Friday’s Shootaround

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Georgetown 57, Alabama 55: The Hoyas just continue to impress this season. After a trip to Maui that included a win over Memphis, Georgetown went into Tuscaloosa and knocked off the Crimson Tide thanks to a three-pointer from Hollis Thompson with 1.8 seconds left on the clock. Prior to Thompson’s three, the Hoyas had blown a nine-point lead in about two minutes of game time. Thompson finished with 12 points, eight boards and three assists, Jason Clark had 22 points and Henry Sims chipped in with 13 but missed a key, wide-open layup that nearly cost Georgetown the game.

There is a lot to like about this Georgetown team. Jason Clark has become a big-time scorer and a deadly clutch-shooter while Thompson is showing signs of growing into his massive potential as a scorer on the wing. But the biggest surprise has been Henry Sims, who is having a break out senior season, something that you rarely see. Sims finally started to take basketball seriously this summer, and he’s become a legitimate threat in the low-post. His passing skills aren’t surprising — he showed them off last season, although I don’t think anyone really expected him to lead the Hoyas in assists — but what is surprising is that he is now a go-to option. Not only can he score with his back-to-the-basket, but he is hitting jumpers and driving to the rim from the perimeter.

I also like what the Hoyas are able to do in their zone. They have a lot of length and athleticism, and it allows them to play the 2-3 the same way that Syracuse and Baylor have been, by being able to challenge threes and rebound the ball.

For Alabama, this loss isn’t quite as bad as it seems. The Hoyas are just a tough matchup for them, and on nights when they shoot 3-16 from beyond the arc, they are going to lose against a packed in zone. Georgetown also wasn’t too fazed by Alabama’s pressuring defense, as the back doors that they run took away some of its effectiveness. The Tide are still who we thought they were, a top 15 team that has a couple of flaws.

Worth noting — this is the first time alabama has lost at home in nearly two years.

No. 1 Kentucky 81, St. John’s 59: St. John’s just had no chance in this game. They play the exact same style as Kentucky, but the Wildcats actually have the personnel and talent to do it effectively. Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis were terrific, combining for 41 points, 24 boards and 12 blocks.

Harvard 55, Vermont 48: The Crimson got 13 points and eight boards from Keith Wright and 12 points from Laurent Rivard off the bench as they avoided blowing a 13 point second half lead against a scrappy UVM team. Harvard has plenty of talent on their roster and they can certainly defend, but this team is still working out some kinks offensively. They’ll get there eventually, and they’ve already proven they don’t have to score big to beat good team.

Kansas State 69, George Washington 56: The Colonials hung in this one for about 25 minutes, but the Wildcats used a big run midway through the second half to blow the game open. Thomas Gibson led the way with 17 points and 13 boards.

Other notable scores

– Arkansas State 58, St. Bonaventure 52
– Youngstown State 64, Detroit 61
– Kent State 83, Morehead State 63
– Providence 76, South Carolina 67
– Cleveland State 45, Wright State 43
– Wichita State 75, CS Fullerston 60
– Belmont 98, Kennesaw State 52
– Ole Miss 70, DePaul 68
– Stanford 72, Seattle 69

Top performers

Patrick Bader, Oakland: The sharpshooter found his range on Thursday, going for 28 points on 8-13 shooting from deep in a 101-83 win over South Dakota.

Omar Carter, Appalachian State: Carter had 24 points and 12 boards in a 78-64 win over UNC Greensboro.

Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones, Kentucky: Anthony Davis had 15 points, 15 boards, eight blocks and two steals while Jones added 26 points, nine boards, four steals and four blocks in the win over St. John’s.

Ken Horton, CCSU: Horton had 32 points and nine boards in a 32 point win over Bryant.

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State: Wolters had 32 points, eight boards and eight assists in SDSU’s overtime win over IUPUI.