Hoop Insights: Georgetown’s Addition by Subtraction

Numbers don’t lie.

Sure, they often don’t give the full context, but they do tell a story. Last week, the big number for Georgetown was two. And no, that two is not for the two players who transferred or the two current players implicated in off-the-court issues. That two is for two wins the general public didn’t think they were going to get.

Yes, without James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc, Georgetown made a statement and took road wins at Oklahoma State and SMU, critics be damned. And while the narrative since has been the necessary emergence of sophomore Mac McClung, that’s not the real story here. What the numbers will tell you is simple: Georgetown is better off with UCF grad transfer Terrell Allen running the point than Akinjo, and that was true before last year’s Big East Freshman of the Year hit the transfer portal.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a look at Georgetown’s numbers with Akinjo on the floor in the four games leading up to his departure (Georgia State, Texas, Duke, UNCG):

With Akinjo on the floor, Georgetown was subpar defensively to the extent that his value on the offensive side of the ball couldn’t outweigh it. His overall +/- for those four games landed at -6. Now let’s take a look at how Georgetown was in those four games with him off the floor:

Point blank: They were better. They were a lot better. With Akinjo riding the pine, the Hoyas defended, holding opponents under 30 percent from the field. In only 27 minutes where Akinjo was on the bench, Georgetown was a stellar +18.

As for Terrell Allen, the now-starter at point guard for Patrick Ewing’s squad, who spent last year running the show at UCF: What did the Hoyas look like with Allen on the floor in those same four games?

With Allen on the floor for Georgetown, they were much better defensively. And offensively, if you look at points per possession, there wasn’t a significant drop-off from Akinjo being on the floor. Allen’s plus/minus in only 53 minutes on the floor: +10. 

In the two games since he took over the starting job, the story has been the same. The Hoyas are +29 with Allen on the floor (the highest plus/minus of any Hoya) and -5 in the 17 minutes without him. 

And the most important numbers here? They’re 2-0. That’s simple math, and it points to one thing: Although he’s talented, losing James Akinjo was addition by subtraction.   

Aaron Hanshaw is a former Division I men’s basketball staffer and a national account manager for Just Play. He studies film and analytics in-season to identify trends and interesting topics in college basketball, while also finding better ways to help staffs teach their players. You can contact Aaron at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CoachAaronH. To learn more about Just Play, click here.

Tagged with: