Just happy I didn't make this trip.
First of all, let's not blow this one out of proportion. Anyone who legitimately expected a win on the road against a top 5 team is simply dreaming. Obviously, back-to-back road losses by such large margins are not acceptable. Still, there is no reason to think of this as another other than what it is: a bad loss to a very good defensive team. They shut us down today. It doesn't make us a bad team (maybe a little underperforming on the road), it just means we've lost two big road games to the two best teams in the conference. If we can rebound to beat Villanova, we're still looking at a top 4 finish. If not, there's still no reason to believe we will not rebound and make the tournament as one of the last at-larges out of this conference.
When you shut Kyle McAlarney down, the whole offense collapses. Watching games in the Virgin Islands and against Marquette is enough to point out that fact. K-Mac went 4-15 today for 10 points. Don't even look at the rest of the box score, you already know we've lost the game. His outside shooting opens up the middle for Harangody and the rest of the offense. He may have forced things a little today, but he has certainly earned the right to shoot with his great ability.
Tory Jackson had an awfully tough day handling the ball. 3 assists, 7 turnovers. Only five points, but did grab seven rebounds. Not an overly high turnover count for the Irish today, but still higher than you would like. When the point guard is having so much trouble distributing the ball, the offense will shut down.
Where are you Ryan Ayers? As mentioned previously (on several occasions), Ryan has to step it up when K-Mac is not connecting from long range. Only attempting four shots... that's not stepping it up. He made one, had four points, and two rebounds in 23 minutes. There has to be another option if Ryan can't make himself more of a presence on the floor.
Rob Kurz was money from the charity stripe, which contributed to six of his eight points. Next to nothing from the floor. Six rebounds to go with it.
Luke Harangody was successfully shut down by Hibbert, gaining only 13 points and 8 boards in 3-13 shooting. Just a dismal day all around for Irish shooters. Georgetown so completely took this team out of its game.
Off the bench, Zeller hit a third of his shots (a pathetic bright spot for such a tough game). 7 points, two rebounds. He got hacked once or twice and Jack Nolan called the refs out for the no-calls under the hoop while I was listening. Didn't get to see the game for myself, so can't really be a good judge of that. Zach Hillesland has seven rebounds and four points. Nice to see him rack up a better rebounding total. Jonathan Peoples had a huge day scoring 12 in 11 minutes and getting four rebounds. Good for him.
The team shot 33% from the floor and 28% from beyond the arc. That's good enough to lose against anyone, much less such a methodical scoring team like the Hoyas. Georgetown was 53% and 40%. That's your game right there. Quite surprising that the team was able to keep the final margin under 20 with such a disparity between the numbers.
Actually outrebounded Georgetown. Hibbert only managed 3 boards to go with his 21 points. Small victory there. 13 turnovers for both teams. That indicates that we were not that out of control, just forced to take bad shots. The Hays finished with two more made free ones.
Just a disappointing game, but not completely unexpected. Nothing we have done this year has shown our ability to win outside of the Joyce Center (save maybe the K-State game at the MSG... Monmouth doesn't really count). Georgetown goes back to the top of the conference standings, so it was hard to believe pre-game that we would fare any better against them than we did at Marquette. Hopefully the second contest against the Golden Eagles will be an easier one.
I'm not getting too heartbroken about this one. We shot 20% worse from the floor. That's a combination of a great defense (which they seem to have) and methodical scoring on their part (they came in with one of the most efficient offenses in the country, calculated for possessions). Villanova next Saturday will tell a very interesting story about this Irish squad. We started the conference season with two really rough first road games, but 'Nova is the kind of team we should be able to beat on the road. If that's a win, everything is back to being fine and dandy.
Until then, remembering this one will be a tough pill to swallow, but it has to be done.