Film review: Hoyas 3-point defense misses mark

Film review: Hoyas 3-point defense misses mark
January 24, 2014, 11:00 am
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Jan 15, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Georgetown Hoyas guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (4) talks to head coach John Thompson III during the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center. Xavier defeated Georgetown 80-64.

(Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

"We're not making winning plays at the end. We're giving up 3's at key times and giving up 3's to the guys on their team who can make 3's. We have a couple of days. We've got see if we can figure out why we're not listening very well, why we're not executing better." -Georgetown coach John Thompson III following Monday's 80-72 overtime lost to Marquette.

The Golden Eagles entered the game last in 3-point shooting among Big East teams, making 29.7 of their attempts from beyond the arc. That clanking form continued for much of the game against Georgetown until Marquette made 3 of 4 during the closing minutes and in overtime. We went back and looked at the video to see what changed and why Thompson said what he said. As a reminder, Georgetown plays on the road Saturday against a Creighton program that just set a Big East record with 21 3-pointers against Villanova and ranks nationally with 10.8 3's per game.

*First let's go back to the "giving up 3's to the guys on their team who can make 3's" comment. Jake Thomas (38.5 percent) and Todd Mayo (32.6) are the only two players on Marquette making over 30 percent of their 3-point tries (min. 4 attempts)

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Georgetown 60-53, 2:46 remaining:

The Hoyas stuck with a zone defense throughout the game in attempt to conserve energy for their shorthanded roster, but also because of Marquette's perimeter woes. At this point, the Hoyas were in a 2-3 with guards Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera up top.

Marquette point guard Derrick Wilson dribbles to the top of the key while Thomas slides to the left corner outside the arc. Big man and leading scorer Davante Gardner lurks in the middle of the zone just below Starks and Smith-Rivera. The ball swings to Jamal Wilson (28 percent 3-point shooter) on the right wing above the arc. Mikael Hopkins jumps up from the bottom of the 2-3 to defend as Smith-Rivera moves over to double team. Gardner slides to the right elbow, Starks follows, taking a long stride into the paint. Thomas runs from the corner to an open spot five feet above the arc on the right, then catches a pass from Jamil Wilson. Starks retreats, but doesn't get back in time. Thomas drains the shot, finishes 4 of 6 on 3's.

Georgetown 62-58, 1:05 remaining:

Hoyas still in a 2-3 zone. Derrick Wilson with the ball above the arc as Marquette momentarily is in a 1-4 set with all the other players well below the free throw line. Gardner jumps up, sets a pick on Starks near the top of the key. Wilson doesn't dribble around the pick, but immediately feeds Jamil Wilson on left wing. With no dribble up top, John Caprio doesn't get sucked in and instead goes straight to the wing. He gets a hand in Jamil Wilson's face on shot. Miss.

Georgetown 65-62, 17 seconds remaining (This play starts at the 33-second mark of this video package):

The Golden Eagles take possession after Starks splits a pair of free throws. Jamil Wilson moves the ball across halfcourt, feeds Derrick Wilson (9.1 percent 3-point shooter) on the right wing, which draws a double-team from Hopkins and Smith-Rivera. Starks picks up Thomas on the left side above the arc while Mayo lurks in the left corner.

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Derrick Wilson returns the pass to Jamil Wilson, who takes one dribble left and to the top of arc, drawing Starks his way. Thomas and Mayo exchange spots on the wing with Caprio briefly the only defender on the left side of the court. Starks hustles back to his spot, but runs past Mayo, who is now up top, and to Thomas, who has moved closer to the sideline. Caprio also slides toward Thomas, his natural cover based on the floor balance. Starks directs Caprio toward Mayo as the ball now swings to O.J.'s brother. He has a clean look with no defender in his area, makes the shot, his first 3-point attempt of the game. Starks misses at the buzzer, overtime.