Tuesday February 26, 2013 01:02
It’s been nearly three days since Georgetown’s incredible win at the Carrier Dome, and the post-Syracuse celebrations are already only a memory; John Thompson III and company are zeroed in on tomorrow’s game at Connecticut.
But in the afterglow of Otto Porter Jr.’s nearly flawless performance, the role of the Hoyas’ reserved head coach in the win has gone largely unnoticed.
This game was as much the story of a battle of coaching giants as it was a hero’s epic. As dominant as Porter Jr. was, he never took the game over on his own terms. Everything he did Saturday, he did within the flow of Thompson III’s offense. So while the star sophomore deserves all the praise he’s getting right now, it’s important to acknowledge the coach’s role in the win.
I wrote before the game that Thompson III and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim know each other’s schemes so well that little comes as a surprise — much of the entertainment for basketball junkies, then, manifests itself in the coaches’ game-day wrinkles.
Predictably, Boeheim tweaked his 2-3 zone in an attempt to neutralize Georgetown’s star. As a freshman, Porter Jr. had nailed jumper after jumper from the high post, forcing the zone to collapse on him and freeing up shooters.
Boeheim had his guards clamp down on the free throw line Saturday, making it all but impossible for the Hoya guards to work the ball into Porter Jr. and daring Nate Lubick and Jabril Trawick to beat the Orange from the outside.
That’s where Thompson III came in. The presumptive Big East coach of the year moved his star to the perimeter in an effort to stretch the Syracuse zone and breathe life into his team’s offense.
Porter Jr. hadn’t been a threat from deep in the teams’ last meeting, but a summer of practice had put him among the Hoyas’ top three-point weapons. But to move the team’s best player from the position in which he was most effective the year before was a risky move.
To put it mildly, it paid off.
Porter Jr.’s 33-point explosion will go down in Syracuse-Georgetown lore, and it wouldn’t have happened without Thompson III abandoning a previously successful strategy early in the game.
The in-game adjustments didn’t stop there. After starting center Mikael Hopkins had a string of mistakes that helped the Orange get back in the game in the first half, Thompson III started regular backup Moses Ayegba to begin the second frame.
Ayegba had been effective in the first half but was nearly perfect — within his role, of course — in the second. He snagged 10 boards, five of them offensive, and his monster block of Rakeem Christmas was the biggest play of the game by anyone not named Otto.
There were many unsung heroes in a game that the media portrayed as Porter Jr.’s coming-out party as Big East player of the year. For example, Trawick’s penetration off the dribble led directly to open looks in crucial moments.
But at the end of the day, John Thompson III outcoached Jim Boeheim in their most high-profile meeting to date. That deserves as much commendation as Porter Jr.’s heroics.
John Thompson III was born on March 11th, 1966 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thompson_III
March 11th, 1966
3 + 11 +1+9+6+6 = 36 = his life lesson = Managing. Having his work cut out for him. Maximum effort. Feeling like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.
March 11th, 1966
3 + 11 +2+0+1+3 = 20 = his personal year (from March 11th, 2013 to March 10th, 2014) = Turning point. Sound judgement.
20 year + 3 (March) = 23 = his personal month (from March 11th, 2013 to April 10th, 2013) = Leadership. Sports. Athletes.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
1685 28647165 59
his path of destiny = 59 = A real savior.
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