Georgetown Basketball: July 2003 News Archive
A federal judge has overturned the NCAA rule limiting schools from playing in "exempt" tournaments, according to this article at ESPN.com.
Exempt tournaments allowed for up to three games while counting as only one game against the regular season limit of 27. The rule limited schools to two such tournaments over a four year period, such as the Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Great Alaska Shootout, and Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic. Eleven such tournaments were cancelled for the 2002-03 season as the rule took effect.
As the rule was previously enforced, Georgetown could not participate in an exempt tournament until 2004-05 after exempt appearances at the three game Hawaii-Pacific Classic (2000-01) and two separate games which constituted the John Thompson Classic (2001-02). It is not clear if this presents an opportunity for GU to play at a tournament this year, or simply remain with its current scheduling pattern.
Nine months ago, center Reda Rhalimi made a verbal commitment to Georgetown but never signed. Rhalimi has now chosen to enroll at St. Mary's (CA), according to this link from the Contra Costa Times.
Rhalimi tore his ACL ligament earlier this year and is expected to be ready for the Gaels by December or January.
The acrimony over Big East expansion promises to be a regular topic over the next six months, and was illustrated at the conference's football media day.
Commissioner Michael Tranghese told the press that if I-A football and the remaining I-AA and non-football schools consider a split, he will stay neutral. "If they split, I won't go with either segment," Tranghese said. "I've worked with all these schools for a very, very long time. And we're together two more years. To choose one side or the other, I can't operate that way."
"Are we going to move ahead collectively, as 12-plus [schools], or are our members going to elect to separate and move forward as two separate conferences?" he said. "That's what our presidents are looking at right now. That's a decision that will have to be made in the near future. It's a series of discussions that is very, very difficult."
Tranghese said that a decision on such a move could be made by university presidents within "probably more than two weeks, but less than two months" and set a winter timetable of winter 2004 for expansion targets to be identified.
Here are links to the coverage:
Another schedule update: The Howard University athletics site has posted a December 20 game at MCI Center versus Georgetown, the third of 11 non-conference games announced to date by other schools.
A story on the Associated Press wires Wednesday reports that Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese apologized to Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford for comments he made during the ACC expansion process.
Not, so, according to the Newark Star Ledger."I told him that I should have picked up the phone and should have taken my concerns directly to him," Tranghese said. "That was it." He added: "I don't know what I need to apologize for. "They're the ones that blindsided us."
Big East teams can expect fewer dollars and fewer appearances on ESPN in its new television contract, according to this link from the Charleston Daily Mail.
Each school will lose over $200,000 in TV revenue under the new plan, which will reduce the number of games broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2. Other conference contracts are expected to decline as TV ratings have fallen, according to the article.
Meanwhile, the Bowl Championship Series has committed to a Big East representative through 2005, according to USA Today.
The announcement from BCS commissioners that it will not pursue a playoff with teams outside the BCS comes at a bad time given that 44 non-BCS school presidents are meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation and at least one member of Congress has raised antitrust concerns with the BCS formula.
A week after the Washington Post reported that sophomore Brandon Bowman was leaving Georgetown as the school's third transfer in less than two months, the newspaper now reports that Bowman will stay for his sophomore year.
The news first broke in Wednesday's USA Today, which reported on a very brief statement issued by Georgetown that "Georgetown's fall semester begins Aug. 28. Brandon Bowman will begin his sophomore year at that time." In Thursday's Post, Bowman's father commented on the change.
"We talked about it, and we decided that we would let him stay at Georgetown," said Tom Bowman. "We just feel that, ultimately, that was in his best interest." Neither Bowman had any further comment as to the circumstances for either the move to transfer or the return.
Bowman averaged 7.6 points in his freshman season, and was invited to the USA junior national team tryouts last month, but was not selected to the final roster. The national team lost in the second round Wednesday to Australia, 106-85, and is out of medal contention at the World Junior Basketball Championships.
A review of the depth chart with Bowman's return is found below .
The Citadel has announced a two year series with Georgetown, with the Hoyas traveling to the historic military academy in December and hosting the Bulldogs the following year, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
This will be the first meeting in basketball between the schools.
"When you think of Georgetown, it's got to be one of the top 10 names in the country," said Citadel coach Pat Dennis. "Think of all the great players they've had who have gone on to be superstars in the NBA."
Brandon Bowman's return on July 17 returns the depleted Hoya ranks to ten scholarship players, four with significant 2002-03 playing experience, and seven returning lettermen (walk-ons with asterisk).
Barring any other transfers, the turnover of the 2002-03 roster will be among the deepest cuts in modern Georgetown basketball history.
The 2002-03 Hoyas have lost seven players, three to graduation (Wesley Wilson, Victor Samnick, trenton Hillier), two to transfer (Tony Bethel, Drew Hall), and one to the NBA (Mike Sweetney). A turnover of as many as six has occurred at Georgetown only twice since freshmen eligibility was restored in 1972.
Sweetney's 22.8 points per game was about half the points per game lost from 2003. The overall losses from 2003 account for 45.6 points per game, or 60% of the Hoyas' offense during 2002-03. That's the most points per game lost in the off-season since 1962.
Here's a chart with some past years with significant turnover between seasons.
Sophomore Brandon Bowman has announced his transfer from Georgetown, according to an article Wednesday evening on the Washington Post web site. The departure is the third in a series of unexpected transfers this season that have besieged the program, and leaves the Hoyas with only one returning starter and nine scholarship players entering the 2003-04 season.
Bowman averaged 7.6 points in his freshman season, and was invited to the USA junior national team tryouts in Dallas last week.
"We don't want to burn any bridges," said his father Tom Bowman to the Post. "Basically, he was pretty satisfied with the academic portion of school. He thought it would just be better now to go play somewhere else."
An NCAA committee has proposed changes to the seeding in the men's basketball tournament, according to USA Today.
Major changes include seeding the #1 and #2 seeds overall in different brackets, not to meet until the finals. According to the New York Daily News, the top two teams before the tournament have only met four times in the finals since 1979. Or, as the Daily News' Dick Weiss succinctly put it, "The best team doesn't always win."
While the Big East conference prepares for a reasoned, orderly discussion on expansion, Conference USA members meet Wednesday to discuss expansion scenarios. The New York Times suggests that some C-USA football schools could opt to merge with some Big East schools for football and basketball, but was not specific.
"I'm in the process of trying to talk to our presidents and ADs," Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "They want us to lay out every conceivable scenario. They're going to want a chance to react to it all. A lot of people want us to jump into the fray and make a decision tomorrow. It's too complicated an issue."
Meanwhile, the athletic director at West Point has told the Tampa Tribune that a decision will follow within two weeks whether Army will choose to remain in C-USA football after 2004. With eight C-USA games and commitments to play Navy and Air Force, Army has only one non-conference opening a year.
While conference expansion news has calmed down a bit, a pair of stories provide some further context on the matter.
A new opponent has been announced for 2003-04, while two from last year's slate will not be playing the Hoyas this season.
New to the schedule: Delaware State, which was 15-12 last season in the MEAC with a #201 RPI. Georgetown will host the game on November 29.
"I'm planning on using a smaller, quicker line-up than I've had in the past," said Coach Esherick in the early outlook link. "I'm hoping that will allow us to extend the defense and pressure the ball the length of the court. Our defense will be a key to our offense.”
Some items of interest:
Here's a look at the 2003 off-season roster through July 8. Players are listed with their points per game average from the preceding season, with walk-ons noted with an asterisk.
Wesley Wilson (C'03) has been invited to the Cleveland Cavaliers' summer league team, according to a Cavaliers' press release.
Wilson will join #1 draft pick Lebron James and 13 others in the summer sessions in Orlando and Boston through July 20.
In contrast to the Atlantic Coast Conference's two month expansion push, the Big East Conference will not expand for at least two years, according to the Hartford Courant.
Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese has met with officials of Conference USA and the Atlantic 10 and none of the conferences should see major changes until the 2005-06 season.
"The thing I think is of paramount importance is that people seem to be comfortable with the idea that there should be no membership change until 2005-06," said Charles Neinas, former Big Eight commissioner and a consultant to Conference USA. "That is important because that allows for a timely and thoughtful analysis rather than having to do it hastily. In this instance, buying time is a benefit."
Sophomore Brandon Bowman was one of three players cut Wednesday to complete the 12 man roster on the USA junior national team this week in Dallas. Bowman averaged 3.0 ppg in two games earlier this week, with limited playing time in each.
This year's USA Junior team will compete in the 2003 FIBA Men's Junior World Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece in August.
The Washington Post has a feature interviewing various Atlantic Coast Conference presidents as to their thoughts on its two month expansion saga.
The end of the article features a comment by Florida State president T.K. Wetherell that Notre Dame ought to be the ACC's next expansion target. Such talk is shot down in this link to the Indianapolis Star. "[Football independence] has had a lot to do with the whole profile of our program," said associate athletic director John Heisler. "There is not a sense that the university wants to change that."
While most Big East schools have not issues statements on the possible changes, Syracuse University has posted a transcript from a June 30 conference call with its chancellor and athletic director discussing Syracuse's conference future. Recommended reading.
Patrick Ewing (C'85) will leave the NBA's Washington Wizards to become an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, according to the New York Daily News and other media outlets.
"As usual, Patrick does everything in the most professional manner, and through this transition period he has been absolutely terrific," said Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld in the Washington Times. Ewing's role with the Wizards will be replaced by Phil Hubbard.
A sample of items from around the nation suggest a lot of work to do for the Big East in the wake of the departure of Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC.
While the New York Post suggests that it's back to basketball as the roots of the conference, other issues remain unresolved. They include:
Without much fanfare, a two paragraph note at the bottom of the Washington Post's sports briefs section reports that assistant coach Chip Simms (B'92) will resign effective July 1. The story has not been posted on GUHoyas.com.
Simms, who has coached four years at Georgetown, is leaving to pursue other coaching opportunities, although he does not have a new position as of yet, according to the Post. "I want to be [a] head coach," Simms told the Post. "I want to do something that will contribute to my career."
Simms' departure marks the fifth unexpected departure from the 2002-03 Hoyas this off-season, joining Mike Sweetney, transfers Tony Bethel and Drew Hall, and assistant coach Ronny Thompson, who resigned in mid-June to become an assistant at Arkansas.
After two years of hushed conversations and two months of public posturing, the University of Miami announced it will accept an offer to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"I don't want to pretend money wasn't a factor, because that would be disingenuous of us," said Miami president Donna Shalala. "We have a comprehensive athletic department and there were several factors that went into this decision, one of them being money."
"We're going from $300 a night for a hotel in New York to $65 a night in Winston-Salem," said Hurricanes basketball coach Perry Clark. "But more important, this puts UM in a conference where it can house all its sports and more revenue to help support everyone."
The Connecticut attorney general's office will continue with legal action against the school. "The ACC's 50th anniversary will now be marked with depositions and document discovery exposing the ACC's predatory conduct and Miami's conspiratorial actions," said lead counsel Jeffrey Mishkin in this link from the Hartford Courant.
Meanwhile, the Big East must rebuild. "I've got three constituencies," said Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese to the Courant. "I've got football schools. I've got basketball schools. I've got Notre Dame. And I've got to satisfy all three."
"I've given both [Conference USA and the Atlantic 10] my word that they won't get blindsided [in Big East expansion]," said Tranghese to the paper.
Additional links follow from Miami and the following papers:
Miami had been at the forefront of efforts since 2001 to add three Big East schools into the ACC and create a eastern superconference with a lucrative football playoff game. Miami, BC, and Syracuse were thought to be on their way until Virginia Tech called in some political muscle from its state, which saw the University of Virginia block expansion unless Virginia Tech was included. Unable to muster votes for a four team expansion, the ACC passed on Syracuse, fell one vote short on BC, and have now invited Miami and Virginia Tech instead. Virginia Tech accepted its offer last week.
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