Georgetown Basketball: April 2011 News Archive
Hollis Thompson hasn't commented publicly since last week's entry into the NBA draft, but a pair of colleagues tell the Washington Times they think Thompson will be back at Georgetown this fall.
"People around him know he can play at the next level,” said former Los Angeles Loyola forward Miles Cartwright. “But the majority of people don’t think he can. He’s going to take all the comments and negativity from the disbelievers and take it straight to the court and work as hard as he can."
Jamal Adams, who coached Thompson with the Cubs for two seasons, told the Times that "He’s easily bored. He wants to challenge himself. My gut tells me it’s Hollis striking out on his own. My gut is he’s a really bright kid doing his own thing.”
Beginning in 2012, the date to return to campus or stay in the draft is proposed to move from May 8 to to April 12, per the Sporting News, giving players just over a week following the Final Four to commit or stay.
That's the question asked in a column by CBS Sports.com's Jeff Borzello.
"Right now, there’s no hype surrounding Thompson. He will likely go undrafted if he stays in the draft," Borzello writes. "Hopefully, he’s just testing the waters like fellow Big East prospects Terrence Jennings and Carleton Scott. If that’s the case, then this is a fine decision. If Thompson ends up keeping his name in the draft pool, then this is a pretty poor decision."
The local college coaching scene received its second jolt in four days Monday, as George Washington fired Karl Hobbs less than a week after the installation of a new athletic director, and in the wake of George Mason losing head coach Jim Larranaga to Miami on Friday.
In ten seasons, Hobbs was 166-129 at Foggy Bottom, with three NCAA tournaments from 2004 through 2006 but 52-64 over the last four seasons. The GW Hatchet reported Monday night that Hobbs will be paid his $500,000 salary through the expiration date of his contract in 2012.
Mason fans are still trying to make sense of Larranaga's departure. The 61 year old head coach could have easily ended his career in Fairfax, having earned 13 consecutive winning seasons, five NCAA appearances, and the 2006 Final Four, but reports have surfaced that Larranaga clashed with the school over GMU's inattention to facility improvements at the Patriot Center and salaries below market value for his assistants. The $1.2 million salary package offered to fellow CAA coach Shaka Smart at Virginia Commonwealth may have figured in as well.
"[Smart's salary] sends a message to all CAA school and all mid-major schools who want to compete at a high level that there's going to be a demand on coaches that are going to accomplish those things," Larranaga said.
Late on Friday, sophomore Hollis Thompson entered his name in the 2011 NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent, allowing him the opportunity to withdraw his name prior to May 8 and retain two years eligibility.
Thompson averaged 8.6 points in 2010-11, starting in 22 games. There were no quotes posted from the coaching staff.
Additional links follow below:
Thompson is the ninth early entry candidate from Georgetown, of which six were selected in the draft and two withdrew names prior to the draft.
The Vee Sanford transfer is the continuing news story of an otherwise quiet basketball week, with his father Vincent Sr. telling the Washington Times there are no hard feelings with Georgetown over the decision.
"It was not because of the way he practiced or because of grades. There were no off-court issues," the elder Sanford said. "But we're always going to be Georgetown fans. We're just sorry it didn't work out."
Sanford will visit Dayton, Loyola-Chicago, Southern California, and Xavier, according to the Times, and will have two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2012-13 season.
More coverage followed Monday on the transfer of sophomore Vincent (Vee) Sanford at the conclusion of this year.
The HOYA reported that news of the transfer, which surfaced in a Friday column at FoxSports.com, was from an unattributed source. The HOYA reported the transfer was confirmed by Sports Information on Monday, with Sanford's destination for 2011-12 unknown.
Sanford, a 6-3 guard from Lexington KY, averaged 2.4 points this season and was expected to contend for a starting role in the backcourt next season following the graduation of Chris Wright.
"Sanford would come into games in limited minutes, knock down a couple threes, and then would be sent to the bench for reasons the common fan couldn't understand," wrote a commentary at Casual Hoya. "It was clear that there was some sort of disconnect between Sanford and Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III that none of us will ever get clarity on. Regardless, when senior guard Chris Wright went down with a broken hand in late February and Sanford saw no increase in minutes, the writing was on the wall that Sanford was not part of Georgetown's long term plan."
The departure of Sanford stretches a thin Georgetown backcourt even thinner, with only two guards with any Big East experience (points per game listed where applicable, with starters from 2010-11 in blue, freshmen in gold):
Freshman recruits Greg Whittington and Mikael Hopkins each saw action in the 38th annual Capital Classic Sunday, held before 1,600 at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD. Whittington and Hopkins scored six points each for the Capital All-Stars in a 136-115 loss to the U.S. All-Stars.
"[Greg Whittington's] a great talent," said Hopkins to the Montgomery Gazette. "He's got great size and shooting ability. Next year, I hope we can just get this Big East thing crackin'."
The Capital All-Stars were coached by former Georgetown walk-on Glennard (O.J.) Johnson, who commented on Whittington's development to the Washington Post.
"He has the talent, but he needs the work ethic,” Johnson said. “Nobody’s ever pushed him in Howard County. That’s something that takes time to build.”
Athletic director Lee Reed commented to GUHoyas.com yesterday on the school's placement in the Capital One Cup, a measure of post-season athletic performance between schools, similar to the NACDA Directors Cup as sponsored by Learfield Sports.
"We're very pleased to see Georgetown among the teams in the Capital One Cup standings," which place women's teams 29th, though the men's teams are not ranked among 61 schools listed. "It's been a very good year for our entire department, but we're particularly impressed with the Big East and national success of several of our women's teams," Reed said. It is a great time to be a Hoya."
In the NACDA standings through April 7, Georgetown is 36th overall, second only to Princeton among I-AA schools and one of only three I-AA schools among the top 50 schools listed.
The April 14 Hoop Club Awards Banquet offered members of the Class of 2011 a final goodbye to teammates and supporters at the Leavey Center. Video coverage from the event can be found at this link to GUHoyas.com
"When we played in California last year, we had more fans than the other team," remarked Julian Vaughn (C'11). "It just goes to show how big the Georgetown Nation is."
"I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this," said Chris Wright (C'11). "And I'm proud to say I'm a Hoya."
Speaking to the fans assembled at the event, Austin Freeman added "I'd like to thank you guys. You made my four years here at Georgetown the best."
As for the awards segment of the dinner, this appears to be a fading tradition. No awards were announced at the event, marking the third consecutive season the major program awards for the MVP (Daly Memorial), model student athlete (Medley), manager, and scholar athlete (Fenlon) awards have not been publicly announced.
With no public statements in over a year on the stalled Multi-Sport Facility and Athletic Training Facility projects, yet another Georgetown athletic property is in danger.
During zoning committee hearings Thursday on the 2010 Campus Plan, University officials discussed an offer by MedStar Health to construct a new hospital to replace a facility built in 1947. MedStar has proposed the possibility of building a 500,000 square foot hospital on the site of North Kehoe Field, which is the home for the University's soccer teams. North Kehoe Field is one of only two outdoor spaces left on the 104 acre main campus left for intercollegiate athletics.
The construction of a hospital is not included in the current plan and any future move by MedStar in this regard would have to be resubmitted through the University and through zoning hearings.
The Associated Press reports that the men's basketball team will travel to China as part of a U.S. State Department exchange program. Forty years, a similar exchange program among table tennis teams set the stage for normalization of U.S. relations with the mainland of China in 1972.
The trip allows the Hoyas to practice and participate in exhibition games prior to the formal start of NCAA practices in mid-October. Although teams may incorporate overseas travel not more than once every four years, this is only the third such international trip for Georgetown in 35 years. In 1976, the team traveled to Taiwan for a similar program, while in 1993 the team took a two week trip to Israel.
The Kansas City Star is among a number of media outlets reporting a verbal commitment from forward Otto (Bubba) Porter to Georgetown.
The 6-9 Porter, from Sikeston, MO, labeled by ESPN as "the best player no one knows about". Porter averaged 29.9 points and 12.6 rebounds as he led Scott County Central to a third Missouri Class 1 title.
"No, he did go to Georgetown," responded new coach Missouri Frank Haith when asked by the paper on Porter's status.
The verbal would be the fifth Georgetown commitment for 2011 but would otherwise exceed the number of scholarships available unless a transfer is pending or an existing recruit decommits.
Additional links follow below.
For the first time, Georgetown will welcome two of the top basketball players in the Washington Post's annual All-Met team.
The boys basketball Player Of The Year is Greg Whittington, the 6-9 forward from Oakland Mills HS in Howard County, MD. The girls basketball Player Of The Year is Taylor Brown from McNamara HS in Montgomery County, MD.
A list of past All-Met selections that attended Georgetown for men's basketball is found at the Basketball History site.
The development of incoming freshman forward Greg Whittington is also the subject of a feature in the Howard County Times.
"I remember that first year we would see glimpses, things that made you think, man, this kid is going to be a player,” said his coach Jon Browne. “But never in a million years did I think this could happen...I don’t know if anyone could have predicted all this.”
Whittington will be part of the Capital Classic on April 17. Tickets are now on sale for the event.
While seniors Austin Freeman and Chris Wright were scheduled to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for pro draft prospects, neither are expected to attend. Freeman is not listed on the rosters, while Wright is listed but is still working on training for his injured wrist.
Coach Johnson took over at Princeton in the 2007-08 season, building the Tigers from a 6-23 finish in 2008 to this season's 25-7 mark, earning Princeton its first NCAA berth since 2004. His overall record at Old Nassau is 66-53.
Johnson replaces Ed Cooley, who left Fairfield for Providence. The Stags have not advanced to the NCAA's since 1997.
Facing the prospect of a sixth consecutive season with its home town team not making the NHL playoffs, the Toronto Star has a highly complimentary article on Ted Leonsis (C'77) and his efforts to build up sports in the Washington DC area.
"Leonsis speaks to the intermingling of community interests. He sits on the board of Georgetown. Georgetown is important to Washington," writes the Star's Jennifer Wells. "Universities, public gathering places, iconic real estate, sports teams, each connected to the other. 'The represent longevity,' Leonsis notes. 'They represent a big community of interest.'”
“I have a much bigger social responsibility than I ever thought imaginable when I bought the hockey team," said Leonsis. "I'm front and [center] in defining the psyche and representing the city that I live in.”
The article can be forgiven for some gaps in local geography (Verizon Center is listed as "three blocks from the U.S. Capitol" and on the "east end" of town) and notes that Leonsis "has the meticulously buffed appearance of someone who has just stepped from the spa." Nonetheless, a great read about what local commitment has done to make sports in Washington [and in Georgetown] a better place.
Members of Congress and Georgetown law faculty raised $400,000 in the 24th annual "Home Court" game Wednesday, benefiting the Washington Legal Clinic for the homeless, per this link at CNN.com. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) led the "Hill's Angels" with 15 points in a 61-46 win.
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