Wallace Joins Georgetown Staff
Former Georgetown guard Jonathan Wallace (C'08) has joined the Georgetown basketball staff in advisory role, reports a release at GUHoyas.com.
The role is listed as "special assistant to John Thompson III" but is not an assistant coach because Georgetown is at the NCAA-mandated limit of three assistant coaches.
A walk-on from Harvest, AL who was John Thompson III's first GU recruit, Wallace started 136 consecutive games over his Georgetown career, averaging 9.2 points per game, none more important than the three pointer in the NCAA regional final against North Carolina in 2007 that carried the Hoyas into overtime and the eventual win. Since graduation, Wallace has played professionally in Europe.
The release noted that Wallace had been accepted to the Georgetown University Law Center in 2008, but did not state if Wallace was pursuing legal studies at this time while on the staff.
Just three non-conference games left to be announced, as the University of South-Carolina-Upstate (9-22 in 2016-17) will serve as the home opener on November 12 at Verizon Center.
As RPI ratings go, the schedule to date is skewed to the top (and bottom) of the Division I list. The 2015-16 ratings of the announced opponents to date:
Top 50: Oregon (4), Maryland (13), Connecticut (33), Syracuse (40)
201-250: LaSalle (234)
300-350: USC Upstate (323), Coppin St. (327), Howard (328)
Report: UConn Preparing Big 12/Big East Scenario
The University of Connecticut is among 20 schools in discussions for a two or four team Big 12 expansion. A online report suggests the university may be considering the Big East as part of its sales pitch.
The Bristol (CT) Press cites a report from columnist Mark Blaudschun that UConn would offer a football-only option, with all other sports moving to the Big East.
"Earlier this week, the Boston-based Blaudschun was the first to report UConn was considering leaving the American Athletic Conference and moving everything but football to the Big East if its Big 12 bid failed," wrote the Press. "In that instance, UConn would seek football-only membership in a "Group of 5" conference, most likely the Mid-American Conference." The report also sites the addition of former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese as a consultant to the UConn president's office.
"The Big 12 will consider, above all else, football value," writes the Hartford Courant. "UConn's national championships in men's and women's basketball do carry some weight, though, and so do the university's strong academic profile and the opportunity for the Big 12 to get into New York and Northeast markets."
The Big East has not commented on the matter.
Paul White Transfer Announced
Georgetown University announced the transfer of junior Paul White in a brief press release Thursday. The release carried no quote from head coach John Thompson III.
The timing of the announcement is unusual. White, who missed 26 games in 2015-16 due to injury, will be looking for a new school with just a week to go before the start of the fall semester.
In a Twitter post, White said that "I want to thank Georgetown for everything they have done for me and my family. I am forever grateful. Thank you."
White averaged 5.0 points per game as a freshman and 1.6 as a sophomore, and is the first Georgetown transfer since Stephen Domingo left for California in 2014.
Additional coverage follows below:
Track Coach Leaves Georgetown
Georgetown track coach Michael Smith (C'02) quit Tuesday to accept a position at Northern Arizona University, the latest in a series of changes that have shaken the track program at the University. The move is even more puzzling because the coach he is succeeding at NAU will not leave the program for another year.
"The tradition for leading student-athletes to championship success has been set before me by the excellent coaches that have led the program," Smith said. "I hope to build upon the legacy that NAU cross country and track & field has set not only in the Big Sky, but across the nation."
Smith was an all-Big East runner at Georgetown, and joined the staff in 2012 to lead the women's cross country team. His move from the Big East to the Big Sky may have surprised Georgetown officials, which posted a brief press release Wednesday that stated "We are aware of the recent announcement regarding our former director of track & field and cross country...Information about future staffing for the program will be announced soon." The release, which was posted under "General News" and not on the main track page, failed to offer Smith, a 2002 Georgetown graduate and four year member of the staff, the customary "we wish him well in his future endeavors" messaging common in such releases.
After nearly 45 years of stability under track coaches such as Frank Rienzo, Joe Lang, Frank Gagliano, and Ron Helmer, the coaching position at Georgetown has turned over twice in the past 13 months. In July 2015, coach Pat Henner resigned following claims of racial bias in the GU track program.
Clarence J. Simms, Jr. (1970-2016)
News from social media Friday night announced the death of C.J. (Chip) Simms (B'92), a former basketball player and assistant coach at Georgetown.
Simms, 46, was a first team all-city guard at McDonough #35 High School in New Orleans in the spring of 1988, but chose to attend Georgetown as an accounting major. He walked on to the squad for two seasons, seeing action in seven games during the 1990-91 season.
"The single biggest factor in my decision [to walk-on] was the chance to learn from Coach Thompson," Simms told the Washington Times in 2003. "His gym always was a classroom. Maybe I could have played more at other schools, but playing for Coach Thompson was a tremendous learning experience."
Following graduation, Simms worked for Ernst & Young and the New Orleans Times-Picayune before moving into coaching, where he spent two seasons on the staff at New Orleans (1995-97), two seasons at Memphis (1997-99), and four years at Georgetown (1999-03). He returned to the New Orleans area thereafter.
An obituary was posted at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Georgetown posted an item on its Twitter page expressing its condolences.
Thompson Center: Moving In
The Washington Post got an early look at the move-in for the John Thompson Athletic Center, as the earliest of the fall teams are now putting the 144,000 square foot building to use.
"Our facilities have been used against us, and now they'll be used for us," said coach John Thompson III in an online-only article. "I don't think there's a place in the country as nice as this. Today's kids, they want all the bells and whistles, and this has a lot of that."
The elder Thompson toured the building, which will mark an official opening October 6, earlier last week.
"It makes him emotional knowing that and appreciating that and seeing the great representation that you see as you walk through the building," coach Thompson noted. "It was important to us to recognize as much as we could the history of every sport and also men's basketball."
DSR Awaits NBA Call
Despite an outstanding career at Georgetown, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (C'16) is still waiting for an invite to a NBA training camp.
"I'm waiting for that call. Hopefully I can go into training camp strong. If not training camp, hopefully I can go overseas and play," he told the Indianapolis Star. "Once the opportunity presents itself, I'll showcase what I can do. I'll be ready."