Familiar Feeling: Thompson III Leads Hoyas To Final Four

By Jason Magnus
Updated: March 25, 2007

John Thompson III leads the Hoyas to the Final Four.

John Thompson III leads the Hoyas to the Final Four.

NEW YORK — John Thompson III is the best coach in college basketball. There, I said it.

It wasn’t just beating North Carolina 96-84 in overtime today to advance to the Final Four. It was the fashion in which the Georgetown Hoyas won that you should impress you.

We have all sat on our couches and screamed toward the television to keep “throwing the ball inside” during a basketball game or keep “running the ball” during a football game despite our team trailing by a few points.

Down 10 points with six minutes to play the Hoyas could have gone to the air and started bombing three-point shots. Instead lets just say they kept the ball on the ground and made Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert look like Clock Killin’ Corey Dillon.

Like a running back grinding 4 yards a pop, Georgetown simply chipped away. Jeff Green made free throw. Jessie Sapp a nifty layup. Green with a short jumper. Hibbert with a spin and dunk that will have Greg Oden watching lots of film this week.

Jonathan Wallace's knew when to go for the kill.

Jonathan Wallace's knew when to go for the kill.

Jonathan Wallace two made free throws. Patrick Ewing Jr. layup. Sapp another layup. Then down 81-78, Thompson III and the Hoyas knew when to take a shot at the end zone. With a half a minute to play the sharpshooting Wallace hit a three pointer from just left of the top of they key to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Maybe I am just excited to see a coach actually give his team a chance to win. To not complicate the game of basketball. Let’s call Thompson III the “anti-Rick Barnes”. Imagine what he could do with a talent like Durant?

From a distance the Hoyas don’t impress you with their stats. Make no mistake about it, Georgetown is the most unstoppable offensive force in college basketball today. Against UNC they scored 96 points by running an effecient half court offense.

By running a modernized version of Pete Carill’s offense the Hoyas consistently get better shots than their opponents. That is why they beat North Carolina. There is no other coach in the college game who can run an offense that complex with that level of execution.

I am not trying to fool you, the Hoyas have talent. Jeff Green should be a top ten NBA draft choice. Roy Hibbert is right now a more effective player than Greg Oden. Their stingy defense players held the Tar Heels to two field goals in the last 15 minutes in the game.

But more than anything, Georgetown players reflected the poise and precision of their leader. The man who outcoached Roy Williams is headed to the Final Four. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, it might as well have been Belichick versus Schottenheimer.