Georgetown Basketball: May 2013 News Archive
The Big East Conference has not moved forward on additional schools in basketball, but appears closer to be adding its first affiliate member.
With only five schools sponsoring lacrosse (Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Villanova), Inside Lacrosse is reporting that the University of Denver will join the Big East for lacrosse, either in 2014 or 2015. The status of its women's team was not clarified in the report.
The Pioneers, coached by former Princeton coach Bill Tierney, advanced to the NCAA men's Final Four for that sport last weekend, falling to Syracuse.
Denver will compete in other sports in the Summit League, after leaving the Western Athletic Conference next month.
The eligibility status of center Josh Smith, who transferred to Georgetown in the spring from UCLA, has been a lively discussion topic on HoyaTalk. On Wednesday, NBC Sports.com writer Rob Dauster visited the site to clarify the situation.
"To set the record straight, here's the deal with Josh Smith: the NCAA doesn't look at eligibility in terms of semesters. They look at seasons, and based on their rules, Josh Smith has used up three seasons of eligibility," Dauster said. "It doesn't matter when he transferred out of UCLA or how many minutes he played. As of this moment, Smith has one season of eligibility remaining. He can either play the second semester of the 2013-2014 season of play the entire year in 2014-2015."
"That said, Smith can also apply for a waiver that would get him an extra year of eligibility, meaning that, in an ideal world, he will, in fact, be able to play the second semester of the 2013-2014 season and the entire 2014-2015 season. I haven't heard anything concrete about Georgetown pursuing this waiver, but there's no doubt in my mind that they are...."
"The best case scenario for Georgetown would be a situation similar to Greg Echenique's. He played a season and a half at Rutgers before transferring out. After sitting out a full year, he played the second half of the 2010-2011 season at Creighton and then played all of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. He took part in five different seasons only because he got a waiver from the NCAA that gave him an extra year of eligibility."
Georgetown has not commented on Smith's status and he is not listed on the current roster.
Passed over for the head coaching position with the Charlotte Bobcats (soon to be Hornets), former Georgetown center Patrick Ewing (C'85) is expected to be hired as an assistant coach by new coach Steve Clifford, reports Yahoo Sports.
"[Clifford] is expected to try to hire Patrick Ewing as one of his top assistant coaches, reuniting Ewing with his close friend, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan," writes the article.
Ewing, 50, has been an assistant with the Orlando Magic since 2007.
Amidst all the indigestion over ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference seeking to evict the Big East from its traditional tournament home at Madison Square Garden, Lenn Robbins at the New York Post offers yet another scenario: could the Big Ten Conference be in the discussion as well?
And there's the Big Ten, which is suddenly a factor in the Northeast with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014-15, and Penn State within range.
"The Big Ten is thinking more Barclays," writes Robbins. "Barclays could [also] become a legitimate option for the ACC after the Brooklyn arena’s contract with Atlantic 10 expires."
The one conference that has not discussed a New York tournament is the former football schools of the Big East, the American Athletic Conference. The Hartford Courant reports the AAC appears to be leaning towards an event in Memphis, which would be a blow to the horde of Connecticut fans that packed the trains to Penn Station every year. However, UConn is one of just two AAC schools (the other Temple) remaining in the Northeast.
Left unreported: the future site of the Big East women's tournament, which has been held at Hartford since 2004.
American University coach Mike Brennan has added former Georgetown staff member Scott Greenman to his staff as an assistant coach.
Greenman served three years on John Thompson III's staff, the last two as Georgetown's director of basketball operations (DBO), a non-recruiting position focused on the department's day to day operations.
"I worked with Scott for three seasons at Georgetown and I know he has what it takes to be a great coach," said Brennan. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game, and his experience at Princeton, Georgetown and playing professionally overseas has given him with great insight and perspective he will be able to share with our student-athletes."
Press coverage for the Big East spring meetings has been minimal, but the Providence Journal has a recap of the issues discussed. Among the topics:
The tournament issue figures to be a hot topic throughout the 2013-14 season. Although Madison Square Garden did not bid in the next round of ACC tournament sites through 2021, ESPN was quick to suggest the ACC move the tournament to MSG and throw the Big East out. Columnist Mark Blaudschun reported Wednesday that the MSG-Big East contract (renewed through 2026) contract has minimum attendance clauses but did not elaborate.
A number of sources have noted that the ACC membership might see MSG or Brooklyn's Barclays Center as a future option, but would be unlikely to commit to annual appearances in New York at the expense of its traditional tournament site of Greensboro (which has hosted the ACC tournament 24 times since 1967) and periodic appearances in Charlotte (12) and Atlanta (6).
ACC mischief notwithstanding, the World's Most Famous Arena has another concern: the New York city planning commission, which wants Madison Square Garden to vacate its 7 Ave. location to redevelop Pennsylvania Station, which was famously torn down in 1963 to make way for the fourth incarnation of the Garden. With the original lease for the Garden expiring, Capital New York reports the New York city planning commission denied MSG a perpetual lease in favor of a 15 year lease on the property.
"We are extremely disappointed in today’s vote, especially because MSG meets all of the requirements for the permit," said a Garden release. "We hoped and expected that City Planning, which currently issues virtually all special permits without term limits, would base its decision on the merits of the permit application. Instead, the Garden – a key driver of the city’s economy that supports thousands of jobs, and which is currently investing nearly $1 billion of its own money in its arena – is effectively being held hostage by a decision by public officials 50 years ago to demolish the original Penn Station."
"I have Knicks and Rangers seats, you know, I love the Garden,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Daily News. “But it is over one of the big mass transit centers in the city. And for the city to have the flexibility down the road of doing something, I think that's important and I think giving them 15 years, it isn't like tomorrow. It isn't like they're investing their money and never going to get it back.”
For all the criticism that the departing Big East football schools chose a perfunctory name in the American Athletic Conference, other names failed to pass muster, according to the UCF Rivals.com site.
Among the other names registered by the league in advance of a final vote were the United Athletic Conference, Big Cities Conference, American Metro Conference, and Metropolitan Collegiate Conference. The latter name was redolent of the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, the formal name of the old Metro 7 Conference (1975-1995) to which AAC schools like Cincinnati, Memphis, and Tulane were charter members, along with Louisville, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Saint Louis.
The Metro, which later included the likes of Virginia Tech, South Florida, and South Carolina, was strong in basketball but never adopted a football conference, and was merged with the Great Midwest Conference into what later became Conference USA.
From GUHoyas.com, news of a successful response to a challenge drive to spur annual gifts from former letter winners across various Georgetown sports. From a $25,000 challenge from three alumni, over $257,000 was raised over the past two months to support the Annual Fund for Georgetown Athletics through Hoyas Unlimited.
"These contributions help ensure that Georgetown athletes will continue to receive the best academic experience coupled with the opportunity to compete at a high level of Division I intercollegiate athletics," said athletic director Lee Reed.
The Washington Wizards moved to the third pick of next month's NBA draft, leading to initial speculation that former Georgetown forward Otto Porter, currently third on many pre-draft boards, could be the Wizards' pick.
The Wizards (nee Bullets) were among the NBA's winningest franchises in the 1970's but have endured three decades of faulty draft picks and poor finishes, having won one playoff series since the 1981-82 season and placing in the NBA draft lottery five consecutive seasons and 17 times overall. Last season, Washington selected 6-5 guard Bradley Beal with the third overall pick.
Since 1976, four Georgetown alumni have been drafted by the franchise:
Recruiting today's high school prospects is often a long and arduous process. Not so in 1977, recalls former Georgetown guard Eric Floyd (C'82) in this link to the Gaston (NC) Gazette.
"Clarence (Big House) Gaines from Winston-Salem State called coach Thompson and told him he needed to sign me,” said Floyd during his induction to the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame. “[Coach Thompson] flies from D.C. to Gastonia, comes to watch me play a pick-up game at Erwin Center for about 20 minutes. He said, ‘I've seen enough' and asked me to visit Georgetown and I signed on that visit.”
"Basketball has allowed me to travel the world,” said Floyd. “I've lived in San Francisco, D.C., Brazil, Paris… but this place remains dear to me. It's special. I'm blessed and I'm honored to be from Gastonia. So tonight I want to thank Gastonia for looking out for my growth. This city wouldn't let me fail."
Big East conference meetings are underway today, and the Omaha World Herald has a preview of some of the major issues on the agenda, given that the conference opens July 1 and has neither hired a commissioner nor staff to date.
"We'll discuss the coaches' recommendations on scheduling, conference tournaments, the hiring of officials,” said Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen. “We might be able to get through some of the sports fairly quickly, but with others, there will be a lot to be discussed.”
Also on the docket: the men's basketball tournament. After last week's unconfirmed report that the Atlantic Coast Conference might consider poaching the Big East's location at Madison Square Garden, the Big East will be taking a look at ticketing for the event. Schools such as Syracuse and Connecticut accounted for as much as half the ticket sales in recent years, so a major ticket effort among the 10 schools is essential moving forward.
“It's not like we've been sitting still," Rasmussen said. "We've had a lot of conference calls. We've done a lot of the groundwork, but in some ways, you feel like you're in neutral. We just haven't had an opportunity to come together and make some decisions."
In Friday's Washington Post, an early look at Otto Porter's draft status entering next month's draft.
After having nearly killed off the Big East conference, ESPN is back to its old tricks, reporting that a "source" tells them the ACC is suddenly interested in moving its conference tournament from Greensboro, NC to Madison Square Garden. But given that no other major sports site is reporting this, it reads that ESPN is talking to itself as the source.
Of course, there are a few small items in the way, namely a) Madison Square Garden did not even place a bid, and 2) a conference known as the Big East has an agreement with MSG through 2026. ESPN dutifully reports that "sources said MSG can get out of its deal before 2026 if the new Big East doesn't reach certain benchmarks" but the ESPN source(s) didn't elaborate, only announcing "We'll be playing there, it's just a matter of getting all the legal ramifications worked out." Presumably, that does not mean destabilizing more teams to do so.
The Big East moves to Fox Sports One next season. And isn't this what this is really all about, anyway?
City officials in Jacksonville, FL are questioning the costs surrounding last season's ill-fated season opener between Georgetown and Florida, citing a deficit of $736,000 in city funds on the event.
“I have thousands of questions,” said councilman Richard Clark in this link to the Jacksonville Times Record after an auditor's report discussed $2 million in expenses to hold the game aboard the USS Bataan, while only $1.3 million in revenues were received.
The outdoor game was ruled a no-contest after unsafe playing conditions halted the game at halftime.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that DePaul University will commit to a $300 million public-private partnership to build the Blue Demons a 12,000 seat arena near McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.
A city spokesman told the Sun-Times that "we can also confirm we are in discussions to create a state-of-the-art events center at McCormick Place, which would increase our ability to attract conventions and trade shows to the city, set up the city to host top-level sporting events of all kinds, and create many new opportunities for the Chicago Public Schools and its students. This will be part of a major, multi-faceted, coordinated effort to dramatically improve the convention and tourism industry in Chicago."
DePaul has played since the 1979-80 season at the suburban Allstate Arena (nee "The Horizon") in Rosemont, IL, near O'Hare Airport, with attendance averaging under 8,000 per game. The arena is inaccessible from most CTA public transit and a 20 minute drive from DePaul's Lincoln Park campus. Of some concern: while closer to campus, the McCormick Place site is six blocks from CTA rail or subway, although a CTA Green Line extension is planned three blocks away.
"Not only is it ridiculous having an 18-event anchor tenant, but it’s an anchor tenant that can barely sell 10,000 seats a game," asked sports consultant Mark Ganis to the Sun-Times. "It’s not like it’s a professional sports team or a well-established college basketball power. It’s neither of those two. That’s why there has to be something else going on. Because on its face, it’s a foolish proposition."
"There’s resistance to helping the Cubs, a team that generates $17 million-a-year in amusement tax revenue and supports all of the businesses surrounding Wrigley Field. There’s no claim for financial assistance there,” said alderman Bob Fioretti. "Yet, here we are helping [DePaul] create a place to play for a very limited number of games. What will it generate?”
Additional details were announced later in the week, reports Chicago Business.
"DePaul's board has approved an agreement in principle to hold its men's and women's basketball games there, as well as some other events such as graduation ceremonies," said the report. "The school, which now plays its basketball games in Rosemont, will finance half the cost of the new building (or $70 million) and...it will pay “market rate” rent of $25,000 per men's game, $15,000 for women's, which attract a smaller crowd." The arena will seat 10,000 and be ready for the 2016-17 season.
Earlier this month, it was reported that freshman center Brandon Bolden was transferring at semester's end. While Georgetown hasn't confirmed an exit, the Kansas City Star reports a destination: Kansas State.
"I want to thank HoyaNation for all it's support over the last few years!," said Bolden on his Instagram account. "I've learned a lot this year and truly built life long bonds with each of my teammates...But now I will start another chapter in my life at Kansas State University."
Bolden was scoreless in four games, and was the first scholarship player to end his Georgetown career without points since 1973.
Various media sources reported late Wednesday and Thursday that 6-1 guard Tre Campbell has given a verbal commitment for the Georgetown class of 2018.
Campbell, a point guard at St. John's College HS in the District, averaged 13.7 points per game as a junior, and was selected second team All-Met for the Cadets in 2012-13.
"I know I’ve been telling people I’d make a decision in the fall, but I have a good relationship with the coaching staff and just felt like it will be a great fit for me,” Campbell told the Washington Post. “They talked about how they liked my game and how I’d have an opportunity to play as long as I kept working hard."
Campbell's commitment continues the run of a position of stability at point guard in the John Thompson III era, with Jonathan Wallace (2004-08), fellow St. John's alum Chris Wright (2007-11), and Markel Starks (2010-14) all providing leadership in the backcourt.
This is the second verbal commitment for the upcoming recruiting cycle, where Georgetown will have graduating scholarship seniors in Nate Lubick, Markel Starks, and most likely Moses Ayegba, who sat out the 2011-12 season due to injury but is not listed as holding a redshirt. (By contrast, Aaron Bowen is listed as a redshirt sophomore.) Earlier this spring, Georgetown received a verbal commit from 6-8 PF Isaac Copeland from the Miller School in Albemarle County, VA, which is where center Brandon Bolden once played as a high school junior.
The projected 2014-15 depth chart will contain a number of new names and faces for the Hoyas as a result:
Additional links follow below:
Columnist Mark Blaudschun has been at the forefront covering the inner workings surrounding the changes surrounding the Big East, and has often commented on Georgetown's role in the conference's reformation. This week's column suggests Georgetown will lead the way to select a new Big East commissioner to which Blaudschun is not altogether pleased.
"Everywhere you look, you see the footprints, palm prints and vise like grip of Georgetown," he wrote.
In April, Blaudschun promoted the candidacy of former associate commissioner Dan Gavitt, but suggested that "The new Big East is involved in a power struggle between Georgetown and the rest of the league, with Marquette being the leader of the opposition, which may be too strong a word since there is a consensus about the need to move forward." The most recent post claims Gavitt is no longer a candidate.
Georgetown officials have not commented, and do not comment on transfers until after the end of the school year.
Bolden played in just four games in 2012-13. If confirmed, Bolden would end his career as the first scholarship player to have failed to score a point in his Georgetown career since 6-2 guard Aaron Long in 1973. Long played in two games as a freshman, although he continued to play for the reserve (junior varsity) Hoyas and graduated from the College in 1976.
The move could mark Bolden's fifth different school in as many years. Bolden played his sophomore year of high school in Sumter, SC, ranking in the top 30 in some sophomore rankings and was tabbed the #14 ranked rising junior prospect at center, according to Rivals.com. In August of 2010, he withdrew from Sumter to attend the Miller School, a small boarding school outside Charlottesville, VA, whereupon he committed to Georgetown as a junior during Georgetown's October 2010 Midnight Madness, choosing GU over Virginia, Georgia and Clemson, among others.
"If I continue to work hard, which I will, [the Georgetown staff sees] a Jeff Green or Greg Monroe kind of thing,” said Bolden in this link to columnist Adam Zagoria.
Variously listed from 6-8 to 6-11 and between 190 and 205 pounds, Bolden still had work to do, however. "He has to find the weight room, but has long-term potential,” ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep told the Charlottesville Daily Progress in 2011. “It is really up to him, but it’s got to start in the weight room.”
Bolden's junior season at Miller was undistinguished, averaging just 5.2 points a game, whereupon he transferred his senior season to Quality Education Academy, the charter school in Winston-Salem, NC where Aaron Bowen completed high school two years earlier. Georgetown's media information on Bolden lists no point or rebound averages for his year at QEA.
Bolden played just five minutes in 2012-13, the fewest for any Georgetown scholarship player since 6-10 Cornelio Guibunda logged a total of seven minutes in the 2004-05 season. Much like Guibunda, Bolden saw no action in Big East play.
Georgetown assistant coach Mike Brennan was named the new head coach at American University, in a press conference held Tuesday at the northwest Washington campus.
"We welcome Mike Brennan back to the AU campus as our new men's basketball coach. He has achieved tremendous success as an assistant coach at prominent programs -- including Georgetown, Princeton, and AU -- and as a former student athlete at Princeton," said American University president Neil Kerwin. "His athletics experiences and academic values are a perfect match for AU and we look forward to a new era in AU men's basketball."
Brennan, a 1994 Princeton grad, was an assistant for two years at American under coach Jeff Jones before joining the Georgetown staff in 2009, following the departure of Robert Burke to American that same season.
Brennan marks the fifth Georgetown assistant under John Thompson III to move into the head coaching ranks, including Sydney Johnson (Princeton 2007-11, Fairfield 2011-present), Kevin Broadus (Binghamton, 2007-09), Robert Burke (Mount St. Mary's, 2010-12), and Matt Henry (interim coach at Mount St. Mary's, 2011-12).
Additional coverage follows below:
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