Georgetown hoping Nate Lubick becomes a punishing front-court presence
Saturday, January 29, 2011; 12:21 AM
Georgetown Coach John Thompson III hasn't offered a detailed explanation for inserting freshman Nate Lubick into the starting lineup this week. The reason, though, appears evident: Lubick brings a measure of toughness and tenacity to a team in need of exactly those elements as it aims to climb back into contention in the rugged Big East.
"I want to come in and be somebody who doesn't back down from anyone, who's going to get after it on both ends of the floor, who's going to bring a sense of toughness and pride to the program," Lubick said. "When it comes to basketball, it's all business for me."
When Lubick commits a foul or sets a screen, he looks to leave a mark. When the power forward pursues a loose ball, he'll sprawl on the floor if necessary. And when he's in the lane, his 6-foot-9, 238-pound frame causes opponents to think twice about venturing there.
"He's the prototypical Big East front-court player," Thompson said. "He's a big, rugged kid, and he gives us a presence inside."
Lubick's first collegiate start, against St. John's on Wednesday, was an uneven one. He committed four turnovers, missed a layup and picked up two fouls in a forgettable first-half performance.
In the second half, however, he showed glimpses of the well-rounded player Thompson hopes he'll become. Lubick had a steal, grabbed five of his six rebounds, was credited with a pair of assists and scored his six points, including a dunk that put an exclamation point on the 77-52 blowout win.
He also played a significant role in holding the Red Storm to 33.9 percent shooting, a stat that underscored the Hoyas' best defensive effort of the season.
Thompson said Lubick will be in the starting lineup again when No. 21 Georgetown (15-5, 4-4) travels to Philadelphia for a showdown Saturday against No. 8 Villanova (17-3, 5-2). The Hoyas have won three straight, their longest in-conference streak in four seasons. Corey Fisher and the guard-heavy Wildcats, meantime, will be seeking to rebound from a humbling loss to Providence on Wednesday.
"If I struggled at the beginning," Lubick said, scoffing at the suggestion that nerves contributed to his early struggles against St. John's, "that's what motivated me to put everything together in the second half."
Lubick's intensity and competitiveness, he said, come from his father.
Dave Lubick coached him at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass., where they won two New England Prep Class C titles together.
"He's probably about the most intense guys you'll ever meet," Lubick said of his father, who now coaches another son, Eli, a Colgate recruit. "Dad always preached toughness to me, and my AAU coach John Carroll, the old coach of the Celtics, he was always huge on being tough, too."