So... that just happened.
The Georgetown Hoyas have a highly anticipated matchup coming this Tuesday when they meet fellow DMV resident Maryland in College Park as part of the Gavitt Tip-Off Games. Well, first they had to get through the upset-minded Radford Highlanders.
Things did not go as planned. Georgetown was stunned on Saturday afternoon by the Highlanders as they fearlessly walked into the Verizon Center and stood tall against the BIG EAST giant, edging them out by the score of 82-80 in double overtime. Rashun Davis' triple win the waning moments was the difference, as the guard had a career day in Washington D.C. with 28 points.
The loss is the third of the season opening variety for John Thompson III in his coaching career for the Hoyas with the last one coming two season ago against the Oregon Ducks. Before that, the Hoyas hadn't lost a season opener since JTIII's first season at The Hilltop.
Here's what we learned from this matchup:
1. Bradley Hayes was the best Hoya on the floor today
The senior big man from Jacksonville, Florida flew under the radar with the likes of Isaac Copeland, L.J. Peak, and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera netting the hype. And deservedly so. Hayes, though, came out strongly in the first contest of the year. The 7-footer, who logged just 4.1 minutes per game a season ago, was on the floor for a majority of the contest and made the most of it. Bradley finished the afternoon with 19 points, 12 rebounds - 10 defensive - an assist and a block with just two turnovers. The veteran may provide a big presence down low for Georgetown going forward if he continues to have performances like this. We'll see if that continues on Tuesday when he meets highly touted freshman center Diamond Stone of Maryland.
2. Free throws should have been the difference in the ball game
The Hoya free throw rate was at 59.2 percent on the afternoon, a pretty strong ratio. Georgetown made the most of it, connecting on 23 of their 32 free throw attempts. For comparison's sake, Radford had just 18 attempts from the line - connecting on 44.4 percent of them - and their free throw rate was just 24.6 percent.
Typically, winning the free throw battles should help you prevail in the matchup. But, things did not go according to plan.
3. It's the first game of the year and Georgetown has some kinks to work out.
It goes without saying that Noon tipoffs are typically pretty skittish. That said, Georgetown has some work they need to do. Isaac Copeland particularly was not very stout defensively. The Hoyas were also struggling all afternoon from the perimeter, hitting on just 31.8 percent of their 3-point attempts and shot 46.3 percent in general from the floor.
Radford did shoot comparatively, but won the rebounding and turnover battles, which were likely the reasons that they were able to stay in the game for so long.
Simply put, the Hoyas have to play better especially with a much tougher and more daunting opponent looming for them in their next game.