Smith-Rivera shoots lights out in win over DePaul

12:51 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
"DSR" blows by Durrell McDonald in his 33 point performance.
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The question was posed to coach John Thompson III, following Georgetown's 90-66 blowout victory over DePaul, "D'Vaun Smith-Rivera can score, but what other parts of his game need to be developed?"

When a freshman scores a career high 33 points, only missing two shots all night, and the concern is what needs to be improved, its evidence of the high standards set around this basketball program.  

Coach John waited no time responding, "He's just comfortable now. Let's not forget, he's a freshman. I don't think it's what he particularly needs to work on. He's been putting in the work, constantly in the gym and now he's getting comfortable out their with what we're doing." The coach then leaned back, looked left at the bashful freshman whose still getting acclimated to the media frenzy that is a post game press conference and asked, "Is that accurate?'  The freshman nodded his head.

DSR, as he's recently been nicknamed, went 10-12 from the field, 8-10 from the free-throw line and made 5 of 6 3-pointers, making him guilty of the best scoring output for a Georgetown freshman in 17 years.

Georgetown (20-4,10-3) will face their loathed rival Syracuse in three days and it's easy to see why their game against a DePaul team that has only has two conference wins may have been overlooked. "I was very nervous coming into this game," said coach John, "I mean I'm nervous before every game but you all on media day asked 70% of your questions about Syracuse, nothing about DePaul.  Follow that up with having our worst practice of the season yesterday, by far, it made me pretty nervous about this game."

In the end, it's the thirteen players who lace up their Jordan's and put on the jerseys that matter most, and they weren't nervous, nor did they overlook this game. "I don't think we've looked ahead at all. We haven't looked at Syracuse, talked about Syracuse, we've been focused on DePaul," said Nate Lubick who finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds. DePaul stayed in the game throughout the first half due to outrebounding the Hoyas and second chance points. The Blue Demons outscored the Hoyas 18-2 in second chance points but in the second half the Hoyas increased their point margin to as much as 26 at one point.

When the Hoyas settle in defensively, things generally trend upwards for them offensively, which is why they've now won eight straight and are tied atop the conference with Syracuse and Marquette. Switching between man-to-man defense and arguably the best 2-3 zone in college hoops due to length and anticipation, the Hoyas forced14 DePaul turnovers. Turnovers allow the Hoyas to push the ball on offense, which is what their coach routinely looks to execute, "We always want to get out and push it, especially on change of possession. That wasn't necessarily a part of today's game, that's constant, that's all the time."

The Hoyas will face Syracuse Saturday, for their first of two matchups with the Orangemen in their remaining five games of the season. 

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