Following Georgetown's 73-45 home loss by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, John Thompson III called the performance "embarrassing." Just before the No. 19 Hoyas headed to New York for Saturday's oddly timed 11 a.m. contest against St. John's, the coach had not changed his tuned.
Following Friday's practice, Thompson, asked about his current level of concern said, "Very. As I said after the game, that was embarrassing."
"That being said you have to figure out why did that happen. It's a bump. We can't dwell on that. You can't have high highs and low lows. It is something that we're not just going to say forget that and ignore it and move on. We worked on a few things."
Coach, would you say any of the potential changes are of a dramatic nature?
"Possibly," Thompson teased, "but I'd rather not talk about."
He also rebuffed any notion that significant on-court changes have not already occurred
"We're doing a lot of things different than what we've done in the past," the coach said. "I don't approach anything as this is how we do things, this is how we're always going do things, this is how we always do things. I think if you truly watch our teams there has been change and differences with each and every team. This team is doing a lot of things, most things different than how we've done it in the past."
While the coach would not go into specifics, no doubt the offense's schemes and personnel received a major once-over after the Hoyas (10-3, 0-2 Big East) scored less than 50 points for the fourth time this season. Against Pittsburgh, Georgetown finished with more turnovers than field goals and on the season the Hoyas rank last in scoring among Big East teams.
"You have to take a step back and look at everything, from what you're doing to how you're doing it to who's doing it. We've done that internally and what I think are some pretty hard practices. We have a long way to go and we got to flush a lot of stuff out of our system, readdress a few things and move forward."
The entire team played in a funk against the Panthers - Otto Porter's nine points paced all scorers-, though forward Mikael Hopkins has been in one for several games.
Part of Georgetown's primary 7-man rotation and the team's fourth-leading scorer (7.4), Hopkins' minutes have curtailed lately as his wild interior misses have increased. He played a scoreless 14 minutes against Pittsburgh, awkwardly missing his only three field goal attempts. The 6-foot-9 forward has grabbed just three rebounds in his 32 minutes of Big East play.
"With the progression or lack thereof [from] some of our young guys, we need him," Thompson said. "We need him to be able to contribute. We got to get him out of [his funk]. We're trying a variety of methods. He just has to relax and play."
When the Hoyas play on Saturday, they will face a St. John's (9-6, 1-2) squad led by De'Angelo Harrison (21.5 ppg), the Big East's second-leading scorer. Stopping the 6-foot-3 sophomore guard will require an all hands on deck effort. Harrison dropped a career-high 36 points in the Red Storm's Big East opening overtime loss to Villanova and hit the go-ahead jumper in last week's upset over No. 14 Cincinnati.
"He's terrific," Thompson said. "Not just a deep range shooter, he can do it off the bounce, he's catch and shoot. He puts the ball in the basket. It's one of those situations where man or zone, everyone has to know where he is, not just the person who is in his area of the zone or who is guarding him man to man."
Tuesday's lopsided loss dropped Georgetown to 0-2 in conference play for the first time during Thompson's nine years. Another defeat gives the Hoyas their unwanted first 0-3 start since the 1999-2000 campaign. With players not made available for the media, it was left to the coach to describe the team's mood.
"Anxious," Thompson said. "I wouldn't say it's down. We're ready to get back on the court."
Notes...Georgetown announced on Friday the University's Department of Athletics received a $5 million commitment, its largest gift ever. The plan is to direct $4 million to the construction of the Intercollegiate Athletics Center, which will be the new practice facility home for the men's and women's basketball teams. The remaining money will fund upgrades to the on-campus soccer.