Georgetown trailed Connecticut by seven points in double overtime, 78-71, with 2:03 to play and had scored only one field goal in the past 5:35 of game time. But with a player like Otto Porter, a seven-point lead with two minutes remaining is not always safe.
Porter was at the center of Georgetown’s final three possessions, hitting a three to cut the deficit to four with 1:51 to play, assisting on a D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera three with 0:52 remaining, and driving to the basket with poise for a layup with 0:09 left to give the Hoyas the lead for good. The sophomore finished with 22 points on the night, but none more important than the two that ended up giving Georgetown a 78-77 victory and its 10th straight win. He also added five rebounds and four assists.
Now in a two-game stretch, Porter has scored 55 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out six assists, and had six steals in road wins over No. 8 Syracuse and a relentless Connecticut team [See Omar Calhoun’s game-tying three at the end of regulation here]. If there was any question about Porter as the Big East Player of the Year, those doubts should be laid to rest, and he has now moved squarely into the discussion for National Player of the Year.
With Porter, it is a matter of value to Georgetown, along with his ability to make a contribution in every major statistical category. Added to that, he’s increased his production after second-leading scorer Greg Whittington was ruled ineligible. At that time, many were ready to write off a team that had what appeared to be a dysfunctional offense that had lost one of its best weapons.
But Porter and guard Markel Starks have picked up the slack and Georgetown is rolling on this 10-game win streak.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?
Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.
According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.
The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.
If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.
Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.