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November 13, 2013

Ducks are gone, Raiders are here

November 13, 2013 - With the Georgetown Hoyas having lost to Oregon in Korea last Friday and traveled over 13 hours in returning home, the program has had time to digest that loss, while also preparing for tonight's contest with Wright State. Yesterday at media day, program members discussed both.

First, the 82-75 Duck setback. Rebounding and defense - or a lack of each - were cited as reasons for the defeat. The Hoyas not only gave up over 80 points, just one time last year meeting that mark, but were pounded 46-34 on the boards.

"They outworked us, they out hustled us, they made all the hustle plays" remarked Nate Lubick of being out-rebounded. Addressing this issue has "been a big point of emphasis post that game, mostly through film study, because of travel and stuff like that. But it's something we need to address and need to take care of".

"I'm going to just say Oregon came out with a lot more energy than we did", opined Mikael Hopkins, who tied Lubick with a team leading six rebounds.

Defensively, Hopkins indicated "We had a hard time guarding their on-ball (screens); he cited the Duck's "pitch behind" and the fact "they ran a side on-ball really well", both of which caused his team problems. Being "a real active team", Hopkins felt Oregon "crashed the offensive boards". He also termed Oregon's glass work "unacceptable with the lineup we have".

Head coach John Thompson III was succinct in terms of his squad's rebounding failings versus Oregon: "They did a better job than we did...Rebounding is not about technique, it's about having the desire to go and do it. And across the board...we have to do a better job"

Playing in his first game as a Hoya, Josh Smith scored a game high 25 points, but snagged a paltry four rebounds. "I'll be the first one to tell you" his work on the boards, well stunk. "I only had four rebounds, all offensive, and had not one defensive rebound. Me being a center I have to rebound more to help us out. And play better defense".

That last point, better strapping up, is a team wide goal also, particularly pick and roll defense and a help side focus. It would need to be, given tonight's opponent, Wright State (1-0).

"Last day in practice, we've been focusing on that a lot; weak side (defense), making sure guys are in help (position)" shared Hopkins. " You know the team Wright State, they seem to do that a lot, spacing the floor, side on ball (screens)...It's a focus and guys are trying to get better".

Team captain Markel Starks is not taking the Raiders lightly. "Wright State is an experienced team...they have a lot veterans that have played together for a long, long time" commented Starks of Wright State's 10 upperclassmen, veteran laden team. "For us to win, we are going to have to come out and play.

"As Coach said, this is one of those first round (NCAA) games. I think they are projected to win their league (Horizon )".

The Verizon Center Tip-Off is 7p, with FoxSports1 being the broadcast medium. WSPZ 570AM will host the radio call, performed as usual by Rich Chvotkin. Those who need tickets, click the graphic below.

On the Premium Court message board Starks and Hopkins discuss the Hoyas' dismal 1-15 shooting from three point range, while Smith, who hadn't played in a game for nearly a year and knew he would start in Korea, shares if he expected 27 minutes of clock.

Audio from Thompson, Hopkins and Lubick are also there for subscribers to enjoy, in addition to real time, in-game chat!





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