Like a teen boy struggling to grow into his maturing voice, the No. 19 Georgetown Hoyas are still working through growing pains.
The Hoyas, a young team with no seniors, can swing from horrific to terrific in one game. Just when you think they might be world beaters, they take beat down. And when it seems like it’s time to write them off as pretenders, they bounce back.
The Hoyas (11-3, 1-2) hit 14-29 in the first half and avoided starting 0-3 in Big East play. They hit just 13 shots the entire game in an embarrassing 73-48 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Shortly before last night’s game Coach John Thompson III announced that sophomore forward Greg Whittington, the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder, was benched for violating team rules. Without disclosing what rules were violated, Thompson said Whittington, who didn’t make the trip, could miss more than one game.
The Hoyas performed well without him. Led by forward Otto Porter Jr., the Hoyas held St. John’s (9-7. 1-3) without a field goal for the first 3:18 of the game. Porter had his fourth double-double of the season, with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Hoyas defense limited St. John’s to just eight field goals and 34.8 percent from the field. It was an impressive response after dropping the home opener to Pitt, one of the most lopsided losses in Hoyas history.
Key for Georgetown was contribution from fresh faces, including freshman D’Vauntes Smith-Riveria, who had 10 rebounds and eight points.
Not quite suffering from an identity crisis, the Hoyas are certainly searching for some semblance of consistency. Last night was a good start in their quest for maturation.