Otto Porter

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Georgetown’s strong shooting leads to comeback win against Virginia Commonwealth

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Georgetown used a blistering hot shooting performance from all three departments — two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws — to defeat Virginia Commonwealth in the consolation game of the San Juan Shootout, 84-80.

Despite turning the ball over 26 times against VCU’s havoc defense, the Hoyas made the most of their opportunities when they had them as they shot 56.1% from the field (23-41) and 86.5% from the line (32-37) en route to the comeback win. They trailed 50-43 midway through the second half, but scored 41 points in the final  12:32 of the game to earn a solid early-season victory.

The guard play of Markel Starks D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera combined to score 49 points, and they out-dueled Briante Weber and Rob Brandenberg of VCU.

What may go unnoticed though was Josh Smith’s performance, especially at the free throw line. Smith notched 17 points, but hitting nine of then free throws — all of which came in the second half — helped in the Hoyas comeback win. Entering the game, Smith was just a 50% free throw shooter (13-26).

One of the major themes in the early weeks of the college basketball season has been the enforcement of rules on the defensive end that limit hand-checking and physical play that limits the movement of the offense. There may be no team in the country that has had this adversely effect them as much as VCU. The game is slowed down by the added whistles, which greatly limits Shaka Smart’s strategy of wearing an opponent down through relentless defensive pressure.

In their two losses to Florida State and Georgetown, both teams eclipsed the 80 point mark — very uncharacteristic for a VCU team.

Of course, it doesn’t help that in today’s loss to Georgetown, VCU starters not named Briante Weber combined to shoot a woeful 7-30.

From Georgetown’s perspective, this was a much needed bounce back win after losing to Northeastern in the first round of the San Juan Shootout. The emergence of Smith-Rivera adds another dimension to the Georgetown offense and is a welcome sign, especially with someone needing to step up and fill the void Otto Porter left. In the first game of the season against Oregon, Smith-Rivera totaled just five points, but since then he is averaging 22.5 ppg.

Invitations extended to the NBA Draft’s “Green Room”

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As reported by ESPN’s Chad Ford, the NBA has extended invitations to the “green room” for draft night this coming Thursday, June 27th. This room is designated for players who are projected to be selected in the top half of the first round — “the lottery.”

Those invited are Nerlens Noel (Kentucky); Victor Oladipo (Indiana); Otto Porter (Georgetown); Alex Len (Maryland); Anthony Bennett (UNLV); Ben McLemore (Kansas); Trey Burke (Michigan); Michael-Carter Williams (Syracuse); C.J McCollum (Lehigh) and Cody Zeller (Indiana).

If there is one name on the preceding list that isn’t like the others, it’s Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum, who is the only player from a mid-major league that has been invited to the green room. Make no mistake, McCollum has proven he belongs in this group, but it isn’t often that a player from the Patriot League reaches the NBA. In fact, in the history of the league, there has only been one other player make his mark in the NBA and that was Colgate’s Adonal Foyle.

This year, McCollum and Bucknell’s Mike Muscala will be drafted. For extended draft reading on McCollum, NBC Sports’ Raphielle Johnson spoke with him and his coach, Dr. Brett Reed.

According to Ford, “In the past, the NBA has expanded the list of green room invites as the draft date nears. Typically, the NBA has invited 13-to-15 players. This year, the league has told a number of agents it may add a few names to the list as the draft approaches.”

Other names that may receive an invitation to the green room are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia), Steven Adams (Pittsburgh), Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), Sergey Karasev (Russia), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greence).

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

CBT Podcast: Debating the B1G Championship and National PoY award

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Episode 11 of the CBT Podcast is finally here.

Recent computer problems have been taken care of and the CBT Podcast is back and ready to prepare you for the final week of regular season. I’m joined by Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, who is also braving the latest meteorological whiff, “Winter Storm Saturn” to discuss the final days of the Big Ten season, in which few teams still have a shot at winning.

We also discuss the growing trend of missing deadlines because of late press conferences. But more importantly, we discuss the race for the National Player of the Year award and what all the candidates bring to the table.

There is a lot to get to in the week’s edition of the CBT Podcast, so if you’re ready for the best 30 minutes in college basketball, click “play” or open the link below and let’s get things started.
 
 



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Remember, the CBT Podcast is now available on iTunes. Also, if you have any questions you want featured on upcoming podcasts, tweet them to @CBTonNBC
 
 
You can contact Troy Machir on Twitter at @TroyMachir

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

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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_

Porter’s career day quiets Carrier Dome crowd, puts Hoyas in Big East lead

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Otto Porter, Jr. only had 31 points in a 57-46 win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. His official stat line for the day credits him with 33 points, but Porter picked up two of those on an own-goal by Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams in the middle of the second half. That’s how the day was going for Porter. Even when he didn’t score, he still got his points.

Porter’s previous career high was 22 points, scored earlier this year against Big South bottom-dweller Longwood, so this was, shall we say, significantly more meaningful. The point explosion didn’t come at the expense of the rest of Porter’s exquisite all-around game, either. He pulled down eight boards, dished two assists and had five steals to add some steak to the sizzle.

Porter’s milestone came in a road win over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, where ‘Cuse fans were making history of their own, packing the building past capacity (attendance reported at 35,012) in order to witness Carmelo Anthony’s jersey retirement ceremony. No doubt they also expected to witness a big win over an old foe, but Porter had other ideas.

It’s tempting to say that Porter is doing this all by himself, which doesn’t really bode well for a deep tournament run. But we’ve seen D’vaunte Smith-Rivera, Markel Starks and even Nate Lubick take the scoring lead at times during the Hoyas’ recent nine-game win streak. Even in a game like today’s stunner at the Carrier Dome, Porter doesn’t get open without a flurry of cuts, screens and sharp passes from his teammates. More importantly, Porter’s teammates controlled the ball on offense, and harassed the Orange into several open-floor turnovers and poor shots.

Porter will be the undisputed key to the Hoyas’ chances for a March run. They’ll need 17-20 points from him in every game to make a deep run in the Big Dance. His greatness will have to be a given. But a fair amount of pretty good from the likes of Lubick, Starks, Smith-Rivera and the occasional Jabril Trawick could allow G’town to run the table. Winnable games with UConn, Rutgers and Villanova separate the Hoyas from a season-ending date with none other than Syracuse.

If Georgetown protects their own house in that one, the Big East regular-season title, and a potential No. 1 tourney seed, will be their likely reward.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Otto Porter, Georgetown continues winning streak with victory over St. John’s

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We’ve seen both sides of this Georgetown team in 2012-13, both good and bad, but Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., the Hoyas put together a strong team outing to beat St. John’s, 68-56.

Playing with a more athletic but smaller three-guard lineup, St. John’s struggled to counter Georgetown’s interior attack and were outrebounded, 38-33. Many open misses on the perimeter turned into offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities for the Hoyas.

Nate Lubick and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the way with nine rebounds each and do-it-all forward Otto Porter had seven boards.

As has become the norm, Porter made an impact in nearly every category, finishing with 11 points to go with those seven rebounds and two blocks.

Georgetown did a good job defensively of disrupting St. John’s leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison, who had just 2 points without registering a field goal, 0-of-10 from the floor.

The Hoya zone pushed St. John’s to the perimeter, where the Red Storm were cold. Coach Steve Lavin’s team shot just 4-of-17 from behind the arc, though they saw a surprising 12 points off the bench from reserve Marco Bourgault. Without Harrison producing, the offensive load was pushed to JaKarr Sampson, who had 16 points.

There may be one lasting implication of this loss for the Red Storm, though, with guard Jamal Branch injuring his knee in the second half. The official word from St. John’s is that Branch suffered a knee sprain.

The win extends Georgetown’s winning streak to four games. Georgetown has now won six of its last seven games. The Hoyas also creep up in the Big East standings and is now tied for third in a crowded field that includes Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and Syracuse.

For more, check out coverage from CSNWashington.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_