Georgetown Basketball: April 2014 News Archive
Over the weekend, news arrived of the passing of Michael Heisley (B'60), the former majority owner of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies.
Born in Alexandria, VA, Heisley graduated from Georgetown in 1960, and built a number of businesses in the Chicago area. From the success of the Heico Companies, Heisley bought the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies and relocated them to Memphis, later selling the team in 2012.
Heisley is survived by his wife and five children. A remembrance is found in this link to the Chicago Daily Herald.
Graduating senior Moses Ayegba (C'14) will complete his eligibility at the University of Nebraska, reports SNY.TV.
Ayegba, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will take advantage of an NCAA rule that allows graduating seniors with remaining eligibility to transfer without a two semester residency requirement. A fellow fifth year senior, Aaron Bowen, will stay at Georgetown per a previous announcement.
The move reunites Ayegba with former Georgetown assistant Kenya Hunter, who joined the Cornhuskers' staff last season. Nebraska earned its first NCAA bid in 16 years last season with a 19-13 record.
On the eve of the men's basketball award banquet, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III talked to CBS Sports.com on his expectations in the 2014-15 off-season.
"We're expecting Josh [Smith] to be a part of our program next season," said Thompson. "That hasn't changed and what Josh needs to do hasn't changed. It's all about the conditioning."
"Next year we'll have Jabril back with D'Vauntes [Smith-Rivera] along with Aaron Bowen, Josh [Smith], and also Mikael Hopkins. We've also got several freshman that are going to play right away. Those four first-year guys --- Isaac Copeland, Paul White, LJ Peak, and Tre Campbell --- are going to be thrown into the fire quickly."
For Big East fans who complain that schools in Milwaukee and Omaha don't exactly meet the criteria of the conference's name, it could have been much, much worse.
The Gonzaga Bulletin reports that athletic director Mike Roth was ready to make a pitch for his school to join the Big East in 2013, but was unsuccessful in doing so.
"One single problem threw a wrench in the gears: geography," said Bulletin writer Matt Johnson. "As much as a program can request to join a conference, it eventually has to be invited by the conference, Roth said. Unfortunately for [Gonzaga], the Big East programs were not willing to fly their sports teams five or six hours to Spokane dozens of times every year, even if Roth was."
"Roth says he likes to say that the only way [Gonzaga] would be accepted into the Big East is if teleportation is invented."
The report also noted that Gonzaga turned to Georgetown to discuss improving its academics for basketball players.
"About 10 to 12 years ago, [Gonzaga] approached Duke and Georgetown with a question: How do you make sure your basketball players graduate on time? The answer led [Gonzaga] to institute a requirement that menís and womenís basketball players take a certain number of credits every summer in order not to have credits left over once their basketball eligibility is finished...It's a system modeled after Dukeís and Georgetownís, and not surprisingly, the time since that system was implemented was the time in which nearly every NBA player out of GU has been produced."
A review of Georgetown's freshman recruits in post-season exhibition play is found in this link to Ben Standig's column at CSN Washington.com. The Hoyas' freshman class is ranked as high as seventh nationally, according to reports.
Also on the recruiting calendar: a pending decision by 6-9 PF Alonzo Mourning III, better known as Trey Mourning, who lists Georgetown, Florida, and Duke among his favorites.
Georgetown has announced the hiring of Natasha Adair as its new women's basketball coach."I'm very pleased to introduce Natasha as the new head coach for our women's basketball program," said athletic director Lee Reed in a news release. "She is a rising star in the coaching ranks and the success each of her schools have had is a testament to the hard work she has put in with her student-athletes. She will ensure that our young women develop both on and off the floor and we are very excited to welcome her and her family back home and to the Hilltop."
The Charleston Post and Courier first reported last week that Adair, an assistant under Patrick Knapp from 1998-2004, was a leading candidate for the job, which was vacated when Georgetown chose not to renew the contract of interim coach Jim Lewis. Adair, a 1994 graduate from South Florida, is 35-31 in two seasons at College of Charleston.
The Georgetown women's team finished 11-21 last season, was seeking its third head coach following the departure of Terri Williams-Flournoy to Auburn in April 2012. Adair is the third new head coach to Georgetown in recent months, following Rob Sgarlata (football) and Shannon Soares (field hockey).
The press conference is psted at GUHoyas.com.
Various reports Thursday cited a Twitter post announcing that sophomore forward Stephen Domingo will transfer at semester's end.
Jon Rothstein at CBS Sports.com broke the story, posting that "Georgetown guard Stephen Domingo will transfer, sources told @CBS Sports. Two years of eligibility remaining. Terrific shooter."
In a column at Rivals.com's Hoya Report, Ron Bailey cited a source at Georgetown to confirm this, although Georgetown generally does not announce transfers until the end of an academic semester.
Domingo was one of the nation's top 30 juniors and a member of the USA under-17 team when he committed to Georgetown in the summer of 2012, then took the unusual step of skipping his senior season at San Francisco's St. Ignatius Prep to enroll at Georgetown in the fall. The transition to college basketball was a difficult one for Domingo, playing in 20 games as a freshman but scoring in only four, with a career high seven points against Longwood in December 2012.
Domingo's shooting fell off even further as a sophomore, scoring five points in the first three games of the season and then just four points thereafter. He appeared in 19 games this past season, but was the only player not brought off the bench when the Hoyas finished out the last minute of its NIT loss to Florida State. Even after two years of college ball, Domingo is just 18 years of age.
In 2012, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was quoted as saying that "He's a big time shooter. He can replace some of what we lost with Hollis Thompson because he can make shots from deep." Unfortunately for Georgetown, Domingo's shooting never stepped up. His two year shooting average of 11 for 40 (27.5%) ranks among the bottom ten by percentage for all scholarship players at Georgetown since 1955, while his three point mark of 3 for 27 (11.1%) is the third lowest among all players since 1987 with at least one made three pointer for their career. If another school is selected, Domingo must regain the confidence on the floor that made him a promising recruit just two summers ago.
Domingo's career statistics at Georgetown:
An urban legend about former Georgetown center Dikembe Mutombo (I'91, H'10) was debunked Tuesday, according to this link from NBC Sports.
Mutombo, appearing on the ESPN afternoon show Highly Questionable, told hosts Dan LeBetard and Bomani Jones that an often retold story about an awkward pick-up line while at a Georgetown bar wasn't true. A video from the interview follows at the link.
The National Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday it has elected Alonzo Mourning (C'92) to its 2014 induction class.
The news, which had been leaking for much of the past week, was nonetheless welcomed by Mourning, 44, a three time All-American at Georgetown and a seven time NBA all-star.
"I'm humbled and I'm truly honored," Mourning said. "If my life ended today, I've lived a storybook life."
Mourning was the second pick in the 1992 draft following a season where he averaged 21.3 points and 10.7 rebounds a game for Georgetown in his senior season. His NBA career took a back seat to a life threatening condition when, in 2003, he underwent a kidney transplant. A season later, against all odds, Mourning returned to the NBA and led the Miami Heat to the 2006 NBA title.
In his years since basketball, Alonzo and his wife Tracy Mourning have been generous donors to the Miami philanthropic community, and endowed a scholarship at Georgetown for student-athletes majoring in science or medical research. A member of the University's board of directors, he has been an active participant in the University's $1.5 billion capital campaign.
The Hall also recognized three additional entrants: former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, former Maryland coach Gary Williams, and six time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond, who will join Mourning, five veterans selections, and the 1972-74 championship teams of Immaculata College at ceremonies August 8 in Springfield, MA.
"This 2014 class is a highly distinguished group of individuals who represent many decades and eras of basketball,Ē said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. ďEach year, we follow the tradition of recognizing those who have been leaders in the game of basketball, and this is a special year with a remarkable group of inductees.Ē
Additional coverage follows at this link to the Miami Herald.
Various reports surfaced Saturday morning that senior center Moses Ayegba, who will graduate in May, will play a fifth year elsewhere. The decision was confirmed later today in a news release that confirmed Ayegba's departure following graduation, while senior forward Aaron Bowen will return for a fifth year in 2014-15.
The news emanated from a Twitter post from SNY basketball columnist Adam Zagoria, reading: "6-9 F Moses Ayegba is leaving Georgetown and has one year left after an injury earlier in career, his mentor tells @SNY.tv."
Ayegba sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to injury, giving him the opportunity to play a fifth year. Overall, Ayegba averaged 1.6 points per game in his three seasons.
A post Sunday night from Zagoria that Ayegba had narrowed his choices to Indiana, LIU, Nebraska, Pepperdine, Towson, Indiana State and Wichita State was refuted in a subsequent post from Ayegba's own Twitter account.
"The report about me narrowing my list to those schools are false," he wrote. "I have not talk[ed] to any school yet."
Ayegba's career statistics at Georgetown:
The projected depth chart entering the 2014-15 season, with 12 of 13 scholarships filled. (Totals refer to points per game in 2013-14):
Here's a recap of prior players who received an added year of eligibility at Georgetown (since 1955):
A study by Sports Media Watch examined the ratings from nearly 1,000 college basketball games broadcast nationwide in 2013-14, with some mixed results for Fox Sports 1 and the Big East.
"Of 942 games on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC, FOX, FS1, Fox Sports 2 and NBCSN, only nine drew a rating of 2.0 or higher. By comparison, 770 drew a rating of 0.5 or lower, 524 drew a rating of 0.1 or lower, and 246 had a 0.0 rating. ESPNU aired 100 games with a 0.0 rating, and FS1 aired 74," said the article.
FoxSports 1 trailed ESPN across the board in head to head matchups, but in its first season the network outdrew games on ESPNU and approached ESPN2 in total viewers, despite the fact that FS1 is in some 20 million fewer households than ESPN.
The lowest ranked games? Three games (Monmouth-Seton Hall, Houston Baptist-DePaul, and VCU-Boston College) each saw less than 1,000 households, according to the survey.
How did Georgetown games fare? Here's the ratings for all Georgetown games on TV except two games versus Seton Hall, which were not reported in the study. Road games predominate the list, with seven of the bottom ten being home games at Verizon Center.
The college basketball world arrives at the Dallas suburb of Arlington, TX this weekend for the Final Four, expecting to set an all-time attendance record at the world's largest domed stadium.
The basketball tradition of North Texas is a lean one, writes Barry Horn at the Dallas Morning News, with its only Final Four entrant in 1956 and none of its four Division I schools drawing more than 5,653 a game. But the region is home to a large share of the nation's top collegiate prospects, with two of the top six recruits and nearly a half dozen in the top 100.
Despite the 11th largest concentration of its alumni in the nation, Georgetown's presence in this growth market remains minimal. Sophomore walk-on David Allen is the only Georgetown basketball player signed from the area in nearly 40 years. Dallas-Ft. Worth remains the largest media market Georgetown has never played a single basketball game in--the closest regular season opponent in the JT III era was at Memphis in 2008, some 400 miles away.
With over 1,200 public high schools and a population larger than every state but California, Texas deserves a closer look not only by Hoya basketball, but by the University at large. To a Georgetown community which still views the area between Interstate 95 and Interstate 5 as "flyover country", it's time to pay more attention to the growth markets which will form the future of the college population, both academic and athletic.
Saturday's forecast: 66 degrees. Inside, 72 degrees and lots of basketball.
From St. John's, news of the transfer of sophomore center Chris Obekpa, the third departure from the program this spring. The Redmen have only seven returning players and no incoming recruits to date, with coach Steve Lavin expected to be busy in the remaining months to fill its 2014-15 roster.
The New York press corps tends to be resolutely supportive of St. John's but is beginning to show signs of concern.
"Is this program heading in the right direction?" asks Mike Vaccaro at the New York Post.
"Honestly, itís still difficult to define what St. Johnís has in Lavin, whose reputation at UCLA as an ace recruiter and less-than-dazzling coach remains intact, though St. Johnís certainly would sign up tomorrow for Lavinís UCLA dossier," Vaccaro writes. "He has delivered significantly less than that here. Now, he has seven players, and now he has to hustle on a spring circuit he had all but conceded before all the defections came, and he has somehow done the impossible: become an invisible man in his own city, his rosters barren of New York City kids who, at the least, might make Madison Square Garden sound like something other than study hall."
Earlier this week, the Washington Post noted that the University of Maryland will not particiapte in the 2014 BB&T Classic, a local tournament once dubbed the "John Feinstein Invitational" for the influence of its longtime promoter, Washington Post columnist John Feinstein.
Feinstein has regularly berated Georgetown for not playing in the tournament, with his annual barbs only serving to distance the two sides even further. Will Feinstein be as critical of Maryland's Mark Turgeon for the same decision?
The lineup for the 2014 tournament has not been disclosed. Maryland's 77-75 loss to George Washington in the 2013 tournament drew just 9,183 to Verizon Center.
In Big East news, Marquette University has hired former Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski as its new head coach, following a public pursuit of prospects such as VCU coach Shaka Smart, former Pitt and UCLA coach Ben Howland, and current Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin.
"I come from an environment where the expectation is to win, and that is why I chose Marquette," Wojciechowski said. "I am particularly impressed with Marquette's investment in men's basketball and I'm thrilled to join an institution with so much rich history in both basketball and academic excellence. Having been a student-athlete, I know first-hand what it takes to succeed both on and off the court, and I bring tremendous passion when it comes to shaping our players into successful athletes and men."
Wojciechowski, 37, has been on the Duke staff since the 1999-2000 season. This is his first job as a head coach.
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