Georgetown Basketball: April 2008 News Archive
Georgetown has replaced Memphis as the eighth team in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, an eight team tournament scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend 2008 in Orlando, FL.
The tournament, hosted by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference at the Disney Sports Complex in Orlando and co-sponsored by ESPN, will feature three games in a four day period.
In addition to Georgetown, participating schools include Gonzaga, Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Siena, Tennessee, and Wichita State. The presence of Maryland in the field has garnered some local press interest, given that the Hoyas and Terrapins have played in only one regular season game since December 1979, but no pairings have been announced by the tournament organizers to date.
Additional coverage follows below.
An article from the Associated Press reports that the 47 Big East teams were recognized for superior academic performance by the NCAA. Of the 47, over a quarter (12) were from one school alone--Georgetown.
Teams recognized for included field hockey, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, women's swimming, women's tennis, and men's and women's indoor and outdoor track. Villanova was the only Big East men's basketball team to make the list.
Georgetown officials announced the departure of center Vernon Macklin, transferring to a school to be determined.
"We appreciate the hard work he put in at Georgetown, both on and off the floor," said head coach John Thompson III in a brief statement common in GU transfer releases. "We wish him the best in the future." A blog at Fox Sports.com announced the transfer late Wednesday but without corroboration.
The sixth transfer in Thompson's four years at the Hilltop, Macklin was among Georgetown's most prized recruits in a decade. A Parade and McDonald's All-America selection, Macklin averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds a game at Hargrave (VA) Academy, and was ranked as the #12 recruit nationally by Prep Stars and Hoop Scoop Online. Macklin gave thought to going straight to the NBA, but an NBA rule enacted that season required players to commit to at least one year of college before turning pro. Macklin signed with Georgetown in the fall of 2005.
During each of his two seasons, Macklin played backup to Roy Hibbert and his stats reflected it. Despite setting a school record shooting 74% from the field in 2006-07, Macklin averaged just 9.8 minutes of play, 2.9 points, and 1.5 rebounds. In 2007-08 he averaged 12.8 minutes, 3.4 points, and 2.1 rebounds, but failed to make the starting lineup in any of his 65 games at Georgetown. He scored in double figures just three times in his career.
Nearly a quarter of Macklin's points came in just two games this season, a 5-5, 10 point effort against Pittsburgh, and an 8-10, 18 point effort against an outmanned St. John's team. In too many other games, however, his scoring was not a factor, and his free throw shooting less so, ending the season shooting just 25 percent from the line.
Macklin was expected to be a likely starter for the Hoyas in 2008-09, despite competition from 6-11 freshman Henry Sims and potentially 6-10 forward Greg Monroe as well. But with an opportunity to reestablish the credentials that followed him all through high school, his departure is all the more surprising.
Just two months ago, an optimistic Macklin told the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot that "I'm happy here at Georgetown" and that "my time is coming". But a source told the Washington Times late Thursday that "[He] chose to listen to what he wanted to hear from some folks outside the program, rather than what he needed to hear from those within it."
Additional coverage follows below:
Macklin's final stats were a reflection of his limited role on the team. All-time, he ranks 196th in scoring and 233rd in scoring average. Among Georgetown's 12 McDonald's All-America awardees since 1981, his scoring totals clearly trailed most that had come before him.
Whatever decision Vernon Macklin reaches, it is done amidst the shadow of a yet to be fulfilled potential.
In the spring of 2006, Macklin was rated among the top 10 juniors in the nation. In just two years, six have already moved to the NBA, and three others were honorable mention All-Americans in college this season. Where are they now?
How many players now remain from the 2007 Final Four team?
A new era in more ways than one awaits the 2008-09 Hoyas, which must rely heavily on a freshman class for the first time in four seasons.
Macklin's departure leaves 11 players currently on scholarship for the 2008-09 season. The eligibility status of freshman Chris Braswell, as noted in the April 12 Washington Post has not been confirmed by Georgetown.
A depth chart on the 2008-09 roster could look like this:
John Thompson III will be one of the assistants for USA Basketball's Under 18 development team, who will play in a July tournament in Argentina, reports ESPN.com. The team, coached by Davidson's Bob McKillop, will conduct tryouts at Georgetown in early July before attending the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Formosa, Argentina July 14-18.
A pair of online columnists have discussed Roy Hibbert's upcoming draft status, with differing opinions.
"Hibbert is not a dynamic athlete, but he has super-glue hands and exceptional basketball skills," said DeCourcy. "He'd be an immediate rotation player for all but the best NBA teams and could be a starter in the right circumstance. If he were to fall to the 25th pick, whatever team sits at No. 25 should be doing a touchdown dance on draft night."
Lyddy, an alumnus of Fairfield Prep before arriving at Georgetown in 1963, played three years on the basketball team and later served as an assistant coach from 1969-71. He is currently the director of development at the Mayo Clinic.
Monroe is noted in a recent article at CSTV.com listing Georgetown with the fifth best recruiting class for 2008.
Over 500 guests returned to campus Wednesday for the annual Hoya Hoop Club banquet, honoring the team and the seniors of the class of 2008.
"I say this every year and it's extremely important, but everyone in this community has been extremely supportive and they come out and cheer for us," said coach John Thompson III in this link to GUHoyas.com. "The biggest part of this is thanking you, thanking everyone that supports us, from the students to the fans to the bands and the cheerleaders, and thanking you for helping us to do what we do and helping to accomplish the little bit that we have accomplished, and what we will accomplish. We are extremely appreciative and I can't express that enough."
Thompson also thanked the seniors who helped build the program over the last four years.
"I was extremely fortunate to have walked in the door we walked in with. In their upbringing, they understood, and understand, what's good and what's right. I want to sincerely thank each of the parents. It's an incredible group of men. They walked in the door like that. I thank you for sending them here and for supporting everything that we did here and raising them like you did."
The seniors also reflected the sentiment.
"From where we came in our freshman year, a new coach, and you think things will be fine and dandy. Our first game, we lost by 20 to Temple," said Jonathan Wallace (C'08). "But then you look at the picture and we never knew that was going to be the outcome. We never knew that would be the picture we'd leave with, but it all comes in time. You have to start at the beginning with the end in mind. These have been the best four years of my life. I can honestly say thank you, thank you for what you've done."
Wallace received the Francis Daly Award for the team's most valuable player, while Roy Hibbert (C'08) received the outstanding player award. Other player award categories were not cited in the article.
An athletic training web site has removed the name of Georgetown recruit Greg Monroe and two other players after complaints that it amounted to advertising for the service.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that University of Florida officials asked Sparq Training, Inc. to remove photos of QB Tim Tebow on its web site, citing NCAA eligibility concerns. The paper reported that references to Tebow, Monroe, and Wake Forest signee Al-Farouq Aminu have since been removed.
"We regret that the imagery and content were co-mingled and might raise any NCAA concerns," a Sparq spokesman told the paper. "We are exploring steps to avoid any future similar circumstances."
From the box score, center Henry Sims scored 17 points on 8-10 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five blocks in 20 minutes of action. Guard Jason Clark was 5-13 for 16 points, and forward Chris Braswell was 3-13 from the field but 6-8 from the line to finish with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Freshman recruit Chris Braswell played in Sunday's Capital Classic but his plans for the fall are still to be determined, according to Sunday's Washington Post.
Braswell, who committed to Georgetown in October 2006, has struggled through academic issues which led to a diagnosis of a learning disability. After two years at DeMatha, he is now at Hargrave Military Academy.
"It will be tough if I have to continue with high school [into 2008-09]," Braswell said, "but people don't know what I have to go through. I just wish they'd understand."
While members of the class of 2007 were settling into graduate school or their first job out of college, former Georgetown forward Ken Izzo was one something of a worldwide tour, according to this article from the Georgetown Voice.
Izzo played professional basketball in Mexico, Ireland, and Hungary in 2007-08 before opting for a consulting job in New York.
In his first year of eligibility, former Georgetown center Patrick Ewing (C'85) was selected among seven inductees to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The list of career accomplishments for Ewing remain worthy of the honor: national high school player of the year (1981), three time consensus All-American (1983,84,85), national player of the year (1985), Olympic gold medalist in 1984 and 1992, and 11 time NBA All-Star. A member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team, most of his 17 year pro career was with the New York Knickerbockers, whose selection of Ewing in the 1985 "draft lottery" is still the stuff of NBA legend. He remains the Knicks' career leader in points, rebounds, and blocked shots.
Ewing joins Hakeem Olajuwon and Adrian Dantley as player inductions, along with coaches Pat Riley and cathy Rush, and contributors Dick Vitale and William Davidson. It was 24 years ago this week that Ewing and Olajuwon met in the 1984 NCAA final, and fitting that they will enter the Hall together.
"We both came from different countries," Ewing said in this link to Newsday. "Our skills were sculpted by great coaches. I beat him in college, he beat me in the NBA."
"To me, he was a perfect player, attitudinally as well as effort-wise, and that's all you want," said his former coach, John Thompson, in the Washington Post. "People have successes and failures, but a person that gives you everything that they possibly can give you and also acts like a decent human being, you respect him for that. He deserves that, and I'm very happy for him."
Ewing becomes the fourth member of the Georgetown basketball program to enter the Hall of Fame and the first player overall, joining former Georgetown coaches Elmer Ripley (1927-29, 1938-43, 1946-49), Buddy Jeannette (1952-56) and John Thompson (1972-99).
Additional coverage follows below. Congratulations to Patrick and his family on the selection and for the induction ceremony to follow in September.
With a quieter than hoped for weekend awaiting Georgetown fans watching the NCAA Final Four, two seniors were be in San Antonio for various events, per this link from GUHoyas.com.
Patrick Ewing Jr. participated in Thursday's slam dunk contest and his second attempt quickly made it to YouTube, while Jonathan Wallace will appear in the NABC All-Star Game on Friday. Both Ewing and Wallace have also been invited to the Portsmouth Invitational pre-draft tournament.
Speaking of the NBA Draft, USA Today, an article on early entries asks if Roy Hibbert's senior season at Georgetown will cost him draft status in the NBA draft. "I don't know if it will make a difference with the money," Hibbert says. "But I think I'll enjoy my NBA career more because I stayed."
The 2008 baseball season will produce more than its share of elegies for New York's Yankee Stadium, which will be razed for a $1.3 billion replacement across the street. Across town, few such tears will be shed for Shea Stadium, where the Mets will leave for a new ballpark of its own.
The Queens Courier looks back on the namesake of the stadium, Bill Shea (C'30, L'31), a three year basketball letterman at Georgetown from 1928-31 and his impact upon major league sports.
A familiar face is headed to campus this summer, according to the Seattle Times, as Sonics forward Jeff Green will be taking classes towards completion of his degree.
"That's going to mean a lot to me and to my mother," he said. "She cried at my high-school graduation. I know my dad will be all in tears. That's something that he never did."
Green left Georgetown for the NBA after his junior season.
Roy Hibbert (C'08) was named to the 2008 Associated Press All-America second team.
Hibbert averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 2007-08, finishing 12th in the nation in field goal shooting percentage.
As noted last month, Hibbert's development on both sides of the court was striking. In his freshman season, he failed to score in eight games, but by junior year he was second in the nation in shooting percentage, with 26 double figure scoring efforts and five straight double-doubles that powered Georgetown into the Final Four.
"He has matured on and off the court this year," coach Thompson told the Washington Post. "He has been placed in basketball situations that he's never been in before, where he is the best player on his team. He's never been the best player on his team in his life. Just that maturation process, that understanding, has helped him grow and get better."
It's a far cry from the tentative freshman of 2004, and upon his graduation this spring Roy Hibbert, Jr. will present a body of work alongside some of the greatest in Georgetown basketball history: a top 15 career scorer, top ten in rebounding, top four in blocks. Ever the team player, Hibbert is the only Georgetown center ever to have more than 150 or more assists.
"Early in his career, [he] couldn't even run properly. Now his deft shooting touch inside the paint, and from the top of the arc, has made him a star," writes Mike Hume in the Falls Church News-Press. "Hibbert is so beloved that when students scream his name they then repeat it three times, in triplicate, to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger.” How many other All-Americans have their own theme song?"
Congratulations to Roy and his family on this honor.
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