News came out recently that the Huskies will play Georgetown in the John Wooden Classic, an interesting matchup to say the least.
The first reaction to the news is that the Huskies will be playing a quality opponet, and someone who could be a sleeper team for the upcoming 2009-2010 basketball season.
Georgetown has flourished ever since John Thompson III arrived and introduced his Princeton offense. While last season was a struggle for the Hoyas, nobody can really blame them for such a difficult season when they played in the Big East, aka Death to Hopes and Dreams Conference.
The Hoyas will be bringing a more than solid team when they face off against Washington, and are someone that could be a dangerous team and difficult team to matchup against.
There will be one key to the game, and that is how Matthew Bryan-Amaning plays that night.
Georgetown will more than likely rely on super sophomore Greg Monroe, arguably the top recruit in the country just a year ago.
Monroe is a 6’11” “true big man” in my opinion who will be a handful for Amaning to matchup against. Monroe brings great post moves and a polished game to the court, and will undoubtedly be the focus of Lorenzo Romar’s gameplanning.
Outside of Monroe the Hoyas will be bringing up two guards who should create an interesting matchup with Abdul Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas.
Austin Freeman is one of the more talented guards in the country and should be the second option behind Monroe for Georgetown. Freeman will likely be defended by Gaddy because of Freeman’s height (6’4”) which should provide an early preview on Gaddy’s defensive ability as Freeman will be one of the first tough guards he will have to defend.
The Hoyas’ third option is likely another guard in Chris Wright, the leading distributor for Georgetown and third leading scorer from last season (DaJuan Summers, the leading scorer, left early for the NBA).
Freeman and Wright are an interesting to evaluate because of their shooting abilities. Both posted very impressive three point shooting percentages their freshman season, but fell off completely in their sophomore year. The shooting was sorely missed by the Hoyas as the three ball was their biggest liability and reason why they failed to do much in conference play.
Freeman shot a very impressive 40% his freshman year, but dropped ten percentage points to 30% last season.
Wright, who did not play as much as Freeman his freshman year, posted an absurd 47% in 17 valuable minutes per game. Somehow he managed to fall all the way down to 32% last season, which is absurd in its own right.
What the Huskies will have to worry about is how much these struggles can be attributed to a sophomore slump. Should Freeman and Wright find their stroke again, paired with Monroe they could form a lethal inside-out combo.
Georgetown could also dictate the tempo of the game and kill any momentum the Huskies will have. The Princeton is about as organized of an offense as they come, with Jon Brockman gone the Huskies are likely to play even more fast break basketbll than before. How much Georgetown’s tempo changes the way they play could determine if it is a win or a loss for Washington.
Personally when I heard the news about Washington playing Georgetown, I was ecstatic. In all honesty, Georgetown is the only other basketball team I have ever rooted for. While there is no question that I will be rooting for the Huskies (let me emphasize that), it will be enjoyable to see them play a difficult and challenging opponet that should measure where the Huskies stand nationally come tournament selection time (let me emphasize my fandom for the Huskies one more time).
But this will be an exciting game with incredibly interesting matchups. For all of us Husky fans it could be the time where we finally get a true indication of where MBA stands with the team and his future as an impact player.
One interesting sidenote, this will be Georgetown’s first game on the west coast in over eight years, they needed a quality opponet to come out west.
Looks like the Huskies are continuing to build towards some national prominence ladies & gentleman.