massive points in the paint statistic certainly was decisive, favoring George Mason 58-38. -The symbiotic relationship betweenRyan Pearson and the Patriots offensive production, certainly the shooting percentage was on display last night. Unable to get off clean looks or simply to have shots fall his way, the burly 6-6 forward missed his first six shot attempts of the season, but finished the first half 3-of-11.Collectively the Patriots were shooting 25 percent from the field (7-of-28) heading into the final minutes of the first half before making their final seven attempts.After halftime Pearson did not miss much (8-of-11) and it was the same for the rest of the squad; the Patriots shot a blistering 62.1 percent (23-of-37) over the final 25 minutes. Capitalizing on the inside looks helped;40 of the 58 interior points came in that span. Hewitt said after the game he told the team the plan was "to play through Ryan and were going to play through Mike." Clearly that occurred and will again, especially with the potential CAA Player of the Year powering his was inside."Im just so happyPearson bounced back. He was 3-for-11 in the first half and 8-for-11 in the second half. Thats what a senior does. I think hes going to keep getting better, believe it or not."- Other goodies included the slashing and athletic nature of guard Sherrod Wright's game, his first one after missing all of last season with an injury. The 6-4 guard soared for a key offensive rebound and putback late in regulation and finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Encouraging.-While the Patriots overall passing effort, especially on key inbounds passes was at times baffling, starting point guard Byron Allen doled outseven assists compared to three turnovers. - Hewitt was not afraid to use his bench, at one point sending out a lineup with four reserves before 10 minutes had elapsed. Freshman point guard Corey Edwards was on the court late. the depth will be better when small forward Paris Bennett (ankle) returns, though that could be a week away.- As for Erik Copes, the 6-8, 244-pound freshman center, his size is more than legitimate. He used it to grab six rebounds and block two shots in 26 minutes. In those areas he should be a factor early on for the Patriots. Offensively, well, let us call that area a work in progress. Both his touch and shot selection need work. Hewitt stressed this during the CAA Media Day. He was correct.- Next up for the Patriots, Isiah Thomas and Florida International on Monday in the NIT season tip off, playing the game in Blacksburg. With a win and Virginia Tech victory, the two commonwealth programs square off for the only third time.Breakfast BuffetNats catcher Wilson Ramos, rescued (Zuckerman - CSNwashington)The Mike Lonergan era at GW begins with a win (Washington Examiner)Visually speaking, the Carrier Classic between UNC and Michigan State with President Barack Obama courtside was pretty, pretty good (Associated Press)