Freshman proves big in upset of Villanova

John Thompson III has a way of reducing every young player to a beginner. As antsy as Nate Lubick was to buck the trend, he proved no different.

The freshman forward couldn't have had much more go wrong for him in his first career start last weekend against St. John's, thanks to a combination of errant passes, offensive fouls and mishandles that had him saddled with four turnovers in the game's first 14 minutes.

But Lubick hasn't turned the ball over since, turning in a solid second half against the Red Storm and a 4-for-4 outing from the field in Georgetown's 69-66 upset of Villanova on Saturday.

After replacing Hollis Thompson in the starting lineup, Lubick has averaged 7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the last two games. But more than the numbers, it's his 6-foot-8, 238-pound frame in the paint that gives the Hoyas (16-5, 5-4 Big East) some much-needed muscle.

No. 23 Louisville at No. 21 Georgetown
When » Monday, 7 p.m.
Where » Verizon Center
TV/Radio » ESPN/980 AM

"Nate gives us a presence and some passing," said Thompson, always careful not to build up too fast the youngster he has begun to mold.

"It's a big adjustment, wherever you come from," Lubick said. "It took me probably longer than I thought it was going to take me because I played in a pretty strict system in high school, but it was completely different. I've been pretty patient."

Even if Thompson still takes it slow with him, Lubick is relishing the chance to forge his identity after playing in high school under his father, David, at St. Mark's outside of Boston.

"To be honest," Lubick said, "not having the guy who coaches you and screams at you look you in the eye at dinner, it's a relief."