With UCLA hoops set to take on its first real challenge in the 2012-13 season against Georgetown, it’s fitting that we discuss a team that’s not affiliated with the greatest conference in the world in the Pac-12 with an outsider to get a fresh perspective.
For this, we bring in Casual Hoya, SB Nation’s resident Georgetown blog and ask him some condescending questions to remind him that, hey, it’s UCLA we’re talkin’ about here.
Go Joe Bruin: This D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera kid looks pretty good on paper, through two games to start his career. Profile him for me; what kind of guard is he, and what kind of backcourt guy do you expect him to be?
Casual Hoya: Looks pretty good on the court, too. The best way to describe him is that DSR is as a combo guard. DSR has a pretty good handle so he can run the point and a sweet stroke from outside which can put up a bunch of points in a hurry. His 19 points in his debut for the Hoyas were the most for a Georgetown freshman since both Allen Iverson and Michael Sweetney scored 19 in their debuts, so that’s some pretty good company. This year I expect him to be Georgetown’s offensive sparkplug off the bench and if he continues to play effectively he could threaten Markel Starks’ starting point guard spot. Not sure what was in the water at Oak Hill with both DSR and your boy Jordan Adams putting up big numbers, but pass some of that over here.
GJB: Georgetown was solid defensively last year and has started pretty well defensively this year; meanwhile, UCLA has the 10th best scoring offense in the nation and is top-40 in offensive efficiency so far. Given all of UCLA’s weapons, how do you feel about those Hoyas being able to stop what’s supposed to be a high-powered offense?
Casual Hoya: Georgetown’s defense will be effective this year, but JT3 will shake it up a bit in order to prevent opponents from getting comfortable. The Hoyas lost Henry Sims and replace him with sophomore Mikael Hopkins in the middle, and Hopkins isn’t what I would call a shot-blocking threat. Georgetown’s lack of a big defensive presence in the post shouldn’t hurt the defense that much because the Hoyas will force pressure from the wings, where Otto Porter and Greg Whittington pose matchup problems with their length. UCLA can also expect to see a press off Georgetown’s made baskets, as Georgetown’s depth on the wing and guard positions will come at the Bruins in waves.
GJB: That Georgetown offense, though, hasn’t been so good statistically. Are the numbers lying here? If they aren’t, how do you like your chances of a weaker Georgetown offense going against a line-up that features the perennially defensively-deficient Wear twins? If they do, what’re we missin’?
It’s tough to get a good sample size off of just two games against cupcakes, but I feel you. I don’t consider one of Georgetown’s strengths as its post play, but Hopkins and Nate Lubick are certainly more than capable of causing problems for UCLA and getting the Wear twins in foul trouble. Hopkins has shown some excellent footwork and is getting off good shots around the basket, and UCLA definitely needs to pay attention to him.
GJB: You’re still alive. First, why? Second, how much does it hurt that Kyle Anderson chose the better basketball program?
Since making that proclamation I have become wiser, mainly because I have seen recruit after recruit toy with Georgetown and eventually commit elsewhere. I don’t blame anyone for this aside from everything that Dave Telep and ESPNU have done to college recruiting in making these kids think that they are the centers of the universe. Kyle Anderson was the first of note, though hey, I can’t fault a kid for wanting to play basketball in Los Angeles while getting paid to do it. I like your questions so far, by the way. In fact, once UCLA gets the death penalty from the NCAA, feel free to shoot me an email as I’m sure I can find some space for you writing for THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON.
GJB: Give me a prediction for the game and then tell me why you chose whatever team you chose (UCLA, presumably) to win.
Mind you this view is from behind blue and gray shaded glasses, but I see Georgetown being able to cause Jordan Adams and Larry Drew problems which will force UCLA to win this from inside the paint. The Hoyas don’t have great depth in the post but they do have talent, and if the Wear twins get in foul trouble and Josh Smith gets distracted by the well-heeled court siders in the Barclays Center enjoying some nice Grimaldi’s pizza, UCLA could be in trouble. Remember that time UCLA needed overtime to beat UC-Irvine? (Ed. Note: Dammit.) So do I. Final score Hoyas 64 – Bruins 59.