College basketball’s opening weekend was filled with upsets, and the Georgetown Hoyas were no exception. The Hoyas were defeated in the double overtime by the Radford Highlanders after Rashun Davis sunk a game winning 3-pointer. The result represents a surprising tale of two years, as Georgetown drubbed Radford last 76-49 just last season, but couldn’t do so this time around. With this loss, it’s reasonable to start questioning just how good this Georgetown will. Coming into the season, John Thompson’s team had reasonable expectations to challenge Villanova in the Big East even after the losing seniors Josh Smith, Mikael Hopkins, Jabril Trawick, and Aaron Bowen. Its also possible that we aren’t giving Coach Mike Jones and his Radford team enough credit, given the fact that they have won 44 games in the past two seasons.
1.D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has to attack more and lead his team
Yes, it’s early and this was only the first game of a long season, but Smith-Rivera needs to get to the line more than 2 times in 6 quarters. That is inexcusable for a player as good as he is. One of the things that made the moxy guard from Indianapolis so effective in the past is his ability to get into the paint using his stocky frame while also shooting near 40% from the 3-point range. He struggled from 3-point range in this game, shooting only converting 2 of his 7 attempts. As the leader, he has to hound his teammates to be prepared for each and every game no matter the opponent. Hopefully his mindset is 100% Georgetown Basketball, as he decided to forego the transition to the NBA.
2. Despite the loss, Bradley Hayes was a plesent surprise
Coming into the season, the senior center from Jacksonville, Florida had never logged more than 13 minutes in a college game. Against Radford, however, Hayes played 35 minutes and produced 19 points on 7-9 shooting from the field. He also pulled down 12 rebounds, which was more than any one else on both teams. Hayes knows his stuff as a senior and can serve as a great example along with Smith-Rivera for the relatively young Hoyas. If Hayes can continue to produce reasonable hustle points and rebounds for Georgetown, he can form a rather solid front court with Freshman Jessie Govan.
3. Defense must be better
Georgetown hasn’t been a consistently good defensive team since 2012-13, but they have enough experienced guys to form some resistance to a lower-end team. Coach Thompson found some success with the full-court press, which may be a building block for the latter part of the season. With this unit, Thompson may have to shuffle defenses and see what sticks best. The team needs to shore up its 3-point defense, as it allowed Radford to shoot 40% from there is Saturday’s game. The Hoyas were among the worst at defending the 3 point shot last season, and by the looks of it, the team may still struggle with that again.
Next up is a showdown with Maryland on Tuesday. Maybe Georgetown overlooked Radford in anticipation for Tuesdays matchup, and will come out play to their ability. One thing is for sure: the Hoyas will get run out of Xfinity Center if they bring a similar effort as they did against Radford.