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It's OK Hop, you've got the loss out of the way, now just win the rest of them. Forever.

Rivalry renewed. The game that made the Big East, now a non-conference tilt. Thompson Jr. vs. Boeheim. Except, this time, it was Big John's son, JTIII, and Boeheim's metaphorical son, Hopkins. Syracuse was rocked when the NCAA on Thursday ruled on Jim Boeheim's appeal of punishment for infractions, ruling that the nine-game suspension for conference games was unduly harsh, unprecedented, and not called for by the evidence... so the remedy is for coach to begin the suspension immediately so as to not effect nine conference games. OK, all well and good, except we get this two days before the Georgetown game! Mike Hopkins knew he'd be taking over temporarily for Boeheim this month, just wasn't expecting it to be this soon. So, he had to get ready. And the team had to get ready. And, well, you watched the game. You know that Syracuse shot poorly, that Georgetown played hard from the opening tip, and that the Orange comeback at the end fell short. Hoyas, you get this one at home 79-72.

  • Look, the Hoyas shot 48.1% from the field, 38.1% from three, and 72.4% from the line. Those are good numbers. Unless the opponent can match that sort of efficiency, those numbers are gonna translate to a win.
  • Georgetown's opponent, Syracuse, could not match that efficiency: 38.1% from the field, 25.9% from three, and 81% from the line. While that overall shooting percentage isn't awful, and the foul shooting was acceptable, that 25.9% from three kills a team, especially when it's based on 27 shots. That's 20 missed threes. 20 empty possessions. 20 more opportunities for Georgetown to score, which it more often than not did.
  • Playing all 40 minutes, Michael Gbinije had a good game with 23 points, 3-8 from three, 6-7 from the line, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was able to get more good looks when both Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Lydon were on the floor, either attracting attention or setting screens.
  • Hopkins was more comfortable going with a bigger lineup for more minutes, allowing Lydon into a more natural forward position, Coleman at center, and even Frank Howard seeing 13 minutes. Hop also had a more active rotation of players in and out, as compared to Boeheim.
  • The added minutes didn't necessarily equate to a lot more production from Coleman (10 points, 5 rebounds in 21 minutes), but you have to call that an improvement over his previous games. As the main coach for the big guys, I would expect to see this be central to Hopkins' coaching philosophy, particularly considering how important it is to get Coleman going.
  • Also of note, Kaleb Joseph's box score line is 3 minutes played, and zeros everywhere else.
This is one of those rare times when you just have to tip your hat to Georgetown for getting the job done, playing well, and exploiting the weaknesses in Syracuse's game. That effort made it hard for Syracuse to come back, and ultimately led to that comeback effort falling short. I really wish this game had been more like the UConn game on Thanksgiving -- close, both teams having big leads at points, hard fought, and eventually won by Syracuse. But, alas, not this time. Things won't be so easy for the Hoyas in the Dome next year, though!

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