Although that’s an admittedly small sample size, Coach John Thompson III said Monday that he hopes it’s a sign of Hollis Thompson’s continuing maturation as a player rather than a statistical anomaly.
“Hollis is a big-time scorer and everyone knows that,” he said by phone from Newark, where the ninth-ranked Hoyas play Seton Hall at Prudential Center on Tuesday. “We went through a phase where, once league play started, people started to really focus in on him and made it a point not to let him get shots.”
“For a couple of games, he floated,” John Thompson continued. “But what he’s done a terrific job of lately is doing other parts of the game. Defense is a part of that. Rebounding is a part of that.”
The coach’s praise comes 48 hours after Hollis Thompson enjoyed one of his most complete performances Saturday at Providence, where he scored 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds in Georgetown’s 63-53 victory at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Thompson hit the first of his two three-pointers as time expired in the first half to put the Hoyas in command of a game that, only 90 seconds earlier, had been up for grabs. He’s the Big East’s most accurate shooter from beyond the arc (47.6 percent) and tied for ninth in three-pointers per game (two).
In the second half, Thompson hit the boards. The 6-foot-8 swingman grabbed four of his game-high 10 rebounds (all defensive) in the final seven minutes as Georgetown (20-5, 10-4 Big East) put away the persistent Friars. The Hoyas’ third-leading rebounder behind Otto Porter and Henry Sims, Thompson is averaging 5.5 rebounds per game, up 1.1 over his average as a sophomore.
Had Thompson grabbed an additional rebound against Connecticut on Feb. 1, he would have three double-doubles in five games.
“Hollis is a good rebounder,” John Thompson added. “It’s something, I think, that’s gone overlooked.”
J. Thompson answers back
One day after Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson acknowledged his school has decided it won’t schedule Georgetown in any sport until the Hoyas’ men’s basketball team agrees to play the Terps, John Thompson fired back.
“I find it extremely odd that a competent athletic director would choose that method to try to schedule a game,” the Hoyas’ coach said.
When asked to elaborate, Thompson said, “That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Although the campuses are separated by only 10 miles, the Terps and Hoyas have not played a scheduled regular season game since 1993.
“If we’re going to play people — particularly somebody in our own region — they should be able and willing to play us in everything,” Anderson was quoted as saying in Monday’s Washington Post. “I’m trying to understand why they won’t even talk to us about playing men’s basketball.”
Porter should be ready
Porter is expected to face the Pirates (18-9, 7-8) after missing Sunday’s practice with a bruised thigh.
The freshman forward was injured in the second half after a collision in the lane with Providence’s Vincent Council. Porter was called for a foul on the play and did not return to the court after being helped off by a trainer with 11 minutes 33 seconds remaining.
Porter is the Hoyas’ leading rebounder (6.8 per game) and figures to play a pivotal role on defense as the Hoyas attempt to slow Seton Hall’s Herb Pope, a 6-8, 236-pound forward who averages 15.4 points and 10.6 rebounds.
“He took a knee to the groin and thigh area,” Thompson said. “He’s going to play and we don’t anticipate him being limited.”
Hoyas at Seton Hall
When: Today, 7 p.m. TV: ESPN3.