Decisions, decisions. There was 14:51 left in the first half and the game was tied at four and Otto Porter Jr. the Georgetown Hoyas best player just picked up his second personal foul against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Now going by the book, Head Coach John Thompson III would have done what 99% of all other coaches would have done. He would have pulled Porter Jr. off the floor for the rest of the half. Thompson III did not do that.
He made the tough decision, he rolled the dice. It paid off.
It was the right decision. Not only did Thompson III gamble once, but he did it again in the 2nd half with 7:29 left in the game and the Hoyas were up 50-47. Thompson III pulled Porter Jr. for a few minutes and then inserted him back into the lineup. Porter Jr. was instrumental in requiring defensive attention needed to free up teammates and also made two critical free throws down the stretch. It would have been easy for Thompson to stick with Porter Jr. when he picked up his fourth foul, but he once again made the right move to pull him and put him back in minutes later.
Now, one can only guess why the Bearcats did not go at Porter Jr. in the first have when he virtually played fifteen minutes with two fouls. However, Thompson III’s courage and belief in Porter Jr. will earn him even more respect in the locker room and will serve as a teaching point, if the Hoyas face that same scenario later in the Big East Conference Tournament or NCAA Tournament. It was a great coaching decision and if Thompson III continues to make tough decisions the Hoyas could go really far in come March.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo