Georgetown came out with little emotion and it showed. Harvard led for much of the first half, taking advantage of a weak Georgetown interior and early fouls on Jessie Govan. Trailing 15-8, the Hoyas went on a 10-1 run to take the lead midway in the first half, but seven lead changes followed thereafter and neither team pulled away. The Hoyas led by as many as four off a James Akinjo three at the 4:18 mark, 30-26, only to go cold as the Crimson answered with a 9-2 run of its own. A late basket by Akinjo, who led the Hoyas with 11 at the break, gave Georgetown a 36-35 lead at the break. The Crimson surrendered 10 first half turnovers but held a 20-11 edge on rebounds.
The teams combined to miss 16 of 18 attempts from the experimental three point line in the first half, which was moved to the international line of 22', 1.75". The opening of the second half was better, with five threes exchanged between the teams, including three straight from Jessie Govan to tie the score at 45. The Hoyas led by as many as five, 54-49, with 12:12 to play, but entered a run of poor execution and very little in the way of drive. Georgetown missed their next 10 attempts over a period of 8:28 and despite it, Harvard led by only one, 62-61.
Georgetown took its last lead at 65-63 with 3:09 to play and proceeded to end the game missing four of five shots. Baskets by Noah Kirkwood and Bryce Aiken gave Harvard a 67-65 lead with 1:28 to play, while a pair of tightly called fouls against Akinjo allowed Aiken to close at the line, 71-68.
Down three with 14 seconds to play, Georgetown seemingly had no plan and let Govan jack up a three that was well short. An offensive rebound by Greg Malinowski could not be reloaded in time to change the final outcome.
This was a bad loss in every sense of the word. Harvard shot 69 percent inside the arc and shredded a suspect Georgetown defense all evening, despite the fact its its awful outside shooting (5 for 24) gave Georgetown fans hope for a comeback. For GU, Govan was 4 for 9 from three, but the rest of the team was just 1 for 12. The taller Hoyas were outrebounded 39-30 by a team that Georgetown should have beaten by double digits, marking Georetown's first loss to an Ivy League team in 20 years and its first home loss to a team from the Ancient Eight since Pennsylvania in 1981.
The senior class ends its Georgetown career winless in the post season, the first class since 1977 (0-2 NCAA, 0-1 NIT) to do so.
For those that remain, it's going to be a long road to November.
Junior college forward Galen Alexander announced via social media he will transfer to Georgetown for the 2019-20 season.
The 6-7 Alexander played at Breaux Bridge (LA) HS in 2015-16 before transferring to Lafayette Christian Academy for his senior season, averaging 15 points and six rebounds. Though Alexander was ranked in the top 100 for part of his senior season, he did not finish in the top 100 when he chose Louisiana State over Texas Christian for the 2017-18 season.
Alexander scored five points in the Tigers' 2017-18 season opener but played in just three games thereafter, averaging 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds. In February 2018, he was dismissed by LSU coach Will Wade over an undisclosed disciplinary issue, relocating to Jones County (MS) College, averaging 17 points and eight rebounds. Alexander received current offers from Georgetown and Wichita State.
While Patrick Ewing has yet to sign a Top 75 recruit in his first three recruiting classes, Alexander will fill a gap at forward with the graduations of Kaleb Johnson and Greg Malinowski. He is expected to have two years eligibility following the completion of his associate's degree at Jones this summer.
Georgetown has made no comment regarding the commitment.
With one open scholarship, the depth chart (minus walk-ons) for the 2019-20 Hoyas looks as follows:
James Akinjo Sophomore 13.3 ppg
Mac McClung Sophomore 13.2 ppg
Jamorko Pickett Junior 6.3 ppg
Josh LeBlanc Sophomore 9.2 ppg
Omer Yurtseven Junior (New)
Jagan Mosley Senior 3.2 ppg
Jahvon Blair Junior 4.2 ppg
Galen Alexander Junior (New)
Grayson Carter Sophomore 1.2 ppg
Qudus Wahab Freshman (New)
Malcolm Wilson Freshman (New)
Tim Ighoefe Freshman (New)
2018-19 Strength of Schedule
How did St. John's get to the NCAA while Georgetown is in the NIT? Start with strength of schedule.
Georgetown's non-conference strength of schedule was 248th of 352 teams, leaving the Hoyas with an uphill climb throughout the Big East. Here's how the 2018-19 non-conference schedule fared throughout the season, with two teams (Liberty, Syracuse) of the 13 earning NCAA tournament invitations.
John Thompson III Linked To Coaching Searches
Nearly two years since being fired as head basketball coach at Georgetown, John Thompson III is being reported as a candidate for the vacant positions at St. Joseph's and vVanderbilt after being in consideration at George Washington, where the Colonials hired Siena coach Jamion Christian.
Three seasons removed from its 2016 NIT championship, GW fired third year coach Maurice Joseph following a 9-24 season.
Thompson has stayed out of the coaching pool in the two years since his firing, appearing as an analyst on some ESPN2 mid-major broadcasts over the last two seasons. In a recent article at the subscription-based The Athletic, Thompson expressed interest in a return to coaching.
"I think I've said it when it ended, that chapter ended, it's time to move on to the next and I've moved on to the next chapter," Thompson said. "Without a doubt, that's a big chapter, but you move on."
St. Joe's is looking at a new coach after firing Phil Martelli after 34 years as a head coach and assistant coach on Hawk Hill. Vanderbilt parted ways with Bryce Drew last week after the Commodores dropped its final 20 games of the season, including a 0-18 run in SEC play.
Seton Hall 73, Georgetown 57
With everything to play for, the up and down Georgetown Hoyas were decidedly down, turning in what may be one of its worst performances in the history of the Big East Tournament.
Myles Powell became the first opponent in Georgetown basketball history to post three consecutive 30+ point performances against the Hoyas in a first half tour de force that earned enough oohs and ahhs so as to stifle the Pirates' collective giggling over a 73-57 walkover that marked the second worst defeat Georgetown had ever suffered in an opening Big East game.
Patrick Ewing, said the Asbury Park Press, "laid an egg." Ewing's refusal to double team Powell, the hottest shooter entering the tournament, opened the door for a first half smackdown that quickly turned the Hoyas' hopes of strengthening its NCAA tournament case to that of the perennial also-rans to which this team has become in Big East tournament play. In the last nine Big East tournaments, Georgetown has won just one quarterfinal game.
"I have seen that before, in practice," said Seton Hall's Sandro Mamukelashvili. "No one could stop him [then]. And no one could stop him tonight."
The Hoyas opened the game with promise, hitting four of its first five shots and took an 8-5 lead. But old habits die hard, as Georgetown gave up turnovers on its next three series, converted into seven straight and a 12-8. It was as close as Georgetown would be all night.
The Pirates pulled away inside and outside. The Hoyas inside game saw the return of the Ghost Of Jessie Govan, as the recently named First Team All-Big East selection wore a cloak of invisibility in the paint. The Pirates picked up points with ease, while Govan took only two shots for the remainder of the half and looked visibly disinterested. His substitute, Trey Mourning, had one of his worst halves of his career, going 0 for 4 with two missed dunks and a missed layup.
Seton Hall got the lead up to 10, 22-12, on a Powell three at the 12:35 mark, having outscored GU 18-4 in a five minute stretch. While James Akinjo and Jamorko Pickett were holding down the fort, Powell began to go to work. A pair of Powell free throws midway through the half extended the lead to 11, and during another three turnover stretch, Powell rolled past Govan for a dunk, 27-15, and picked off Govan on the next series for an assist to Males Cale, 29-15, and added a free throw following a missed layup by Govan, 30-15.
With Mourning back in the game, the defensive woes continued. Mourning missed a jumper which was sent outside the three point arc to Mamukelashvili, which caught Mourning out of position and sent in the three, 33-15. Free throws by Mamukelashvili put the Hall up 20 with 6:09 to play...in the first half.
From a 43-19 score with 4:00 to play, Powell scored the remaining 15 points for the Pirates down the stretch: a three, free throws, a long three with Jagan Mosely painfully out of position, an drive inside, and a top of the circle three with 1:40 to play that earned a roar from the Garden seats normally reserved for a Billy Joel encore. Powell ended the half with a Big East record 29 first half points, singlehandedly outscoring the entire Georgetown team as the Hall took a 25 point lead into the break, 53-28.
The Hoyas were done, finished, and frankly embarrassed. It left the first half with more turnovers (10) than field goals (9), shot just 33 percent from the field after the opening moments, with one three pointer in seven attempts, and allowed Seton Hall to shoot 58 percent from the field and 57 percent from three. Ewing's inability to devise a plan to keep Powell in check was critical; Govan's inattention to defense was fatal.
Powell's hot hand suddenly called into range an opponent record that has stood for 55 years: the 49 point effort Boston College guard John Austin made against the Hoyas in 1964. Powell scored the opening basket of the second half for the Pirates to get to 31, but the second half deteriorated into nearly 20 minutes of abject garbage time, as the Pirates stumbled to the finish, shooting 23 percent from the floor and missing all nine of its three point attempts. The Hoyas shot 50 percent after the break but never got closer than 16, thanks to 20 percent shooting from long range, with the most reaction from the crowd coming when Josh LeBlanc fell hard and was taken out of the game.
Seton Hall had a 20-3 advantage on points off turnover in the first half, but just two after intermission. The teams failed to convert a single fast break basket in the second half. Powell missed his final six attempts of the game.
But while Seton Hall was off to a run to the final moments of the Big East title and an NCAA offer in tow, Georgetown's effort was as much troubling as it was baffling. In a tournament with its share of great finishes, even the FS1 broadcasters could not hide the sense of denouement that enveloped the game. The Washington Post's pre-game headline promised that the "quiet" Hoyas were ready to "make some noise" in the conference's signature event; in the end, Georgetown did even less than anyone had expected.
And thus the Hoyas' Big East run ended as soon as it started: not with a bang but a whimper.
Following the Seton Hall game, Georgetown has allowed an average of 78.2 points per game this season, the most since 1971-72 and, on average, more than 20 points a game more than it gave up in 2012-13 (56.4 per game). But there is another measure of Georgetown's lack of defensive intensity which was apparent in Wednesday's game.
Myles Powell scored 31 points in the Pirates' win Wednesday. From 1979 to 2017, a period of 1,247 games, Georgetown allowed just 29 games in which an opponent scored 30 or more points. In two seasons, Patrick Ewing has allowed 12, including seven in the last 18 games alone.
Here is the list of all 30-point opponent scorers in the Big East eras (1979-present).
John Thompson (15 from 1979-99)
at Seton Hall
at St. John's
at Boston College
at Boston College
Craig Esherick (5 from 1999-2004)
at Notre Dame
John Thompson III (10 from 2004-17)
vs Davidson (NCAA)
at Notre Dame
vs Ohio (NCAA)
Patrick Ewing (12 from 2017- )
at Seton Hall
Former Tennis Coach Indicted In SAT Fraud Case
A former Georgetown tennis coach was arrested Tuesday as part of a major FBI investigation into academic fraud and admissions.
Gordon ("Gordie") Ernst, head tennis coach at Georgetown from 2006-2017, is accused accepting $2.7 million in bribes over six years to provide preferential admissions for as many as 12 applicants in a six year period, part of a scheme where parents paid a third party to either alter SAT scores or provide fraudulent documentation of athletic achievement, according to a Department of Justice indictment. Ernst, 51, graduated from Brown in 1990 and is currently the women's tennis coach at Rhode Island. He is one of nine coaches indicted at various universities, including coaches at Stanford, Southern California, Wake Forest, Yale, and Texas.
A statement from Georgetown reads, in part, as follows: "Mr. Ernst has not coached our tennis team since December 2017, when he was placed on leave after the Office of Undergraduate Admissions identified irregularities in his recruitment practices and the University initiated an internal investigation. The investigation found that Mr. Ernst had violated University rules concerning admissions, and he separated from the University in 2018. The University was not aware of any alleged criminal activity or acceptance of bribes by Mr. Ernst until it was later contacted by the U.S. Attorney's Office, with whom we fully cooperated in its investigation. Mr. Ernst's alleged actions are shocking, highly antithetical to our values, and violate numerous University policies and ethical standards."
"We have no indication that any other Georgetown employees were involved."
A total of 47 people are charged, who paid a fraudulent charity to help get their children admitted. In some cases, the students were unaware of the plan, in other cases, they were. The non-profit known as "Key Worldwide Foundation" ("KWF") allowed parents to deduct the payments as a charitable gift. In exchange, the non-profit sent checks to the coaches. Many of the participants were CEO's, one of which saw its company's stock fall nine percent Tuesday following the news.
A excerpt from the charging document specific to Ernst reads as follows:
"On or about August 19, 2015...Georgetown Applicant 1 forwarded to Ernst an email Singer had drafted on his behalf. The email contained falsified information concerning Georgetown Applicant 1's purported tennis abilities. In fact, Georgetown Applicant 1 did not play competitive tennis. Ernst forwarded the email to a Georgetown admissions officer.
"On or about August 21, 2015, Ernst wrote to the same admissions officer to "confirm my usage of three spots" Ernst had been allocated for student admissions to Georgetown, as part of the tennis recruitment process... Ernst allocated all three spots to the children of Singer's clients...On or about April 22, 2016, [a KWF official] sent an email to the parents of Georgetown Applicant 1 attaching an invoice in the amount of $400,000 for their purported "private contribution" to KWF. On or about April 28, 2016, the parents of Georgetown Applicant 1 caused $400,000 to be sent to one of the KWF charitable accounts. Between approximately September 11, 2015 and August 29, 2016, Ernst received checks totaling $700,000 from one of the KWF charitable accounts. Between approximately September 11, 2015 and August 29, 2016, Ernst received checks totaling $700,000 from one of the KWF charitable accounts."
The fraud is also SAT related. For example, Yahoo News reported that actress Felicity Huffman "allegedly paid... $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT score fixed by first using doctors to allow for her to get an untimed test and then have a stand-in take the test and post a score of 1420." (Her daughter was not an applicant to Georgetown.)
In almost all cases, the students admitted to these schools never played intercollegiate sports as students.
Ernst resigned from Georgetown in 2017 following an internal investigation. The indictment document noted that Georgetown was conducting an internal investigation into Ernst's recruiting practices during this time and a subsequent IRS audit into the foundation followed.
A well known amateur tennis figure in New England, Ernst was hired at the University of Rhode Island in the summer of 2018. A URI statement reads: "The University of Rhode Island today was made aware of an indictment of head women's tennis coach Gordon Ernst related to incidents that allegedly took place while he was head coach at Georgetown University. As a result, the University has placed Ernst on administrative leave while it continues to review the matter. Ernst was hired by URI in August 2018 as head coach. He has not been involved in the recruitment of any current players nor in the signing of any new recruits."
Govan, Akinjo Highlight All-Big East Teams
Four Georgetown players were selected to the All-Big East teams Sunday.
After not being included on any All-Big East list in 2018, Jessie Govan was named as first team center, the 21st Georgetown player honored with a first team selection since 1980 but the first since D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera in 2015. On the all-freshman team, three Georgetown players were so honored, with James Akinjo as a unanimous selection, along with Mac McClung and Josh LeBlanc. According to the release, this is the first time in 31 years that three selections come from the same team.
Sophomores had a hill to climb to make this year's honors. Of six players named to the All-Freshman team in 2018 (including Georgetown's Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair), only one of the six (Xavier's Naji Marshall) were selected to the 2019 first team, second team, or honorable mention recognition.
Georgetown's four selections were the most among all Big East schools. Creighton, Marquette, and Villanova earned three selections each, and one each from the other six schools. The awards for Player of the year, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the year will be announced Wednesday.
Markus Howard, Marquette, G, Jr., 5-11, 175, Chandler, AZ
Myles Powell, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-2, 195, Trenton, NJ
Phil Booth, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-3, 194, Baltimore, MD
Eric Paschall, Villanova, F, Sr., 6-8, 255, Dobbs Ferry, NY
Jessie Govan, Georgetown, C, Sr., 6-10, 255, New York, NY
Shamorie Ponds, St. John's, G, Jr., 6-1, 180, New York, NY
Kamar Baldwin, Butler, G, Jr., 6-1, 195, Winder, GA
Max Strus, DePaul, G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Hickory Hills, IL
Sam Hauser, Marquette, G-F, Jr., 6-8, 225, Stevens Point, WI
Alpha Diallo, Providence, G, Jr., 6-7, 213, New York, NY
Naji Marshall, Xavier, F, So., 6-7, 222, Atlantic City, NJ Honorable Mention:
Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton, G, So., 6-4, 195, Charlotte, NC
Martin Krampelj, Creighton, F, Jr., 6-9, 235, Grosuplje, Slovenia All-Freshman Team
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton, G, 6-2, 180, Hamilton, MA
James Akinjo, Georgetown, G, 6-0, 180, Oakland, CA
Josh LeBlanc, Georgetown, F, 6-7, 230, Baton Rouge, LA
Mac McClung, Georgetown, G, 6-2, 185, Gate City, VA
Joey Hauser, Marquette, F, 6-9, 230, Stevens Point, WI
Saddiq Bey, Villanova, F, 6-8, 220, Largo, MD
Six Year Conference Records, Seeding
Here are the six year composite Big East records and seedings of the teams in the conference tournament, with opening round seeds in red.
Georgetown 86, Marquette 84
The Georgetown Hoyas saved its best for last, in a wild 88-84 win at Marquette that earned a Wednesday bye in the Big East tournament for the first time since 2015.
No matter whether its season ends next week at the Big East Tournament or somewhere down the line in the NCAA or NIT, the game illustrated that the future of the program is among its freshman trio of James Akinjo, Mac McClung, and Josh LeBlanc. In a game that could have collapsed under the weight of a second sub-par effort from senior Jessie Govan, the freshmen carried this game in ways they could not have done at the outset of the 2018-19 season.
This game had consequences for both teams. Georgetown needed a win to avoid another deflating assignment to the "friends and family" bracket at the Garden, writing them off not only for the NCAA, but perhaps even the NIT as well. For Marquette, it needed this win to earn a share of the Big East regular season title for the first time in six years, when they shared it with Georgetown and Louisville, and to end a three game losing streak. Though the Warriors could not drop below second in any seeding scenario, March is no time to be caught in a losing streak.
The first half was nothing like that experienced at DePaul. The teams combined for 21 lead changes as neither team could get any consistent play from its leading scorers. Jessie Govan did not touch the ball until the 8:11 mark of the half, ending the first period with one field goal. Defensively, the Hoyas held Markus Howard, the leading scorer in the conference, to 3 for 13 shooting as the two teams trade the lead back and forth from the line.
Neither team led by more than three. The Warriors stayed in this game early on the boards, out-rebounding the Hoyas 10-2 on offensive rebounds and picking up a three pointer from Sam Hauser at the buzzer to retake the lead, 39-37 at intermission. It was the only points of the half for Hauser, who torched the Hoyas for 31 in the Warriors' 74-71 win in Washington earlier this season.
Jessie Govan, Jagan Mosely, and Josh LeBlanc were held to a combined 1 for 4 at the break as the Hoyas scored only two field goals from two point range but rode 14 points from Mac McClung and six from Jamorko Pickett to stay close.
Georgetown's three point shooting was vital in the first half. At one point, Georgetown was shooting just 20 percent from two point range but was 4 for 5 from deep. The Hoyas ended the half shooting 42 percent from the field and 5 for 9 from three point range.
The teams traded 7-0 runs early the second half, and entered the first media time out at 46-all. An 11-0 Marquette run at the 10:00 mark was marched by a 13-3 Georgetown run to tie the score at 63-63 with 8:36 to play and thereupon began a run of possessions back and forth.
It was at this point that Akinjo stepped forward. Over the next 3:26, Akinjo scored the hoyas' next 10 points, with a pair of free throws to give Georgetown its first lead of the second half, 68-67, and a basket at the 5:14 mark to lead by three, 70-67. The run was vital following a fourth foul on Jessie Govan which sent him to the bench with 9:26 to play.
In Govan's absence, the Hoyas used leBlanc and Trey Mourning to stuff the Warriors inside, while its outside shooting was off for much of the game. McClung picked up the scoring by driving inside on three of the Hoyas' next four possessions, picking up fouls as he drove to the basket, adding five of six from the line to maintain the lead at 75-73 with 3:20 left. With Marquette getting its free throws after a rough patch earlier in the game, the outcome looked to be going to the line. Instead, McClung and Akinjo each suprised the Warriors by not driving inside, taking a pair of short jumpers in consecutive series to keep the Hoyas ahead, 79-77, with 1:59 to play.
A key moment in the game arrived on the next play, where Mourning broke up a pass to Howard, only Marquette's second turnover since the first play of the second half. With McClung and Akinjo well guarded, guard jagan Mosely flipped the ball to Jamorko Pickett, who had not taken a shot since the 10:35 mark of the half and had missed both attempts to that point. Pickett, whose numbers has declined from outside, loaded up and sank GU's first three in six minutes, none more important than this one to extend the GU lead to 82-77 with 1:22 to play.
A miss from Howard looked to put the Hoyas in command, but Akinjo took an ill-advised three with 17 seconds remaining on the shot clock and Marquette responded, as Joey Hauser connected from three, 82-80 with 44 seconds remaining. On its next possession, Georgetown ran down the shot clock to the end, but Akinjo's shot fell short. On the rebound was a name from Georgetown's recent past--Jessie Govan. Substituted into the game just 30 second earlier, Govan was in perfect position for the rebound. His attempt at a layup was short, but Govan was fouled, hitting one of two at the line to lead 83-80.
There was still more game ahead for both teams. Up three, Georgetown just needed good defense in the final 15 seconds, but Mosely uncharacteristically fouled Howard four seconds into the play. A 90 percent foul shooter, Howard missed the first of two. Converting on the second, 83-81, a quick foul sent Akinjo to the line, where he calmly sank both shots, 85-81.
Down four with just 10 seconds to play, Marquette needed a big play and got it, as Howard sank a three with three seconds remaining, 85-84. Pickett was immediately fouled. A 61 percent shooter who had only attempted four shots in the last four games, Pickett's first rolled around and in, but the second was off. The teams raced for the loose ball, whereupon Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski pleaded for a foul in the scrum, but none was called and the clock expired.
McClung and Akinjo accounted for 48 points in Georgetown's biggest win of the year, denying Marquette (23-8) a share of the 2018-19 Big East title. The Warriors (23-8) have dropped four straight, all of which were late in games. Howard led the home team with 28, narrowly missing becoming the seventh Georgetown opponent to score 30 or more in the last 17 games. Sam Hauser, the hero of MU's win in Washington, finished 2 for 11. His three at the end of the fist half was his only such points in seven attempts.
If the Hoyas can get past Seton Hall, currently the hottest team in the conference following consecutive wins over Villanova and Marquette, these two teams could see a rematch in the Big East semifinals with even more on the line. For this day, however, Georgetown stood tallest, with its first win in Milwaukee in four years and only its second since 2008.
"Just got back from Wintrust. Let me preface what I'm about to say with this. I've been a fan of this program for 18 years. I may not remember the old glory days of the 80s like some of you other posters do, but I do remember the 2006-2008 teams, Jeff, Roy, Otto, etc. A lot of happy moments. I also was there for the worst of the worst (at least since JTII). Being one of 20-30 students to show up to what would be an inevitable slaughter at home by the likes of a peak UConn. Trying to figure out how Matt Causey could become a savior of this program one day (hint: he wasn't).
Rationalizing a loss against St. John's walk-ons post strip-club scandal. I was at VCU and FGCU. Got kicked out of my girlfriend's apartment after Ohio. A lot of low moments too.
Until today, I have never ever seen a team with so much to play for show so little heart, effort and pride.
I don't care if you're a senior who's got a handful of games left in his career or a freshman with untapped potential but doesn't have the experience to go along with it. You don't wear the colors of that jersey and represent the school, OUR school, like you did tonight. That Georgetown across your chest should mean a lot more to you than what you displayed on the court tonight. It means a lot to us.
I've seen some posts come across on this thread trying to down play it as just a game. Maybe so. This isn't life or death. Far from it. And I get that. But basketball is a major part of this school. It's why we come back to DC to visit friends we've not seen for quite some time. It's why people travel out hundreds of miles just to see them play on the road. It's what we're proud of. When someone from the outside hears Georgetown, a lot of positive things may come to mind, but one of them is always basketball.
So when I say as an alum that tonight was one of the most embarrassing nights I've ever had as a fan, I hope you understand where I'm coming from. Is there shame in losing? No (maybe to Depaul, a little bit). Is there shame in not playing your best? No. Is there shame in not competing and taking some pride in representing the University the way it was meant to be represented? Yes.
I don't care if Jessie got poked in the eye. I don't care if Max Strus got hot. And I don't care if we had 13 underclassmen on the roster tonight. You don't go down to f---ing Depaul by 40. Ever.
I obviously don't expect a win on Saturday to resuscitate essentially what are dead NCAA hopes. But I expect to see some g*ddamn pride."
So Long, NCAA's: DePaul 101, Georgetown 69
With so much on the line, Georgetown walked off the stage.
The Georgetown Hoyas were trounced by the DePaul Blue Demons, 101-69, before an announced crowd of 4,756 at Wintrust Arena Wednesday, a game Georgetown never challenged, never threatened, and sometimes looked like they simply didn't care.
With so much on the line, and so little delivered, it is arguably the worst loss in the last 45 years of basketball at Georgetown University that didn't involve the words "Florida Gulf Coast University". Barring a miracle over the next ten days, Georgetown will miss the NCAA's for a fourth conscutive season, a run that has happened just once in the last 44 years.
Astounding in its finality, DePaul scored 100 over a Big East team for the first time in 13 years and still only scored six points in the final 5:56 of the contest to get to 101. Think about that for a moment, and let's proceed with the autopsy of this game, and a body shot to the program that it may not soon recover from.
This team was not prepared to play Wednesday.
All the protestations of Patrick Ewing aren't worth a subway token in a MetroCard machine--this was not Duke out there, but DePaul, a team which Georgetown had defeated 14 straight times on the road. The last time the Blue Demons won a game over the Hoyas, Allen Iverson had not graduated high school and patrick Ewing was on his way to the NBA finals. Georgetown had never allowed more than 81 points in Chicago ever, dating back to the 1941-42 season.
Georgetown was comatose at the start. From a 4-2 opening, DePaul took a 15-3 run to lead 19-5 in the first five minutes of play. Jessie Govan was out of step, out of touch, and out of order as four GU turnovers gave DePaul an unhealthy confidence inside and outside. From a 25-15 DePaul lead with 10:41 to play, the bottom dropped out of the Hoyas' season with the first of two runs of complete deficiency in this game, as the Blue Demons when on a 17-0 first half run, with GU adding five more turnovers to the mix, playing no defense, and fouling with such frequency that the Demons had 15 foul shots before Georgetown took their first.
With 6:41 to halftime, Georgetown trailed 42-15. A 27 point lead is believed to be the largest first half deficit Georgetown has ever suffered in a Big East game. With foul trouble on the merecurial Govan and a mismatched Trey Mourning, the Hoyas had just seven field goals in the half when DePaul already had six threes. Despite scoring 26 on the Demons a week earlier in Washington, Govan didn't score his first basket until 2:31 in the first half, now down 20 at 47-27. Behind nine points from Mac McClung and eight from James Akinjo, the Hoyas tumbled into the locker room down 23, 54-31.
An NCAA bid still remained on the line, albeit fading, forcing GU to get to work and close the lead. Georgetown closed to 58-41 with 15;17 to play, then gave up back to back threes. A Jaylen Butz technical afforded Akinjo foul shots to close to 66-50, but Butz scored a basket and a foul shot on the next play. A three from Jahvon Blair drew the Hoyas to 14, 69-55 with 11:25 to play, and 73-57 at the 10 minute mark.
Earlier in the evening, Seton Hall responded from a 15 point deficit to defeat Marquette and boost their NCAA record. Would Georgetown respond?
In one of the worst seven minutes in the long, proud history of this program, Georgetown coughed up a hairball on its post-season hopes, failing to score in over six minutes and looking the role of a Kenner League team that forgot they were scheduled to play this evening, allowing the Blue Demons, a team which had not earned a winnign season in 12 years, an astounding 22-0 run marked by a complete lack of communication, strategy and effort on and off the court for the Blue and Gray.
The Blue Demons led by as many as 38 before emptying the bench with 4:51 to play, going so far as to bring in walk-on and ersatz cheerleader Pantelis Xidias, who had played two minutes the entire season, for mop-up duty. The same could not be said for Jaden Robinson and George Muresan, who could only watch from a distance as the Hoyas' 2018-19 post-season hopes went into the dumpster outside Wintrust Arena.
"I don't have an answer for it," Ewing said, in a tepid response redolent of John Thompson III's awkward post-game head-scratchers. "We've talked about the importance of this game for trying to lock in that third seed. And I just thought that we didn't come with the right energy and the right effort for whatever reason."
Four DePaul starters not only scored in double figures, they did so by halftime. Max Strus became the sixth different Big East guard this year to ring up 30 on the matador-like Ewing defense, followed by 24 from Eli Cain, or 22 more than he posted against an equally suspect defense in St. John's on Sunday. The Demons shot 49 percent from the field with a season high 14 threes, cashing in 27 points off Georgetown turnovers this evening.
Jessie Govan, Saturday's hero, was Wednesday's goat, scoring one field goal in six attempts. McClung and Akinjo scored 13 each and a combined 3 for 8 from three, the rest of the team chipping in 3 for 16. Josh LeBlanc's eight points and eight rebounds might be the best of a bad bunch, but it is faint praise when writers across the nation are using words like "embarrassing" when describing this game, and by extension, what Georgetown gave up this evening.
"We didn't come ready to play," Ewing said. Why? What can be expected of this team, now having to face a Marquette team that has dropped three straight and is fighting for their NCAA seeding lives? Anything is possible. Just ask Jessie Govan.
With a total of 13,753 at Capital One Arena Saturday, Georgetown ended its 2018-19 home schedule with an average of 7,488 per game this season, the lowest attendance mark since moving off campus in 1981 but with a better story on Big East games.
Georgetown's Big East average was up 10 percent from last season's average, but its non-conference schedule averaged a mere 5,427 in 2018-19, down 18 percent from a year earlier. The Hoyas' most prominent non-conference home opponent, Southern Methodist, drew just 6,763 to Capital One Arena versus a crowd of 15,418 versus Syracuse a year earlier; excising Syracuse from the averages, non-conference attendance was still down four percent.
Saturday's attendance with Seton Hall was a season high. Georgetown's last sellout in the building was March 9, 2013 versus Syracuse.
Averages since 1981 are listed below.
Top Five (Home Court)
1. 2007-08 (Verizon Center)
2. 2008-09 (Verizon Center)
3. 2010-11 (Verizon Center)
4. 1989-90 (Capital Centre)
5. 1990-91 (Capital Centre)
Bottom Five (Home Court)
34. 2016-17 (Verizon Center)
35. 2004-05 (MCI Center)
36. 1999-00 (MCI Center)
37: 2017-18 (Capital One Arena)
38: 2018-19 (Capital One Arena)
A Command Performance: Georgetown 77, Seton Hall 71 (2OT)
On November 14, 2015, the freshmen of the Class of 2019 walked on the floor at what is now Capital One Arena for the first time, witnessing a deflating 82-80 double overtime loss to Radford that set in the motion the collapse of the John Thompson III era and introduced three straight years in the post-season wilderness.
Four years later, these seniors walked out of the same arena with heads held high. In a game that will be long remembered in Georgetown annals, a 77-71 double overtime win over Seton Hall before 13,153 exhilarated fans and more than a few exhausted participants made a case for Georgetown to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.
This game had it all, and then some. If you've never seen a Georgetown game in the last decade, this was a microcosm of the good, the bad, the ugly, and things that absolutely defy common sense. This was a defining game of the Patrick Ewing era and when all was said and done, they prevailed.
Were it not for some twists and turns, this would have been the game where the name Myles Powell would have been seared on the collective Georgetown basketball memory as was Steve Waite or Harold Jensen or Ray Allen of generations past. Powell was a one man show and then some, with a Pirate team that struggled to keep up with him all evening. Powell scored the first eight Seton Hall points and 13 of its first 18, leading the Pirates in a futile first half that was stunning in the lack of execution on both sides of the court. Midway through a first half where Seton Hall held an 18-16 lead, Powell was 5 for 7 from the floor. His teammates were a combined 3 for 15.
Not much more could be said for Georgetown, either. The Hoyas opened the game shooting 5 for 10, than missed 14 of its next 15-- misses from short range, from long; layups, dunks, and jumpers. Nothing went in The most visible of the struggles lay at the hands of senior Jessie Govan, who missed his first five shots.
Three weeks earlier at the Prudential Center, a Georgetown first half lull was exploited by Powell and the Pirates in a 17-2 run that put the game out of reach. In the return match, the Pirates could not pull away, and georgetown survived the early frostbite. When Josh LeBlanc ended a seven minute scoring drought with a layup at the 3:23 mark, the Hall had added just five points in the intervening seven minutes, 22-18. A basket by James Akinjo closed to four, but the Pirates answered with a pair of baskets, 28-20.
Absent Kaleb Johnson, who was felled by a concussion in the first half, each of the Georgetown seniors had a moment that defined the game. For Trey Mourning, it came towards the end of the first half. Despite an up and down shooting effort on the evening, Mourning's play in the final minute of the first half was vital to the Georgetown cause. Mourning hit a jumper with 49 seconds to play, picked up a rebound off a Powell miss with 20 seconds remaining, and drove for a basket with two seconds left, which was blocked by Seton Hall reserve center Romero Gill. Mourning fought for the ball and laid it up ahead of the buzzer, closing the gap to four points at the half, 28-24. Those 49 seconds were as big as any in a first half where the Hoyas shot just 30 percent from the field, missed seven of nine from three, suffered through an 0-7 shooting effort from Jessie Govan, yet only trailed by four. The Pirates were not much better, with Powell shot 7 for 11 and his team contributed five field goals in 25 attempts, with 1 of 10 from outside.
Govan got on the scoreboard to open the second half but Powell continued his assault, with the Pirates taking a 34-29 lead thee minutes into the second half. In response, Mac McClung and Jagan Mosely helped lead the Hoyas on its best run of the evening, a 10-2 spurt that gave Georgetown a 39-36 lead with 13 minutes to play, but neither side would back down. Greg Malinowski came up big midway in the half with a five point run that maintained the lead, 47-44, but the scoring "yips" continued to bite the Hoyas offensively.
Seton Hall pulled ahead 53-49, but freshman James Akinjo responded in a series that may be known as "The Slap:
Akinjo scored the next six points to tie the score at 55 with 3:34 to play. The teams exchanged possessions without scoring for the next two minutes, but Josh LeBlanc came up big with an offensive rebound and dunk at the 1:32 mark to put the Hoyas up 59-57. The Pirates missed a long three with under a minute to play and Georgetown looked to close it out, but Govan lost the ball with 46 seconds remaining. Powell missed a three pointer to take the lead, but Seton hall's Jared Rhoden grabbed the offensive rebound. Off a Seton hall timeout, an open Michael Nzei tied the score with a three foot hook shot, 59-59, with 23 seconds to play.
With 23 seconds and the ball, Georgetown had the last shot. If this was Jessie's Govan redemption moment, it wasn't to be. with four seconds left, Govan's shot was off and the game went to overtime.
Free throws were no sure thing for the Hoyas in the first overtime. Four attempts resulted in only two points from Greg Malinowski and James Akinjo, extending the lead to 62-59, whereupon Nzei answered to close to 62-61. From this point of the game, shooting 2 for 12, Govan rose from the depth of a career humbling game to carry the G-men to the finish.
A Govan basket and foul put the Hoyas up 65-61 with 2:25 to play, only to be answered by a long three from Powell, 65-64. The teams combined to miss its next five attempts combined, and Georgetown appeared once again to have weathered the storm when a Pirate shot clock violation and a pair of steals brought Govan to the line with 7.7 seconds to play, up one. Govan could only connect on one of two from the line, and a late stop went for nought when Rhoden split the defense for a dunk to tie the score at 66 to close out the first extra period. The late game defense by the Hoyas was baffling, but breathed new life into the Pirates' own NCAA hopes.
The teams moved on to the second overtime. Govan and Powell traded baskets in the period, where a big Govan three gave GU a 71-69 lead with 3:19 remaining. On the next series, the Pirates suffered its third shot clock violation of the evening, but a video review indicated the clock had started a second early. True to form in a game where nothing was normal, the Hall got the ball back with one second on the shot clock and promptly converted a two foot jumper from center Sandro Mamukelashvili, 71-71.
A key moment in the game arrived with 2:04 to play. With the score remaining at 71-71, SHU's Jared Rhoden went to the line to take the lead, and missed on both attempts. It was as close as the Pirates would be for the rest of the game. Govan split on free throws on his next two possessions, 73-71, while the Hall missed a pair of three point tries. It wasn't until Govan picked up an offensive rebound with 13 seconds left and took a right handed layup that Georgetown pulled ahead to stay, 75-71, and following a Seton Hall turnover, split again at the line, 77-71.
Govan's 15 point run to end the game, with 11 in the second overtime alone, was remarkable.
"I just wanted to put the game away for my team," Govan said in post game comments. "I had a chance at the end of regulation to win it...I had a shot to extend it to three at the end of the first overtime....In the second overtime, I said alright, this is where great players make plays. I felt like I did that."
The senior led the Hoyas with 21 in an evening where were stars across the Georgetown sky. Josh Leblanc turned in an outstanding effort with 14 points and 17 rebounds, while James Akinjo's 16 points was a huge step forward at a pivotal point of the second half. Jagan Mosely, a late addition to the starting lineup in place of Jamorko Pickett, played the best game of his season against a difficult opponent in Myles Powell. Powell got his points, but could have done much more damage late, as he was largely held in check in the final 15 minutes of play and missed critical shots in the final minutes of each overtime.
Despite shooting just 35% for the game and a miserable 4 for 21 from outside, the Georgetown defense rose to the occasion. Powell finished with 35 for the Pirates while the rest of his team combined to go a woeful 15 for 52, 1 of 17 from three point range. Having dropped three straight, the Hall must now defeat Marquette and Villanova next week to keep their NCAA hopes alive. This loss will hurt the Pirates in two weeks.
“People say that there's nothing like a Championship Saturday inside Madison Square Garden. We want to experience that. I think we can win the whole thing (@BIGEASTMBB Tournament.” - @JGovan15 on @GeorgetownHoops. The title game is just 2 weeks from tonight. #Hoyas