Georgetown Basketball: May 2007 News Archive
For anyone that saw him at the 100th anniversary weekend, Hall of Fame guard Jim Christy (B'64) looks like he can still play the game. And according to this story in the Daily Sun of The Villages, FL, he still can.
Christy, now retired in Florida, tells the paper of two of his legendary games, including an upset of #1 ranked Loyola-Chicago and a 44 point game against Maryland at Cole Field House.
"Everything we tried to do just seemed to work [against Loyola]," Christy recalled. When we needed to make a big shot, we made it. If we needed a rebound, we got it. If we needed a defensive stop, we stopped them. It was the best game I’ve ever been a part of in my estimation. I’ll never forget that game.”
Christy's career free throw average of 81.6% hasn't dimmed, either. In a recent seniors competition, Christy sank 44 of 45 from the line (97.7%). "I could have kept shooting all day", he added, "but at some point they needed to call it so they gave us both a gold medal.”
Washington Times writer Barker Davis posted some thoughts on the decisions of Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green at the Times' sports blog.
"As instrumental as Green was in Thompson's first three seasons, it is Hibbert the coach nicknamed "Franchise."," writes Davis. "It's Hibbert who Thompson once boldly proclaimed would one day be one of the best players in the world. And it's Hibbert who gives the Hoyas the better chance to win two more games next April."
Georgetown's epic victory over North Carolina in the Meadowlands this past season may well be its last game ever at that facility, now that Seton Hall has announced it is moving its home games out of the arena for the 2007-08 season.
On Wednesday, the school confirmed its move to the 18,500 seat Prudential Arena in downtown Newark, presently under construction. Seton Hall had played its home games at the Meadowlands since 1982.
"If I keep working and improving, why can't I be a top pick next year? Things may not work out that way. I could go number eight, 14. Or 20. But I think I can be a great center. And we can get even further than we did last season."--Roy Hibbert, in the Washington Post
Patrick Ewing. Alonzo Mourning. Dikembe Mutombo. And with another year, Roy Hibbert aims to join that select company.
The 7-2 junior center announced that he will return to Georgetown for his senior year, per a Wednesday afternoon news conference. Hibbert, a projected early to mid-1st round pick in the 2007 draft, felt that completing his four years and receiving a degree would prepare him even further for an NBA career.
"I thought about it and said to myself, 'Do I really want to stay in the draft and sit on the bench?'" My heart was here."
Hibbert averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game for the Hoyas last season, earning first team All-Big East honors. With a lack of big men projected for the 2008 NBA draft, Hibbert could be an early favorite for the top pick if he continues to show the breadth and depth of improvement that he has exhibited in his first three years at Georgetown.
"I feel like I have unfinished business here," said Hibbert.
More links follow below.
In contrast to Roy Hibbert, 6-9 forward Jeff Green gave notice he will hire an agent and remain in the 2007 NBA draft.
"Just sitting down with my family and coach, I feel like we came to a decision that I should stay in this draft, and it would be the best thing for me after the season that the team had and that I had," Green said at the Wednesday news conference.
Green leaves Georgetown its 17th all time leading scorer, and 16th all-time in rebounds. While his stats are understated (he is not among the top 12 in any career statistical category) Green was one of the school's great team players. A second team All America selection, Green was Big East Player of the Year in 2007.
Green's focus on teamwork may actually hurt his draft position, according to an NBA source speaking in the Washington Times link above.
"I don't think he is going to come in and be a star," said the source. "When you talk about a lottery pick, you want a guy who more than blends in, which is what I think he'll do. [Teams] just don't know if he has that killer instinct, and that's the question mark."
"It's hard for me to leave this place," said Green. "It'll be tough knowing I'm not out there with the guys I came in with."
From the beginning of the 2006-07 season, only seven of 13 players return for next season, two to graduation and four to early departures.
Green's departure marks the fourth player to leave the team in 2006-07, only the second time in school history that the program has suffered as many departures not related to graduation. In 1996-97, Victor Page opted to apply for the NBA draft, while Shamel Jones, Jerry Nichols, and Ed Sheffey all departed the team. Following a 20-10 (11-7 Big East) season, the 1997-98 Hoyas stumbled to a 16-15 (6-12 Big East) record, its worst mark since 1974 and only its second NIT bid in 20 years.
While Georgetown is likely to take a step back in its Academic Performance Rating (APR) with this year's exits of Green, Octavius Spann, Marc Egerson, and Josh Thornton, the on-court depth remains strong for the 2007-08 Hoyas. Depending on the status of 6-7 forward Nikita Mescheriakov and 6-6 forward Omar Wattad, Georgetown will field a team of 10 to 12 on scholarship, plus walk-ons, assuming Green's scholarship is held for the high school class of 2008.
Any boost in licensing royalties in men's basketball wasn't felt in the most recent national rankings, according to figures released by the Collegiate Licensing Company. Despite its Final Four run, Georgetown ranked #56 for sales ending March 31, 2007, up from #58 in the fourth quarter of 2006 but down from #54 in the final 2005-06 rankings.
Big East schools ranked in the top 75 in the most recent study included Notre Dame (2), Louisville (26), Syracuse (32), Connecticut (43), Cincinnati (46), Georgetown, Villanova (60), South Florida (61), Marquette (67), and St. John's (75).
The May 18 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that assistants from Pitt and Xavier will be joining the Georgetown sidelines next season.
The report said that David Cox, Pitt director of basketball operations and a former AAU coach in the Washington area, will join John Thompson III's staff next season, joined by Xavier assistant Kenya Hunter.
"It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Cox told the paper, "but that doesn't mean it wasn't a difficult decision."
The announcement was confirmed by Georgetown in a May 23 news conference.
While facilities talk remains on hold at Georgetown, area private high schools are investing more than $150 million in new athletic facilities.
A new facility at Georgetown Prep includes a 50,000-square-foot indoor field house, a wrestling gym, a pool, and a 6,000 sq.ft. weight room, and is featured in a video in this link to the Washington Post.
"Frankly, we grew out of [the old field house] 25 to 30 years ago with the number of activities we had on campus," said Prep athletic director Dan Paro. "Having not done anything in 40 years, one of [the school president's] goals was to build something that will not be outdated in 10 or 15 years. His goal was trying to reach into the future; we have an opportunity to do this once."
"The competition for people is unbelievable and if you don't have [facilities], forget it," said Palotti athletic director Steve Walker.
"While we're sorry to lose an individual of Tay's caliber and will miss his contribution behind the scenes, we understand that the young man must do what he feels is in his best interest," said head coach John Thompson III in a brief statement. Spann, from College Park, GA, averaged 0.9 points in 22 games over his two years at Georgetown. The destination of his transfer was not announced in the article.
Spann's departure leaves 11 players currently on scholarship for the 2007-08 season, with Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert included on that list. The status of two players reported in the media as verbal commits for the Hoyas, 6-6 forward Omar Wattad and 6-7 forward Nikita Mescheriakov, have not been confirmed by Georgetown.
A depth chart on the 2007-08 roster looks like this:
A record crowd of over 500 guests packed the Leavey Center on the Georgetown campus to salute the 2006-07 Hoyas in the annual Hoya Hoop Club Awards Banquet.
Junior center Roy Hibbert received the Daly Memorial Award as the team's most valuable player, with additional awards going to juniors Jeff Green, Jonathan Wallace, and Tyler Crawford, along with seniors Ken Izzo and Sead Dizdarevic. A special award was presented to senior Kurt Muhlbauer for his contributions to student spirit through Hoya Blue.
"This was a special year," said Thompson, "but we are not done."
A recap of past winners can be found in this link to the history section.
The NCAA has released its annual Academic Progress Rate report, the third year of a program that aims to hold colleges and universities accountable for graduation rates.
Academic Progress Rate, or APR, is a benchmark of each men's and women's sports team at schools over the last three years. A 1,000 score connotes a 100% graduation rate. The rate consists of one point for each eligible student-athlete and one point for each graduated student-athlete.
Additional coverage follows below.
The APR for Georgetown men's basketball finished in the top three of Big East schools according to the latest data.
The table below compares the 16 conference schools, with eight of this year's 16 falling below the NCAA minimum of 925. Scores under 925 next season will likely result in scholarship cuts for some schools.
Tuesday's Baltimore Sun is reporting a verbal commitment to Georgetown from junior center Henry Sims from Mt. St. Joseph HS.
The 6-10 Sims averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game as a junior, and chose Georgetown over Maryland and three other ACC schools.
"When I visited, I really appreciated coach Thompson's honesty about getting to play right away," Sims told the Sun. "Coach Thompson told me that if I worked hard, I would get a chance as a freshman."
Georgetown officials cannot comment on any verbal commitment prior to the signing of a national letter of intent, which would be no earlier than November.
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