When Syracuse defeated Georgetown for the first time in three tries this season in the semifinals of the 2013 Big East Conference tournament, they were successful in slowing down Otto Porter, Jr. When the 2013 NCAA tournament begins on Tuesday, teams that face Georgetown, a likely #2 seed, will not have three opportunities to contain the talented future NBA star.
Porter had an outstanding season which resulted in him being named Big East Player of the Year by a unanimous vote. Porter averaged 18.1 points per game in Big East Conference play, good for second in the league, and was also in the top five in three other categories. He was fifth in rebounds, averaging 7.3, second in three-point accuracy, shooting 44.1% from three-point range, and he ranked third in steals, with 1.8 a game.
After the game, the opposing coach, Jim Boeheim gave Porter a compliment for the ages. “I think he’s the best all-around player I’ve seen in this league. Boeheim he continued his praise of Porter later. “I don’t think I’ve seen a better small forward in this league. He’s just a complete player.” Coming from a person who has coached in the Big East Conference from its inception to its end, it is great praise, especially with talented forwards like Billy Owens and Carmelo Anthony playing for the Orangemen.
I asked Porter about his reaction to the comment. “It means a lot coming from him. It’s tough playing against him and his team.” Indeed it does mean a lot coming from Boeheim. Though Georgetown lost in the semifinals of the final Big East Conference tournament as we know it, they will certainly be a major threat to win it all, and they are very likely to go as far as the broad shoulders of Otto Porter will take them.