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Georgetown Basketball: March 2010 News Archive

Greg Monroe: All-American 3/30/10

 Sophomore Greg Monroe was named to the Associated Press All-America third team on Monday, becoming the third All-America selection in the John Thompson III era.

The nation's top high school recruit in 2008, Monroe built an impressive season in 2009-10, averaging 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. His 29 points and 16 rebounds versus #4 Villanova were season highs, while his 12 assists against Providence was a Big East record for a center. Monroe is the 22nd Georgetown basketball player so honored as an All-America selection.

Unfortunately for Georgetown, the efforts of junior Austin Freeman were not rewarded with a similar honor. Freeman fell five points short of Monroe for the team lead in scoring after he missed all or part of two games due to a diagnosis of diabetes.

The first team selections included John Wall (Kentucky), DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Wes Johnson (Syracuse), and Scottie Reynolds (Villanova).

Fourth Recruit For 2010 3/26/10

The Washington Post is reporting that 6-9 center Moses Abraham has verballed to Georgetown over offers from Indiana and Maryland.

Abraham, a native of Nigeria attending Progressive Christian Academy in Temple Hills, MD, is on the same team as sophomore Jordan Goodman, who verbally committed to Georgetown for the 2012-13 season. Abraham, who arrived in the U.S. only in November, is said to excel at shot blocking, with a wingspan of 7'3".

Abraham joins a 2010 recruit list that includes 6-8 power forward Nate Lubick, 6-2 guard Markel Starks, and 6-6 forward Aaron Bowen, who committed to the Hoyas earlier this month.

2010 Capital Classic 3/26/10

Three Georgetown recruits have been announced as participants in the 37th annual Capital Classic on April 15.

Markel Starks and Moses Abraham have been confirmed for the Capital All-Stars roster, while Nate Lubick will be on the U.S. All-Stars roster. The game will be held at Bender Arena on the American University campus.

"Hoya Lawyas" Come Up Big 3/25/10

As any veteran of the Kenner League will tell you, always watch out for the late recruit.

Members of Capitol Hill and professors from the Georgetown Law Center participated in the 23rd Annual "Home Court" game to benefit the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Down ten at the half, the professors called upon a secret weapon-- presidential advisor Reggie Love--to lead the "Hoya Lawyas" to a 49-42 win over the "Hill's Angels" in the bipartisan charity event. The game and related efforts raised more that $371,000 for the clinical program.

Full coverage follows in this link to The Hill.

Statistical Wrap-Up 3/22/10

At season's end, a review of the season from the final statistics points out some interesting items: the 2009-10 Hoyas were an outstanding offensive team, but defense was not up to prior years.

  • Scoring: Year over year, Georgetown's scoring saw a 6 percent increase in points scored (69.3 ppg to 73.5) versus only a 3 percent increase in points allowed (63.9 to 66.1). In Big East play, however, points allowed increased for the fourth straight year, an increase of 11.1 ppg from 2006-07. Individually, Greg Monroe win the scoring title by just five points over Austin Freeman, with 549 points and a 16.1 average, up from his 12.7 points as a freshman.
  • Field Goal Shooting: Georgetown's shooting was its best in four seasons and ranked third in the nation (49.9%), but opponent shooting increased as well, from 40.7% in 2008-09 to 41.7% in 2009-10, or about 18 extra baskets over the course of the season. As the Hoyas lost six games by four or fewer points, those 18 extra baskets may have theoretically cost the Hoyas as many as four wins.
  • Three Point Shooting: A bright spot for Georgetown after a subpar statistical number in 2008-09, three point shooting jumped from 33.2% in 2008-09 to 38.7% in 2009-10, the best in 20 seasons. Opponent three point shooting increased only slightly, from 33.2% to 33.4%.
  • Free Throw Shooting: Austin Freeman led all free throw shooters with a 85.6% average (83-97), sixth best in school history and second only to Jonathan Wallace's 87.2% in 2006-07 during the Big East era. As a team, Georgetown shot 71.1%, down slightly from 71.5% in 2008-09.
  • Rebounding: After being outrebounded by opponents in 2008-09, Georgetown regained the upper hand on the boards, with 33.3 per game compared to 31.0 for opponents, but this ranked Georgetown 15th of 16 Big East teams per game and 258th nationally among 347 teams. The 2010 number is down compared to 35.0 rebounds a game in 2008. Greg Monroe's 328 rebounds (9.6 per game) led all players.
  • Assists: As a team, Georgetown ranked 29th in the nation in assists with 13.1, down from 13.7 in 2009. Chris Wright's 138 assists led all players.
  • Fouls: Fouls dropped to 17.0 per game from 17.4 in 2009 but this still was 280th in the nation among 347 teams. There were 14 players that fouled out in 2009-10, up from nine in 2008-09 but comparable to the 15 in 2007-08.
  • Steals: Georgetown's 7.0 steals per game was down from 7.9 steals in 2008-09 but comparable to 6.9 per game in 2007-08. Chris Wright's 51 steals led all players.
  • Blocks: Greg Monroe led the Hoyas with 52 of the team's 161 blocks, up from 122 last season.
  • Bench: An oft-discussed topic this season, the starting five played 79.4% of minutes and contributed 88.7% of points this season, placing Georgetown's bench contribution at 344th of 347 teams. Note, however that a thin bench was not a block to greater success: Ohio State enters the regionals this week ranked 346th in bench production.

Here are the final player totals for points, rebounds, and assists:

Player Mins Pts Pts/Min Rebs Asts TO's
Monroe 34.2 16.1 0.47 9.6 3.8 3.2
Freeman 34.4 16.5 0.48 3.5 2.4 1.9
Wright 35.1 15.2 0.43 3.0 4.1 2.3
Clark 33.4 10.5 0.31 3.9 2.0 2.0
Vaughn 22.6 7.4 0.33 4.4 1.4 1.7
Thompson 19.5 4.8 0.24 2.4 1.0 0.8
Benimon 12.1 1.4 0.12 2.0 0.4 0.6
Sims 6.8 1.4 0.21 1.4 0.3 0.6
Sanford 4.8 1.2 0.25 0.7 0.3 0.4
Mescheriakov 6.3 0.9 0.14 0.3 0.3 0.6
Stepka 1.3 0.3 0.22 0.0 0.0 0.0
Dougherty 1.3 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.4
Here's how GU finished among 16 Big East schools in each category:
  All Games Big East
Scoring 7th 8th
Scoring Defense 4th 6th
Field Goal % 2nd 1st
Three Point % 2nd 1st
Free Throw % 4th 9th
Rebounds 15th 14th
Rebound Margin 10th 9th
Assists 6th 5th
Steals 8th 8th
Blocks 5th 6th
2009-10 Attendance 3/22/10 

Georgetown finished the 2009-10 season with an average of 12,040 a game, down from 12,826 the previous season, but an average clearly affected from over 9,000 fans with tickets who could not attend the Feb. 6 Villanova game due to snow. Here are the final numbers for Big East schools against 2008-09's final averages.

Team 2009-10 2008-09 Change
1.Syracuse 22,152 21,044 +5.3%
2.Louisville 19,397 19,397 0.0%
3.Marquette 15,617 16,200 (-3.6%)
4.West Virginia 12,375 10,552 +17.3%
5. Georgetown 12,040 12,826 (-6.1%)
6.Connecticut 11,685 12,518 (-6.7%)
7. Villanova 10,936 9,404 +16.3%
8 .Pittsburgh 10,289 11,194 (-8.1%)
9. Notre Dame 8,402 9,428 (-10.9%)
10. Cincinnati 8,169 7,818 +4.5%
11.DePaul 8,451 8,149 +3.7%
12. Providence 8,289 8,310 (-0.3%)
13. Seton Hall 7,103 7,300 (-2.7%)
14. St. John's 5,478 5,315 +3.1%
15. Rutgers 5,236 4,667 +12.2%
16.South Florida 4,884 4,188 +16.6%
2009-10 Box Scores 3/22/10
GU 74, Tulane 58
GU 46, Temple 45
GU 63, Sav. St. 44
GU 97, Lafayette 64
GU 83, Mt.St.Mary's 62
GU 73, American 46
GU 72, Butler 65
GU 74, Washington 66
Old Dominion 61, GU 57
GU 86, Harvard 70
GU 66, St. John's 59
GU 67, DePaul 50
Marquette 62, GU 59
GU 72, Connecticut 69
GU 85, Seton Hall 73
Villanova 82, GU 77
GU 74, Pittsburgh 66
GU 88, Rutgers 63
Syracuse 73, GU 56
GU 89, Duke 77
S. Florida 72, GU 64
GU 103, Villanova 90
GU 79, Providence 70
Rutgers 71, GU 68
Syracuse 75, GU 71
GU 70, Louisville 60
Notre Dame 78, GU 64
W. Virginia 81, GU 68
GU 74, Cincinnati 47
GU 69, S. Florida 49
GU 91, Syracuse 84
GU 80, Marquette 57
W. Virginia 60, GU 58
Ohio 97, GU 83
Ohio 97, Georgetown 83 3/18/10

"This might have been the worst defensive effort Georgetown had all season. The Hoyas never could stop ball and didnít look like they made the attempt...Georgetown lost this game despite shooting 50 percent. This shows how poor Georgetown's defense was Thursday."
--Andy Katz, ESPN

"Let's clarify something: This wasn't a fluke. This wasn't a temporary lapse. This was a 40-minute butt-kicking of a Final Four-caliber Big East club by a team that lost by 25 at Pitt earlier this season. This was complete domination, but by the little guy. This was, honestly, weird to watch."
--Andy Glockner, Sports Illustrated

"At their best, the Georgetown Hoyas are the antithesis of madness. When a game is all frenetic action and emotion, they are methodical and precise. But at their worst, that deliberateness becomes a liability, and coolness turns to lethargy."
--Sally Jenkins, Washington Post

"We may not be a better team, just got to be a better team on a given night,Ē
--Ohio guard Armon Bassett

"We really thought we could make some noise in this tournament. We really didn't imagine we would be one-and-done."
--Austin Freeman

When the story of Georgetown's 2009-10 season is written, look no further than this quote from Georgetown head coach John Thompson III.

"I think that this group can beat any team in the country if we do what we're supposed to do," Thompson said. "And if we don't, we can lose to everyone else on our schedule."

And they did.

One week and six hours since it handed #3-ranked Syracuse a stunning loss in the opening round of the Big East tournament, third seeded Georgetown promptly had its collective hat handed to them by #14-seeded Ohio, a 97-83 outcome that was not even as close as the score indicated. Quite simply, it marks the most disappointing post-season loss of its kind in Georgetown's history.

This was the team that defeated Temple and Butler, Pitt and Duke, Villanova and Syracuse. Of course, it was also the team that lost to Rutgers and South Florida.

We now know which team showed up to the Providence Civic Center Thursday. As a result, it will not be remembered as one of the great Georgetown teams, only a good one whose potential can never be reclaimed.

John Groce's Ohio Bobcats arrived with passion and precision and dedication, Georgetown none of these. By the first time out, Ohio held an 8-2 lead as Georgetown missed three of its first four shots. The Hoyas got to work and took leads of 13-11, 15-13, and 18-17 at the 10:08 mark of the first half. It was the last lead of the season.

The Bobcats (18-14) didn't have to summon the ghosts that have haunted the post-season Hoyas in this aging building, that of Rutgers in 1979, of James Madison in 1981, or the Princeton Tigers that patrolled these courts 21 years and a day earlier. They did it all their own.

Ohio took the lead with its shooting, inside and particularly outside. D.J. Cooper's three took the lead, 20-18, added to 22-18 on a Kenneth van Kempen layup, and extended with a Tommy Freeman three, 25-18. Greg Monroe added a basket inside, and the Bobcats answered with a Cooper three and a van Kempen drive inside, 30-20. Georgetown closed no closer than nine, 33-24, before the Bobcats' guns were blazing again.

Consecutive threes from Armon Bassett shredded the Hoyas' often suspect perimeter defense, 39-26, two of eight three pointers dumped on the Hoyas in the first half alone. The eighth three of the half got the Bobcats to a fifteen point lead, 46-31, with 2:22 in the half, whereupon Georgetown scored five of the next seven to narrow the count to 48-36 at the intermission.

The 48 points scored by Ohio were the most by a Georgetown opponent since #1-ranked UMass dropped 48 on the Hoyas in the second half of the 1996 regional Final, one of two games now vacated under NCAA sanctions against the program formerly coached by John Calipari. All this, against an Ohio team with one player over 6-8 that GU could seemingly make no headway against.

A twelve point halftime lead is not insurmountable in NCAA games, but it requires a good start to get back in the game. In the first five minutes, Ohio was off their torrid mark in the first, but Georgetown did nothing to make its case either, committing five turnovers against only three shots in the first five minutes, and Ohio was able to get to the 16 minute time out extending the lead to 16, 58-42.

The Hoyas could do little more than answer their opponent; Georgetown two was answered by an Ohio basket. During one stretch the teams traded on three consecutive three pointers and Georgetown could still not get the lead below 14, 66-62. The national TV audience had long since abandoned #1 Kentucky's rout of #16 East Tennessee to see this one, and the Bobcats entered the mid-point of the half with a 71-55 lead.

As Austin Freeman labored and Julian Vaughn disappeared, Chris Wright hoisted the team on his shoulders. Continuing the fine play which rallied the Hoyas throughout the Big East tournament, Wright began the Hoyas' last comeback of the season with a three pointer at the 8:58 mark, 73-60, soon joined by baskets from Freeman and Hollis Thompson, and a consecutive baskets by Wright narrowed the lead to 77-68 with 6:38 to play. The defense needed a stop, and there was none: Cooper drove right through the middle of the defense for a layup, 79-68.

Monroe, who had played tentative much of the game and settled for easy baskets, began to reassert himself. Monroe hit a basket at the 6:06 mark, 79-70, followed by a Jason Clark steal and layup, 79-72, only to see the Bobcats answer again, 81-72. A Freeman basket closed back to seven 81-74 at the 4:51 mark.

Most points given up in GU post-season history
(105 games)

Most points given up in any GU game under John Thompson III

4th largest margin of defeat by a GU team in NCAA play

Points by Armon Bassett, most by an GU opponent in post-season
(previous record: Stephen Curry,
30 pts, 2008)

Points scored by OU starting guards, most by any opponent since 1/21/06
(55, J.J. Redick, Greg Paulus, Duke)

Ohio 3-pt FG's, most by a GU opponent since 2000

No. of times a 14 seed has won an opening game since 1985
(over 104 games)

GU first-round NCAA losses since 1981

Shooting by OU, most by any GU opponent since last post-season game
(Baylor, 3/18/09)

GU record as a #3 seed in NCAA tournament

GU record in NCAA games in Providence

GU record in post-season games under John Thompson III

Years since GU lost 1st round post-season games in consecutive seasons
(1975-76 NCAA,
1976-77 NIT)

Years since last NCAA win by Ohio (1983)

Last GU loss to Mid-American Conf. team
(C. Michigan, 1st Rd. of 1975 NCAA's)

Last GU win in post-season
(UMBC, 1st Rd.
of 2008 NCAA's)

Off a missed three, the Hoyas took the ball and looked to take control. Wright was alone off a screen in the left corner of the basket, open for a three which would have closed to four, but he missed the shot with 4:09 to play. Off the rebound, Jerrelle Benimon was sent to the line, potentially cutting it to five, but Benimon missed the front end of the one and one. Georgetown needed a defensive stop yet again, and yet again failed. Cooper sank a three pointer with 3:49 to play, 84-74.

A Greg Monroe free throw closed to nine, 84-75, and again the defense was nowhere to be found. Cooper drove for a layup to go up 11, 86-75, and Freeman missed a three that Cooper recovered and was fouled. He hit both free throws, 88-75, with a pair of bassett free throws to push the lead to 15 in the final 2:07, 90-75.

Again, Wright would not give up. A Hollis Thompson three and a Wright basket and the foul closed it back to nine, 90-81 with 1:37 left, but Ohio would sink seven of eight from the line to put the game away. The Hoyas managed just one field goal thereafter.

Wright finished with 28 points but acknowledged the Bobcats did their part. "We knew what they were capable of. We knew that they could score. Ohio is a good team. Obviously they've proven it. They had two big guards and guys that can knock down shots and feed off their energy and really, I guess, understand the way the guards play. And they feed off of them. And they're ready to knock down shots whenever they passed to them."

Greg Monroe (19 points, 13 rebounds, seven turnovers) offered no excuses.

"As far as our game, they were better today," he said. We didn't do the things we needed to do to win the game. They needed everything they needed to do to win, and the outcome came out like that."

The Hoyas were a two-man team in many ways Thursday, as Austin Freeman was never a factor in the game. Coach Thompson dismissed suggestions that Freeman's diabetes was a contributing factor, however.

"Clearly anyone who watched Austin play, this was not one of his better games," Thompson said. "But if you were asking physically was he okay, as far as I know at this point, as far as our medical staff articulated to me throughout the game he was fine. He just didn't have one of his better days."

Thompson fielded a number of post-game questions that questioned his approach to the game.

"I think history has shown that the way we do things every year you have to adjust, you have to tweak, which we did this year, as we did last year, as we'll do next year, because next year's group will be different."

"If your question is are we going to change our system? The answer to that is, no. If the question is are we going to adjust and tweak the group we have in the locker room next year just like we did this year, yes."

Monroe also took his share of inquiries surrounding his opportunities in the NBA draft. When asked if the loss would be a factor in his decision, Monroe answered "Basically I'm not looking to the future right now. I'm ready to go back and see how I can help my team next year."

Was this his last game at Georgetown? "No, it wasn't." he said.

"We lost to some good teams that probably were better than most people gave them credit for," Thompson said. "This team is young. It was something we it's probably the first time I said that all year, because we didn't want to lean on that, we didn't want to talk about that. This is a team with no seniors. And so you still, as much as we did not like I said, it's the first time I said that, we didn't use that as an excuse. But you have to go through some growing pains. And this group went through some growing pains this year.

"I mean, coming into this tournament I think [Ohio] won 7 of 8 and won four games in a row in their conference tournament. So that was something we knew they were playing well. It wasn't a surprise. We didn't become enlightened midway through the game or early in the game. But they did a great job. They did a terrific job and it was led by their back court. They just had all the answers. "

And for the legacy of the 2009-10 Georgetown Hoyas, only more questions.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wright       40   6-12  3-9   7-10  1   3  0   28
Clark        39   2-3   1-3   0-0   6   3  4    7 
Freeman      32   3-7   1-4   0-0   2   2  2    9
Vaughn       10   1-1   0-1   0-0   2   0  2    2
Monroe       32   7-11  0-0   5-7  13   6  5   19
Thompson     20   3-3   3-5   1-1   1   0  5   16
Sanford       5   0-2   0-0   0-0   2   0  1    0
Benimon      17   1-3   0-0   0-1   4   0  2    2
DNP: Dougherty, Stepka, Sims
Team Rebounds                       
TOTALS      200 23-42  8-22 13-19  31  14 21   83

Post-game links follow below. In a coincidence, the New York Post and Daily News used the same photo of Greg Monroe on its respective back page covers, with the same headline: "Big Least".

(And yes, we still miss reading Barker Davis's articles. His review of this game would have been something else.)

  • GUHoyas.com
  • Ohio Bobcats.com
  • Associated Press
  • Associated Press (2)
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • CBS Sports.com
  • CBS Sports.com (2)
  • ESPN.com
  • ESPN.com (2)
  • FoxNews.com
  • The HOYA
  • The HOYA (2)
  • Hoya Prospectus
  • NY Daily News
  • NY Post
  • NY Times
  • Ohio Post
  • Prov. Journal
  • Wash. Examiner
  • Wash. Post
  • Wash. Post (2)
    96 Teams: Bigger Or Better? 3/18/10

    Today's opening to the NCAA tournament marks the 25th anniversary of the move to the current 64/65 team alignment, but there are those who would expand it further. Columnist Frank Davies examines the discussion for further expansion of the event in this link to Media Gaggle.com.

    "So enjoy this tournament before the expansionists get their way," Davies writes. "I'm trying to figure out if sharp-shooting, underappreciated Cornell can solve Temple's tough defense. I'll live and die as my Georgetown Hoyas face big obstacles in a run to the Final Four. And if the Hoyas or another top team is flat in its first game, the suspense builds and an underdog can win. No one gets a bye."

    President Makes NCAA Picks 3/18/10

    Amidst a few million NCAA bracket picks, one from the commander-in-chief gets plenty of notice.

    President Barack Obama has predicted Georgetown to advance to the regional finals of the 2010 NCAA tournament, where they will fall to #1-ranked Kansas, according to CBS News.

    The President, who correctly picked North Carolina to win the 2009 title, has a Final Four bracket of Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, and Villanova, with Kansas taking the title.

    2010 Post-Season Pairings Announced 3/15/10

    Following its finish in the Big East tournament, Georgetown will open the 2010 NCAA tournament as the #3 seed in the Midwest Region, earning the school its 26th NCAA appearance and 37th post-season bid overall.

    One of two DC-area teams selected and among a record eight Big East selections, the Hoyas will play in Providence Thursday against #14 seed Ohio (21-14), who won the automatic bid from the Mid-American conference.

    "You can't get to this part of the year and overlook anyone," said head coach John Thompson III. "The teams are too well-coached, too poised. They won their league or they're playing well to get an at-large bid - that's what makes [the NCAA tournament] so special."

    Extensive coverage follows nationally on the brackets and the various teams. Selected links are found below.

    The nation's largest conference came up big in the 2010 NCAA tournament, with a record eight schools selected.

    Here's a recap of the Big East teams entering NCAA play:

    Seed Team Record RPI Next Opponent
    1 (West) Syracuse 28-4 5 #16 Vermont (25-9)
    2 (East) West Virginia 27-6 4 #15 Morgan St. (27-9)
    2 (South) Villanova 24-7 12 #15 Robert Morris (23-11)
    3 (Midwest) Georgetown 23-10 7 #14 Ohio (21-14)
    3 (West) Pittsburgh 24-8 15 #14 Oakland (24-8)
    6 (East) Marquette 22-11 50 #11 Washington (23-9)
    6 (South) Notre Dame 23-11 49 #11 Old Dominion (26-8)
    8 (South) Louisville 20-12 38 #9 California (23-10)

    All five Big East schools with above .500 records which were not selected to the NCAA tournament have accepted National Invitation Tournament (NIT) post-season bids.

    The bids are led by Cincinnati and includes a #3 seed for South Florida, which became only the fourth Big East team since 1985 which has not advanced to the NCAA field with 20 or more overall wins. Additional games are as follows, with all games at the Big East school's home court except for St. John's.

    Seed Team Record RPI Next Opponent
    2 Cincinnati 18-15 65 #7 Weber St. (18-10)
    3 South Florida 20-12 71 #6. North Carolina St. (19-15)
    4 Seton Hall 19-12 60 #5 Texas Tech (17-15)
    4 Connecticut 17-15 63 #5 Northeastern (20-12)
    6 St. John's 17-15 81 #3 Memphis (23-9)
    West Virginia 60, Georgetown 58 3/13/10 

    A recap of the Big East tournament final with West Virginia was not posted to the site during Big East week. An archival copy of the recap will be added in the off-season.

    Georgetown 80, Marquette 57 3/12/10 

    A recap of the Big East semifinal game with Marquette was not posted to the site during Big East week. An archival copy of the recap will be added in the off-season.

    Georgetown 94, Syracuse 81 3/11/10 

    A recap of the Big East quarterfinal game with Syracuse was not posted to the site during Big East week. An archival copy of the recap will be added in the off-season.

    Georgetown 69, South Florida 49 3/10/10 

    A recap of the Big East second round game with South Florida was not posted to the site during Big East week. An archival copy of the recap will be added in the off-season.

    All-Big East Teams 3/8/10 

    Sophomore center Greg Monroe was named to the all-Big East first team as announced Sunday, with junior guard Austin Freeman selected to the second team.

    The first team consists of Monroe, Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Dominique Jones (USF), Wesley Johnson (Syracuse) and DaSean Butler (West Virginia). The second team consists of Freeman, Lazar Hayward (Marquette), Ashton Gibbs (Pitt), Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall) and Andy Rautins (Syracuse).

    Monroe is the 15th Georgetown player in the 30 years of the conference to be a first team selection, and is among some select company in school history: each of the 14 previous first team members were selected to an All-America team during their college careers, and 12 of the 14 played in the NBA.

    No Georgetown players were selected to the all-rookie team, marking the first time in four years a Georgetown freshman was not selected.

    Georgetown 74, Cincinnati 47 3/7/10 

    "It was just good to be out there again and to play with my teammates and just doing what I do. It was a lot of fun to be out there."--Austin Freeman

    Welcome back.

    Seven days removed from a stomach virus which preceded a diagnosis of diabetes, Austin Freeman returned to the Georgetown lineup, and not a game too soon.

    With Big East seeding hanging in the balance, the 6-4 junior scored 24 points and led Georgetown to a big second half win over Cincinnati, 74-47, before 17,054 at Verizon Center Saturday. The win secured a first round bye for the Hoyas, who had dropped four of five, against a Cincinnati team which had dropped six of its last eight.

    If the first eight minutes of the game were any indication, this could have been a sloppy game. The two teams shot a combined 9 for 28 and Georgetown had a narrow 12-9 lead. The Bearcats held a 15-14 lead before Freeman scored a three and a two to push the lead to 19-14, and the Hoyas led by as many as six in the half before a three pointer at the buzzer closed the halftime margin to 26-23.

    Neither team distinguished themselves in the half. Austin Freeman and Chris Wright combined to shoot 8-17 for 19 points, the remainder shot 4-13. For the Bearcats, freshman Lance Stephenson accounted for five of UC's 11 field goals, as Cincinnati outrebounded the Hoyas 22-16.

    At the 16:00 time out of the second half, Georgetown led 41-35 and the lead was by no means a sure thing. Georgetown began to rediscover the inside game just as Cincinnati's offense simply broke down, and the Hoyas turned a close game into a runaway in short order.

    Chris Wright got the run going with a driving layup and foul shot, 44-35. Two layups by Greg Monroe, and a layup and foul shots from Freeman pushed the lead to 15, 50-35. Monroe drove for a layup and foul, 52-37, followed it up with another three point play a minute later, 55-37, and consecutive layups by Wright and Freeman put the Hoyas up 20 with 8:10 to play. By the time Georgetown went outside, a Freeman jumper put the Hoyas up 62-39 with 7:17 to play, a 21-4 run that saw the Bearcats shoot 2-5 but give up four turnovers and miss four straight free throws.

    Missed layups by Cincinnati

    Missed FT's by Cincinnati

    Georgetown points off UC turnovers

    Georgetown advantage on rebounds

    Shooting by UC freshman Lance Stephenson

    Shooting by rest of UC team

    GU bench shooting

    GU record in regular season finales under JT III

    Despite shooting only 53 percent from the floor in the second half, Georgetown pushed the lead to 31, 72-41, before the reserves finished the game. Stephenson's 13 second half points accounted for all but eight Bearcat points of the half, as the rest of the team shot just 2-11 in the half. Senior Deonta Vaughn, who had 16 points in the Bearcats' 64-62 win at Verizon Center last year, had only one shot in the second half and finished with two points. Forward Yancy Gates, with 16 points and seven rebounds last season versus GU, was held to three points in the second half Saturday.

    Freeman's 24 point effort, his first significant time since Feb. 23, led the way and raised the spirits of a team which had hung its head a little over the last two games. Greg Monroe turned in a fine effort with 19 points and 15 rebounds, along with 16 from Wright and 11 from Jason Clark. Georgetown did not excel from outside (6-22) but held their own defensively against a UC team which imploded down the stretch, with 12 turnovers to just eight baskets in the half. Georgetown won't see any opponent numbers like that in next week's tournament.

    "There's a difference between playing hard and playing well," said UC coach Mick Cronin. "Playing hard is only going to get you so far."

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

                MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wright       35   6-11  1-4   1-2   1   4  1   16
    Clark        33   3-4   1-6   2-2   5   1  0   11 
    Freeman      30   4-8   4-7   4-4   2   3  3   24
    Vaughn       24   1-1   0-1   0-0   5   2  3    2
    Monroe       34   8-11  0-1   3-4  15   2  0   19
    Thompson     21   0-3   0-2   2-2   4   2  2    2
    Sanford      10   0-0   0-1   0-0   3   1  1    0
    Dougherty     1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Benimon       7   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  1    0
    Stepka        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Sims          4   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Team Rebounds                       3
    TOTALS      200 22-38  6-22 12-14  40  15 11   74

    Post-game links follow below.

    Media Offers Freeman Words Of Support 3/5/10 

    Columnist Michael Wilbon speaks to the news of Austin Freeman's diabetes in this link to the Washington Post.

    "Undoubtedly, the diagnosis Freeman received recently must have scared him half to death," Wilbon writes. "It scares all of us, me two years ago at 49 when doctors told me I had Type 2 diabetes and would have to change my lifestyle forever ...or else. Freeman, his diagnosis so new, probably hasn't even gotten to the point at which he's formulating complicated questions. But he will. And he's going to hear from doctors, from friends and neighbors and perhaps even relatives who have the disease that diabetes should not slow him down, should not limit his life's options, should not make him infirm or physically unable to pursue most, if not all, of his passions."

    Also offering support: ESPN's John Saunders, who relayed his own story of being diagnosed at the age of 24 with the disease, as discussed during the Pitt-Providence game on ESPN2.

    Coach Thompson told the Washington Examiner: "[Freeman] will be back, if not Saturday, this year, 100 percent, and it may be Saturday. I don't know what the time frame is going to take for us to learn how to monitor and work with him. But we will get to that point, and with all the experts and support we have, I don't anticipate it being long."

    Class Of 2010 3/5/10 

    For the first time in 17 years, there wa no Senior Day Saturday as there are no seniors left on the roster. Where are they now?

    • Dajuan Summers played three years at Georgetown, finishing 30th on the all-time points list with an 11.2 average before declaring for the 2009 NBA Draft. A second round selection of the Detroit Pistons, Summers is averaging 2.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in 26 games.
    • Jeremiah Rivers played two years for the Hoyas, averaging 1.8 points per game before leaving for Indiana after the 2007-08 season. Rivers averages 6.0 points per game as a starter for the depleted Hoosiers, which are 9-20.
    • Vernon Macklin never reached his potential while at Georgetown, a Top 10 national recruit who averaged just 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in two seasons. His tenure at Florida has been considerably more encouraging, averaging 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Gators, who are 20-10.

    Freeman Diagnosed With Diabetes 3/4/10 

    The cause of Austin Freeman's recent illness has been diagnosed as diabetes, reports the Washington Post. Officials from Georgetown University Hospital met with the press Wednesday night to discuss the news.

    It's just something I'm going to have to deal with," said Freeman, "It's going to be a certain change in my diet and my life. But I know I can deal with it. I'll be fine."

    Coach John Thompson III gave no timetable for Freeman's return but noted "Whether he is out there in practice today, or at the game on Saturday, or whenever he plays in a game, the most important thing is his health. He obviously has his family, but he also has our family and the support of his friends, teammates, coaches and trainers here."

    The Late Season Struggle 3/3/10

    If fans feel like they've seen this late season finish before, they're right. Five times in the last seven years, the Hoyas have struggled down the stretch to finish the regular season.

    Year Coach Record
    At 1/31
    At 3/7
    W-L Last 5 Post-Season
    2000-01 Esherick 17-3 23-6 6-3 4-1 NCAA-16
    2001-02 Esherick 13-7 18-10 5-3 3-2 --
    2002-03 Esherick 10-6 14-13 4-7 3-2 NIT
    2003-04 Esherick 12-5 13-14 1-9 0-5 --
    2004-05 Thompson 13-6 16-11 3-5 0-5 NIT
    2005-06 Thompson 15-4 19-8 4-4 2-3 NCAA-16
    2006-07 Thompson 15-5 23-6 8-1 4-1 NCAA-F4
    2007-08 Thompson 17-2 25-4 8-2 5-0 NCAA
    2008-09 Thompson 12-8 16-13 4-5 2-3 NIT
    2009-10 Thompson 16-4 19-9 3-5 1-4
    West Virginia 81, Georgetown 68 Updated 3/2/10 

    For a second straight game, the flu has brought Georgetown to a screeching halt.

    With as many as three varsity players affected by a flu which sidelined junior Austin Freeman, the slumping Georgetown Hoyas fell behind early and despite a promising second half could not overcome the #10 West Virginia Mountaineers, 81-68, dropping its fourth loss in its last five games, a period of just 15 days since the Hoyas stood 18-5 and #7 in the nation.

    The Hoyas' fate in this game may have been set before the opening tip-off. The Washington Post reported Monday morning that Austin Freeman had been sent back to campus following the road trip to Morgantown with a continued bout of a stomach virus and would not play in the game. ESPN reported that Freeman had been admitted to Georgetown University Hospital but did not elaborate. Without him, the Hoyas were run over in the first half and never fully recovered.

    The Hoyas' hemlock in this game was turnovers--five in the first six minutes, 12 at the half, and 20 over the course of the game. Georgetown was as close as 14-11 at the 11:30 mark of the first half, but a Jason Clark miss was converted into a Wellington Smith three pointer, and the Mountaineers were off and running as the turnovers and slow reaction to WVU offensive sets picked apart the Hoyas time and time again. A 10-3 run pushed the lead to 13 with 6:53 to play, and a 10-1 stretch towards the end of the half gave WVU a 22 point lead with 57 seconds in the half, 43-21 before a 5-0 GU run closed to 17 at the break, 43-26.

    Despite shooting 47% in the half, GU had more turnovers (12) than baskets and missed 5 of 10 free throws.

    The Mountaineers opened the second half with a 10-0 run, putting the Hoyas down 27 with 16:54 to play, perhaps the largest deficit encountered by a John Thompson III-coached team while at GU. Thompson opted to give more time to freshman Vee Sanford, who worked with Chris Wright and Greg Monroe to work the Hoyas back into the game.

    GU record against teams in RPI Top 50

    GU record since Feb. 1

    WVU points off turnovers

    GU points off turnovers

    Chris Wright shooting, 1st half

    WVU shooting, 1st half

    WVU shooting, 2nd half

    GU bench pts

    Georgetown hit four straight shots to close the gap to 16, 54-38, to 14 on a Wright three pointer, 62-48, and when Chris Wright picked up a steal and fed jason Clark with 5:53 to play, the lead was down to nine, 62-53--a 36-10 run since halftime.

    At that point, WVU coach Bob Huggins switched to a 1-3-1 defense that appeared to confuse Georgetown, resulting in consecutive turnovers and the lead was extended to 13 with 3:37 left, 66-53. Georgetown closed to 10 with 1:56 but no closer, as the Mountaineers hit 11 of 12 free throw shots down the stretch.

    Chris Wright scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, with Greg Monroe leading the team with 22 points and nine rebounds. Outside of Sanford's career high nine points, no one else had more than five points. Four Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by DaSean Butler with 22, as West Virginia clinched a two round bye in next week's Big East tournament.

    No such double bye awaits Georgetown, a stunning conclusion to a team which stood 16-4 less than 30 days ago.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

                MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wright       37   5-13  2-5   5-6   6   7  3   21
    Clark        33   1-1   1-5   0-0   2   2  4    5 
    Thompson     28   0-0   1-2   0-0   2   1  5    3
    Vaughn       18   2-3   0-0   1-2   5   1  2    5
    Monroe       37   8-14  0-1   6-9   9   4  3   22
    Sanford      21   1-1   2-3   1-2   3   1  4    9
    Benimon      20   1-1   0-1   1-2   4   1  2    3
    Sims          6   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    0
    DNP: Dougherty, Freeman, Stepka 
    Team Rebounds                       2
    TOTALS      200 18-33  6-16 14-21  33  17 25   68

    Additional links follow below.


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