With the Dallas Cowboys finally taking a seat, we can all exhale. We can officially enjoy the NFL playoffs, and once again resume casual conversations with Dallas “fans”. And we say “fans” because most Dallas lovers are DMV natives, who have never set foot in Texas. But that’s besides the point, we can once again treat these individuals as humans, and discuss important things such as, March Madness. The time is here to analyze prime time players, big time schools, and teams who have the best chances at winning; researching now will allow your brackets to do the talking, and the cash earning come March.
Team weaknesses, strengths, injuries, and the likes are up to be analyzed. As the season nears the 20 game mark, coaches have compiled enough game tape to dissect their opponents like children do frogs. And our Hoyas, last weekend felt the scalpel, as the Villanova Wildcats laid down the blueprint on how to defeat them.
The Hoyas first two losses this season, were the results of a lack of focus and life in the Big East. Up until Saturday there was no true blueprint, on how to defeat this Hoyas team. However, Villanova came to the Wachovia Center with a game plan.
You don’t have to be an ESPN analyst to know that Georgetown only plays its starting five. And for the most part this has worked; the starters have healthy lungs and young legs that seem to not tire. However, Villanova sought to challenge the Hoyas by exploiting their dearth of bench production.
From the opening basket, Villanova broke out into a full court press. The Hoyas offensive rhythm was immediately disrupted, and Villanova stretched out to an early double digit lead. The underlining benefit of Villanova’s press was that it forced the Hoyas to be more active than they would like. The Hoyas had to hustle and work to do the little things, like advancing the ball up the court. Villanova was able to keep the pressure up, by constantly subbing players in and out.
And to top it off the officiating crew called a bevy of fouls on both teams. This along with fatigue forced the Hoyas to do what they shy from, play their bench. And the results were not good. Hollis Thompson the most talented player on the bench, and possibly the most talented player for Georgetown, played timid. The freshman guard was recruited heavily by Duke, UCLA, and other big time schools. But the youngster did not appear ready to play in the big light; none of the Hoyas’ bench appeared ready. And you can’t blame them, they did not have rhythm because they do not get minutes. The starters have played 79% of the teams’ minutes this season. The bench has averaged roughly 8 points per game up to this point; which ranks 332 out of 334 Division 1 programs.
The blueprint to beating the Hoyas is outlined; force them to play their bench. You can do so by pressing to cause fatigue, or by hoping for an official with a spastic whistle.
With Villanova having success with the full court press, lets watch to see if Pitt imitates the blueprint. Tip off tonight at 7pm.