Georgetown Basketball: November 2009 News Archive
Jason Clark's career high 19 points led a balanced offensive effort as Georgetown pulled away from Lafayette, 97-64, before a holiday crowd of 9,172 at Verizon Center Saturday.
The Leopards (4-2) suffered six turnovers in the first six minutes of play but stayed close early thanks to alert three point shooting over Georgetown's man to man defense. The Leopards hit four of its first six shots from from outside the arc compared to 0-6 for the Hoyas, whose first three pointer arrived with a Hollis Thompson basket with 10:31 to play. When the Leopards connected on a fifth three to narrow the lead to 20-19, Coach John Thompson III switched to a matchup zone which shut down the Leopards outside, as LC finished the half with a 1 for 7 effort and managed only 3 for 12 in the second.
From a 20-19 score, the Hoyas outscored the Leopards 25-12 by halftime, 45-31, then opened the second half with hitting five of its first six shots, and the lead was now 25 at the 17:27 mark. Freshman Hollis Thompson continued his hot hand from the first half, going 3 for 3 in the second half and 6 for 6 overall. The lead stayed between 22 and 24 for most of the second half, whereupon Georgetown hit eight of its final ten shots down the stretch to push the lead to 33. Georgetown shot a remarkable 75 percent in the second half, much of it with reserves in the game. In fact, the bench shot a combined 9 for 10 in the game.
Six players finished in double figures, only the 11th time in the Big East era (1979-present) a Georgetown team has managed this balance, and the first since a November 16, 2001 game with Marymount. Georgetown also took steps to improve its rough start at the line this season, finishing 15-18 from the line.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wright 31 5-9 0-4 4-4 2 4 1 14 Clark 30 3-4 3-6 4-4 5 6 1 19 Freeman 30 4-7 1-2 1-1 3 1 0 12 Vaughn 21 5-6 0-0 1-4 5 2 3 11 Monroe 29 4-7 0-1 5-5 9 6 1 13 Reserves: Thompson 22 2-2 4-4 0-0 3 1 1 16 Mescheriakov 10 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 1 5 3 Sanford 7 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 1 0 5 Dougherty 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Stepka 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 Sims 14 1-1 0-1 0-0 3 2 2 2 DNP: Benimon Team Rebounds 3 TOTALS 200 26-39 10-20 15-18 34 24 14 97
Post-game articles follow below.
First there was the Ewing Effect. Now, the Jerry Nichols Effect.
Howard Megdal's column at SNY.tv has a new term for underperforming teams, named after the former Georgetown forward who averaged 35 points a game in high school but 1.5 points a game in college from 1994-97.
"As for Georgetown, the problem remains from last season -- a lack of depth offensively means points will often be hard to get," he writes. "The reasons why are obvious. As of today, Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, for all their evident talent, are not skilled in the Georgetown offense. A quick check of any Jonathan Wallace-quarterbacked games will display the enormous difference in execution. "
Why did Megdal focus on Nichols and not other former players with low offensive output, for example, a Pascal Fleury or a Jason Burns?
"It took just a game or two to discover the astonishing truth: Jerry Nichols wasn't a college scorer," said Megdal. "A Georgetown team with Allen Iverson, Victor Page, Jahidi White and Othella Harrington -- had Nichols truly been the small forward most people expected he'd be -- would have been national championship caliber [in 1996] . And that was the astonishing thing about Nichols. You knew right away that he wasn't the answer to Georgetown's small forward drought. That type of immediate information is rare in college basketball."
Georgetown is ranked 18th in the Monday Associated Press poll, up from 119th last week.
Seven Big East teams made the poll, led by third ranked Villanova. Other conference teams in the Top 25 include West Virginia (9), Syracuse (10), Connecticut (13), Louisville (16), and Notre Dame (23).
Jason Clark scored a career high 14 points as the Georgetown Hoyas shook off some early rust and breezed past Savannah State before an appreciative crowd of 3,176 fans at Tiger Arena in Savannah.
The 19th ranked Hoyas started out sluggish, missing its four shots and committing two turnovers, allowing the homestanding Tigers to earn an ovation from its crowd after opening a 7-0 lead. Clark's three pointer with 16:04 got the Hoyas on the board, the Tigers proceeded to miss its next six shots. Before Darius Baugh got the Tigers back in the scoring column, Georgetown was up six, and never trailed.
Georgetown led by ten midway in the half and by 14 at intermission. GU shot 14 for 24 from the field but fanned on all four free throws, while the Tigers managed only 7-26 shooting. Clark scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half, giving the Hoyas the spark it needed in the absence of front court scoring, where Greg Monroe had only four points and Julian Vaughn just two.
Georgetown opened the lead to the 16-18 point range early in the half and led by as many as 21. Reserves saw their share of action in the game but the bench did not contribute much in the way of scoring, as the bench accounted for only seven points in a combined 35 minutes of floor time. Georgetown shot 48 percent from the floor and limited the Tigers to 6-22 shooting in the half.
Four Hoyas finished in double figures, with Greg Monroe (13 points, seven rebounds), Austin Freeman (12) and Chris Wright (11) joining Clark a the top of the scoreboard.
Savannah officials were glad to see the game, win or lose. The Savannah Morning News reported a $17,000 gate from the game which means a lot to the cash-strapped SSU program. Savannah State ranks 339th among 340 Division I schools with a basketball budget of just over $543,000, while Georgetown ranks fifth nationally with over $7.9 million spent on the team.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wright 31 4-5 1-2 0-0 4 4 1 11 Clark 37 1-3 4-6 0-0 6 2 3 14 Freeman 31 2-6 2-3 2-2 3 0 1 12 Vaughn 22 2-6 0-0 0-2 5 3 0 4 Monroe 24 6-10 0-0 1-4 7 2 3 13 Reserves: Thompson 20 1-1 0-1 0-2 4 3 1 2 Mescheriakov 13 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 1 2 1 Sanford 11 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 2 2 Sims 11 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 4 DNP: Dougherty, Benimon, Stepka Team Rebounds 7 TOTALS 200 19-36 7-13 4-12 40 17 15 63
Post-game articles follow below. The Washington papers took a pass on this game and did not file stories on site.
Not too many years ago, a non-conference schedule at Georgetown contained as many as four sub-Division I teams a season, plus a handful of second-tier MEAC opponents for December home games. Not any more.
Andy Katz at ESPN.com discusses Georgetown's plans for a stronger strength of schedule and talked with coach Thompson about the theory behind the games.
"I wanted to see who we were," Thompson said. "It's not the normal opening stretch. What we didn't do at Tulane is better ourselves. The game against Temple was ugly as both teams played good defense. We had to hold on to win. I wanted to see how this team would handle adversity, grow from these situations and how they'd deal with it. This schedule is by design to give us adversity since that's the way our league works."
Friday's issue of The HOYA talks with sophomore Greg Monroe's last second play that powered the Hoyas to a win over Temple.
"After the season and coming back this summer, I think it was definitely evident that’s all people would talk about — finishing,” Monroe said. “Every day in practice and workouts in the summer, everything was about finishing and finishing games and the different things we need to do as a team to win games like this. So I think it was something that the whole team and the coaching staff were emphasizing and we’ve been working on.”
Also in the HOYA: an interview with alumnus and Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax (B'86) on his reflections as a student from 1982-86 and thoughts on the upcoming game.
"Being under Coach Thompson, it allowed us to play at a high level, on a national stage, but at the same time be a student on campus and have the environment on campus to relax and intermingle with the students,” Broadnax said. “Over the four years, having a high-profile player like Patrick Ewing and playing on the national stage, we didn’t feel that our lives were being intruded on by the media or different people."
Broadnax is realistic about the task at hand, however.
"Georgetown is a good program — a top-25 program,” he said. “There’s the saying ‘bringing a knife to a gunfight,’ but I feel like we’re bringing a plastic knife to a gunfight."
"It's like Princeton because I was sitting on one bench, and Fran was sitting on the other bench. Every other way, it's not like Penn and Princeton."--John Thompson III
A late basket bailed the #20-ranked Georgetown Hoyas out of a notable upset, struggling past Temple 46-45 before a rush hour audience of 8,712 at Verizon Center and a somewhat baffled television audience on ESPN. Much as they did in the second half of the 2008-09 season, Georgetown's inability to hold a lead was matched only by Temple's comparably poor play; little wonder then that veteran Associated Press writer Joseph White called the game "as unwatchable as could be."
The teams started out slowly and, well, stayed there. After four minutes, the score was 4-2, by the midway point in the half it was only 10-5. At one point the teams combined to miss 17 of 20 shots, including 11 straight. After the Hoyas led 16-7, Georgetown proceeded to convert only one basket the rest of the half. At intermission, the teams had combined to miss 18 of 20 shots from beyond the three point arc, 13 turnovers and 14 fouls against only 32 points, a 19-13 Georgetown lead.
Georgetown led by as many as three, 42-39, before a Temple three tied the score at 42 with 4:53 to play. Amazingly, each team would make only one basket the rest of the way.
On Georgetown's next possession, Lavoy Allen stole the ball from Monroe (one of 16 GU turnovers on the day) and got a putback to take the lead 44-42. Fouled on the play, Allen missed the free throw, one of a number of critical foul shooting sequences that doomed the Owls' upset hopes. Two possessions later, Allen was fouled again and missed the front end of a one and one, but Georgetown was still unable to settle on getting Monroe the ball inside, settling for outside shots that were well off the mark. Fouled with 2:21 to play, freshman Rahlir Jefferson made the first free throw to go up 45-42, but missed a critical second shot, keeping the Hoyas in the game.
Junior guard Chris Wright closed the lead to 45-44 at the line. The Hoyas defense held Temple scoreless with under a minute to play, but settled for a hurried shot with under 30 seconds remaining. A foul sent guard Ramone Moore to the line, but he missed the front end of yet another one and one, returning the ball to Georgetown with 13 seconds remaining.
This time, Georgetown got things right. Getting the ball inside to Monroe, he drove to the basket for a layup and the lead with 6.5 seconds remaining, 46-45. Still with time, Temple Luis Guzman raced down the court for what could have been a game winning shot, but Guzman was tied up in the paint, which earned Georgetown a held ball and the alternating possession with 0.9 left. Fouled with 0.3 left, Greg Monroe went to the line, only to see the clock inadvertently tick off the remaining moments on his first free throw, a miss. The second shot also missed, leaving Temple almost no time for a game-ending play.
Georgetown's statistics were ragged. The Hoyas finished with more fouls (18) than field goals (15), with 16 turnovers and a disturbing five offensive rebounds, despite shooting only 35 percent for the game and 3-18 from outside the arc. Chris Wright led all scorers with 15 points, followed by Greg Monroe with 11 and Austin Freeman 10. The three players shot a combined 12 for 28 (43%), the remainder of the team shot 3 for 14 (21%).
For its part, Temple's numbers were uniformly poor. The Owls shot 32 percent (18-56), and excepting its 9 for 12 run early in the second half, were 9 for 44 the remainder of the game. The Owls missed 20 of 23 three point attempts, led by leading scorer Ryan Brooks, with a 1 for 9 effort from long range. Temple's Achilles heel was free throws: 6 of 13, and 1 of 5 in the final five minutes. And with all that, this was a game Temple still could have won.
Few in March will remember the way Georgetown won this game, only that it was a quality win over a quality opponent. The lessons learned should be far more important than the outcome in the weeks to come.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III summed it up: "For us to be able to maintain our poise, our composure, and whether it's ugly or not, to make the plays, get the rebounds at both ends of the floor and win the game, that was good."
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wright 31 3-4 1-4 6-7 1 1 4 15 Clark 35 0-0 2-6 2-2 7 0 0 8 Freeman 39 4-6 0-4 2-2 5 0 2 10 Vaughn 23 0-3 0-1 0-2 4 0 2 0 Monroe 37 4-9 0-1 3-6 9 3 3 11 Reserves: Thompson 23 1-1 0-2 0-0 4 3 4 2 Mescheriakov 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Sims 10 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 3 0 DNP: Sanford, Dougherty, Benimon, Stepka Team Rebounds 4 TOTALS 200 12-24 3-18 13-19 36 7 18 46
Post-game articles follow below.
"Sometimes, talent just takes over."--Tulane coach Dave Dickerson
Greg Monroe scored 18 points as the Georgetown Hoyas opened its 2009-10 season with a 74-58 win at Tulane before a sold out crowd at Fogelman Arena.
Georgetown opened up strongly, scoring the first 11 points of the game and taking whatever home court advantage the Green Wave hoped to build for Monroe's homecoming to the New Orleans area. Tulane closed to six with 13:00 in the half, but the teams traded baskets through much of the early going. Georgetown was failing to exert a presence in the middle, settling for jump shots and allowing Tulane's guards a chance to push the ball up the court.Georgetown led by as many as nine thereafter, but Tulane closed the game to as little as three and settled for a 32-27 deficit at halftime.
For the second half, Georgetown started strong again, outscoring the Wave, scoring the first seven points of the period before Tulane responded. A 6-2 Tulane run got the deficit back under 10, punctuated by an Asim McQueen dunk that rallied the home crowd but which was whistled for a technical foul for grabbing the rim. Austin Freeman hit both technical foul shots and the Hoyas never looked back, connecting on a number of close-in and lay-up shots that it was largely unable to get in the first half.
Tulane shot nearly 50 percent from two point range but its three point shooting (4-18) failed them in this one. Guard Kevin Sims finished 0-6 from the field and failed to lead the Wave to a win.
Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.
MIN 2FG 3FG FT REB A PF PTS Starters: Wright 35 4-5 1-3 0-0 2 2 1 11 Clark 35 1-2 3-6 2-2 4 5 3 13 Freeman 34 4-6 2-3 2-2 6 5 4 16 Vaughn 24 2-4 1-1 0-2 5 2 2 7 Monroe 35 7-12 0-2 4-6 11 2 2 18 Reserves: Thompson 15 1-2 0-2 0-0 1 1 3 2 Mescheriakov 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0 Sanford 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Benimon 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Sims 17 2-2 0-0 3-6 4 0 1 7 DNP: Dougherty, Stepka Team Rebounds 3 TOTALS 200 21-36 7-17 11-18 36 17 18 74
Post-game articles follow below.
Among the keys for Georgetown in 2009-10? Rebounding. The Hoyas suffered mightily in rebounding last year and this article from The HOYA notes that sophomore Henry Sims and junior Julian Vaughn need to make a difference in that category.
"They know what they have to do, and help will come in different ways, maybe not just in size,” coach Thompson said. “We all have to get much more aggressive. Are they ready? I think so.”
With the season opener in sight, the Tulane Hullabaloo previews the Nov. 13 game against the Hoyas.
"Without a projected starter taller than 6-foot-7, the Wave will rely heavily on the explosive open court play of guards Kevin Sims and Kris Richard this season," wrote the paper. "Sims and Richard are both talented and athletic enough to inspire hope that this approach will be effective against bigger, slower opponents. While this may prove true in Conference USA, Georgetown can counter with their own backcourt duo of juniors Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Both Freeman and Wright have enough experience in the ultra-competitive Big East to slow the Sims-Richard attack."
Former Georgetown guard Jonathan Wallace (C'08) was selected in the second round of the NBDL draft, going to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the NBA development team for the Houston Rockets. Wallace averaged 4.1 points per game for Ljubljana in the Adriatic League overseas and 1.7 ppg for Oldenburg in a brief stay in Germany last season.
Also selected: former Georgetown recruit Latavious Williams, who eventually signed with Memphis, only to be academically ineligible there. Williams becomes the first high school product drafted directly into the developmental league.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim answered reader questions in this link to the Syracuse Post-Standard, with questions ranging from the team's uniforms to whatever became of Boeheim's 1970's era jackets. One question asked if the team would expand seating in the Carrier Dome for the Georgetown game.
"We've thought about moving the court to the center of the Dome many times, but the problem I have with doing that is that it would create about 45,000 bad seats," he said. "If you put it in the middle, the majority of the people would be too far away. I think most of the fans would be upset with where they were sitting, and that wouldn't be worth it just to set some kind of record. I also believe there would be people who'd think we were doing it just to make money. The bottom line is this: There wouldn't be many good seats if we moved the court into the center of the Dome, so I don't see us doing it."
Washington's third daily doesn't get as much exposure during basketball season, but reporter Craig Stouffer kicks off the Washington Examiner's coverage of the Hoyas this season by an interview with ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla.
"I do think they do have good fits for that offense because they do have a mobile big man in Monroe," said Fraschilla. "I don't know how deep they'll be but their core of five or six guys is certainly as talented as anybody's five or six in the Big East."
Thursday's feature in the Georgetown Voice begins two days of preview coverage in the campus press. Additional articles from the issue follow below:
The web site FanHouse.com posted an interview with Big East commissioner John Marinatto of interest to football and basketball fans alike.
In the interview, Marinatto discusses the criteria needed to select a 17th Big East school, possible changes to the men's basketball tournament format, and requiring minimum scholarship and facility requirements for all Big East sports. Recommended reading.
The D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commission has approved a two year extension covering zoning approval to build for a proposed athletic training facility (ATF), reports the Georgetown Voice. Without it, the zoning for the project would have expired in three weeks.
A discussion topic for years in Georgetown basketball circles, Georgetown is one of only a handful of top 50 programs without a dedicated training and practice facility for its teams. Despite a public challenge by former coach John Thompson Jr. in early 2007 to move forward on the project, no public fundraising effort has been undertaken in the interim. According to the Voice, there are still no plans in place to begin construction on the ATF, Multi-Sport Facility, or science building, even with the extension.
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