RTC Live: Georgetown @ UConnPosted by rtmsf on February 16th, 2011
Game #144. Back in the Northeast for a Big East battle between two teams trending… the only question is which way?
Connecticut and Georgetown are teams going in different directions. Connecticut has lost three of its last five games; Georgetown has won its last eight. However, the two teams are more similar than you might think. Both teams have lost to Saint John’s, Notre Dame and Pitt. Georgetown’s other two losses were at Temple and against West Virginia; Connecticut’s other two losses were against Louisville and Syracuse. Georgetown’s success is predicated on the play of its outstanding, experienced backcourt. Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark are the keys to the Hoya’s offense. When Wright plays well, the Hoyas generally win. Freeman is much more consistent and should probably getting some love fore Big East Player of the Year in a few weeks. On Connecticut’s side you have Kemba Walker, Alex Oriakhi and three freshmen. Walker has been struggling of late: that’s to be expected in tough conference games. A little more surprising, for me, have been Oriakhi’s struggles: in Connecticut’s last six games, he’s only scored in double figures once and never had more than eight boards. People rush to blame the Huskies’ troubles on Walker, as he was the national Player of the Year leader only a few weeks ago. But I think Oriakhi is critical for forcing defenses to pack the middle and find the weak side on Walker’s drives for offensive boards or open dunks. Just by being in the game, Walker is a huge factor: you can’t help off him; you have to send help when he gets into the lane; and you have to chase him off screens. Adding Oriakhi’s presence should leave Jeremy Lamb and Roscoe Smith much more open on the wings while relieving some of the scoring burden on Walker.