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Georgetown Basketball: August 2015 News Archive

Rabbi Harold S. White (1932-2015) 8/31/15

From social media, news of the passing of Rabbi Harold White, 83, following complications from a stroke.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, White joined the Georgetown community in 1968, the first rabbi ever hired at a Catholic university.

"He's got the soul of the university. He's a Jesuit at heart," said Rev. Raymond Kemp, S.J. in a 2010 article. "He knows his way around every department in this place. They cannot let him go...His whole life is committed to people who look to this university."

White told the story that he wasn't sure why Georgetown wanted him. The University president at the time, Rev. Gerard Campbell S.J., told White "We want you to teach the Christian students about Jesus ó that he was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died a Jew so that they will better understand the beginnings of Christianity and its relationship to Judaism." He served 41 years in such a role, retiring in 2010 but remaining active in various University initiatives.

"Over the course of his nearly 50 years here, his accomplishments were many," said Georgetown president Jack DeGioia (C'79, G'95) in a statement. "He taught and counseled countless students from across faith traditions; he led our celebrations of the High Holy Days in Gaston Hall; and he worked to enhance our academic offerings focused on Judaism, including helping to create the Program for Jewish Civilization in 2004 and championing it since. He often spoke of his pride in working at a Catholic university that fostered interfaith dialogue and sent many graduates to the Rabbinate.

"Rabbi White also worked tirelessly to build bridges among faiths and communities at Georgetown and beyond. Deeply committed to interfaith understanding, Rabbi White co-taught a popular course with Fr. Dennis McManus and Imam Yahya Hendi centered on dialogue among Abrahamic faiths. The course once included a trip to the Holy Land, which allowed participants to engage with interfaith efforts through diverse partnerships that Rabbi White and other Georgetown colleagues helped to establish."

A University memorial service is pending. An appreciation page was posted as well.

Brendan Gaughan At 40 8/31/15

Each fall, Beloit College prints a list of strange but true facts about the incoming freshman class that illustrate what life is like for the Class of 2019, such as Google has always existed in their lives or that National Airport has always been named for former president Ronald Reagan.

As for Georgetown, this is the class that never saw Allen Iverson play a collegiate game. Nor for that matter, a self-described "fat, lazy spoiled rich kid" from Las Vegas named Brendan Gaughan.

Gaughan, one of two walk-ons from the 1996 team that won 29 games and advanced to the NCAA regional final, talked with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about his college years and life in racing.

"I went to Georgetown to play football," he said. "I had scholarships to big schools. Got hurt. Was going to just stay around Vegas, be a fat, lazy, spoiled rich kid. The Georgetown football coach called me. It was their first year of I-AA. Got me in school, went there to play football. Coach Thompson and the teams used to stay at the Barbary Coast back in the day when they played in Vegas with Patrick [Ewing] and all those guys. I was [a] big Georgetown fan, so I went to basketball camp there. Basically how I got on the basketball team was the end of my first semester they were down to, like, nine able-bodied players."

"I kept my mouth shut and did what I was told. Every day, I'm thankful for what John Thompson did for me, taught me, and what I became because of him."

Following his business degree in 1997, Gaughan became a professional race driver, achieving considerable success in the NASCAR truck series and one season on the main NASCAR stock car circuit. Times have been tougher in recent years, and he went 10 seasons without a win on the second and third division race circuits.

"I had a race team that ended up not going well in the end and going downhill in a blaze of glory with me at the helm," he said. "And then I drove for some small-funded but really great people. Fortunately for me, I feel like I'm fairly mentally tough and have always kind of had that mind-set that I can handle a lot of things."

Gaughan is a second generation racer but the third generation of a Las Vegas gaming family. Now, with two young sons, Gaughan sees a career outside racing.

"I've always been in business," he said. "Since I was in the eighth grade, bussing tables at the Horseshoe for Benny Binion, I worked in the casinos and loved the business. It fascinates me...My family is good at it. I feel that I'm very good at it. And right now I'm currently on our board of directors at our Mesquite properties and pay attention to those deals and own a couple of things with some friends here or there and I love it. It's not going to be a sad day when I say, hey, it's time. It'll actually be a great day because as soon as I stop this NASCAR thing full time, I can go fire up the off-road team, get some off-road cars together and go play in the dirt. I can go work in the casinos and go play and have my kids bumming around in the dirt. So I'll be happy. It won't be a sad day."

Schedule Update 8/26/15

Another addition to the 2015-16 schedule: Brown, announcing a Dec. 7 game at Verizon Center.

The Bears were 11-18 last season. The two teams last met in the 1970-71 season, a 80-76 Georgetown win at McDonough Gymnasium behind 24 points from junior Art White.

Georgetown 76, Sam Basket Massagno 73 8/24/15

A pair of late free throws preserved Georgetown's 76-73 win over Sam Basket Massagno in the final game of the Hoyas' nine day tour of Italy and Switzerland.

"[L.J] Peak hit two free throws to give GU a 72-71 lead with 1:23 left, read the release at GUHoyas.com. [Christophe] Vardel hit a jumper to make it 73-72 Sam Basket, but a layup from [Marcus] Derrickson gave the Hoyas the lead for good, 74-73, with 43 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer from Seth Gearhart, Derrickson grabbed the rebound and [Paul] White was fouled with 12 seconds left, giving GU a 76-73 lead. A 3-pointer in the waning seconds was rebounded by freshman forward Kaleb Johnson as Georgetown held on for the win."

Derrickson led the Georgetown scorers with 15 points, while Vardel, who played collegiately at Florida Gulf Coast, led all scorers with 31 points.

The trip was an opportunity for the staff to see many of the freshman and reserve players in action. Seniors D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Bradley Hayes did not see action due to injury, giving players such as Reggie Cameron, Tre Campbell, and Trey Mourning extended time. The Hoyas finished with a 3-1 record in its four game series.

The team returns home Tuesday and will next see action at the Midnight Madness event in mid-October.

BC-Atletas 90, Georgetown 85 8/21/15

With a step up in competition, the Georgetown Hoyas fell to BC-Atletas 90-85 in the third game of its week long tour to Italy.

Absent a box score and with brief clips on periscope to fill in the blanks, the Hoyas struggled to defend the three point shot as Atletas, a second division Lithuanian pro team, went on a 14-5 run in the final six minutes to open up the lead and carry them to victory. An article at GUHoyas.com noted that the Hoyas were just 3 for 12 from three point range despite shooting 49 percent for the game and allowing only eight turnovers.

Reggie Cameron led the Hoyas with 16 points.

The fourth and final game of the series will be Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland against Sam Basket Massagno, a first division Swiss team routed by Marquette 132-75 earlier this week.

Former Big East Official Retires 8/21/15

Jim Burr, one of the lead officials for over 30 years in the Big East Conference, announced his retirement earlier this week to work as a consultant to the NCAA.

"I had a pretty good run," Burr told the Albany Times-Union. "I decided that it was time to walk off the court. I had a couple of minor problems, just wear and tear. I'm no spring chicken. I'm getting older."

"The NCAA gave me an opportunity to stay in the game to observe officials in the southern quadrant of the country, which will allow me to go to Florida for the winter. Everything worked out. The timing was right."

Burr, 68, first started officiating Division I games in 1976 and covered 16 Final Fours and seven NCAA title games.

"He had Syracuse-Georgetown for 25 years in a row, probably," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "He didn't care who won. He never did. He was fair."

A referee is only as good as his officiating team, which cost Burr in the 2011 Big East Tournament when a missed call by referee Tim Higgins at the buzzer led to a 65-63 St. John's win over Rutgers. The officials were reassigned for the remainder of the tournament but Burr returned to Big East games the following season.

"The [Big East] games were hard," Burr recalled. "Back in the '80s and '90s, every night was a dogfight. It was hard. Those games were really hard. The old Big East games, coaches, competition, I don't know if you'll ever repeat [it]."

Georgetown-Maryland Game Time Set 8/19/15

Various media sources are reporting a 9:00 pm tip-off for the Nov. 17 game at Maryland, which has been moved to ESPN2.

"So whatís the problem?" asks USA Today "Itís that ESPN2 will air Maryland and Georgetown at 9 p.m. ET on the same night, just around the time Duke-Kentucky should be ending, with the game likely stretching into the first half of Kansas-[Michigan State]. This is like scheduling the two Final Four games at the same time. Itís a shame."

Games on ESPN2 generally draw about one-quarter of the audience on ESPN's main network.

Georgetown 74, Haukar Basket 64 8/17/15

A 17-0 run late in the second half led the Georgetown Hoyas past Haukar Basket, 74-64, in the first of four games played on its tour of Italy this week.

The Hoyas, which led by five at halftime in a four quarter setup, fell behind 57-54 early in the fourth quarter before freshman Marcus Derrickson led the late rally.

"Derrickson hit 3-pointers on three-straight possessions, one assisted by Copeland and two more assisted by freshman center Jessie Govan, and Georgetown took a 68-57 lead," per this recap at GUHoyas.com. "A jumper from [Isaac] Copeland capped the run and gave the Hoyas a 70-57 lead. Sophomore forward L.J. Peak and Copeland each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to close out the 74-64 win."

Unlike its trip to China four years earlier, Georgetown did not post a box score from the game and there was no outside coverage. The recap from GUHoyas.com is the only record of the game. Derrickson led all scorers with 16 points, followed by 13 from Reggie Cameron.

Following a day of sightseeing, the team returns to the court Tuesday versus Dream Team Italy Select, which are 0-3 in similar exhibitions this month with North Dakota, Iowa, and Stony Brook.

Two excerpts of Sunday's game was broadcast via Periscope, a free video streaming service. But many fans were left wanting a little more from the process, which covered the first five and last five minutes of the game without play by play nor information on time and score.

The presentation was a marked contrast to that of Marquette, which played Haukar at the same gym last week with a full broadcast via YouTube.

The service was also used for a post-game interview with coach John Thompson III and play by play announcer Rich Chvotkin, which is available here.

2011: Looking Back 8/14/15

Georgetown's upcoming trip to Italy is its first overseas travel in four years, where the Washington Post's Gene Wang witnessed the bench-clearing brawl with the Bayi Rockets. A recollection of that game is found in Friday's Washington Post, and here's a link to the HoyaSaxa.com archives where we were posting real-time updates as the events were getting past Chinese censors.

2015 Italy Trip Schedule 8/13/15

A news release at GUHoyas.com lists the schedule of games for next week's trip to Italy (all times 6:30 pm local/12:30 pm EDT):

  • Sunday, Aug. 16 vs. Haukar Basket (Rome)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18 vs. Dream Team Italy Select (Rome)
  • Thursday, Aug. 20 vs. BE Atletas (Florence)
  • Saturday, Aug. 22 vs. Sam Basket Massagno (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Georgetown isn't the only Big East team on the road this week. Marquette is already in Italy, defeating Haukar Basket 89-82 in the first game of its tour. DePaul is on a trip to France, where the Blue Demons were routed 96-62 in its opener.

Schedule Update 8/12/15

Per a note at the HoyaTalk board, news that the Hoyas will host Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 1, confirmed by the UMES web site.

It's the first meeting with UMES since 2000-01 and the first MEAC opponent on a John Thompson III schedule in four years. The Hawks were 18-15 last season.

First 2016 Verbal 8/11/15

On the eve of its trip to Italy, the Georgetown Hoyas picked up a verbal commitment from rising senior Jagan Mosely from Jersey City, NJ.

"My family, mostly my parents, we were trying to figure out if I should go to a school that's mostly academics or mostly basketball," the 6-3 guard said. "When Georgetown came in, it was a perfect fit. It was a perfect balance between basketball and academics." Mosely carries a 4.2 grade point average through his three years at St. Anthony's HS, according to reports.

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