Georgetown Basketball: October 2008 News Archive
Georgetown is ranked 18th in the initial USA Today/ESPN coaches poll of the season, one of a record seven Big East teams in the top 25.
Other conference teams in the initial poll include Connecticut (2), Louisville (3), Pittsburgh (6), Notre Dame (9), Marquette (17), and Villanova (25).
Despite a late run in the pre-season, Patrick Ewing Jr. (C'08) was the final cut to the New York Knickerbockers roster announced Monday.
Of the three players battling for two positions, Ewing was the only one without a guaranteed contract, as the Knicks opted to stay with Anthony Roberson and Jerome James. James played in only two games last season but is owed $13 million over the next two seasons.
Additional coverage follows below.
The Washington Examiner is increasing its college coverage this year, with a pair of pre-season features on the 2008-09 Hoyas. Here are links to a team preview and a story on the impact of freshman Greg Monroe.
The University of Connecticut was chosen as the pre-season favorite at the annual Big East media day Wednesday. Georgetown was selected seventh in the poll, after having lost three senior starters from 2007-08.
Junior forward Dajuan Summers was named to the all-conference team, while freshman Greg Monroe was named as the co-rookie of the year.
Here's the rundown of the poll and first team selections, with first place votes in parentheses:
Links from various dailies follow below. (The Providence Journal is not included because it requires registration to view its stories.)
Friday night marked the tenth Midnight Madness pre-season event at Georgetown. A recap is found in links at GUHoyas.com.
As noted at The HOYA, the rules on timing have loosened somewhat. Where such events used to be forbidden before 12:01 am, this year's events began at 9:00 EDT, with the men's team introduced shortly after 10:00.
The origins of the event date to October 1970, as the Washington Post notes how former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell originally used it as a motivational tool to get players in shape while many schools use it as a pep rally of sorts.
"Georgetown is our family; the community is our family. So to be able to have the party with your family before the season starts, it's a good thing," said senior guard Jessie Sapp. "And it helps the freshmen, too, to get ready for the big games where the environment is going to be crazy."
Sunday's Milford (MA) Daily News has a feature on Class of 2010 recruit Nate Lubick on his recent verbal to Georgetown.
"First of all, it's a great academic school, [one of the] hardest schools to get into," said the 6-8 Lubick. "The Big East is a great conference, and coach Thompson is a great coach and a great person. They're fighting for the Final Four every year, and the style of play - the Princeton offense - requires players that play like me."
As to the verbal, "It does feel like there's been a weight taken off," Lubick said. "But there's still a lot of work to be done."
The John Thompson III foundation is sponsoring the 2nd Annual JTIII Foundation Community Fest, being held Saturday afternoon at Oxon Run Par. Details follow in this link at GUHoyas.com.
Georgetown fans that follow the team in the newspaper or online recaps can expect to find some new names covering the Hoyas this season, as noted in this link to The HOYA.
Camille Powell, who has covered the Hoyas for the Washington Post, will be moving on to the Maryland women's basketball beat for the paper, and will be succeeded by Liz Clarke, read most recently in the pages of the Post for the Summer Olympics and NASCAR. Many of the Post's most celebrated sports writers over the years have taken their turn at the Georgetown beat, from William Gildea and Mark Asher to names such as Dave Kindred, Michael Wilbon, John Ed Bradley and David Dupree.
Also on the move: the Associated Press, where longtime Georgetown correspondent Joseph White gives way to another veteran in Howard Fendrich.
Georgetown held its annual preseason media day for the local press. More articles will follow from the event later in the pre-season, but here are articles from the Associated Press, Georgetown Voice, and the Washington Post.
Transfers continue to affect Georgetown's men's basketball graduation rate data, according to the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) results announced Tuesday by the NCAA.
The study tracks the overall GSR by sport for the entering classes from 1998 through 2001. Men's basketball scored a GSR of 70 percent, down from 82 percent in 2007. The national average for basketball is 62%.
"Our guys are always progressing toward a degree,” coach John Thompson III told the Washington Times. “The NCAA didn't institute that rule for us. We've always graduated players. I'm comfortable with the way we do things, and our president is comfortable with the way we do things because of our history of graduating guys. They're not just here playing basketball. They are part of the overall fabric of this institution.”
The local press continues to note the low scores posted by the University of Maryland, who received a score of 10 percent in 2008, up from 0 percent the year before.
"I'll say it again: If you can make $6 million [and leave school], who wouldn't do that?” said Maryland coach Gary Williams in the Times link above. “This is the world we live in. Is it wrong for Lonny Baxter, wrong for Juan Dixon, wrong for Drew Nicholas to make a million dollars? Chris Wilcox? What is wrong with that?"
Here's the Georgetown recap by sport, with the change from the GSR report in 2007. Current teams in women's golf and softball were not active during the recruiting period listed, and sports such as men's rowing and co-ed sailing are not counted for NCAA purposes. The GSR rates differs from federal graduation rates over how transfers are counted, with the GSR giving some positive weight to transfers who leave in good standing and otherwise complete their degree elsewhere.
Among Big East schools, Georgetown ranks 4th in basketball graduation rates in 2008, 4th in 2007 and 6th in 2006.
From Tuesday's New York Times a NBA feature on second generation Knicks Patrick Ewing Jr. and Dan Grunfeld, both of which are struggling to make the team in the pre-season."Growing up, I always wanted to be like my father,” Ewing Jr. told the paper. “I always wanted to go to Georgetown and I always wanted to play for the Knicks. They’ve both worked out for me, so far.”
Efforts are continuing to identify and nominate the next Big East commissioner, reports the Newark Star Ledger.
The Star-Ledger reports a number of early candidates, among them television executive Tim Pernetti, former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg, Central Florida athletic director Keith Tribble, and University of Texas associate athletic director Christine Plonsky, among others.
Dan Gabbianelli (F'43), who played on Georgetown's 1943 NCAA finalist team, died last week in Fairview NJ at the age of 85, according to this story in the Jersey Journal.
A four sport letterman at Weehawken (NJ) High School in 1940, Gabbianelli joined the Georgetown varsity in the fall of 1941, playing in 20 games and averaging 4.0 points per game. When Georgetown instituted accelerated semesters following the entry of the United States into World War II, Gabbianelli was among just a handful of juniors not to graduate early, allowing him to continue on the varsity in 1942-43. Gabbianelli was only one of three returnees to the team and the only starter.
There, he joined a cast of newcomers that would yield four NBA alumni and four Georgetown Hall of Famers, serving as the leader of a team that advanced to the NCAA championship game against Wyoming and was Georgetown's only NCAA tournament team before the 1975 season.
Following the season, Gabbianelli graduated early with a business degree from the School of Foreign Service and joined the Army, suffering injuries in battle at the Rhine River. He turned down an offer by the Cincinnati Reds to play professional baseball after the war, instead settling in his home state of New Jersey, where he worked for Beneficial Finance for 37 years.
Gabbianelli is survived by his wife, five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Georgetown continues to build upon its recruiting efforts with a verbal commitment Tuesday from 6-8 junior Nate Lubick, ranked as the top power forward in New England for the class of 2010, according to various recruiting web sites.
Lubick averaged 16.5 ppg as a sophomore at St. Mark's School in Southborough, MA, where his father is the coach of the team. Lubick also considered offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, and Maryland, with strong interest from Duke.
"Coach Thompson called it the Georgetown Matrix," Lubick said in this link to Fox Sports.com. "If you take basketball out of the equation, you've still got one of the best academic schools in the country. If you take out the academics, you've still got one of the top basketball programs. And if you take both out of the equation, you're still right in Washington, D.C. - the most powerful city in the country."
Lubick is the second verbal for the high school class of 2010, joining 6-1 junior Markel Starks from Georgetown Prep.
With Midnight Madness less than ten days away, ESPN.com's Andy Katz takes a look at the pre-season awaiting the 2008-09 Hoyas.
Coach John Thompson III told Katz that while no players were affected by the recent norovirus outbreak on campus, "We stayed out of the gym and told our guys not to come around for pickup games but we're hoping to start up again [this week]. We could have gone to [Yates Field House] but if it's here it could be there also. It feels like it's everywhere. The number of new cases started to subside so hopefully it's over with."
With the loss of four seniors and a number of newcomers, "we've got different people who could be significant threats offensively," Thompson said. "We're coming together as a cohesive unit. We'll figure out how to win games."
From Rivals.com, a preview of the 2008-09 Hoyas, which have been ranked #11 nationally by college basketball editor Bob McClellan.
"Anyone predicting a huge downturn for the Hoyas should take a closer look," McClellan said. "Yes, the Big East easily is the best conference in the country. But Georgetown has three returning starters, a highly ranked recruiting class, an excellent coach and a solid system. Monroe and Wright will step in capably for Hibbert and Wallace. Freeman should get more shots and blossom. Sapp and Summers are the glue and will have to step up their games, too."
"Depth is a major concern, though. Georgetown may not have enough horses to compete for the league title, but the Hoyas still are an upper-division team capable of reaching the Sweet 16."
Earlier this year, we noted a Washington Post story outlining a series of basketball clinics organized by Sead Dizdarevic (C'07) for the nation of Montenegro. A story at GUHoyas.com recaps the effort, attended by four of his former teammates and director of basketball operations Matt Henry.
"Each of the guys who came to my home did the same thing as me, they used their ability to play basketball to get an education," said Dizdarevic. "The point of the visit wasn't just to show them the proper way to shoot or to set a screen, it was to show them that they combine both, playing basketball and getting an education, to better themselves."
After playing overseas in 2007-08, Dizdarevic is back in Washington at the Center for Intercultural Education and Development on the Georgetown campus.
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