Home  >  Archives

Georgetown Basketball: November 2012 News Archive

Villanova AD Talks Realignment 11/30/12

There are reasons why athletic directors generally avoid public relations statements, because they generally lead to more questions than answers.

Such is the case with Villanova AD Vince Nicastro, who posted a letter on Villanova.com telling alumni and friends of Villanova that "We are prepared to do whatever is necessary to secure and advance Villanova and our brand. The Big East membership has expressed openness to our insistence to work to further advance the core asset of the Big East Conference--its basketball programs. With Villanova taking a leadership role, the basketball schools are exploring every avenue to do just that."

Leadership claims notwithstanding, Nicastro's failure to address Villanova's football program has stirred up its own hornet's nest. Villanova, which competes in I-AA football in the Colonial Athletic Association, was scheduled for a vote to be admitted to the conference in football last year before the University of Pittsburgh helped table the vote, and within a few weeks they were gone. The lack of follow-through from the school on the state of football was ill-served by a letter which never even mentions it.

Strength In Numbers 11/30/12

Speaking of improving the Big East basketball brand, why not this, discussed today on the HoyaTalk board--divisional play?

In lieu of the hand-wringing about playing programs in Texas or Louisiana (and vice versa), a two division format enhances regional rivalries and limits travel. A home and away schedule within the division, rotate the divisional opponents every other year (e.g., two home, two away vs. the other division each season). The 16 teams unite for the Big East tournament in March.

Splitting the Florida schools for recruiting purposes leaves a Midwestern and Eastern range of strong Big East teams in 2014:

West DivisionEast Division
Central FloridaConnecticut
HoustonSt. John's
MarquetteSeton Hall
MemphisSouth Florida
Coach Thompson: Staying Focused 11/30/12

Matters of conference reshuffling dominated Friday's talk with the media in links to the Washington Times and Washington Examiner.

Even though the Times incorrectly included Boise State as a future Big East basketball member (they are not), Thompson remains focused on what is important going forward.

"What I think is important is that I’m the coach of Georgetown,” Thompson said. “And Georgetown has always been good before the Big East, in the Big East as we have known it and we’re going to be good the future, whatever the future holds. I’m not a fortune teller, but I do know that we are going to be good.”

As to the future moves for the Big East, he added "I think that’s a question probably best answered not by John Thompson.”

Florida: No Rematch 11/29/12

Georgetown has declined an offer to continue the suspended Nov. 9 game with Florida, according to Florida Today.

The Gators had offered to play the second half of the game at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the which Georgetown counter-offered with a site in Norfolk. In the end, Georgetown decided not to pursue completing the game over the Christmas holidays. As such, the game remains a "no-contest" and the statistics will not count in season totals.

Hurry Up! ACC Adds Louisville Over Breakfast Updated 11/29/12

The Pavlovian response by conferences to out-do the other has a shelf life of, oh, about 18 hours.

Following the additions of Tulane and East Carolina at the Big East Tuesday afternoon, the Atlantic Coast Conference summoned its presidents to a 7:00 am meeting Wednesday to add the University of Louisville as the 15th member to the conference in the 2014-15 season.

But 7:00 am? Just a day after the Big East? Really, what's the hurry?

"Sources said Louisville outmaneuvered the perceived early favorite, Connecticut, in large part because of the school's overall athletic commitment, the health of its football program and the issues Jim Calhoun left behind in the Huskies' basketball program," writes Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde.

The Cardinals joined the Big East as part of the first migration of Conference USA schools in 2005. Its profitable football and basketball programs attracted the ACC's interest, but its academic reputation was rumored to be an issue among some of the ACC's more established programs.

"The biggest stumbling block the school had to overcome with the academically prestigious ACC was its modest institutional standing," Forde writes. "Louisville is 160th in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings of American universities, far below most of the league's schools...But multiple sources said and the conference is comfortable with Louisville because the ACC is too strong academically to have its reputation significantly altered by one new member."

The move appears as much a defense mechanism against the Big 12 than the ACC's usual plundering of the Big East. If there is small consolation, it keeps the University of Connecticut in the Big East fold, for now, and appears to keep the University of Cincinnati out of the reach of the Big 12 if that conference had established an eastern flank with West Virginia and Louisville. Also a point of consolation--the expected ESPN stories pillorying the Big East have been muted somewhat in the wake of the Big East's preemptive move to add Tulane and East Carolina.

Still to be determined (and unless there's a middle of the night meeting out there planned somewhere)--whether the Big 12 or Big Ten pursues ACC football schools for its own expansion, further destabilizing Eastern college sports.

Additional coverage follows below, with the obligatory statements from Louisville praising its new home. As before, an exit check between $7.5-10 million will be tendered at their departure.

Navy On Board 11/29/12

Despite a late run of chatter that the U.S. Naval Academy was a compromise candidate should the ACC reach an impasse over Louisville or Connecticut, the Midshipmen remain in the Big East orbit for 2015, but with admittedly less enthusiasm.

"Right now, nothing's changed in terms of our attitude or ambition in terms of joining in '15,", Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told the Associated Press. 'We're just going to see how it all unfolds."

"We're trying to improve our facilities, we're trying to build up our infrastructure, we're trying to get ready to go," said head coach Ken Niumatalolo. "My only question is, if we don't go to the Big East, what happens to us? Is it just going to be those five big conferences and everyone else becomes I-AA football?"

Big East Timeline 11/28/12

Tulane University Joins Big East 11/28/12

 The Big East is going green.

Following the loss of Rutgers University to the Big Ten, the Big East Conference struck back with the addition of Tulane University to the conference on July 1, 2014, or about the time Rutgers is expected to have negotiated its exit to the Big Ten Conference. The Big East also added East Carolina University as a football-only member in the 2014 season.

"Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in the Big East Conference," said university president Scott Cowen in a press conference. "The Big East is a distinguished collection of institutions that will be a wonderful home for Tulane. We look forward to our mutual association and we are delighted to welcome the Big East to the Big Easy!"

The New Orleans-based school was a founding member of the Southeastern Conference in 1933 until it voluntarily left the league in 1966, beginning a long and mostly downward road for its athletics programs. A founding member of the Metro Conference and later Conference USA, Tulane's program has labored in the shadows of Louisiana State University and nearly lost its athletic program following Hurricane Katrina. It has since embarked on a series of upgrades to facilities, including an upgrade to its home basketball arena, a new basketball practice facility, and a $55 million campaign to construct a 30,000 seat football stadium near the site of historic 80,000 seat Tulane Stadium, which was razed in 1979.

"We are located in such a great city and represent one of the top universities in the country and now have significantly upgraded facilities and membership in the Big East Conference," said Tulane basketball coach Ed Conroy. "All of this will help us sell our program nationwide and move our program where we want it to be."

Tulane has struggled as a basketball program despite the prep talent in the greater New Orleans area. It is likely the Green Wave will move home games out of the Devlin Field House (formerly Fogelman Arena, capacity 3,600) to the 18,500 seat New Orleans Arena downtown, owing to the fact that the Big East has a 6,000 seat minimum on home arenas. Tulane's last NCAA bid was in 1995.

Of course, basketball has very little to do with all this. As noted earlier this week, the food chain of college sports is taking its toll--as the ACC chows down on the Big East, the Big East then takes a bite from Conference USA, which will now likely go after a pair of Sun Belt schools to make up its loss. If or when the ACC comes calling for Connecticut, Louisville, or both, the Big East still maintains the 12 school minimum needed in football and a large enough collection in basketball to secure a sizeable TV contract.

Georgetown and Tulane have met twice in basketball, with the Hoyas sweeping games in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Additional coverage follows below.

The discussion of Tulane has raised some questions in the media, asking why the Big East would want to add Tulane. But why would Tulane want to join the Big East? This column from the New Orleans Times-Picayune is required reading.

"Major college sports returned to Tulane University on Tuesday. It's been nearly 40 years since the school foolishly departed the SEC for the independent ranks. Since the halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960s, the Green Wave has operated largely in the shadows of major college sports, an alternate universe from the sport's elite hierarchy," writes Jeff Duncan. At best, Tulane was a "used-to-be." But for anyone under the age of 50, it was for all intents and purposes a "never was." That's why membership in the Big East Conference is landmark news. It's the most significant transaction for the school's athletic program since that fateful day in 1966 when the school left the SEC."

Duncan acknowledges that "This is not Patrick Ewing's Big East that Tulane will be joining in 2014. Or even Kemba Walker's Big East, for that matter... But whatever iteration of the Big East survives will be decidedly better than where Tulane was or might have been."

"Can you imagine in 2014 we'll be in Madison Square Garden for five days of non-stop basketball?" Tulane chancellor Scott Cowen said. "It's going to be heaven." Added Duncan: "I don't know what heaven's like but I do know this: It certainly beats the heck out of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. [site of the Conference USA tournament]".

More Changes On The Way? 11/28/12

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco told the Associated Press that "We’re not finished. “We obviously have some other plans for expansion.”

As for ECU, the longtime bridesmaids of Big East expansion may have been escalated to the altar as a result of Brigham Young University, reports CBSSports.com. BYU, whose LDS-affiliated cable TV network has allowed it to become a football independent, reportedly turned down the Big East's latest offer to be a football-only entrant.

Not so, says the LDS-owned Deseret News, citing a Washington Examiner columnist who says that talks are ongoing and the Big East hasn't yet made an offer.

Prov. Journal: Schools Are United 11/28/12

The Providence Journal, which has been consistently against expansion and went so far as to claim that schools like Providence and Georgetown "could" dissolve the league, absent any evidence of same, spoke Aresco and got his assurance that the moves have the support of schools like PC.

"Our basketball group has been strong in supporting the basketball/football model," Aresco said, "and I'm convinced that this model will stick together. We know we'll weather whatever comes."

"We will be better in football over time than we are now."

ACC To Maryland: See You In Court 11/28/12

The Atlantic Coast Conference filed suit in Guilford County, NC against the University of Maryland, suing the school for $52.2 million over its early departure from that league. Presidents from all 11 remaining schools were in favor, which ESPN.com dutifully reported as "solidarity" when, in fact, it opens up a counter suit by Maryland should they choose to.

As the Big East learned in such matters, the only outcomes from these suits are usually attorneys fees.

News Analysis: As The ACC Turns 11/26/12

There is no honor among thieves. Or the Atlantic Coast Conference.

For the better part of a decade, the ACC has stolen six different Big East schools to prop up an increasingly negligible football product. But in the game of conference musical chairs, the bigger the chair, the better the seat. As ACC presidents met Sunday via conference call to lay out a strategy following the unexpected departure of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference, speculation turns to its next plunder.

Despite a wish list that spans from the unlikely (Penn State) to the unreachable (Texas) to the largely uninterested (Notre Dame joining in football), the conference is going back to the old well of raiding the Big East conference, as the University of Connecticut and the University of Louisville are jostling to see who can be first in line to jump ship, pay an exit fee and join a conference that, after the next addition, that will have more Big East expatriates (seven) than the six remaining original ACC schools.

Remember Them?

Boston College (2-10)
Fewest wins since 1989,
fired its coach Sunday

Miami (7-5)
Self-imposed bowl ban
due to ongoing NCAA

Virginia Tech (6-6)
Fewest wins since 1992

Granted, the Big East does not deal with clean hands, either. The 2013 Big East will have more members from Conference USA (nine) than its six remaining original schools. But the Big East never sought to run C-USA out of business.

"Sources in the ACC say UConn's chances of being invited are significantly greater now that Jim Calhoun is no longer the men's basketball coach," writes the New London Day. "And the academic performance, or lack thereof, by Calhoun's teams late in his tenure left ACC officials sour.

"ACC officials are, the sources say, viewing UConn through a bigger prism today. UConn is perceived a better academic school than Louisville, also reported as a contender to replace Maryland. Hence, UConn is likely the favorite to get the call."

A move could come as early as Tuesday, per some reports, but it is not clear how much due diligence the ACC and its surrogate network will even allow schools to perform. As the article below on Rutgers indicates, any public discussion could have derailed the offer. In Maryland's case, not even the regents themselves were given the opportunity to perform necessary due diligence, as Maryland president Wallace Loh signed a non-disclosure agreement that if there was any public discussion, the Big Ten's offer would immediately be rescinded.

"The real problem is that commissioners of athletic conferences can dictate terms to universities that effectively high-jack the possibility of debate, and that is just plain wrong,” said Tom McMillen, a dissenting voice to the vote.

"In his op-ed, McMillen, a former Terrapins basketball player and United States Congressman, writes that the Board of Regents were given “a single piece of paper” outlining financial figures and the general proposal upon arriving at a University of Maryland at Baltimore conference room Monday morning for the vote," wrote the Washington Post. "The piece of paper was then taken away after the meeting."

"They may have violated the [Open Records Act], but so what?" said attorney Bradley Shear to the Baltimore Sun. "Maryland is going to the Big Ten. Nothing is going to slow that now."

Nor, apparently, the next ACC plunder.

Georgetown Committed To Big East 11/26/12

Not unnoticed in this mess is the disinformation campaign promulgated on the Big East, which has 16 schools on board for 2013-14 but, if you believe the outliers on the press, sit on death's door.

Such was the case with a spurious column late last week in the Providence Journal claiming the schools of the Big East "could" vote to dissolve the league entirely. (And the state of Texas could secede, but neither are making plans on doing so.)

The subplot proffered by the Journal about forming a "CYO League" of Catholic schools outside the major conference structure may be of interest to fans of struggling programs like PC, but isn't supported from a pivotal member of the conference, writes sports columnist Mark Blaudschun.

"Don't expect that breakaway to come as long as Georgetown remains committed to the current state of Big East basketball and football," he writes. Georgetown is clearly the leader of that [basketball] group and the Hoyas have told Aresco that they are still solid."

"What [commissioner Mike] Aresco must now do is beat the ACC or the Big 12 in any announcement," Blaudschun continued. "He should announce a replacement for Rutgers. He should then work hard to firm up a multi-network television deal, which will give schools sitting on the fence in terms of either joining the Big East (Air Force, BYU) or leaving (UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati, USF) some tangible numbers to study. Who knows. If Aresco can get a TV deal in the $15 million per year range and keep the basketball schools together, perhaps UConn and Louisville will think that the devil they know is better than the devil they do not know."

Behind The Scenes On Rutgers' Departure 11/26/12

So why did the Big Ten add Maryland and Rutgers? A behind the scenes look at Rutgers' move in Sunday's Newark Star-Ledger suggests a major miscalculation by the ACC spurred the Big Ten to go after one of the ACC's own.

"For years, the Big 10 has dreamed of having Notre Dame join the conference," writes the Star-Ledger's Craig Wolff. "When Notre Dame announced it was going to the ACC, Delany said publicly he was satisfied with keeping things in the Big 10 status quo. But two officials familiar with the discussions said the commissioner was upset the years-long flirtation with Notre Dame had fallen apart."

"Last Monday morning, the Maryland Board of Regents accepted the Big 10 invitation. Hours later, [athletic director Tim] Pernetti went before the Rutgers Board of Governors in what was mostly a formality. Board members were concerned about whether the university would have to pay the full $10 million exit fee required by the Big East, an amount still being negotiated, one of the officials familiar with the talks said. In what became an historic meeting, the Rutgers board ratified a merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and voted to accept the Big 10's invitation."

Benimon Talks About Georgetown Transfer 11/26/12

Former Georgetown forward Jerrelle Benimon will return to Verizon Center on Dec. 8 wearing the black and gold of Towson University, and told that school's newspaper, The Towerlight, that Georgetown wasn't for him.

"I just wasn’t having fun anymore. I think it was me not liking the offense a lot,” said Benimon, who averaged 1.3 points in 61 games over two seasons at Georgetown but is currently averaging 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in his first season with the Tigers. “Another reason is the two players in my class and my best friends also weren’t too happy and talked about leaving which also inspired me to leave."

(Benimon was recruited alongside Vee Sanford, who transferred to Dayton in 2011, and Hollis Thompson, who left school early to pursue a pro career. All three would have been seniors in 2012-13.)

"I enjoy it here a lot, it is more of my style than Georgetown, because Georgetown is a much smaller school compared to Towson,” he said. “You have the opportunity to see different people everyday.”

Georgetown 72, Mt. St. Mary's 50 11/24/12

Four starters scored in double figures as the Georgetown Hoyas took a second helping of Thanksgiving defense to steer past Mt St. Mary's, 72-50, at Verizon Center Saturday.

Georgetown opened the game strong from the field, shooting 6 of its first 9 and 14 of 22 for the first half, but simply could not maintain the ball, with six turnovers in the first eight minutes and 11 in the first half, which gave the Mountaineers (1-3) ample opportunities to stay close, with ties at 11, 19, and 23. A Greg Whittington jumper gave Georgetown its largest lead at 29-23, but the Hoyas returned to sloppy play down the stretch, as the Mount closed to 34-32 at the break.

The Hoyas came out of the locker room much more focused, quickly opening up a 46-36 lead without a single turnover for the first seven minutes of the second half. With size inside, the Georgetown starting five began to pick up the points and the defense. A Markel Starks jumper pushed the lead to 63-46 with 4:00 to play, as the Hoyas totaled only six turnovers in the second half and outscored the Mountaineers 19-4 to end the game. Georgetown shot 64% in the second half, owned a 41-21 advantage on rebounding, and held the Mount to just two free throw attempts.

Otto Porter led all Georgetown scorers with 17 points and 12 rebounds, followed by 17 and 11 from Greg Whittington, 15 from Markel Starks, 13 from Mikael Hopkins, and eight from Nate Lubick. Free throw shooting was mixed (9-18), and there was little participation from the bench, with one basket from Jabril Trawick.

GU turnovers,
first half

GU turnovers,
second half

GU rebound

GU shooting

MSM bench pts.

GU bench pts.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       36   5-9   1-1   2-2   3   5  0   15 
Porter       40   6-7   1-1   2-3  13   2  2   17
Whittington  36   7-8   1-3   0-4  11   1  4   17
Lubick       31   4-5   0-0   0-1   6   4  2    8 
Hopkins      27   4-9   0-0   5-8   2   2  0   13
Smith-Rivera 17   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   1  1    0
Bowen         1   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0 
Caprio        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0 
Domingo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0 
Ayegba        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Trawick      13   1-1   0-1   0-0   1   1  0    2
DNP: Allen, Bolden, Hayes 
Injured: Adams
Team Rebounds                       4
TOTALS      200 27-40   3-7  9-18  42  16  9   72

Additional coverage follows below:

Indiana 82, Georgetown 72 (OT) 11/21/12 1:00 am EST

"This was one of those games where it would've been fun to be up there cheering [in the stands] or watching on television at home."--Indiana coach Tom Crean

The calendar may read November, but unranked Georgetown and #1-ranked Indiana played a game as good as any you'll see in March.

A barrage of three point shooting and a spirited Georgetown comeback forced the Hoosiers into overtime at Barclays Center, but the Hoyas' shooting went cold and Indiana pulled away with an 82-72 win in the finale of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.

The teams traded four threes in the first four minutes in an early 10-10 tie, with a number of lead changes throughout the first half. The Hoyas led by as many as four before Indiana responded inside with baskets by center Cody Zeller and forward Victor Oladipo--the two teams were each shooting at 50 percent from three midway in the first half.

Back to back threes gave Georgetown the lead at 23-18, answered by alternating threes by Christian Watford and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera to tie the score at 26 with 8:14 in the half. The Hoyas' requisite first half drought held them without a basket for over four minutes, and Indiana built a four point lead that held by halftime, 36-32. Georgetown ended the half 8-14 from three but only 4-13 inside the arc, a reflection of the strong interior defense by the Hoosiers.

Indiana had successfully contained Otto Porter in the first half, with just three points, and continued to limit his opportunities in the second. Georgetown trailed by as many as five, 44-39 before Porter caught fire, scoring seven of the next nine points as Georgetown took a 47-44 lead with 11:23 remaining. But after a Markel Starks basket 9:21 to play, Indiana's zone defense shut down the Hoyas from the field over the next five minutes, as an 8-0 Indiana run extended its lead to 59-51 with 4:02 to play. Hopkins broke the ice with a basket and foul to close to 59-54, but fouled out with 1:18 to play down seven, 63-56.

After eight threes in the first half, Georgetown had just one three in the second entering the final two minutes of the half. Following Hopkins' exit, Markel Starks broke open from a screen for three, 63-59, and the Hoyas were now back within reach. Indiana guard Yogi Farrell missed the front end of a one and one with 45 seconds remaining, which Porter repaid with a long three from the left wing, 63-62, with 28 seconds remaining. On the ensuing foul, Farrell made one of two and Porter drove the lane to tie the score with 4.6 seconds remaining. Off the time out, Indiana drove the length of the court and Zeller's game winning drive was cut short by the buzzer.

IU FT shooting

GU FT shooting

IU rebound

GU 3-pt, 1st half

GU 3-pt, 2nd half

GU 3-pt, overtime

GU turnovers

GU bench pts.

Georgetown was in foul trouble for much of the overtime and Indiana was not, with only two players with two or more fouls. The Hoosiers made only two baskets in the overtime but collected 13 of 17 from the free throw line in the extra period to pull ahead for good. Georgetown missed all seven of its attempts from the field (0-4 from three) in the overtime, but was 8-8 from the line. Starks led all Georgetown scorers with 20 before fouling out. The teams combined for 22 three pointers.

Outstanding play was found on both sides of the ball. Indiana benefited from 17 points and eight rebounds from Zeller, 10 points and 1-0 rebounds from Watford, and five threes from 6-0 guard Jordan Hulls, shooting over 56% from long range this season. Georgetown's defense was as strong as Indiana had seen all season, and the Hoosiers fought for every possession. Despite the disparity at the free throw line (36 attempts for Indiana to 10 for Georgetown, eight of which came in overtime), the two teams played cleanly and Indiana's zone defense simply didn't put Georgetown in a position to get points from long range or at the line. The loss of Hopkins inside forced the Hoyas outside, to which it was unable to adjust in the overtime.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       39   3-7   4-7   2-2   0   0  5   20 
Whittington  43   3-9   3-4   0-1   5   4  3   15
Porter       41   2-4   2-6   2-2   6   2  2   12
Lubick       35   0-1   0-1   4-4   3   4  4    4 
Hopkins      25   5-10  0-0   1-1   4   1  5   11
Smith-Rivera 10   0-0   1-2   0-0   0   0  1    3
Bowen         1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Domingo       4   0-0   0-2   0-0   0   0  0    0 
Trawick      28   2-2   1-4   0-0   2   1  5    7
DNP: Allen, Caprio, Bolden, Ayegba, Hayes 
Injured: Adams
Team Rebounds                       7
TOTALS      100 15-33 11-26  9-10  28  12 27   72

Additional coverage follows below.

Georgetown-Florida Redux? 11/21/12

A small item mentioned on the ESPN telecast Tuesday: Florida coach Billy Donovan has reached out to Georgetown officials to consider completing the Nov. 11 game between the two teams, which was interrupted by weather conditions aboard the USS Bataan in Jacksonville, FL.

No further details were provided on the likelihood the game could be completed, or where the second half would even be played. Florida held a 27-23 lead when it was called, and NCAA rules allow for a restart if it can be arranged between the teams.

Rutgers Leaves Big East Conference 11/21/12

As West Virginia's increasingly ill-fated move to thye Big 12 seemed a gamble, Rutgers University double-downed on the money line Tuesday, announcing it will leave the Big East to join the Big Ten conference within the next three years. As was the case with Maryland, the promise of a significant financial windfall from the Big Ten cable network took precedent over any hope of competitive excellence for a school with a dismal record of recent intercollegiate competition.

"Membership in the Big Ten will also bring Rutgers substantially higher revenues each year," said Rutgers president Robert Barchi, a 1968 graduate of Georgetown College. "This is critical to our goal of achieving a financially self-sustaining athletic program and providing greater support for all our teams and student athletes."

"The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Rutgers athletics spent $26.8 million more than it earned in 2010-11 – a staggering display of financial recklessness that was in part foisted on the general student population via additional fees and tuition," writes Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports. "The payoff for that expenditure was exactly zero Big East championships in any sport in 2011-12 – but then again, the conference offered only 35 of them."

Rutgers joined the Big East in 1995 and is enjoying its best football season (9-1) since 1976, but has never been a Big-Ten sized draw, averaging just 48,466 fans this season at Rutgers Stadium, which would be smaller than every Big 10 stadium except Northwestern. The departure would be the last of the founding members of the 1991 Big East football conference, though Temple rejoined that league in 2012 and will fully join the league in 2012-13.

In men's basketball, it has been a run of futility, with its greatest moment over the past 17 years of Big East hoops being a Geoff Billet buzzer-beater over Georgetown in the 1998 Big East quarterfinals. The Scarlet Knights last qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1992, and drew just 5,362 per game last season in basketball, 15th out of 16 among Big East schools.

Georgetown has played Rutgers 43 times in men's basketball from roughly 1963 through 1979 and annually since 1995, winning ten of the last eleven with an overall record of 27-16. It is unlikely the two schools will maintain series in any sport going forward.

The decision leaves the Big East with 16 schools at an future date to be determined. Under the terms of the Big East's exit fee, Rutgers would be committed to the Big East through the 2014-15 season unless it sought an early exit, figured to cost up to $10 million.

Extended coverage follows at the following web sites:

Official Big East Statement 11/21/12

From the Big East web site:

"We realize that conference realignment is currently a fact of life in college sports. In the context of this realignment, changes in our membership have been taking place, including important additions. In fact, the Big East has expanded its scope with new members in California, Texas, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. As a result, the Big East has created a unique national football conference that is a factor in the BCS Championship, remains the nation’s strongest basketball conference top to bottom, and is a major force across the full spectrum of men’s and women’s college sports. We remain committed to, and confident in, the continued growth and vitality of the Big East Conference."

Big East: "Nobody Below Us Going Anywhere" 11/21/12

For a 16 team league, some in the media would have you believe the Big East is on the verge of complete insolvency if another school left. But it simply isn't so.

"Even if we do lose a UConn, nobody below us is going anywhere,” a source within the Big East told the Newark Star-Ledger. “We could still go out and pick off a couple of football-only schools to join us, because we have that [new BCS bowl] rule.”

"While the common thought has always been that the league’s basketball-only schools would break off from the football schools, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency for that to happen," writes the Star-Ledger. "The fear is that if the basketball-only schools were to break off it would force them into an atmosphere of decreased spending for their programs in order to fall in line with other non-football schools, such as those in the Atlantic 10."

“There would have to be throttling back on expenditures,” the Big East individual explained. “The best basketball conference in the country will not be a Catholic league.”

So where do the all various schools stand right now? Which are at risk to take the money and run?

Risk Level: High (2)

  • Louisville: The hot commodity, not only for two different conferences (Big 12, ACC) but that it is among the most profitable athletic departments in the nation. Can choose its own destiny, but is mindful of West Virginia's recent struggles in the Big 12 and has built a base of support in the Big East with basketball coach Rick Pitino. Still, this is not Pitino's decision.
  • Connecticut: If the ACC wants another out of market team, or if ESPN wants to take another pound of flesh from the Big East, this is one of the two likely candidates, although ESPN's Andy Katz reported that UConn officials are "in the dark" on pursuing a move and could be bumped out by Louisville. Also a factor: Boston College has consistently opposed a second ACC team in New England.

Risk Level: Medium (1)

  • Boise State: The football-only entrant was a reluctant addition in 2011 to qualify for a BCS-level bowl, but with the loss of the BCS structure, it has discussed its options should it choose to return to the Mountain West Conference.

Risk Level: Low (4)

  • Central Florida: Joining in 2013, no particular interest expressed by other conferences. The Orlando Sentinel reported that UCF would owe the Big East $5 million if it left, but it is unlikely any conference is targeting UCF.
  • Cincinnati: Cited in a CBS Sports report that the ACC would basically look at all current Big East football schools as candidates, but UC is seen as the odd man out in most scenarios. An ACC or Big 12 team in Ohio is interesting, but unlikely.
  • Houston: Joining in 2013, Houston has a clause in its entrance agreement giving it an out if the Big East fails to meet certain revenue numbers; of course, it would take some time before those numbers come to pass. "We have the utmost faith Commissioner Aresco and his staff will provide the best long-term future for member institutions," said a UH press release. And unless the Big 12 wants a fifth team in Texas, and it doesn't, Houston remains on board.
  • South Florida: Hard to see the ACC adding a third team in Florida, much less the SEC placing relative newcomer USF alongside its state's flagship. Unless the southern flank of the ACC leaves en masse, USF is on the back burner.

Risk Level: Very Low (6)

  • Georgetown: The idea of the Hoyas replacing Maryland in the ACC landscape is a trendy topic, but without a significant upgrade in Hoya football, it's a non-starter on both sides of the table.
  • Memphis: Joining in 2013, the Tigers have garnered no interest by the Big 12, SEC, or ACC, and its future is not with Conference USA.
  • St. John's: The ACC doesn't need a New York school without any football, but that doesn't mean St. John's wouldn't take the call.
  • San Diego State: A football-only member joining in 2013, the Aztecs have publicly distanced themselves from trying to reconnect with the Mountain West.
  • Southern Methodist: Joining in 2013, any Big East alignment is a step up from the landscape SMU is leaving in C-USA. The Big 12 had already added a school 30 miles west (TCU) and haven't approached SMU.
  • Temple: Joining in 2013, the Owls have been all but ignored in the current round of chatter. Still, if someone wants the Philadelphia market, would they call?
  • Villanova: The Wildcats were a week away from joining Big East football in 2011, and now seem to be out of the conversation entirely as a result.

Risk Level: None (4)

  • DePaul: Not a flight risk.
  • Marquette: A stable member.
  • Providence: Despite Kevin McNamara's plea to turn back the clock for an 1970's-era Catholic basketball conference, PC is not a target to depart.
  • Seton Hall: See Providence.
Rutgers' Replacement? 11/21/12

As for expansion candidates for Rutgers, many of the candidates from 2011 are still out there. Here are five:

  1. Brigham Young (football only): The school has consistently refused all comment on such matters, mindful the Big East and Big 12 have expressed past interest.
  2. Air Force (football only). Has generally preferred staying in the Mountain West.
  3. East Carolina (all sports). Would drop everything to join, but ECU's interest remains unrequited.
  4. Massachusetts (all sports). Most of the focus is on additional western teams in football, but Umass could help the Big east maintain a foothold in New England.
  5. Army (football only). Has preferred staying independent but would be a compatible football-only fit within the East.

But with 16, there may not be a need for an additional all-sports school if the current alignment holds together or does not drop below 14.

Georgetown 78, UCLA 70 11/20/12

Markel Starks' career high 23 points led a balanced Georgetown effort that upset #13-ranked UCLA in the first night of the Legends Classic at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The Hoyas will advance to play #1-ranked Indiana in the finale. The Hoosiers defeated Georgia 66-53 in the opener of Monday's doubleheader, Georgetown's first ever game played in Brooklyn.

UCLA entered the game undefeated and featuring four of the top freshmen in the nation, but Georgetown's hot shooting to open the game set the tone. Four different starters scored as the Hoyas (3-0) opened with a 10-2 run, thought soon answered by the Bruins, who tied the score at 14, 16, and 18 before taking a 24-20 lead, as Georgetown had missed 12 of its last 16 shots.

The Hoyas needed to step up offensively and Otto Porter delivered. In his first game back since an injury in the season opener with Duquesne, Porter scored six points over the next three possessions for the Hoyas to regain the lead at 26-24. Consecutive baskets by Starks and Greg Whittington gave the Hoyas a 31-29 lead at the break.

Another quick run to open the second half was in store. Porter, Whittington, and Starks opened the second half with a 12-0 Georgetown run, and at one point accounted for 38 of Georgetown's 43 points to date. With heralded freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson limited for much of the first half, freshman Jordan Adams kept the Bruins in the conversation, scoring seven of the Bruins' next 11 as UCLA closed a 14 point deficit to 48-44 with 13:04 to play. Three minutes later, the lead was still four, 54-50, before a Starks three at the top of the key extended the lead to seven, 57-50, and the Hoyas, shooting 54% from the field in the game, went back to work.

UCLA 3-pt. %,
first half

GU 3-pt. %,
second half

UCLA rebound

GU steals

UCLA bench pts.

GU bench pts.

UCLA shot just 20 percent from three point range in the game (3-15), but a three from guard Norman Powell closed Georgetown's lead back to four, 57-53. Starks answered with a drive, 59-53, and Jabril Trawick took two more on the next possession, 61-53. The Hoyas pushed the lead to 11, 70-59, with 4:00 to play and with its use of zone defense, neutralized the Bruins inside. UCLA could close to no closer than eight the rest of the game.

Starks led all Georgetown scorers with 23, followed by an 18 point, 11 rebound, five assist, five block, and three steal effort from Porter, along with 13 from Whittington and 11 from Lubick. Adams led all Bruin scorers with 22, followed by 15 from Muhammad in his debut game.

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       37   7-10  2-4   3-4   2   2  1   23 
Whittington  34   2-6   3-4   0-0   4   3  1   13
Porter       32   4-8   2-2   4-5  11   5  3   18
Lubick       33   5-6   0-1   1-1   5   4  1   11 
Hopkins      28   3-5   0-0   0-1   3   1  5    6
Smith-Rivera 12   0-1   0-1   0-0   1   0  0    0
Domingo       4   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  0    0 
Trawick      14   2-5   0-1   3-4   2   0  0    7
DNP: Allen, Bowen, Caprio, Bolden, Ayegba, Hayes 
Injured: Adams
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      100 23-41  7-14 11-15  31  15 11   78

Additional coverage follows below.

Going, Going: Rutgers To Big Ten 11/20/12

Fort the better part of two decades, the athletic department at Rutgers was considered by some to be among the more ineffective programs in the nation, with a run of futility in football matched only by Temple, and one of a handful of schools having failed to make the NCAA basketball tournament for over 20 consecutive years. As late as 2011, the university ran a $26 million annual deficit in athletics without institutional recourse.

"The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Rutgers athletics spent $26.8 million more than it earned in 2010-11 – a staggering display of financial recklessness that was in part foisted on the general student population via additional fees and tuition," writes Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports. "The payoff for that expenditure was exactly zero Big East championships in any sport in 2011-12 – but then again, the conference offered only 35 of them."

Tuesday, for no other rational reason other than that they are the closest Division I-A school to New York, the State University of New Jersey will announce it is leaving the Big East for the Big Ten conference, where they stand little or no chance to compete anytime soon with the likes of Mchigan, Ohio State, or Nebraska, but will be paid at least $22 million a year for the privilege.

Rutgers joined the Big East in 1995 and is enjoying its best football season (9-1) since 1976, but has never been a Big-Ten sized draw, averaging just 48,466 fans this season at Rutgers Stadium, which would be smaller than every Big 10 stadium except Northwestern. In men's basketball, it has been a run of futility, with its greatest moment over the past 17 years of hoops being a Geoff Billet buzzer-beater over Georgetown in the 1998 Big East quarterfinals. (That's it--the quarterfinal. In 1998.)

The announcement will be made today in New Brunswick to great fanfare, and any reference to Rutgers moving for academic reasons will be duly noted and quickly forgotten.

This also begins the now familiar chatter of ESPN bemoaning the imminent death of the Big East conference, and the sound of musical chairs among football-friendly presidents at Connecticut and Louisville, weighing the offers to be the next school to jump ship to prosperous but relative anonymity in a BCS-level conference.

Whither the former schools? West Virginia, last seen as a Big East football contender, is in eighth place (2-5) in the Big 12 and has dropped five straight. Former Big East members Boston College is now an ACC afterthought, Miami is ineligible for a bowl this year due to pending NCAA probation, and Virginia Tech has dropped off the map in football this year. But all will be paid handsomely, mostly by ESPN, and to these schools that's all that matters. If the Ohio Valley Conference paid these schools $20 million a year, they'd probably go there, too.

"What does the Big Ten get in return?," asks Forde. "Nothing in terms of competitive enhancement. It gets a further erosion of its geographic identity (as if that still matters), a toehold in some new recruiting soil and the chance for Jim Delany to tell [SEC Commissioner] Mike Slive he can go to 14 schools, too – so there. The fact that both Maryland and Rutgers are in the American Association of Universities allows the academic folks in the Big Ten to countenance this, but that's just window dressing. Avarice and ego are what drives realignment, at further cost to college sports' soul."

Gone: Maryland To Big Ten 11/20/12

The University of Maryland ended 59 years as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday by accepting an offer to become the 13th member of the Big Ten Conference, effective July 1, 2014, but expected sooner once the school can negotiate past a $50 million exit fee approved by the Atlantic Coast Conference but slyly rejected by Maryland in a vote of the ACC presidents earlier this year. (As Big East presidents will tell you, exit fees are always negotiable.)

"Membership in the Big Ten Conference is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland," said president Wallace Loh. "It will not only ensure the financial vitality of Maryland Athletics for decades to come, but the extensive opportunities in the [Committee on Institutional Cooperation] for collaborations with our peer AAU and flagship universities in education, research, and innovation will boost the University of Maryland's ascendancy in academic excellence."

Mr. Loh's puffery notwithstanding, the move is for one reason: money.

Maryland was a founding member of the ACC (1953) but a struggling football program (4-7 in 2012), averaging just 42,355 fans at Byrd Stadium this season and committed to as much as $10 million for the contract of Randy Edsall (6-16 in two years). The Maryland athletic program was under internal scrutiny last year as to whether they could meet future debt payments on unsold luxury boxes at Byrd Stadium which have contributed to multi-million dollar deficits at College Park, some of which were reported to been a factor in the dropping of a number of sports last year. The Big Ten network will provide Maryland an extra $5-10 million annually from what it was already making with its ACC contract.

Maryland has no rivalries with other Big 10 schools and a marginal one with Big Ten outlier Penn State, where the Terrapins are 1-35-1 all time against the Nittany Lions. Its overall record in football versus current Big 10 schools is 4-43-1 (.084).

Why would the Big Ten even want Maryland? Ostensibly, for media markets. The Big Ten Network would earn an entry into the Washington and Baltimore cable TV markets, though the ACC would technically lose its largest TV market (Washington) in the process. In reality, however, the large number of Virginia Tech and Virginia alumni in the region ensures ACC coverage regardless of Maryland's move.

Next on the discussion block--does the ACC, now at 14 schools with pending additions Notre Dame, Pitt, and Syracuse, hunt down and steal two more Big East schools, or become the hunted? For the first time, with Maryland's unexpected departure, other ACC schools may choose to leave as well. Of concern in some quarters: that football intensive schools such as Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson may seek to test their value in the open market of college alliances, possiby destabilizing the very conference which has added six Big East schools in the last decade.

The move is not expected to change Maryland AD Kevin Anderson's decree, announced earlier this year, banning all Maryland coaches from scheduling games with Georgetown until a men's basketball game between the schools is scheduled to his satisfaction at Comcast Center.

With Maryland's move, just five of the 14 schools are founding members of the ACC: Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Wake Forest. Five of the 17 Big East schools are founding members of its conference: Connecticut, Georgetown, Providence. Seton Hall, and St. John's.

Extended coverage follows at the following web sites:

Georgetown: Keep Calm & Carry On 11/20/12

An editorial follows Wednesday on what this all means for the Big East, and what is doesn't. The idea of woebegone Rutgers leaving would be funny if it didn't hurt the reputation of the conference, as it will.

At 16 schools minus Rutgers, the Big East is still the largest athletic conference in the nation, and yet, the media goes into a panic attack every time someone packs up and leaves. Someone else may leave. Someone else will inevitably take their place. Georgetown will endure. But it must continue to forward with a most important element of its present and future success--giving its coaches the tools necessary to compete.

A 2011 editorial from this site is worth a second read:

"In a week where the word "commitment" has been tossed around college athletics like a beach ball on a hot summer day, Georgetown has released details on constructing a practice facility for men's and women's basketball, renamed an "intercollegiate athletic center". Or, more accurately, they re-released it.

In a project that dates back for much of the last decade (famously cited by John Thompson at the 100th anniversary basketball banquet), the need for a facility has always been apparent. Now, the perilous times of this past week literally demanded Georgetown get the announcement out as a sign of its commitment to major college basketball.

Now comes the hard part.

For all of Lee Reed's best intentions in moving this project into the public, he must battle the ghosts of prior efforts to elevate Georgetown athletic facilities above the realm enjoyed by most modern high schools. In the last 20 years, at least five major projects were announced to remedy Georgetown's facilities crises, and none were ever built.

"The facility will also have coaches offices, locker rooms, meeting spaces, press boxes, viewing suites, training and weight room areas...With only 120,000 SF of space in McDonough Arena, the planned 80,000 SF space...will allow Georgetown to give coaches and students more space to conduct business in a modern building more comparable to our per institutions."

This quote wasn't from Reed's letter. It dates back over eleven years, to March 30, 2000, part of the public announcement of something called "the most important project in the history of Georgetown athletics." You might have heard of it. It was called the Multi-Sport Facility.

Raising $12.7 million in cash and pledges in three years, the MSF stalled as soon as the first game was played on temporary seats for the home opener versus Brown, seats which still stand today, a subject of ridicule by opposing fans and a ongoing source of embarrassment to Georgetown in recruiting. The story of how lacrosse players stood in line with fans to use the portable toilets at halftime of the Georgetown-Villanova game because they had no locker rooms of their own was a indictment of a project with little direction and no apparent commitment by the institution.

And then there was the Convocation Center. In October 2000, head coach Craig Esherick discussed plans for a $24 million renovation of McDonough Gymnasium with the Washington Post. By digging down below the foundation and turning the court 90 degrees to an east-west alignment, the gym would expand to as many as 7,000 seats and could be ready by 2005. The project received a cold response up the hill, and the Convocation Center joined projects such as the track and field stadium, the Southwest Quad softball field, and the Boathouse in facilities purgatory, the latter of which has endured 24 years of maddening red tape without a single shovel in the ground.

Basketball does not have 24 more years to wait. It might not have 24 months.

A late as 2007, The HOYA wrote that "Some believe men's basketball Head Coach John Thompson III's future on the Hilltop is closely tied to the construction of a new practice facility," and now it's four years later and he's still waiting. Terri Flournoy has the women's team on the verge of the Top 10, and she's still waiting. Our coaches recruit and teach in an obsolete 60 year old facility that doesn't even compare to the facilities at Georgetown Prep. This must change.

A building built for four men's sports and an athletics staff of four now hosts 29 men's and women's sports, 750 student athletes, and a staff of over 150. Georgetown's coaches have been more than patient in fighting the good fight, but patience is not indefinite, nor should it be. And now that this project is back in the public eye, it cannot be relegated to some sort of indeterminate "quiet phase"-it must be fully embraced by the Georgetown community and championed so it does not go the way of its predecessors. The Georgetown paradox ("if you never announce a start date, you're never behind schedule") no longer applies."

Three decades later, what will this program become, amidst a wildly uncertain climate for intercollegiate basketball, without a commitment to see this completed? Let's support the effort, pledge our support and remind Georgetown: "Tell us how we can help...now."

NY Daily News: Why Not St. John's (and Georgetown)? 11/18/12

And absent any hard reporting of its own, Sunday's New York Daily News tosses out the premise that St. John's and Georgetown "could be" possible targets of the Atlantic Coast Conference should Maryland leave.

Except for one small thing...

ACC bylaws require all schools to play Division I-A (FBS) football, only allowing Notre Dame entrance if it played a certain number of ACC schools annually. (This was an issue when Duke considered leaving the conference in the 1970's over the state of its football program.)

St. John's dropped football in 2002, while Georgetown provides just $1.3 million in institutional support to I-AA (FCS) football in the Patriot League, per an article in Friday's New York Times. The smallest ACC budget for football, Wake Forest, exceeds $10 million alone.

Ironically, St. John's was rumored to be among two Big East schools circulating an idea for a new Catholic-only, non-football conference that was shot down by Georgetown and others last year during the Big East's latest round of expansion. Georgetown has consistently expressed its support for the Big East as its athletic home and University president Jack DeGioia (C'79) remains a visible leader among the conference presidents.

That, and the exit fee to leave the Big East is no small matter to these schools, particularly St. John's.

"It just doesn't seem to be in the cards, no matter how up to the challenge we are," an anonymous St. John's "insider" told the Daily News. So much for a scoop.

Georgetown 68, Liberty 59 11/15/12

Greg Whittington scored a career high 18 points in a 68-59 win over Liberty before a small crowd of 6,743 at Verizon Center Wednesday night. The Hoyas owned a significant height advantage all evening but inexperience and second half inattention allowed a winless Liberty team (0-3) to stay around much longer than most would otherwise have predicted.

The Flames scored the first two baskets of the game before Georgetown added a zone trap that forced turnovers on five straight Liberty possessions, allowing the Hoyas a 17-0 run early in the first half. The Flames, who had struggled mightily from outside in its first two games, responded with three straight three pointers and cut the lead to six, 21-15, before Georgetown, with little outside game of its own (starting 1 for 5), began to move the ball inside.

With three Liberty big men out with injury and its starting center in early foul trouble, the Hoyas were able to leverage its height inside, with 12 points from Greg Whittington and nine by Nate Lubick to finish the half on a 9-3 run and take a 16 point lead into halftime, 41-25. Georgetown shot 62 percent from the field and held Liberty scoreless in the paint (24-0) and forced 11 turnovers, giving up only three.

Georgetown led by as many as 20 twice in the second half but could not shake off the Flames, who lived from the outside. With its starting center fouling out early in the second half, the Flames managed just eight points in the paint all evening, but found new life from outside. In two previous games, Liberty had scored just 10 three pointers, but had five in the second half and 11 for the game versus just ten baskets from two point range.

The Hoyas were simply not as intense down the stretch, with just one basket over the final 7:00 and were outscored 14-3 to end the game with the outcome already determined. Georgetown's three point shooting, 2 for 15, was its poorest output in a game since a 1-13 effort on Dec. 10, 2011 versus Howard.

"I think that we probably caught Georgetown on a night that they weren't quite as inspired as they will be at later in the year," said Liberty coach Dale Layer. "I thought we played our best that we've played. And it took every bit of our best just to kind of hang in there and not be a 30 point blowout. So I'm proud of our guys' effort and I'm proud that we continue to get better and that's all I ask of them."

3-pt. shooting,

3-pt. shooting,

No. of Liberty
players over 6-7

GU rebound adv

GU FG%, 1st half

GU FG%, 2nd half

Attendance, smallest
crowd at Verizon
since Dec. 2006

Whittington was the star of the game, with 18 points and nine rebounds before leaving the game with a sore knee with 2:45 to play, though the injury was not considered serious at the time. Nate Lubick and Mikael Hopkins each had 13, and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 11. Otto Porter did not play due to an ongoing injury suffered against Duquesne.

"I think he's coming along fine," said coach John Thompson III. "I think he'll be available [for UCLA], but that's up to our medical staff, he's progressing. It's mild, it's not moderate and it's not serious."

The Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       29   1-3   0-1   1-2   1   4  1    3 
Trawick      32   1-2   1-2   0-0   1   2  2    5
Whittington  34   8-8   0-5   2-2   9   4  1   18
Lubick       33   4-6   0-0   5-6   8   2  1   13 
Hopkins      28   4-8   0-0   5-9   5   2  4   13
Smith-Rivera 19   2-4   1-3   4-5   2   0  0   11
Bowen        10   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   0  1    0
Caprio        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Domingo      19   2-2   0-3   1-2   0   3  1    5 
Ayegba        5   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Hayes         1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  2    0
DNP: Allen, Bolden 
Injured: Adams, Porter
Team Rebounds                       1
TOTALS      100 22-33  2-15 18-26  29  17 13   68

Additional coverage follows below.

Hopkins To Lead At Center 11/14/12

Mikael Hopkins is the expected starter at center this season, and the Washington Examiner reports he is up to the challenge.

"I feel like I've grown a lot, learning from players in the past," Hopkins told columnist Craig Stouffer. "[Henry] Sims taught me a lot of things about the offense. I'm ready to go out there and show what I learned and what I have."

"We're going to need him to be good, not just OK," said head coach John Thompson III.

Hopkins scored 13 points in the Hoyas 61-55 win over Duquesne.

Georgetown 61, Duquesne 55 11/11/12 9:00 pm EDT

Freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 19 points as Georgetown fought past Duquesne, 61-55, in the season opener before 8,213 at Verizon Center Sunday.

The first half was all DSR, as Smith Rivera provided the only consistent shooting for a Hoya team which struggled to adjust early in the game. Duquesne led early at 8-4 before baskets by Nate Lubick and Smith-Rivera put the Hoyas ahead at 11-8. With Otto Porter sidelined from an elbow to the eye early in the half, the Hoyas lacked any consistent early game, shooting just 37% by halftime.

In Porter's absence, Smith-Rivera continued to deliver from outside. A DSR three pointer at the 4:22 mark increased the lead to six, 21-15, a shot on the three point line increased the lead to 27-19 with 1:28 left, and yet another three was waived off at the buzzer, 27-21. Fore the half, Smith-Rivera was 5-5 from the field, 4-4 from three point range.

Porter did not return to the lineup at halftime, and Duquesne closed to 29-28 three minutes into the half. Georgetown led by as many as seven midway through the half but, absent Porter, was not able to overwhelm the Dukes, picked for last in the Atlantic-10 and returning just one starter from its 16-15 club last year.Consecutive baskets by Markel Starks and Greg Whittington extended the mark to 11 with 3:56 left, 54-45, but the Dukes were not going down without a fight.

The Dukes went to work inside, picking up a basket with 3:44 to play, forcing a turnover, and adding two more via foul shots with 3:26 left, 54-47. After Georgetown failed to connect inside, the Dukes drove inside for the basket and foul, 54-50 with just 2:26 to play. Each team turned the ball over on its next possession, and the Hoyas finally answered inside with a Nate Lubick pass to Greg Whittington to go up six, 56-53, with under a minute to play.

3-pt. shooting,
D'Vauntes Smith Rivera

3-pt. shooting,
rest of GU team

GU assists

GU turnovers

Duq. bench pts

GU bench pts

Duquesne guard Jerry Jones answered from the outside to close to three, 56-53, catching Smith-Rivera out of position on zone coverage. A quick foul with 27.9 seconds brought Jabril Trawick to the line, where his miss was collected by Greg Whittington, who added two foul shots to go up five, 58-53. On the Dukes' next possession, a drive to the basket was halted by an offensive foul on the ensuing collision with Nate Lubick, who was in place for the block. Smith-Rivera added two free throws to put the game out of reach.

Smith-Rivera finished 6-7 from the field, with all four of his three pointers in the first half. Georgetown benefited by strong second half efforts from Mikael Hopkins (13 points, 4 rebounds), Greg Whittington (8 points, 15 rebounds) and Nate Lubick (7 points, 7 rebounds) whose experience from last season paid off late in this game. As a team, the Hoyas managed just 39% shooting from the field overall, and its 17 turnovers gave Duquesne a fighting chance throughout the game.

The Dukes (0-2) were led by Sean Johnson, with 21 points and eight rebounds. Overall, Duquesne shot 36% from the field but just 4-22 from three.

There was no word from the Georgetown sidelines on the status of Porter, who finished with no points in six minutes of play. A Twitter post from The HOYA indicated Porter was held out of the second half as a precautionary measure.

Here is the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       32   3-7   1-4   0-0   1   1  0    9 
Whittington  40   1-5   1-3   3-5  15   2  2    8
Porter        6   0-1   0-1   0-0   1   1  0    0 
Lubick       35   3-7   0-1   1-2   7   2  2    7 
Hopkins      19   5-11  0-1   3-6   4   0  4   13
Smith-Rivera 32   2-3   4-4   3-4   1   2  1   19
Domingo       5   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   1  0    0 
Ayegba        3   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   1  1    0
Trawick      27   1-1   0-1   3-5   4   2  3    5
DNP: Allen, Bolden, Bowen, Caprio, Hayes
Injured: Adams
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      100 15-35  6-16 13-22  38  12 13   61

Additional coverage follows below.

Georgetown-Florida Cancelled At Halftime Updated 11/10/12

The season opener with Florida was cancelled at halftime following unsafe conditions on the floor. The game will be listed as a "no contest" in the record books.

With a key starter suspended before the game, Florida went to a zone defense at the outset of the game and it was effective in neutralizing Georgetown for most of the first half. Nate Lubick scored the first seven points for the Hoyas, but the remainder of the team was 0 for 8 until Otto Porter's three pointer at the 10:39 mark to close to 11-10. Overall, Georgetown failed to provide any inside punch against the Florida zone.

For its part, the Gators were held in check by eight turnovers, with its guards being unable to extend the lead past five throughout the half. The Hoyas closed to 23-21 on a Greg Whittington drive inside with 3:54 in the first half, but picked up only one basket down the stretch as the Gators took a 27-23 lead into halftime.

By halftime, condensation on the floor became an issue, much as was the case two hours earlier in Charleston, where the night moisture forced the cancellation of the Marquette-Ohio State game on the USS Yorktown. After a 40 minute delay to clean the floor, the decision was made to call the game.

This is the first cancelled game for Georgetown since a December 1986 game scheduled at Arizona State was not played, and the first game suspended in play since December 1969 (see below).

The unofficial Georgetown half of the box score follows below:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       19   1-3   0-3   0-0   0   1  1    2 
Whittington  18   2-3   0-2   0-0   4   0  1    4
Porter       19   2-3   1-3   0-0   2   2  1    7 
Lubick       19   2-3   1-1   0-0   2   1  1    7 
Hopkins      19   0-2   0-0   0-0   1   0  2    0
Smith-Rivera  2   0-0   1-2   0-0   0   0  0    3
Domingo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0 
Ayegba        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Trawick       2   0-0   0-2   0-0   1   0  0    0
DNP: Allen, Bolden, Bowen, Caprio, Hayes
Injured: Adams
Team Rebounds                       0
TOTALS      100  7-14   3-13  0-0  11   4  6   23

Additional coverage follows below.

Washington Post Preview 11/8/12

Sophomore forward Otto Porter is the subject at a preview article in Thursday's Washington Post.

He works as hard as anyone. He cares more than most. He’s a terrific teammate," said head coach John Thompson III. "As a coach, you like it when you can say 'See that guy right there? Go about your business like him. Work and care as much as him.' And everything else will fall in place.”

Georgetown Voice Preview 11/8/12

Thursday's Georgetown Voice debuted its 2012-13 basketball preview.

Friday's HOYA also debuted its 2012-13 basketball preview.

Florida Forward Unavailable For Game 11/7/12

A key reserve for Florida will not be playing in Friday's game, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Junior forward Casey Prather suffered a second concussion in practice Monday and will be held out for the Georgetown game. Prather averaged just 2.0 points per game last season, but was expected to take a step forward for the Gators in its early games.

Nike Releases Jersey Design For Opener 11/7/12

 The Nike twitter feed has posted a photo of Georgetown's camouflage gray jerseys for Friday's opener with Florida.

The design, one of six prepared by Nike for the Hoyas this season, is expected to be worn only for this game.

Richard T. Falvey, DDS (1928-2012) 11/6/12

Dr. Richard Falvey (C'50, D'59), a basketball letterman and member of the Georgetown University Athletic Hall of Fame, died Sunday at the age of 84.

Falvey arrived at Georgetown in 1946 from LaSalle Academy in New York, and proceeded to letter in baseball and basketball each of his four undergraduate years at the Hilltop. According to an obituary posted at the Larchmont (NY) Daily Voice, "he was the first man in 25 years to have earned eight varsity letters in baseball and basketball [at Georgetown]." Falvey was the captain for the 1949-50 basketball team.

Following college, Falvey served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War before returning to the Hilltop to dental school in the mid 1950's, earning a DDS in 1959 and serving as a dentist in the New York area for 46 years.

Falvey's basketball statistics were modest, averaging 3.7 points per game in the 68 games where statistics are available. He was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984, having been an active alumnus in the New York area for many years.

Dr. Falvey is survived by his wife of 60 years, 12 children, 27 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

USS Bataan Prepares For Opener 11/6/12

The USS Bataan is being outfitted for Friday's game with Florida, reports the Jacksonville Times-Union

Seating to accommodate 3,500 on the ship is being put into place in advance of the game, reports the paper.


HoyaSaxa.com: The One-Stop Web Site For Hoya Basketball™
An independent web site not affiliated with Georgetown University. All rights reserved.