Georgetown Basketball: April 2007 News Archive
Head coach John Thompson III was named as Coach of the Year by voting members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, per a news release at GUHoyas.com.
Recently retired after a distinguished military career, Georgetown basketball alumnus Gen. James Jones (F'66) is now the talk of candidates on both sides of the political fence.
Sydney Johnson will become the second Georgetown assistant in two months to become a Division I head coach when he will be named Monday as the head coach at Princeton, according to the Princeton web site and numerous media sources.
Thursday's Daily Princetonian first reported that assistant coach Sydney Johnson was offered the head coaching position. Johnson, a 1997 Princeton graduate, had played professionally in Europe prior to joining the Georgetown staff in 2004.
"He's going to be fine," coach John Thompson III said of Johnson and his coaching experience to date in this link to the Newark Star ledger. "I don't think [it] is a hurdle to overcome. He's the right person for that job."
"I'm not sure I have enough words to describe how much I learned in three years at Georgetown from Coach Thompson," Johnson told the Trentonian. "He is not only a role model both on and off the court, but a great example of the kind of person I hope to emulate and the kind of person that makes Princeton proud."
Georgetown is down to only one assistant coach in Rob Burke, but a brief item in Saturday's Washington Post noted that coach Thompson said he is under "no rush" to add replacements. Georgetown already has two verbal commitments for the high school class of 2008 already secured.
Johnson becomes the eighth Georgetown assistant in school history to ascend to a head coaching position at the college level, including former assistants Bob Reese (Catholic, 1969-71), Ed Hockenbury (Norwich, 1976-92), George Leftwich (UDC, 1989-91), Dwight Datcher (Roger Williams, 1985-92), Craig Esherick (Georgetown, 1999-04), Ronnie Thompson (Ball State, 2006-) and Kevin Broadus (Binghamton, 2007-).
Some encouraging news for Georgetown fans in a Tuesday evening Associated Press article, where junior forward Jeff Green is leaning towards withdrawing his name from the NBA draft at some point.
"Right now, 70-30 -- 70 coming back," Green said. "It depends on whether I'm ready. I still have a lot of things I need to work on to play at that level."
"Do I want to go eight-through-14, or do I want to go top three next year?" said junior center Roy Hibbert, who told the AP he's closer to 50/50.
Whichever way their respective decisions fall, Green's final quote in the article stands on its own.
"School is only going to be here four years," he said. "The NBA will be there forever. You can't just give up that. That's a big thought in this process. Either way, I'm going to come back and get my degree."
Additional coverage follows in this link to the Washington Times.
It's not just students and alumni that followed the Hoyas' run in 2006-07. The Georgetown Blue & Gray talked to University staff members who looked back on the season.
"Sometimes the Hoyas scare the heck out of you. You never know what's going to happen,” said Coral Harris, a human resources staff member. "But just when you think they're down and out, they always find a way to pull out the wins. It's always thrilling."
A blog at the Washington Post is reporting that 6-7 forward Nikita Mescheriakov will sign with the Hoyas later this spring.
Mescheriakov, an honorable mention All-Met selection in 2007, averaged 14 points per game as a senior at St.John's Catholic Prep (formerly St. John's Prospect Hall) in Frederick, MD. A profile on Mescheriakov ran earlier in this year in the cached link to the Frederick News-Post.
Nikita is the younger brother of former George Washington forward Yegor Mescheriakov, who averaged 14.2 points per game for the Colonials from 1995-99.
Taking advantage of the option to consider the NBA draft without foregoing their college eligibility, juniors Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert will place their names in the NBA draft, according to a release posted late Friday afternoon at GUHoyas.com.
Neither player has selected an agent, which maintains their college eligibility should they choose not to pursue the draft.
Green, a third team All-American and Big East Player of the Year, averaged 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Hibbert, a first team All-Big East selection, averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Hibbert has indicated in the past he is looking forward to his senior season and to graduate with his class. And depending on which local newspaper one reads, the two dailies are at considerable odds on Green's future intentions.
Barker Davis writes in Saturday's Washington Times that "Multiple sources have confirmed Green is no longer regularly attending classes, a sure indication his career on the Hilltop has come to an end."
Players have until June 18 to withdraw names from consideration. Here's a review of former early entry candidates:
Alagia played high school basketball at New York's Andrew Jackson HS from 1941-44 before wartime military service, arriving at Georgetown in the fall of 1946. A two sport star in basketball and baseball, Alagia received a business degree from the School of Foreign Service (prior to 1957, majors in business were students of the SFS) and worked in the brokerage industry for more than 20 years before retiring to South Florida.
Alagia is survived by his wife of 55 years, three children, and ten grandchildren. His son Frank Alagia Jr. was a standout basketball player at St. John's, winning the 1976 Frances P. Naismith Award for the nation's top college player under 6-0.
As discussed earlier this year, Georgetown will meet Alabama in a doubleheader in Birmingham on Dec. 5. The announcement was confirmed Wednesday per this item in the Mobile Register. The early game will feature West Virginia and Auburn.
Other games previously announced, or continuations of home and away series previously announced, are posted to the left and will be updated through the off-season.
Georgetown has finished fourth in the final 2006-07 poll conducted by ESPN and USA Today. The poll, which tends to follow how teams fared in the tournament rather than end of season records, places the Final Four teams 1 through 4, and 15 of the regional semifinalists in the top 16 of the poll.
Georgetown was ranked eighth in the final Associated Press poll, taken before the NCAA tournament.
A March 31 editorial in the Washington Post taking Georgetown to task for its graduation rates for men's basketball players was answered by athletic director Bernard Muir in a letter published in the Post Wednesday.
"The March 31 editorial...relied on data for players who entered Georgetown from seven to 10 years ago," he wrote. "Those data include student-athletes who enrolled at Georgetown but later transferred or withdrew. Other facts demonstrate our commitment to educating student-athletes...Since 1996, of the players who played four seasons of men's basketball at Georgetown, 16 of 17 received degrees. This speaks to Georgetown's deep, long-term commitment to providing the support and resources for our athletes to succeed academically."
A full recap of the sights and sounds of the Final Four Weekend was published in the April 3 issue of The HOYA. Check it out.
For easy reference, here are links to the box scores for the 2006-07 season.
GU 69, Hartford 59
Mike Conley's 15 points paced #1ranked Ohio State to a 67-60 win over Georgetown in the NCAA national semifinals Saturday, sending the Buckeyes (35-3) to the championship game against Florida and ending the Hoyas' amazing season at 30-7.
Both teams figured to rely on its centers to carry the game and both teams found their centers in foul trouble right from the start. Roy Hibbert picked up his first foul 18 seconds into the game, while Ohio State's Greg Oden sat with two fouls less than three minutes into the game, with Georgetown leading 5-3. What could have been Georgetown's opening to take over the game dissolved before its eyes, thanks to four missed shots (two of them layups) and three turnovers which allowed Ohio State to regain its confidence and outscore Georgetown 11-2 to lead 14-7 with 11:49 to play in the half--the Hoyas had managed three field goals in nearly eight minutes of play.
Georgetown closed to 15-14 with 7:07 to play in the half to the cheers of the large Georgetown contingent at the Georgia Dome. Once again, turnovers and unexpected shortfalls in the shooting game gave Ohio State a chance to recover. Two turnovers and a missed layup led to a six point Buckeye lead, 21-14. At one point, OSU had converted nine Georgetown turnovers into field goals-18 points in all. The Hoyas trailed by as many as eight but cut the deficit to five at the half, 27-22.
The Hoyas had trailed before in this tournament, so a run was not only possible, but expected in some quarters. Georgetown opened the second half 4 for 5 and took a 34-33 lead with 16:35 to play, led by four of Jon Wallace's 19 points for the game. Turnovers again allowed Ohio State back in, with the Buckeyes ending the lead back to six, 38-32. An improved Georgetown defense began to slow OSU's offense, and following a Hibbert free throw, a Ohio State turnover was answered with a Wallace three and the gamed was tied, 44-44. Here come the Hoyas....
...And here comes Greg Oden.
Oden was largely a non-factor to this point in the game, but while a frustrated GU defense proceeded to miss to miss shots on its next four possessions, the Bucks went to Oden, who contributed four points and two rebounds to see OSU score seven straight, 51-44. The signature point of this rally was a driving Greg Oden crashing into what appeared to be a stationary Jeff Green, only for referee Ted Valentine to whistle Green, not Oden, for the foul.
Green answered with a layup, 51-46, but GU could not get the stop when it needed it. Trailing by five, the Hoyas gave up a Mike Conley three, 54-46. A Jessie Sapp layup closed to four, 56-52 with 3:21 to play, but OSU scored on consecutive possessions off Conley assists, 60-52. Georgetown baskets were answered by OSU free throws (the Buckeyes were 9-11 in the half compared to just 1-4 for Georgetown) and closed out Georgetown's run.
So many things seemed a step off here or a bad pass there that it is difficult to assess blame or direct one's criticism. Much of this, however, was directed in the media at Jeff Green, who took only five shots in the game and finished with nine points and 12 rebounds. Dick Vitale said as much--a team does not win in the Final Four if their leading scorer takes only five shots.
"I trust his instincts and I trust the decisions," said Coach Thompson on Green's play. "The kid is an extremely intelligent player. We put the ball in his hands and he decided not to shoot. As I said, I'll live and die with Jeff Green's ability to make decisions. "
Jonathan Wallace and Roy Hibbert each scored 19 for the Hoyas, who shot 49% but only 7 of 21 from 3 point range and were out-rebounded 22-14 in the second half. Hibbert held his own with Oden statistically but neither played more than 24 points in the game.
This is the kind of game that Hoya fans will long debate--how does Jeff Green get only five shots in 40 minutes, if fouls had kept Hibbert in the game early, if Dajuan Summers had not suddenly gone cold, had Jessie Sapp hit just one more three, or if the bench had scored any points whatsoever. In the end, however, the "what-ifs" fall short.
"You know, you can sit here -- when you lose a game, you can sit here and find a million things you wish you did differently, could have done differently, should have done differently. That's the nature of this," said Thompson. "When you lose, can you start to go back and start to pick everything apart. What I do think is important is our guys did compete. We got down, they hung on, we clawed back. We fought and scrapped the whole time. The ball didn't bounce our way. It happens."
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wallace 37 2-3 5-9 0-0 1 1 1 19 Sapp 30 2-2 2-7 0-0 2 4 2 10 Summers 30 1-6 0-4 1-2 3 3 0 3 Green 40 4-5 0-0 1-2 12 3 4 9 Hibbert 24 9-13 0-0 1-4 6 1 4 19 Reserves: Macklin 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0 Rivers 13 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 1 0 Crawford 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Ewing 17 0-1 0-1 0-0 2 3 3 0 Team Rebounds 1 DNP: Izzo, Spann, Dizdarevic TOTALS 200 18-30 7-21 3-8 30 17 15 60
There are literally hundreds more stories out there--a quick list of news links is at Google News . a representative set of links are psoted below.
The One-Stop Web Site For Hoya Basketball