Reviewing Marcus Derrickson’s Breakout Season at Georgetown

Posted by Justin Kundrat on March 1st, 2018

To nobody’s surprise, the Hoyas have largely flopped this season. Their 15-13 overall record is padded by an extremely soft non-conference schedule, and their 5-12 Big East record leaves much to be desired. But buried beneath the figurative record are a number of “should have wons”: games that Georgetown played to the wire for the first 30-38 minutes. Of the Hoyas’ dozen Big East losses, eight came by single-digits and the team’s improvement over the course of the season is glaringly obvious. Their inside-out offense creates a natural source of ball movement; the team is fouling considerably less often on the defensive end (a significant problem in prior years); and four-star freshman Jamorko Pickett is showing flashes of his elite scoring ability. But most of all, junior forward Marcus Derrickson has completely revamped his game under the tutelage of Patrick Ewing and now represents one of the conference’s biggest mismatches. Illustrating his breakout campaign is best done with a simple chart that shows Derrickson’s usage, shooting percentages, rebounding rates and free throw rates are all up remarkably from last season.

Not only has the junior become a more efficient player, he has also transformed from an outside shooter used to stretch the floor to a three-level scorer. In other words, his perimeter shooting accuracy has continued to improve while he has demonstrated a propensity for scoring in the mid-range and around the rim. During his freshman year, a whopping 60.5 percent of his shot attempts were from beyond the arc. Now, it’s just 31.6 percent.

His three-point shooting range extends to the NBA line, forcing bigger defenders to play up to him, and consequently, giving teammate Jessie Govan room to operate inside. This has made the 6’7″ forward particularly difficult to guard, as shown in the below clip.

Improved footwork and court vision under Ewing has also instilled more comfort when operating in the mid-range. Here, Derrickson is a threat to back his defender down or pull up. With a switch onto a smaller defender, he will naturally choose the former; but against a bigger, slower defender like Kerem Kanter, who is forced to play off him, the pull-up is an easy look.

His shooting was a mostly known commodity coming into this season. The more impressive development has been the Hoyas’ guards increasingly looking to find Derrickson in the post. He has been better in using his size and frame to keep smaller defenders behind him. As shown below, An early communication breakdown leaves 6’3″ Phil Booth guarding him. Through Jagan Mosely’s decision to drag Spellman away from the basket, the offense eventually found a proper angle to feed Derrickson, which he promptly exploited.

A lot of these improvements have gone unnoticed, buried under mounds of criticism that Georgetown’s program is facing. But it’s hard to be disappointed in where the team stands at the end of February, and the evolving play of Marcus Derrickson is one of the biggest reasons why.

Justin Kundrat (175 Posts)

Villanova grad, patiently waiting another 10 years for season tickets. Follow Justin on twitter @JustinKundrat or email him at

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