Georgetown Basketball: November 2001 News Archive
Twenty years ago, John Thompson was on the sideline with Georgetown and Virginia. This year, he'll be an announcer.
This link from the Roanoke Times notes that Thompson will join Bob Neal with TBS broadcasts the game on Dec. 20. Neal did play by play on TBS (then WTBS) for th4e georgetown-Virginia game on Dec. 11, 1982. The game was a milestone as one of the first major college sporting events broadcast by a cable TV outlet.
Kevin Braswell and Wesley Wilson combined for 41 points as Georgetown defeated Bethune-Cookman 91-61 at McDonough Gymnasium Wednesday. Shooting 70 percent in the first half, the #16 Hoyas were not about to let Bethune Cookman make it a struggle in the second half.
The game ends a run of five games in nine days, a stretch which saw the Hoyas rebound from a bad loss versus Georgia but suffer a number of injuries and health problems that depleted the roster.
Bethune Cookman (1-3) has traditionally played Georgetown tough, losing by close margins in its last three meetings. The Wildcats were down nine at 21-12 early but this was as close as it would be all evening. Runs of 15-4, 12-2, and 12-3 saw the hot-shooting Hoyas build a 49-24 halftime lead on 19 for 27 (70 percent) shooting.
A 14-5 run in the first five minutes by the Hoyas extended the lead to 63-29. The Wildcats closed to 28 at 77-39 midway in the half, but no closer. While the Hoyas were not at full strength and shot 11-27 in the second half, they but outrebounded BCC by a 24-7 mark in the second half. With so many key positions in flux, those who were able to play performed well for coach Esherick heading into a eight day break before South Carolina on December 6.
Plenty of Hoyas will be on the medical list this week. Mike Sweetney played only two minutes with a sore Achilles and needs to give it some rest. Previous reports linked virus-like symptoms affecting Courtland Freeman and a sore shoulder for Drew Hall.
The Hoyas make take a day off today but there will be practice at McDonough...for the Wildcats. According to Bethune Cookman's broadcast, Horace Broadnax will keep his team in DC an extra day before traveling to Maryland-Eastern Shore this weekend.
Post-game links follow below.
Despite a convincing 103-69 win over Grambling State, the lineup for the Georgetown Hoyas could be down to as a few as six scholarship players and a walk-on for Wednesday's game versus Bethune Cookman.
Despite the attrition, the Hoyas posted solid performances in the win, with career highs from Victor Samnick (18 points, 11 rebounds), Wesley Wilson (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Gerald Riley (18 points, 10 rebounds). The starting five accounted for 91 of the team's 103 points.
The Hoyas led early 14-7 and were not seriously threatened. The Tigers' chief offensive weapon, 6-8 Paul Haynes, was held to 8-22 scoring and 19 points, though the Tigers hung around with rebounding to keep the score at 30-25 midway through the first half. The Hoyas finished the half on a 19-5 spurt to lead 49-30 at the break, and a 16-3 run to open the second half, putting the game out of reach.
Kevin Braswell scored 18 in the first half, 20 for the game, as reserves Drew Hall Omari Faulkner, and walk-on Glennard Johnson saw extensive time in the wake of Thomas' injury and Freeman's poor health.
If Freeman or Thomas is not able to play Wednesday, Gerald Riley may move back to the small forward while Drew Hall gets the start at guard. The reserves would then consist of 6-6 Omari Faulkner and 6-4 walk-on Glennard Johnson.
Forcing 27% shooting from its opponent, the Georgetown Hoyas ran past Towson 91-40 Saturday night at McDonough Gymnasium, part of the two-game "John Thompson Classic". Four Hoyas reached double figures for the game.
After an early 10-10 tie with 14:00 to play, the Hoyas turned on the jets and Towson had no answer. With a 14-12 lead, the Hoyas went on a 35-11 run, led by Kevin Braswell, with 18 of his game high 21 points in the first period. Braswell also had four steals. Significant time was given to newcomers Harvey Thomas and Drew Hall in the period, and each responded well. About the only player not to see significant time was Mike Sweetney (5 points), who sat the entire second half with an aggravated Achilles tendon and will not play Monday against Grambling, according to the Washington Times.
Throughout the second half, Towson had no answer for the duo of Wesley Wilson and Victor Samnick, who combined for 25 points in the game. Gerald Riley also had a strong game, with 14. The Hoyas built on their 49-23 halftime lead throughout the second period, extending the lead to as many as 53 at 83-30 with 3:59 to play. At that point, the Tigers had scored 11 points in a 20 minute stretch.
Calvin Dotson was the only Tiger in double figures, with 11 points.
Mike Sweetney scored a career high 28 points as the Georgetown Hoyas rebounded from a hard loss to Georgia with a 76-51 win over Coastal Carolina before 2,215 at McDonough Gymnasium Wednesday.
The taller Hoyas jumped to an early 22-7 lead and were never seriously challenged. Sweetney and Wesley Wilson (19 points, 7 rebounds) were effective inside while three point attempts were curtailed.
Georgetown coasted to a 50-20 halftime lead, led by 61 percent shooting. The G-men didn't keep up the pace in the second, however, as the Chanticleers closed to 59-40 at the midway mark of the second. At that point, Wilson keyed a 11-0 Georgetown run to again put the game well out of distance, holding the Chants scoreless for over seven minutes.
Alvin Green led the Chanticleers with 14 points.
From the HoyaTalk board, a comment from "GPHoya" that's worth a second look:
"Last night's failure to shoot or rebound has many causes, but some are not easily cured by admonitions to run better sets or to "box out". While better conditioning and motivation will no doubt produce improved results, this team has some inherent weaknesses that are not easily remedied:
"1. Wilson and Sweetney are not quick or explosive leapers. This limitation becomes more debilitating when fatigue becomes a factor which happens too quickly to Sweetney. Without fresh legs from a deep bench, we will have some recurring problems with rebounding. Samnick can rebound better, but you have to take the bad with the good and he is very much a plus/minus player.
"2. Our existential commitment to helter-skelter defense forces low post players to help against the shooter. When the shot is missed, the player who has helped is invariably in bad rebounding position and the undersized player who was originally out of position must recover. Easy putbacks with three-point plays will result until we recognize that good defense is measured in other ways than forcing turnovers. The Thompson coaching philosophy never adjusted to the 35 second clock, but our reduced roster may actually inspire Esherick to abandon reckless double teaming in the half court and force other teams to actually earn their points rather than simply waiting for us to hustle our way out of position. Selective full-court pressure and a commitment to capitalize on fast break opportunities will remain essential for this team which is destined to struggle all season in the half court.
"3. Bad shooters miss open perimeter shots which reinforces the opponent's willingness to pack the inside and prevent inside out passing. All that is left is swinging the ball around the perimeter to players who appear terrified to put up a shot. High post entry passes to 6'11" players who are not gifted passers are no solution though moving Sweetney high and Wilson low might have helped and could not have hurt. When the perimeter players do shoot and miss, the defense has not been forced out of position and is able to easily block out the inside players who have already been surrounded. The frustrated and demotivated low post players become flat-footed and ineffective. The low confidence and poor shooting perimeter players attempt to manufacture offense by forcing dribble or ball penetration into non-existent gaps leading to turnovers which produce easy open court baskets. The downward spiral all starts when the defense recognizes that the perimeter player does not need to be challenged. In short, bad shooting begets worse shooting and uglier and uglier play which in turn forces the defense to take risks to create open court opportunities. It looks like bad coaching, but the proximate cause is bad shooting (kind of like bad relief pitching looks like bad managing).
"4. The only apparent source of untapped potential on this roster depleted squad that may be able to solve this rather profound set of weaknesses is Tony Bethel. To me, Drew Hall is not a shooter and defenses will not play him honest anymore than they would play Fred Brown. Bethel's mechanics look salvageable and he needs to be given the confidence to shoot with less of a Catholic guilt complex. Last night was the first game on ESPN so jitters are understandable and his performance, like Hall's, is easily pardoned if not outright praiseworthy. The Hoyas missed 16 straight jumpers in the pre-game warmups so the in game performance was not all that surprising. They were afraid and played like it. Beyond Bethel, I see no hope for consistent outside shooting. Riley's footwork and mechanics remind me of a golfer with the shanks. You hope no one else is watching because it may be contagious. On a good day, Braswell is a scorer, but not a shooter
"The 'jar is half full' posters who point out that it is only November 20th are, of course, quite right. By the same token many of these same posters seem to have been wildly optimistic about this year's team based upon scrimmage results against extremely weak opponents. Losing Hunter was a devastating blow and probably destines this year's team to a more mediocre season than last year's unexpected success. That said, Bethel and Hall can grow up and Sweetney and Braswell will play better. The coaching staff can start attacking the problem now and maybe by January we will be ready to compete. For those of you who said you would be bitterly disappointed with a 9-7 Big East regular season record, what say you now?"
How can you kill six months of optimism and favorable national attention in forty minutes?
Ask the Georgetown Hoyas, who were out hustled, out inspired and outplayed by the unranked Georgia Bulldogs 73-59 Monday night before an announced crowd of 7,246 in Springfield, MA. The Hoyas were out rebounded on both ends of the floor, with a visible lack of stamina and court-sense down the stretch, as the younger Bulldogs walked away with the win.
Both teams played tight early, but Georgia's inside rebounding was both a marvel (given their size) and a unsettling indictment of the defensive prowess of the #16 Hoyas. Forward Gerald Riley, coming off an 0-9 effort versus Marymount, played only 11 minutes and failed to score. Mike Sweetney (18 points, 11 in the first half) carried the Hoyas to a 32-27 lead with under two minutes to play but a sagging defense soon diminished his effectiveness. Georgia proceeded to tie the score at half, 32-32, and took a lead early in the half that they would not relinquish.
The Georgia offense was sputtering early in the second half, and the Bulldogs' 22 turnovers for the game offered the Hoyas ample opportunity to get back in the game. With 4:49 to play, the Dawgs only led 57-53. But without going inside to Sweetney or Wesley Wilson (11 points, 9 rebounds), the Hoyas reverted to the ugly outside shooting that has haunted the program for a decade. Lacking the game plan to go inside, the Hoyas launched 17 three-point shots. They missed 16, and with those ill-advised shots went the game. For a six minute stretch to the final buzzer, the Hoyas managed one field goal.
Georgetown's defensive reputation took a knockdown punch Monday night. The 49-36 rebounding edge gave Georgia too many second and third chances which the Hoyas would not have allowed last year, including a 21-11 edge for the Bulldogs on the offensive boards. The national TV appearance also exposed Georgetown's inability to adjust to a 2-3 defense.
And give credit for a superb coaching effort from Jim Harrick, forcing Georgetown to go outside to win the game. When that happens, chances are good that the Bulldogs would prevail. At a meager 5.9 percent, the 1 for 17 brickfest shatters a previous low of 8 percent (2 for 25) set against DePaul in 1994.
"We zoned them and invited the 3-point shot," said Harrick. "The more they missed, the more we packed it in."
And every team from here on out is taking note.
To no one's surprise, the #14 ranked Georgetown Hoyas opened its season with a comfortable 108-47 win over Division III Marymount College at McDonough Gymnasium. A 28-5 run in the first half was all the Hoyas needed, posting a 58-21 halftime lead and facing no serious challenge in the second. The 61 point margin of victory was the largest win since a 112-39 win over the University of DC in December, 1989.
Mike Sweetney led all scorers with 27 points in 21 minutes of play. Freshmen Drew Hall and Tony Bethel scored 17 points and 16 points respectively.
Game recaps can be found at the following:
Georgetown has announced the signing of 6-7 Brandon Bowman of Los Angeles to a national letter of intent for the 2002-03 season.
The HOYA has an update on Bowman's signing, noting an news item on Bowman from the HoyaTalk board, earlier in the year.
What exactly is the National Letter of Intent? here's a link to CBS Sportsline with details.
Thursday's Georgetown Voice carries an editorial for students to support the Hoyas by attending Friday's home opener versus Marymount.
Last year, games at McDonough drew an average of only 1,908 per game with attendance capped at 2,200 in its present seating configuration. Twenty years ago, when games were still regularly held in McDonough, student attendance was strong no matter the opponent, and crowds of 4,000 (when McDonough could hold that many) were common. With four home games on the Hilltop this season, more student support is essential.
The scheduling of games at McDonough is not a nod to Georgetown's past, but its future. More games are coming to campus in the future, and a generation of students unaccustomed to supporting the Hoyas on campus need to make it a priority.
Twenty years ago on November 6, 1981, The HOYA published a two hour interview with Georgetown's 40 year old head basketball coach, John Thompson. The interview was the feature story in the renewal of a Georgetown tradition--The HOYA's annual basketball preview issue.
For the last two decades, fans have turned to this annual preview as a great source of information on the men's and women's teams at the start of each season. Though the names change on the court (and on the bylines), we appreciate The HOYA's efforts in bringing this coverage via the Internet.
Here are the links to all the HOYA coverage for its 2001-02 preview:
Men's Team Articles
An update on the radio front:
Georgetown has not announced on its web sites where the games will be broadcast. In prior years, games not scheduled on WTEM were often moved to 570 or 1260, where streaming was not available. Some (but not all) games on 980 were available online until the station suspended streaming audio this spring.
It is not clear what combination of the three stations will broadcast the games beginning November 16. WTNT-570 has already added Virginia basketball games this season, which could bump the Hoyas off 570. WAGE-1200, a Northern Virginia competitor of WTEM, has added Virginia Tech games, which will be available online.
Here is a review of the options available to Hoya fans through the end of 2001 if games are not broadcast online:
Nov. 3--Georgetown opened its two game exhibition season with a 108-65 win over Ft. Hood (TX) Saturday night at McDonough Gymnasium. Mike Sweetney led the Hoyas with 21 points, while freshmen Tony Bethel added 13.
The unanswered questions on Harvey Thomas' eligibility continue to be in flux. Thomas did not suit up for the game, and Coach Esherick said that the 6-8 Thomas is in "a holding pattern right now" pending NCAA Clearinghouse issues.
"We've been dealing with them back and forth for a while now," Coach Esherick told the Washington Times in the link below. "We are moving in the right direction, and I'm hoping it's going to be resolved soon."
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