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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Georgetown Plays 2 Halfs and Finishes With the W

Otto Porter only 6 first half minutes - got poked in the eye, checked back in, then sat out

Whittington late bloomer in HS, good potential

Lubick big time competitor, understands the game, rebounds, facilitates, coach's son, ugly jumper

Smith-Rivera next in line - shooter, under control. hit a 3 that didnt count at end of half

Domingo looks like he has good potential

With a half of game under the belt this season, Georgetown was safely indoors at the Verizon Center for their second matchup against Duquesne. And while the Verizon Center doesn't provide the best atmosphere, at least they have a floor without condensation. And their opponent, they certainly aren't Florida, and in fact Duquesne was predicted to finish 16th in the now 16 team Atlantic 10. Duquesne hasn't been relevant in NBA circles since the ultra-athletic Damian Sanders terrorized the rim.

This should have been an easy win for Georgetown, but early in the game Otto Porter was poked in the eye. He sat out a few minutes before checking back in, but he must not have been 100% because he returned to the bench shortly after and retired to the lockerroom after logging only 6 minutes. Otto needs two "O's"and two "T's" and apparently two "I's" are necessary as well.

Duquesne was able to keep the game close in the first half, going into the lockerroom down by 6. Georgetown freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera got to see the floor more than expected to filling in for Porter and led Georgetown in scoring the first 20 minutes. He's a young guy who plays under control and can really shoot it. He's not super athletic or creative, but he knows how to score the ball. He fits the Georgetown guard mold to a T and should be a good one. He finished with 16 points and that doesn't count his 3 at the end of the half that he failed to get off before the buzzer.

In the second half, the more experienced Markel Starks and Mikael Hopkins picked up their play. Hopkins was way too much to handle for Andre Marhold inside. He was able to get post position right in front of the basket and go to work. Hopkins is still a little green and certainly isn't known for his strength, but if you allow him to get near the basket he has the solid moves to score. Henry Sims was no Greg Monroe and at this point, Hopkins is not Henry Sims but he has potential. I saw him play in high school and he still has some of the same concerns with his toughness, hands, and rebounding. He is coming along though and is getting a little more comfortable.

Greg Whittington was a constant presence for Georgetown and he controlled the glass, setting a career high of 14. He's improved a lot in little time, going from a late bloomer in high school who didn't draw much college interest to a big man who has now learned to play on the perimeter. He handles it well in the open court and plays with a good head on his shoulders. Whittington is a four year guy, but could ultimately end up in draft conversations if he continues to improve. His offense has to catch up to his physical ability.

Also, you can't talk about Georgetown without mentioning their rock in the middle, Nate Lubick. Perhaps their best facilitator and definitely their toughest and biggest competitor, Nate appears to be looking to score more this season. He had a nice double move that led to a midrange jump hook going in and even attempted an open three....which was one of the ugliest things I've seen. Mr. Lubick is a media favorite and has a bit of Scalabrine in him.

Ultimately, Georgetown got the win 61-55 with Duquesne matching their second half output at 34. Georgetown is a young team with no seniors and their style of play isn't made for blowing teams out. Instant reaction has screamed some concerns for Georgetown, but I think this team is solid. With Porter and Whittington on the wings, they have the length to be a great defensive team. Smith-Rivera should only get better and fill some of the scoring role they need and they have a host of players who do all the little things - Lubick and Porter are what I'd call "super role players" because of how much they can contribute to wins without scoring. This team is definitely heading in the right direction and next year should be a top 25 team - probably even if Porter leaves. Hopefully Otto Porter is fine in the near future because they have a big game against UCLA coming up that is very winnable if he plays. Also, a matchup against Kyle Anderson would be delightful. 

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