Hoyas' effort lacking in loss to Ohio
Last year, Georgetown wasn’t invited to the Big Dance.
This time, the Hoyas forgot to show up.
It was Jekyll and Hyde all season long. The team that no one could truly figure out.
There were the eight consecutive victories to open the season — including neutral-site wins against Butler and Washington and a home win against a Temple club that proved to be much stronger than initially thought.
Then, there was the home loss to Old Dominion.
Big East play was, unlike last season’s free-fall, a roller-coaster ride.
A loss to South Florida followed by a win over Villanova. A victory at Louisville just nine days after losing at Rutgers.
The chemistry issues from last season’s team that folded easier than an accordion were supposedly history.
So, too, was the passion and intensity.
Georgetown was knocked out Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 97-83, by an Ohio University team that was picked to finish dead last in the MAC.
An Ohio team that was the ninth seed in its own conference tournament last week and lost its then-leading scorer, Steven Coleman, back in December with a broken wrist.
But the Bobcats basically dominated from start to finish against a Hoyas team that earned a No. 3 overall seed and advanced to the Big East title game last week.
“We were flat, didn’t guard, had a lack of intensity and focus,” said Georgetown’s talented sophomore big man Greg Monroe. “It’s devastating. Heartbreaking.”
But honestly, not all that surprising.
You just never knew what you were going to get from this team, but more often than not, a sense of urgency was lacking.
Georgetown played its best matador defense in the first 20 minutes, allowing the Bobcats to put up 48 first-half points while shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
“We were just taking what the defense gave us,” Ohio’s Tommy Freeman said.
Which was just about anything the Bobcats wanted.
It was embarrassing.
“We looked very lethargic,” Hoyas point guard Chris Wright said.
But there was no way that the Hoyas would come out of the locker room with the same apparent look of apathy, right?
They cut the lead to seven at one point, but Ohio was never truly in danger down the stretch — and the Bobcats shot a sizzling 67 percent in the second half.
The Hoyas allowed a season-high 97 points to a MAC team.
Indiana transfer Armon Bassett lit up the Hoyas to the tune of 32 points. Fellow guard D.J. Cooper, who looks like he’s still in middle school and all of 160 pounds, went for 23 points.
“I was kind of surprised they didn’t play with more emotion,” Cooper said. “I thought we were going to take their best shot.”
Wright showed up and had 28 points, but Monroe — one of the most talented players in the nation — didn’t take over the game as he needed to do. He finished with 19 points and 13 boards in what could wind up being his final game in a Georgetown uniform, but much of it came too late.
Monroe, one of the classiest kids I’ve come across over the years, would end his two-year career with an NIT appearance and an ugly first-round NCAA tournament exit if he departs to the NBA as expected.
Austin Freeman, who was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this month, couldn’t find his shot and finished with just nine points.
But ultimately, it came down to defense and effort.
“We may not be a better team, but we just have to play better on that particular night,” Bassett said.
It wasn’t even close on Thursday night.