Five quick observations on Georgetown's 68-51 defeat of Utah State before getting to the plus-minus chart ...
1. Georgetown is deeper than years past. Or, perhaps more precisely, John Thompson III believes his team is deeper. Sure, he can say so, but playing 10 guys at least three minutes in the first half more sufficiently demonstrates it. Only one Hoya picked up even three fouls --- though Julian Vaughn had two quick ones --- but it doesn't seem to matter much for these guys. So long as Chris Wright and Austin Freeman are on the floor, at least.
2. Chris Wright is in a good place. Eight games in, and the Hoyas' senior guard has 18 points or eight assists in all of them. Numbers don't tell everything, of course, but they're a good starting place to dissect things. He's seeing the floor better than ever, and it shows up in his assists total (6.75 per game) --- even if he didn't pass quite as much against Utah State. That's because ...
3. Austin Freeman is mortal after all. When a team sells out to guard the perimeter, the senior isn't going to be quite the same weapon he is when given space. That's nothing new, but perhaps worth the reminder after back-to-back 30-point days. He scored nine points, the first time this season he was held to single-digits.
That actually leads to something oddly encouraging for Georgetown. Freeman either didn't play or was held to less than 10 points in four of the Hoyas' final eight games last year. Georgetown was 1-3 in those games. If the Hoyas can beat a superb Utah State team with Freeman neutralized, it bodes well for the future.
4. A blueprint to beat Utah State now exists. That's all well and good, since the Aggies will make it tough for anyone to dissect them in quite the same way again. But come NCAA tournament time --- and you can be sure the Aggies will be around for those festivities --- some unfortunate No. 5 or No. 6 seed is going to rely on the film from what Georgetown did to attack Utah State.
That said, it might be a while before the Aggies stumble into nearly so much foul trouble. They won't see too many teams as deep and athletic as Georgetown, and only a few that are remotely as talented. But no game will teach Utah State --- or its future opponents --- what to work on than this one.
5. Come March, this is going to look like a fine day for Georgetown. Those who know college hoops are fully aware of how good it looks right now. But once Utah State has its 25 or so victories and Tai Wesley (eight points, five rebounds against the Hoyas) has enjoyed a season that will have him in contention for conference player of the year, Georgetown's performance will look even better.
Onto the plus-minus:
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For as good as Henry Sims looked --- and he's probably made the biggest leap of any of Georgetown's holdovers --- the Hoyas were actually more efficient when Julian Vaughn was on the court. The pair were never on the floor together, though it's worth pointing out nearly all of Vaughn's positive numbers in the second half stemmed from Georgetown's spurt out of the break.
One other nifty number: Georgetown's starters were a combined plus-65 in the second half, while its reserves combined for zero. Despite the depth, it's safe to assume the Hoyas will be keeping their starting guards, in particular, on the floor as much as possible in games that even slightly in doubt.