Dec. 7, 2009
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Paul Gauguin’s 1898 masterpiece asked three questions Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Hoya fans certainly know who we are – We are Georgetown! - and where we come - Again Georgetown! But they can be forgiven if after six games they are still asking themselves, “what type of team are we?” and “where is this team going to take us?” Over the next week or so, we may well start to have some better, if incomplete, answers to these questions.
A couple of weeks ago, our fearless leader, John Hawkes, stated in this blog that our game against the Lafeyette Leopards was either:
a. A referendum on GU's progress thus far in rebuilding from last year's NIT appearance,
b. One valuable data point among many in determining the strengths and weaknesses of the Hoyas as they prepare for the heart of Big East play, or
c. A game about which we should draw no meaningful conclusions whatsoever.
Against Lafayette, I was somewhere between b. & c. - probably leaning toward c. Going into the game against Butler, I am somewhere between a. & b. In basketball, after all, not all data points created equally.
Going into the game – the first one that I will have had the opportunity to witness in person – I still have a number of questions about the team and hope that this one game will, at least partially, answer some of them.
My questions are:
- Will the progress that we have witnessed from Julian Vaughn and Jason Clark in the early season sustain itself as we start player tougher, Big-East-caliber or near-Big-East-caliber teams? How about the progress we have seen from Henry Sims in his last two outings?
- Is our defense good enough to shut down a good team? Has our competition thus far lulled me into the belief that the long arms of Jason Clark, Greg Monroe, and Julian Vaughn coupled with the quickness of Chris Wright and Austin Freeman can be a pretty potent defense? Can we shut down an excellent three-point shooter like Butler’s Shelvin Mack?
- What about our depth? Can we expect valuable contributions from Henry, Hollis, Vee, Jerrelle, and Nikita off the bench?
- Is Jason Clark (a favorite of mine) going to be the turnover-creating machine that we witnessed against the American Eagles?
All data points may not be equal, and we will learn more from the next three games than the last three games. But clearly one game or week cannot answer all of these questions. Still, as I watch the game on Tuesday, I will be looking for some tentative conclusions that I can draw.
Tune into the postgame coverage on this blog to read how much we have learned from this next data point.