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Georgetown Basketball: March 2002 News Archive

Schedule Talk 3/25/02

It's never too early to talk schedules...is it?

It wasn't that long ago when Georgetown would not release its schedule until early October, but with previous articles and talk from other schools, a number of games are in the mix.

So far, Four non-conference games have been discussed in the press for 2002-03, along with the Big East schedule:



Non-Conference (11 games)

South Carolina Duke
UCLA Virginia

Big East (12 division games, 4 from other division)

Notre Dame Notre Dame
Pitt Pitt
Rutgers Rutgers
Seton Hall Seton Hall
Syracuse Syracuse
West Virginia West Virginia
Providence Miami or UConn
St. John's Virginia Tech

In the Big East, teams rotate on and off the schedule from the East Division. Villanova, BC, and either Miami or Connecticut will rotate off the schedule next season.

Voice: Season In Review 3/24/02

A review of the Hoyas 2001-02 season is the feature story in Thursday's Georgetown Voice. The headline's an attention grabber, but the article contains a number of quotes from Coach Esherick on the team's development throughout the season.

Jackson Signed To NBA"s Magic 3/22/02

Forward Jaren Jackson (B'89) has been signed to a 10-day contract with NBA's Orlando Magic , which could keep him on the roster into the playoffs. Jackson, 34, will be playing for his ninth NBA club and joins Patrick Ewing (C'85) and Don Reid (C'95) on the Orlando roster.

Wilbon Discusses Post-Season Pass 3/21/02

Columnist Michael Wilbon weighs in on the NIT decision with a column in last week's Washington Post. "I don't particularly agree with Esherick's decision not to play in the NIT, but I respect his motives and take exception with people who ridicule his actions," Wilbon writes.

Hoya Athetics In Top 20 3/18/02

The Georgetown University Athletic Department was rated among the top twenty athletic departments in the nation, according to a survey commissioned by US News. Over 300 NCAA Division I schools were evaluated on factors such as NCAA compliance, gender equity, win/loss records, the number of sports offered, and graduation rates relative to the campus at large.

The Big East had four of the twenty top programs, second only to the Ivy League.

Bowman To Appear At Capital Classic 3/15/02

Georgetown signee Brandon Bowman will make his MCI Center debut April 11 in the annual Capital Classic. Here's a link from the Washington Post with details.

Nike's Jordan Brand is the title sponsor for the Capital Classic. An article from the Washington Post discusses Nike's role at the tournament in more detail; in addition, Wednesday's Los Angeles Times reviews the impact Nike has had on Bowman's high school team, Los Angeles' Westchester HS.

In addition, Bowman scored 18 points for Los Angeles' Westchester HS in its stated title win over Oakland Tech. Here are some recaps from that game:

All-America Teams 3/13/02

No Georgetown player was selected for All-America honors by the Associated Press announced last week. The fact that voters did not select Mike Sweetney (19.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg, USBWA and NABC District 2 Player of the Year) among a list of the top 67 men's players (either 1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team, or honorable mention) is an embarrassment to the process.

And Dick Vitale's post season awards are out as well. No Sweetney on the lists, but Duke receives 12 different mentions. (Anyone surprised at this point?)

No NIT Bid-Here's Why 3/15/02

Friday's issue of The HOYA has more updates on the NIT story (posted below) from earlier this week. Here are the links:

There has been a lot of speculation on the subject and just exactly why Georgetown turned down the NIT. An article in the Washington Times appears to be the best source of information.

The latest chain of events includes the following:

  1. Georgetown had accepted an NIT bid--early reports said that it had not been offered.
  2. The NIT originally slotted Georgetown to play at Richmond in the tournament's opening round, with a possible second round game at Virginia. (There has been discussion that ESPN overruled the NIT's game at Richmond to move Georgetown to road games at Iowa and Arizona State instead, but it was not articulated in the Times story.)
  3. Georgetown asked to play a home game given an accelerated second semester which ends in late April. The team finished playing six of its final eight games on the road or a neutral site.
  4. The NIT refused. "You can't let people dictate who they're going to play," said Chris Fallon, NIT publicity director.
  5. Georgetown called the NIT's hand and refused the bid.

"We wanted to make every effort to play the game close to home to minimize missed class time," said athletic director Joe Lang, who also taught mathematics at Georgetown in the 1970's. He told the Times that "with seven weeks to go [in the semester], that's not a lot of class time. When you look at the whole picture and we certainly did we thought it was better to decline."

And here's a quote that should ring in the ears of Hoyas fans (and benefactors) for some time to come, from the NIT's executive director: "If they had a [larger] home-court facility, we wouldn't have been talking about the things we were. Every year they didn't make the NCAA tournament, they had to deal with playing on the road."

Esherick Talks About NIT 3/11/02

Coach Esherick was a guest on John Thompson's WTEM radio show Monday. A transcript is not available, but here's a excerpt from a post by "MCIGuy":

"After the NCAA made its picks Craig got a call from the NIT committee. They asked him about how he felt going on the road to play a team that was somewhat local. The committee also told hi that if they won the second game they would most likely be able to play their second game in a close location as well. Esherick agreed and thought that was that. Then he pointed out that TV got in the way. ESPN didn't want to schedule a game for that team Georgetown would face. As a result the NIT committee came up with two more scenarios for Esh which included his team going far away to lay the first game and then traveling most likely out to the west to play a second game if they survived. Esh had a problem with this. When he asked if they could play a game at McDonough he was told no. Esherick felt it was best to decline then. He thought that the Hoyas had been on the road far too much over the last few years. Last year they spent a lot of time on the West Coast and in their most recent NIT play they had to go on the road every time (including at Cal two years ago). He didn't think it was worth doing so again. To his credit he admitted that if it was the NCAA Tournament he would have gone to Peru. But the NIT isn't the NCAA and he wasn't about to keep his players on the road and away from class..."

"After Esh said his goodbyes, JT stated that Gtown needs to get an on campus arena and soon. Said that unlike the past in which the trend was to play at public facilities now its going the opposite way and that if GU doesn't deal with this and get an on campus arena then they might as well as stop participating in D-I basketball. Said it was a major advantage to play on campus."

No NCAA Bid-Here's Why 3/11/02

-With four overtime losses and a combined record of 0-6 against Top 25 RPI teams, no NCAA bid was offered to Georgetown on Sunday. OK, so what was in Georgetown's favor and what worked against them? Here's a recap.

Positive Negative
Record 19 wins, more than BC Marymount win reduced actual Div. I count to 18
Schedule #62 strength of schedule far better than 2000-01 (#105) 0-6 against top 25 teams. Six non-conf. wins games against teams with RPI below 200.
Tough Teams Added Virginia, UCLA, S. Carolina, Georgia to schedule Won only one of those four games. National media focused instead on Dec. MEAC games. 
Conference Strength Big East among top four conferences GU's RPI 7th in league. Total Big East bids? Six.
Close Losses Only one regulation loss by more than eight points all year Seven games decided in OT or by less than three points in regulation. The record? 1-6.
Strong Finish? Won six of its last ten. Lost three of last four at home.

Popular wisdom suggests that winning any of the four OT losses would have given Georgetown the bid. While another win in league play would have given the Hoyas a #2 seed in the conference tournament and a bye, the RPI of 55 and strength of schedule of 62 was sufficiently shaky enough that even this wasn't a given. Remember that in 2000-01, Georgetown entered the Big East at 23-6 and was still one of the last two teams selected in the tournament, thanks to a strength of schedule of 105.

Bulletin: No Post Season Bid 3/9/02 11:15 pm

In a surprising development late Sunday, Georgetown University turned down an offer to the 2002 NIT late this evening, ending a streak of 27 consecutive post season appearances. Details remain cloudy and seem to evolve around the unwillingness of the NIT to offer Georgetown a home game. This would be the first instance of a school refusing a post-season bid since 1987, and only the second since 1970.

More details Monday morning.

Miami 84, Georgetown 76 3/8/02

Because of Big East weekend commitments, no game summary was posted on the site. Here is a link to the recap in The HOYA.

Georgetown 68, Providence 67 3/7/02

Because of Big East weekend commitments, no game summary was posted on the site. Here is a link to the recap in The HOYA.

Sweetney Named First Team All-Big East 3/5/02

Mike Sweetney and Kevin Braswell were named to the All-Big East teams announced Monday. Sweetney is a first team selection, Braswell a third team selection.

Sweetney is Georgetown's 12th first team selection since 1979 but the first in five seasons.

Georgetown 88, Rutgers 69 3/2/02

In an effort that ranks among the finest single-game performances in Georgetown basketball history, Kevin Braswell led the Georgetown Hoyas to a convincing 88-69 win over Rutgers in the regular season finale. Braswell's effort not only helped steer the Hoyas past a good Rutgers team, but set two important records in the process.

Georgetown opened the game strong, leasing 10-3, and hitting nine of its first 14 shots. To its credit, Rutgers didn't back down, and closed the lad to 23-21 with 6:24 to play. Braswell's three pointer (one of five for the Hoyas in the half) keyed a 15-2 run and gave the Hoyas a 38-22 lead. The Scarlet Knights answered with a zone defense and found a second wind, closing the lead to 42-34 at the half.The Hoyas opened strong in the second half. A key exchange occurred leading 47-39, where off a Rutgers miss, Tony Bethel was fouled attempting a three point shot. Bethel made the first two shots, missed the third, whereupon Gerald Riley his a three pointer to extended the lead to 13, 52-39.

Rutgers never quit, though. Jerome Coleman sparked an RU rally by scoring eleven straight points (including three three-pointers) but couldn't close the gap. Typical of this give-and-take was with 6:34 to play, where a shot by Sean Axani was blocked by Wesley Wilson and Braswell found Sweetney under the basket to build the lead to 13, 69-56. A minute later, Rutgers missed on a three that would have cut the lead to nine, then Tony Bethel sank a three to increase the lead back to 15, 74-59. And with 2:42 to play, Braswell sealed the deal with hitting back to back three pointers to increase the lead to 18, 82-64.

Braswell's numbers were nothing short of outstanding: 18 points, 16 assists (tying a school record held by Charles Smith), and only one turnover. And according to the washington Post account cited below, of Georgetown's last 23 points in Saturday's game, Braswell either scored or contributed an assist.

With his 16 assists in the game, Braswell passed Joey Brown (1990-94) as the all-time assist leader at Georgetown with 686. But there were a lot of heroes today--a career high 21 from Tony Bethel, 16 points and 8 rebounds from Wesley Wilson, and 14 points and nine rebounds from Mike Sweetney. Sweetney and Wilson avoided foul trouble and played 33 and 36 minutes, respectively. Jerome Coleman led the Knights with 26 points, and senior Rashod Kent turned in an impressive 19 point, 14 rebound effort. Had the Hoyas not played at such a high level, the road-weary Knights could have won this game. They will be a tough "out" in the first round of the Big East Tournament this week.

The win continued to buoy the Hoyas' NCAA hopes and gave the Hoyas a winning record in conference play--an absolute necessity for at-large consideration. While the team's final seeding will not be determined until Sunday afternoon, the G-men will arrive in new York with a level of consistency and momentum that other teams will be concerned about. With its first three game win streak since mid-December, the Hoyas are peaking at exactly the right time.

And as Kevin said, "we're not through yet."

Post-game recaps follow below:

A remarkable career was honored Saturday at MCI Center for senior Kevin Braswell. Senior Day 2002 will honor the last player to have played for coach John Thompson, and perhaps the last player to start 125 consecutive games over a four year career.

"Kevin is a fundamentally sound guard", wrote coach Thompson in the 1998-99 media guide. "He makes good decisions when he has the ball and shoots well from the outside. He is an unselfish player and should fit in well with us."

Braswell was thrown into the starting lineup as a freshman in 1998-99 during the absence of Shernard Long from the lineup. When Long opted to transfer that December, Braswell had settled into the starting role. Braswell was a steadying influence in a turbulent time. He led his team with 15 points in his career opener versus Temple in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, and led the Hoyas in scoring 27 times in his first two years of play. The jersey changed from #3 to #12 a year later, but his role was well established.

Statistically, he'll rank with the great ones--#7 all-time in scoring, all time steals leader, all time assists leader, among the top 10 in free throw shooting. Through it all, Kevin Braswell believes in himself and in his team. He's defined this team for four years and while Drew Hall will look to run the point next year, Kevin's contributions to the history of the sport at Georgetown won't be soon forgotten.

Braswell's career stats to date:

   GMS   2FG     3FG     FT     AST STL PTS  AVG
Fr. 31 141-421  45-143  92-122  141  84  419 13.5 
So. 34 166-451  51-172 121-161  179  90  504 14.8
Jr. 33 124-328  42-139  89-120  202  94  379 11.5
Sr. 28 140-342  48-137  83-99   164  77  411 14.7
T: 126 571-1542 186-591 385-502 686 345 1706 13.5

A nice feature on Braswell is found in this link to the Washington Times. Recommended reading.


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