Home  >  Archives

Georgetown Basketball: April 2003 News Archive

Capital Classic 4/18/03

Matt Causey '07 scored 13 points and totaled eight assists as he was named the MVP in the opening game of the the 30th annual Capital Classic Thursday night for local and national high school basketball talent. Ohio prep star LeBron James starred in the second game, scoring 34 points.

"Some of [Causey's] moves are just ridiculous," said Maryland recruit D.J. Strawberry. "I have never seen moves like that."

Causey was joined by fellow Georgetown recruit Darian Townes (15 points) in the opening game.

Post-game reports follow below.

Sweetney Considers Draft, Retains Eligibility 4/11/03

Georgetown University announced Thursday that junior forward Mike Sweetney will make himself available for the 2003 NBA draft, but will preserve his ability to return to school this fall if he so chooses.

"Mike has not hired an agent or withdrawn from school," said Coach Esherick in this link to GUHoyas.com. "He will continue attending class and will take his exams. When the semester is over, we will examine where he would go in the NBA draft. He will then determine whether to commit to the NBA or return to school.”

Neither Esherick nor Sweetney will be available for interviews during the process. Sweetney has until June 19 to decide whether to pursue the draft or withdraw his name from consideration.

Links to the announcement:

Fred Brown: Two Decades Later 4/6/03

The Louisiana Superdome has produced two of the most memorable Final Fours ever. The New Orleans Times- Picayune looks back at two players from those games--Georgetown's Fred Brown and Michigan's Chris Webber--for their thoughts. Recommended reading.

Men's Basketball: The Football Factor 4/5/03

Before the Final Four, USA Today published a series of articles defining the juxtaposition of Division I-A football schools in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

"All of us go back to some point in time and remember the Hoosiers movie, that anybody can win... It's probably not very realistic, though," said NCAA tournament committee chair Jim Livengood. "Reality is that resources, other things, play a huge part in the teams that are going to make it, whether it's the Sweet 16 or the Elite Eight or the Final Four."

Since 1985, only 35 schools--or 11% of the Division I membership--has appeared in the Final Four. Of these, only six--Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, and now Marquette--have done so without a football program at the Division I-A level.

The series also questions the performance of non I-A schools in the Big East, noting that none have made the Final Four since 1989 and none made the NCAA's this season.

"There seems to be no limit on schools' ability to want to spend money on football, said former Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt. "If they're going to do that for football, they're almost obligated to do that for basketball. And so, they do it. And if the non-football schools don't do it, that widens the gap."

Included in this article is a comparison of budgets among the 241 Division I schools which sponsor both football and men's basketball. Georgetown was listed as 32nd in basketball and 201st in football. Georgetown's basketball figure is inflated by the major expenses needed for MCI Center rent, as Georgetown is one of only a handful of schools in the top 100 of this list where teams play at an off-campus arena.

HOYA Editorial: Thanks Mike 4/5/03

While he's just as soon get back to class and enjoy some time off, junior Mike Sweetney will get the scrutiny of whether to return for senior year or take his chances early in the NBA. The HOYA posted a supportive editorial in Friday's editions.

Washington Post Wrap-Up 4/5/03

The Washington Post has a follow-up from the season finale with a few off-season items, including the Hoyas' play in the NIT.

"Everyone showed heart, came together as a team," said junior Mike Sweetney.

Also of interest: a mention from the Post writer of a possible sophomore transfer. Coach Esherick only added: "If there is anything to it, you will know."

Sweetney Named Honorable Mention All-America 4/3/03

Despite a post-season run that garnered national acclaim, the Associated Press did not name Mike Sweetney to its first, second, or third team All-America list, placing the 6-8 junior on its honorable mention list. Nonetheless, Sweetney becomes the 17th Georgetown player to receive All-America status, and the first since Victor Page in 1997.

St. John's 70, Georgetown 67 4/3/03

"It was a little rushed, not a good look. I saw he didn't have his hand up, so I shot. I didn't get what I wanted."--Gerald Riley

The roller coaster ride that was the 2002-03 basketball season came down to a single play for the Georgetown Hoyas Thursday night against St. John's. Off the inbound, guard Drew Hall had three options: Gerald Riley, Mike Sweetney, or Tony Bethel. Riley got the call, but not the shot.

His shot sailed wide, and St. John's held on to to win its sixth NIT title, 70-67 at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's started off quick, with two Marcus Hatten threes to lead 6-2. Georgetown answered by hitting 8 of its first 14 shots and took the lead with 11:22 left. The Redmen (aka Red Storm) stayed in the game with nine offensive rebounds, the real story of tonight's game. Georgetown led by as many as six in the first half, shooting 46 percent from the field, and led at half 38-34.

Both teams were cold to open the half. St. John's went three minutes without its first points, Georgetown nearly six. St. John's early start in the scoring column, gave them the momentum, opening with seven straight from Hatten. The run erased the halftime lead as the Redmen hit seven of ten shots to lead by as many as six. The Hoyas closed to 62-59 with 5:05 to play and teams traded possessions until Tony Bethel tied the score at 67 with 1:22 to play.

St. John's made one of two free throws with 1:12 to play and on GU's next series, Bethel launched a three point miss that SJ recovered but could not convert. Hatten's miss with :24 left, gave the Hoyas another shot. Brandon Bowman took the ball up the court but the drive quickly stalled, leading to a quick Georgetown timeout to regroup. With 10.4 seconds, down 1, Hall found Sweetney triple teamed and opted to go to Gerald Riley instead. Riley's took only one, maybe two seconds to launch the outside shot, which sailed wide, and St. John's Grady Reynolds rebounded with about five seconds to play.

“I'll definitely live with that shot", Esherick told The HOYA.

St. John's' Mike Jarvis agreed. "When you have two or three guys around [Sweetney], you can't pass it to him; somebody else is going to have to take the shot and you’ve got to take your chances with that."

Reynolds got the rebound, but instead of letting the clock run out or waiting for a foul, Reynolds called timeout with 4.1 seconds left, whereupon Georgetown regrouped and was able to send the Redmen to the line with no time coming off the clock. St. John's hit two free throws to increase the lead to 70-67, where Tony Bethel nearly pulled out the win with a 26 footer that caromed above and off the rim.

The big story of the game was rebounds. Georgetown fared poorly in defending its basket from the second chance, and St. John's made the most of it. Georgetown was out rebounded 43-34, and St. John's collected 18 offensive rebounds. The Hoyas' 34 overall boards was five below its season average and disappointing, considering that St. John's took 70 shots to just 49 for the Hoyas.

Mike Sweetney led the Hoyas with 25 points, but SJ's tough defense limited his scoring in the second half. Marcus Hatten led St. John's with 22 as the Redmen completed a five game NIT sweep, all at home. While the Redmen had played ten of its 11 games in New York dating back to February 26, this was the Hoyas' seventh straight road game dating back to the Big East tournament.

Georgetown's half of the box score follows below.

           MIN  2FG  3FG    FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Bethel      33  5-10  2-5   0-1   2   4   4   12
Riley       30   2-8  2-7   4-4   4   2   2   10
Bowman      29   3-6  0-1   5-6   7   1   1   11
Samnick     26   1-3  0-0   2-4   2   1   4    4
Sweetney    39  9-16  0-0   7-8   9   0   3   25
Freeman     11   0-1  0-0   0-0   1   0   0    0
Hall        18   1-2  1-2   2-2   4   3   4    5
Cook        14   0-3  0-1   0-0   1   0   2    0
DNP: Faulkner, Ross, Hillier, Owens
TOTALS     200 29-59 5-16 25-32  30  18  18   88

Post-game articles follow below:

Georgetown 88, Minnesota 74 4/1/03

Mike Sweetney scored 32 points as the Georgetown Hoyas advanced to the NIT finals with a convincing 88-74 win over Minnesota.

Georgetown's first half was as strong as any effort this season, keyed by strong defense, few turnovers (4), and the ability of Sweetney to exert his will in the low post. The Hoyas never trailed in the half, with Minnesota (19-13) getting as close as a 17-17 tie when Gerald Riley picked up his second foul with 13:00 to play. From that point, Georgetown went on a 13-4 run en route to a 47-33 halftime lead, with Sweetney hitting 11 of 13 free throws and 17 points. Also key for the Hoyas was the continuing development of freshmen Brandon Bowman and Ashanti Cook, who combined for 18 first half points. For its part, Minnesota gave up 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, and missed eight of its ten long-range shots.

Entering the second half, Minnesota adjusted to Sweetney's presence inside and began pressuring the Georgetown guards up court. After only four turnovers in the first half, the Hoyas gave up four in the first two minutes of the second half. With Minnesota hitting six of its first eight shots, the 13 point lead was reduced to one, 53-52, with 14 minutes to play. But has has been the case throughout the NIT when leads were cut, Georgetown has developed a confidence to rebuild the lead at critical times, which was the case against the Gophers. From one point game, the Hoyas went on a 9-0 run by feeding the ball back time and again to Sweetney, opening the lead to 64-52 with 11:47 to play.

While Minnesota took advantage of gaps in Georgetown's defense to keep the game close, it fared poorly in stopping Sweetney down the stretch. The 6-8 junior scored 15 of Georgetown's last 37 points, including a variety of jumpers, dunks, and free throws. Minnesota center Jerry Holman fouled out with 6:33 to play with the Gophers down only seven, 71-64, and Minnesota opted not to go with reserve center Jeff Hagen, giving Sweetney additional options inside.

But it wasn't all Sweetney. The Hoyas escaped another possible run with 5:18 to play when, leading by only seven, Bowman was caught in a defensive trap. A quick timeout from the bench followed, whereupon Gerald Riley hit a difficult three to increase the lead back to ten, 78-68.

The Gophers made a number of small runs down the stretch, any number of which could have tightened the game, but struggled with its three point shooting. The Gophers' leading three point shooter, Mike Bauer, was 0 for 6 and the Gophers ended the game 5 for 19 from beyond the three point arc. Georgetown's outside shooting was not much better but came at critical times to support the lead.

Sweetney capped off his effort with a pass from Victor Samnick to put the Hoyas up 11, 85-74, with 1:23 left, part of 18 Hoya assists on the evening. Samnick also contributed well, finishing with 13 points in 25 minutes off the bench.

"There's nobody we're going to play except the Lakers that we can't exploit with Mike inside," Coach Esherick said in post-game comments. "This guy probably played his best all-around game for us."

Georgetown ends its 2002-03 season Thursday against St. John's, which erased a 10 point deficit late against Texas Tech and forced a key steal in the final minute to advance to the final, 64-63.

Georgetown's half of the box score is below.

           MIN  2FG  3FG    FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Bethel      34   2-6  1-5   0-0   4   3   2    5
Riley       24  5-10  1-3   1-2   2   2   3   12
Bowman      28  4-11  1-3   5-8   5   2   3   14
Freeman     15   1-5  0-0   0-0   4   2   1    2
Sweetney    39  8-14  0-0 16-18   9   4   3   32
Samnick     25   5-8  0-0   3-4   2   2   4   13
Cook        16   3-4  1-2   0-0   3   0   2    7
Hall        17   1-1  1-1   0-0   1   3   0    3
Owens        2   0-0  0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
DNP: Faulkner, Ross, Hillier
TOTALS     200 29-59 5-14 25-32  30  18  18   88

Post-game articles follow below.


HoyaSaxa.com: The One-Stop Web Site For Hoya Basketball™
An independent web site not affiliated with Georgetown University. All rights reserved.