The following is Hoya Sports’ report card for Saturday’s men’s basketball game against Pittsburgh. It was Georgetown’s first loss of the year and undoubtedly their worst performance of the year, so the grades should only go up from here.

Overall: C-

The Big East is a deep, tough conference, and no team can be overlooked. Georgetown overlooked Pittsburgh, and the final score reflected this. The Hoyas were “flat,” as junior point guard Kevin Braswell put it, whereas the Panthers came out fired up, never allowing Georgetown to get up and running. Better performances will be needed throughout the rest of conference play if the Hoyas are to build upon their early-season success.

Backcourt: B+

This was an up-and-down performance from the starting duo of Braswell and sophomore guard Demetrius Hunter. They combined for 20 points, 10 assists and only three turnovers on the night, but both disappeared at times. Braswell sat for 10 minutes in the first half because of a pair of touch fouls in the opening minutes of the game, while Hunter failed to score in the second half after a pair of monstrous dunks and 11 points before the break.

Frontcourt: D+

Not a memorable performance from Georgetown’s big men. Senior Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje and freshman Mike Sweetney had eight boards apiece but combined to go 5 of 18 from the field and struggled to establish an inside presence at either end of the court. Pittsburgh succeeded in forcing Georgetown’s big men out to the perimeter on defense, while the Panthers collapsed inside at the other end of the court resulting in turnovers and missed jump shots when the ball was fed back outside.

Bench: B-

The bench did not provide the spark the Hoyas expect, although senior forward Lee Scruggs did provide 10 points and the bench contributed 25 total. Scruggs and senior guard Anthony Perrry struggled from downtown, hitting a combined 2 of 10 three pointers. Senior swingman Nat Burton and sophomore center Wesley Wilson were efficient in limited minutes, scoring four points apiece.

Defense: C

Backdoor cuts and open three-pointers proved to be Pittsburgh’s bread and butter and were the difference in the game. Pittsburgh took advantage of several screens and excellent team speed to generate numerous open looks at the basket from outside and took advantage, going 10 of 23 from downtown for 30 of its 70 points. Sophomore forward Donatas Zavackas hit back-to-back threes late in the second half when solid picks left him open in the corner, while senior forward Ricardo Greer had a number of virtually uncontested shots in the paint. Georgetown’s defense was often stifling early in a possession, but Pittsburgh was patient with the ball and would eventually feed it to the open man and consistently convert.

Free Throw Shooting: C

Georgetown took only seven shots from the line all night (making four) while Pittsburgh committed just 13 fouls the entire game. The Hoyas’ height advantage over the Panthers was one of their greatest strengths, but Georgetown failed to take advantage in the paint. Pittsburgh deserves credit for playing tough, in-your-face interior defense without fouling. The Hoyas must make it to the line and convert to return to the win column.

Coaching: C

Esherick can’t go out and play when the Hoyas are struggling, but he failed to keep Saturday’s game from progressing at Pittsburgh’s pace. Georgetown’s point total was its lowest of the season, largely because of the Panthers’ ability to slow the game down when the Hoyas started to run, preventing Georgetown from building a substantial lead. At the other end, the press was largely ineffective against Pittsburgh.

Sixth Man: A-

The crowd – 12,109 – was decent and almost exclusively pro-Georgetown (a nice change from recent years), but smaller than would be expected to watch a top-10 team. The student section was full and loud, and the crowd generated a lot of noise in the waning minutes of the game. And giving a boost to the home team. The only thing missing was a chance to cheer when the clock ran out.

Related Links

 Men’s Basketball Page

 Men’s Basketball Schedule

 Men’s Basketball Roster

 Box Score vs. Pittsburgh (1/20)

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