Inside the play: Georgetown beats the zone
It’s no secret that one way to beat the zone is to run the play through the high post. Georgetown did this perfectly in this play and it sparked a 9-0 run that gave Georgetown a late lead they would not relinquish against the Orange.
Julian Vaughn is working hard in the high post against Baye Moussa Keita and while he does not get the ball initially, he stays with the post up and gets the ball in a great spot at the elbow. This is a great matchup for the Hoyas, both from a strategic standpoint and a personnel standpoint. The high post is a great place to work against the zone and I think JT III feels great about the individual matchup between Vaughn and Keita.
Look at the defense of Syracuse when the ball goes to the high post. Jardine needs to stay within reach of Wright at the top of the key, while Joseph needs to stay in the lane, provide help on Vaughn and protect the basket. This leaves Hollis Thompson wide open on the opposite side of the court, with no defender being able to close out in time.
When Vaughn catches the ball, he immediately pivots and looks to the opposite side of the court. He knows that this is the side of the floor that will be open and he delivers the ball to Thompson in a great spot. Thompson did a great job of sliding a few steps to his right to get in Vaughn’s vision and allow him to make a crisp pass to Thompson. If he would have stayed in the spot he was at, it would have been a tough pass for Vaughn. By sliding over just a few steps, Thompson put himself in perfect position to receive the ball and rise for the shot.
Great court awareness by Vaughn to recognize the opening on the floor but the movement by Thompson to get into the vision of Vaughn was just as crucial. When you get the ball to the high post with a capable offensive player, good things are going to happen. This play epitomized that and sent Georgetown on its way to a big win during rivalry week.