Georgetown Otto Porter

Otto Porter delivers again in 2OT win over UConn (VIDEO)

1 Comment

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_

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
1 Comment

Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: