|Find who's hot and get him the ball: Hoyas have plenty of go-to players|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2008 07:35|
This year's Hoyas have a better record and a higher ranking, even though there seems to be no rhyme or reason for figuring out who is going to have the hot hand on any given night. It was DuJuan Summers' turn in their most recent win, a tougher-than-expected 63-53 win over South Florida on Wednesday in which the sophomore forward scored a career-high 24 points.
``We're a more balanced team this year, more than ever,'' center Roy Hibbert said. ``I think we can be a better team than we were last year if everything falls into place. When you can depend on teammates to pull through, that's a great feeling - you don't have to depend on one person.
``Jeff last year had us on his shoulders the whole year, and this time we carry our weight ourselves.''
after his junior season to join the NBA, Hibbert is the new face of the team. But the preseason All-America selection can't single-handedly control a game the way Green could. The 7-foot-2 center, even though he has a decent jump shot, is essentially at the mercy of his teammates to get him the ball in the post.
Hibbert has been the leading scorer in only nine of Georgetown's 21 games. Austin Freeman, Jonathan Wallace, Jessie Sapp and Summers have all led the sixth-ranked Hoyas (19-2) in scoring at least three times apiece.
``Last year, coming down the stretch, Jeff led us in points most of the time, and even when he wasn't, he was making plays,'' coach John Thompson III said. ``This group has different people who can put points on the board any given night, and we just have to make sure that we stay diligent to being good helpers.''
That means recognizing who has the rhythm and feeding him the ball. There's no telling where the Hoyas would have been Wednesday night without Summers, who accounted for all but one of Georgetown's field goals over the first 13 1/2 minutes. Summers, playing on a sore ankle, and Hibbert then accounted for all the points in a 12-0 run that put the team ahead for good.
``He was really the heart and soul of this game,'' Hibbert said. ``On any given night, it can be anybody. It can be Sapp some nights. Some nights it's Jon. Some nights it's DaJuan. Sometimes it's me.''
is that any - or all - of those players can be in a slump on any given night. Wallace and Freeman have struggled recently with their outside shooting. Hibbert constantly says he needs to be more aggressive. There was an infamous game - a win over American in December - in which the big man grabbed only one rebound in 20 minutes, and he was taken out of Wednesday's game early because ``he was flat,'' according to Thompson.
``Once he went back in, I thought he had more energy,'' Thompson said. ``More pep in his step.''
The Hoyas play three of their next four on the road, starting with Saturday's game against Louisville, but Georgetown's obvious goal is to peak in March during the NCAA tournament. It would seem to help the Hoyas' cause if opponents aren't sure who's going to be the go-to player - as long as there is one.
Thompson was asked if he thought it was good that his team had evolved in such a way.
``I hope so,'' the coach replied, ``because that's who we are.''