November 30, 2007

Sapp stepping to prominence (Part 2)

InPart 1, Jessie Sapp's play this year was analyzed.

November 30, 2007 - Native New Yorker Jessie Sapp has continued to expand his skill set, adding a fairly consistent outside jumper to the driving skills that have been a staple, since his high school days at National Christian Academy (MD). His toughness has remained as well.

Sapp plays with a swagger, one that screams "I won't be intimidated, no matter who you are". During an earlier press conference, the six foot three inch junior guard capable of playing both backcourt positions was lauded by his fellow starting guard, senior Jonathan Wallace for just that. Soon afterward, Jessie revealed the genesis of his penchant for not backing down was Harlem, New York, or specifically East Harlem, the portion of New York City he calls home. In Sapp's words, accepting challenges "came from the streets of Harlem".

While Sapp has brought a piece of 'Noo Yawk' to The Hilltop, he has also contributed to the buzz in Harlem of Georgetown: despite long being St. Johns and Syracuse country, many people regularly profess their love of G'Town to him upon returning home. Sapp is somewhat skeptical of their true fan affiliation, but nevertheless feels pride when hearing these statements.

If New York and the Hoya Nation are respecting what Sapp has provided the team (now 4-0), many national hoops prognosticators have been somewhat slow to acknowledge it. When discussing Georgetown, most wax eloquently on Roy Hibbert and how the senor seven footer has improved, or the steady, heady and skilled play of Wallace. Some even get in an understandable tizzy over DaJuan Summer's potential, or that of two freshman or 'puppies', Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. But in all of the discussion of G'Town's players and talented coach, John Thompson III, Sapp's name seems to be commonly overlooked.

Does Jessie feel as though he's not given respect due a player of his impact (currently 12 points, 5.3 rebounds and four assists per game), this and last year, when his late season play was instrumental in Georgetown reaching the Final Four?

In a nutshell, no, as he stressed being under the radar so to so speak is an advantage, one that may allow him to creep up on opponents.

That stealth role will be short-lived, if Sapp continues to electrify crowds and the Hoyas have another memorable season; As a result of hard work, Jessie has been driving to the hoop with aplomb and hitting open shots (the latter mentioned above), in addition to rebounding, defending, and finding open teammates with both basic and fancy passes (See Part 1 for an exploration of Sapp's current game)

His teammates, such as Hibbert, who know, readily recognize Sapp's 2007 contributions (Hibbert on Sapp after Michigan game).

When the attention does arrive, rest assured the low key Sapp will take it with a grain of salt. Why wouldn't he get 'hyped'? There will be more work to be done, more games to win, his true motivating factors.

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