March 30, 2007

They are Puppies no more

March 30, 2007 - Much has been made of freshman swingman DaJuan Summers and his play not only against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament's regional finals (where he dropped 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks), but also throughout the year. Based on his 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, one assist per game average, that attention is more than understandable.

But what of his fellow freshmen classmates, Vernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers? Judging by their individual contributions in Georgetown's stirring 96-84 victory over UNC, they, along with Summers, are neophyte Hoyas - or puppies - no longer.

Rivers, supplied one point, one rebound, two assists and one block in 17 minutes against the Tar Heels, while Macklin chipped in two points and one rebound over the course of nine minutes.

Many stat-heads may scoff at those numbers, but qualitative analysis disproves that position, as it wasn't their overall statistical impact, but when they supplied those numbers that is key.

Macklin first entered the game in the first half when starting center Roy Hibbert picked up his second foul at the 9:58 mark. This scenario created an immediate need for Macklin to provide inside length, muscle, and athleticism.

He played the same role in the second half, checking in soon after Hibbert was assessed his third foul only 59 seconds into the half. Both insertions enabled the Hoyas to avoid Hibbert being disqualified, and also stay within striking range of the uber-talented Heels as well.

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