Reaction: Georgetown Humbles UCLA, Spoils Debut of Shabazz Muhammad

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Georgetown isn’t interested in the Indiana-UCLA blueblood thriller the rest of the college basketball nation was looking forward to.

The Grinch of the Legends Classic was busy proving its own worth in Brooklyn on Monday night. After two hours of serving as the straight man to UCLA in an act that was supposed to be all about the Bruins, the Hoyas took control of the show themselves. They were worth the price of admission.

Nov. 19, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas forward Otto Porter (22) smiles after winning the game against the UCLA Bruins at the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Georgetown won 78-70.Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Lionized freshman Shabazz Muhammad’s long-awaited college debut was outdone by Otto Porter’s return to the court from an eye injury. So it was only fitting that Muhammad’s Bruins were proportionately outplayed by Porter’s young and talented, oft-overlooked Hoyas.

In a semifinal event that featured the nation’s top-ranked team and the team with the top-ranked recruiting class, Georgetown, not Indiana or UCLA, was the team of the night.

Final Score: Georgetown defeated UCLA, 78-70

Twitter-compatible recap:  Sophomores Porter and Whittington outdo super-freshmen Bazz and Anderson. Bruins zone offense bad, defense uncharacteristically even worse.

Player of the game: Otto Porter. In the college debut of the future No. 1 pick of the NBA draft, Porter, not Muhammad, had the look of the best NBA prospect on the floor. (That won’t last long). Porter was dynamite on both ends of the floor, notching 18 points on just 10 shots—hello, Ken Pom efficiency ratings!—and his defense was even better. Porter silenced Kyle Anderson, the nation’s top point forward, holding the freshman phenom scoreless in 33 minutes of action. Factor in Porter’s 11 rebounds, five blocks, five assists and three steals, and he had arguably the most impressive performance of the young season when considering competition.

Unheralded star: It’s easy to lose sight of Hoyas point guard Markel Starks, with Porter and rising sophomore stud Greg Whittington grabbing your attention first. But the junior guard could complete a lethal trio feeding off Porter and Whittington. Starks is a scoring-minded player, not a natural point, but potential scoring ability and staunch defense are a package that can work for John Thompson III. Starks (no relation to John) finished with a game-high 23 points and four steals. Guess he didn’t get the memo that the Porter-Muhammad battle was supposed to own the spotlight.

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