Home  >  Archives

Georgetown Basketball: December 2011 News Archive

Georgetown 49, Providence 40 Update #2, 12/31/11

The Georgetown Hoyas ended 2011 with a forgettable finale, a 49-40 win over Providence before 11,834 at Verizon Center.

From a 4-2 start in the opening three minutes, Georgetown's switch to a 2-3 zone baffled the Friars, who missed nine straight shots and gave up five turnovers over an eight minute stretch, trailing 17-4. For its part, Georgetown wasn't shooting poorly (41% FG), but not well enough to run the Friars out of the building. But from Nate Lubick's jumper at the 10:19 mark to put the Hoyas up 13, a cold wind blew over Verizon Center and both teams endured a 20 minute run of fitful shooting, particularly the Hoyas.

Key to the Hoyas' errant ways was moving out of the middle, where they had enjoyed a height advantage over a PC team with one starter over 6-6, to outside shooting, which was as poor as any GU team over the past three seasons. Georgetown missed its next six shots, four from three point range, but the Friars could do little more than cut the lead to 17-8. Aiming to pick up points at the line, PC cut the lead to seven at the foul line before a Jason Clark three and an Otto Porter jumper at the 4:07 mark punched the lead back to 14, 24-10. Over the final 10:19 of the half, Georgetown made only three field goals as PC picked up six points in the final 1:43 to close the lead to eight at the break, 27-19. PC ended the half shooting 24 percent, Georgetown 34 percent.

An illustration of Providence's shooting woes came from its three guard lineup of Vincent Council, Bryce Cotton and Gerard Coleman. Collectively, the three averaged 47 points a game--by halftime, they had combined for just seven points. Council began to pick up the pace in the second half, joined by the inside play of forward LaDontae Henton, who began to work the lead down with Georgetown still in a deep freeze.

A Hollis Thompson jumper with 18 minutes to go gave Georgetown a ten point lead, but it would be the largest lead thereafter as Henton and Council went to work on both sides of the ball, limiting passing to Sims inside and forcing Georgetown into poor shots, of which there were many. While an inside pass to Henry Sims and a foul pushed the lead to nine, it seemed the only play GU could make as the outside shots continued to fall anywhere but in the basket. From a nine point lead at 34-25, the Hoyas missed an astounding 13 consecutive shots over a period of 8:23 as the Friars began to drive inside for layups and/or foul shots to inch closer.

At the 8:03 mark, Henton tied the game on a free throw but missed the second, part of a pattern at the line which proved the Friars' undoing. A Jason Clark jumper and a pair of inside plays to Henry Sims brought the lead back to six, 41-35, at the 5:24 mark (GU had now scored 12 points since halftime), but Council answered with a three pointer and Hollis Thompson's missed layup was answered by a Henton drive to close the lead to one, 41-40.

Georgetown needed someone to step forward and it came from freshman Otto Porter. On Georgetown's next series, Sims missed an close shot inside (one of 11 Sims missed in the game), but Porter saved the rebound and tipped it in to get the Hoyas back on firmer ground, 43-40.

"Otto made the plays that you have to make to win games and it was glaring today," said coach John Thompson III. "It's easy to focus on who made what shot or who made what pass, but all the little thing that comes with winning, he has been very good at those things." For his part, Porter noted that "I think that rebounds are always important when it comes down to holding our ground in close games."

The teams traded misses on possessions heading into the final minute. Henry Sims returned to the line, made the first, but missed the second, whereupon Markel Starks followed Porter's lead, got the rebound, and added a basket 23 seconds later to put the game out of reach. From the 4:43 mark, PC missed five straight shots to end the game. Georgetown's defense, particularly on Porter's game-high 12 rebounds and Sims' calling the defensive sets late, helped Georgetown earn the win.

Combined pts.,
3rd GU game in Big East play with combined score under 90

GU record in
Big East era scoring 49 pts. or less

PC shooting,
first 8 minutes
of 1st half (2-13)

GU shooting,
first 8 minutes
of 2nd half (3-13)

PC shooting,
lowest pct.
in any Big East game

PC advantage,

GU advantage,
points off turnovers

Current streak for PC in road games vs. ranked opponents

GU record in
home games vs. PC

Free throws really hurt Providence's hopes for its first road win against a ranked opponent in 23 games, and to end a 0-16 run on the road in Big East games. The Hoyas were 6-9 from the line in the half and 10-15 overall, but the Friars managed only 5-10 in the half and 11-20 for the game. The nine misses were not only the margin of defeat, but came at critical times of the game, particularly late. Gerard Coleman, entering the game shooting 62 percent from the line, missed all four of his free throw attempts in the second half--two at the 6:47 mark which would have tied the score, two at the 4:04 mark which would have closed the lead to one. Of the Friars' nine misses from the line Saturday, Coleman missed seven.

Scoring totals from both teams' starters were below expectations: For Georgetown, Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson were a combined 4 for 22, the starting five finished 14 for 42 (33%). For Providence, Gerard Coleman and Kadeem Batts were a combined 2 for 19 and the Friars' starting five shot just 12 for 48 (25%). Still, Coach Thompson noted that when games like this occur, it's the little things that make the difference.

"I think we have to continue to grow and more people have to get more involved in doing the things that make you win, not just putting the ball in the basket," he said."It's the deflections, it's the rebounds, it's the communication on defense, the attentiveness when we need to be attentive, so I think we have done a decent job of this year and that's what determines who wins and loses."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       25   1-1   1-2   0-0   2   1  4    5
Clark        34   5-8   1-4   3-3   8   1  1   16
Thompson     29   2-6   0-3   0-0   3   1  3    4 
Lubick       20   2-4   0-1   0-2   4   1  2    4 
Sims         31   2-13  0-0   7-9   7   3  2   11
Whittington  10   0-2   0-1   0-0   0   0  3    0
Hopkins       2   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  1    0
Porter       33   3-4   0-3   0-1  12   0  0    6
Trawick      16   0-3   1-3   0-0   1   0  1    3
DNP: Adams, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       6
TOTALS      200 15-42  3-17  10-15 43   7 17   49

Additional links follow below.

UConn Announces $4.5M Gift For Practice Facility 12/30/11

While Georgetown's long-delayed Intercollegiate Athletic Center project continues to await a major gift, a similar project at Connecticut has taken off, thanks to a $4.5 million gift announced Thursday.

Peter Werth, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company in the state, made the gift to the UConn Basketball Development Center, a $30 million facility to be built on the Storrs campus. Werth is not an alumnus but is the parent of three UConn alumni.

"The UConn Basketball Development Center will be a 70,000 square foot facility to be located on the current Memorial Stadium site, adjacent to Harry A. Gampel Pavilion," reads the UConn release. "It will feature dedicated practice gyms for the two basketball programs, along with locker rooms, coaches' offices and areas for academic support, video analysis, sports medicine and strength training."

"Through this commitment, they have shown their desire to be leaders and help young people have a very special college experience in Storrs," said UConn coach Jim Calhoun. "The Werths are helping us take a very important step toward the building of this much-needed facility."

UConn will become the 11th Big East school to build a practice facility. Each of the three new conference entrants in 2013 (UCF, Houston, SMU) already have such facilities.

Georgetown 71, Louisville 68 12/29/11

A career high 20 points from Markel Starks and a 14 point, 14 rebound effort from Otto Porter rallied the Georgetown Hoyas to a 71-68 win at #4 Louisville, ending the Cardinals' 20 game home win streak.

Louisville (12-1) entered the game shooting just 32 percent from beyond the three point arc but came out on fire from above the line, scoring on each of its first three long range opportunities and taking a 12-3 lead four minutes into the game. A Hollis Thompson three brought Georgetown to within six, 14-8, but a turnover and three misses in its next four possessions saw the Hoyas fall back to a nine point deficit.

Freshmen Otto Porter and Jabril Trawick entered the game at the 15:37 mark of the first half and began to steer the Hoyas to a comeback, combining for seven of the next nine points as Georgetown closed to within three midway in the half. From its initial three point outburst, the Cardinals were less effective outside, missing seven of its next eight but getting good inside performance from guard Russ Smith, who helped the Cards match the Hoyas at each turn leading into the final five minutes of the half. Although Georgetown was uncomfortably turnover prone in the half (at one point having nine field goals and nine turnovers), Georgetown managed to take a one point lead at 26-25 before the Cardinals defense locked down the Hoyas, with Georgetown managing just one field goal in the final four minutes as the Cardinals took a 35-32 lead at the break. With the starters struggling from the field (a combined 5-16 with eight turnovers), the four freshmen were a combined 5-7 from the field and added 17 of the Hoyas' 32 first half points.

The second half was the story of Markel Starks and Otto Porter. Starks began the half with a jumper and his confidence built throughout the half. Porter returned to the lineup after Nate Lubick picked up his third foul. Lubick sat the rest of the half as Porter and the Hoyas' defense began to control the Louisville attack.

After shooting 45 percent in the first half, the Cardinals missed its fist five possessions as the Hoyas regained the lead, only to see is slip as Louisville's Kyle Kuric regained his outside touch and the combo of Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng led a 7-0 rally to send the Cards up five, 44-39, five minutes into the half. Dieng's dunk was one of only two baskets over the next 10 minutes, however, as the Cards struggled mightily against a series of changing defenses by the Hoyas. Georgetown regained the lead at the 10:27 mark, 48-47, and as Louisville missed a pair of jumpers, Hollis Thompson nailed a three to give GU a four point lead, 51-47, extended to six on a subsequent bench technical on Louisville.

"I was telling Kyle [Kuric] not to go under," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. [The referee's name] is Karl and he thought I was talking to him.”

Another key moment in the game followed with 6:48 to play, as Georgetown's seventh foul sent Louisville into the bonus. On two consecutive fouls in just 13 seconds, Smith and Dieng each failed to complete the front end of the one and one. Georgetown committed only one foul down the stretch, limiting UofL to just two free throws in the final 6:48. Georgetown did not enter the bonus until the final 1:12 of the game.

"You have to give credit to them, they made the plays," said Pitino. "When you break it down, we missed a lot of free throws that would have kept us in the game."

A pair of Kuric free throws cut the lead to four with 7:28 to play before Starks sank two threes within 52 seconds, silencing the sold out KFC Yum Center crowd and pushing the lead to ten, 59-49. Georgetown led by as many as 11 with 4:23 to play before a furious Louisville comeback would test the young Hoyas.

All time record by Louisville at KFC Yum Center

Big East loss by Louisville at KFC Yum Center

Lead changes in game

Points off turnovers, even between the teams

GU free throw pct.

UL free throw pct.

GU fast break points

UL fast break points

GU advantage,

GU advantage,
2nd chance pts

No. of teams nationally with three Top 25 wins to date this season (Georgetown)

Georgetown's record in Big East openers,

Georgetown's record in Big East openers under John Thompson III

The combination of an aggressive pressure defense and the reemergence of guard Peyton Siva spurred the comeback. Siva found Russ Smith open for a three to cut the lead to eight at the 3:57 mark, then forced a Georgetown turnover and hit two foul shots to cut the lead to six. Ten seconds later, Siva stole a pass from Porter and fed Dieng for the dunk, 63-59. A turnover by Starks set up Siva for a jumper, 63-61, and off a miss by Hollis Thompson, Siva fed Dieng with a driving layup to tie the score--an 11-0 run, forcing three GU turnovers in a 1:04 span.

Georgetown needed a answer and got it from Porter. On its next series, Henry Sims missed a short jumper with 1:45 remaining but Porter was there for the tip-in, 67-63. Louisville's Russ Smith was wide from three, and Sims added to the lead with two at the line, 6-61. Kuric went back from three and porter picked up the rebound, sinking two more free throws, 69-63. A Russ Smith three pointer rallied the home crowd to close to three with 23 seconds remaining, but Porter connected on two more at the line to put the game out of reach. Though Georgetown managed just one field goal in the final four minutes, its accuracy at the line (8-11) came up huge, while Louisville's outside shooting failed late, missing five of its final seven shots over the final two minutes of the game.

Porter earned his share of plaudits. ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, while admitting he did not know where Porter's hometown of Sikeston, MO was, exclaimed "He's an absolute rebounding machine!" Across Twitter, alumni Chris Wright and Austin Freeman (each playing in Europe) were exchanging their thoughts on the freshmen, albeit at 3:00 am local time. "Otto-matic!" exclaimed Freeman in one post.

Starks led all Georgetown scorers with 20, a career high, while Porter's 14 rebounds is the most by a Hoya freshman since Roy Hibbert had 14 against Syracuse in 2005. The Hoyas shot 52 percent from the field in th second half and a sterling 5-6 from three, led by a perfect 4-4 from Starks.

"Otto, Jabril, Mikael came in and gave us outstanding minutes," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "You say freshman class, and they are freshmen and this is their first Big East experience, but they’ve been doing that since the summer. It’s a group that plays hard and competes.

"With all that being said, we're fortunate to get away with a win. They turned up the heat on us. We had some careless turnovers; we have to tighten up a few things as we go on.”

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       29   3-4   4-4   2-2   3   0  1   20
Clark        30   2-7   0-1   3-5   5   1  3    7
Thompson     31   4-8   2-2   0-0   5   1  1   10 
Lubick       12   1-1   0-1   0-0   0   1  3    2 
Sims         26   2-8   0-0   3-4   3   4  3    7
Whittington  11   0-1   0-0   0-0   2   1  2    0
Hopkins       8   0-2   0-0   2-2   2   1  0    2
Porter       32   5-5   0-1   4-6  14   1  1   14
Trawick      21   1-1   1-2   4-5   2   1  4    9
DNP: Adams, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       2
TOTALS      200 18-37  7-11  18-24 38  11 18   71

Additional links follow below.

The Impact Of KFC Yum Center 12/28/11

KFC Yum Center may be a mouthful for fans (figuratively and literally) but Louisville's new downtown arena is a financial cash cow for Louisville athletics.

Georgetown makes its first visit to the arena Wednesday. The 22,000 seat arena was all but sold out from the day it opened in 2010, with 99.6% capacity last season, and has helped Louisville generate over $41 million in basketball revenue in 2010-11 alone, per the Louisville Courier Journal. The amount is $12 million more than Duke and more than over 100 Division I-A football programs.

"In its first season in the KFC Yum Center, donations to the Cardinal Athletic Fund (which are required to lease suites or buy premium seats) jumped from $8.1 million to $14.8 million," wrote the Courier-Journal. "Suite revenue itself jumped by $4.1 million. Ticket sales increased $3.1 million."

“There’s nothing like it in college basketball,” coach Rick Pitino told the paper. “You took a basketball program that was ranked as the No. 1 most profitable by Forbes for six straight years and put it in the best arena in America, and the result was off the charts.”

The boost may have also helped Louisville avoid the siren call of conference realignment last fall that saw a hasty exit from Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia--Louisville is one of only two schools (Notre Dame being the other) with such a robust balance sheet outside the four largest conferences.

Louisville's financial muscle does not go unnoticed in Lexington, where the Cardinals' revenues surpassed the University of Kentucky's basketball team for the first time last season. Kentucky has no suites at Rupp Arena, built in 1976. Louisville has 70 at KFC Yum Center, eight more than its own football stadium, named for another local fast food chain, Papa John's Stadium.

By contrast, Georgetown generates about $9 million in basketball revenues, not an insignificant amount, but without any suite or parking revenue, as that is retained by Verizon Center. However, as Georgetown continues to struggle to move forward on any athletic development projects, Louisville has been able to support over $200 million on facility upgrades across all sports over the last 15 years. And with as many as 22 home games a year, Louisville can bank on revenues all season long. In fact, the nine non-conference home games from Nov. 22 to Dec. 23 generated more ticket sales for Louisville than the entire 2010-11 season did for Georgetown, and that's before a single Big East game.

"I think most U of L faculty are quite aware that our athletics program runs in the black, does not feed off general funds, has an excellent record of donor fund-raising for building projects, promotes gender equity, raises the U of L profile for student academic success, as well as non-athletic-related giving, and seeks to incorporate our student athletes into the full university experience," said Elaine Wise, Louisville faculty representative for athletics.

Rhode Island Court Denies WVU Motion 12/28/11

Less than a week after a West Virginia court denied a motion by the Big East conference to dismiss West Virginia University's suit seeking an early exit from the Big East, a Rhode Island judge has done the same to WVU, denying a motion to dismiss the Big East's claims in its jurisdiction, reports the Providence Journal.

With a trial in the West Virginia case set for June 25 and no court date set in Providence, the pressure builds on WVU, who has committed to play in the Big 12 Conference effective July 1, 2012 but is legally bound to the Big East until June 30, 2014.

Big East Non-Conference Records 12/27/11

Entering the conference portion of the schedule this week, here's the pre-season poll of where the 16 teams would finish and their non-conference records to date:

  1. Connecticut (10-1)
  2. Syracuse (13-0)
  3. Louisville (12-0)
  4. Pittsburgh (9-3)
  5. Cincinnati (9-3)
  6. Marquette (11-1)
  7. West Virginia (9-3)
  8. Villanova (7-5)
  9. Notre Dame (8-5)
  10. Georgetown (10-1)
  11. Rutgers (7-5)
  12. St. John's (6-5)
  13. Seton Hall (11-1)
  14. South Florida (7-6)
  15. Providence (11-2)
  16. DePaul (9-3)

CBS Sports.com provides a look at the 16 teams, noting that the Hoyas "have been the surprise of the league. They lost Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, but several veterans have stepped up. Moreover, freshman Otto Porter has been a consistent all-around contributor."

The "10-1" Run 12/26/11

With its 10-1 mark to end the non-conference portion of the season, the Hoyas' record is the fifth straight season that Georgetown has begun the season 10-1, a most unusual statistic.

The 10-1 start has not always been a predictor of the rest of the past four seasons, however:

Season Started 2nd Loss (Opponent) Finished Final Record
2007-08 10-1 Game 15 (1/14/2008, at Pittsburgh) 18-5 28-6
2008-09 10-1 Game 12 (1/3/2009, Pittsburgh) 6-14 16-15
2009-10 10-1 Game 13 (1/6/2010, at Marquette) 13-10 23-11
2010-11 10-1 Game 13 (12/29/2010, at Notre Dame) 11-10 21-11
2011-12 10-1
Georgetown 70, Memphis 59 12/23/11

Through many of the games of December, Georgetown has been a remarkable 30 minute team, but have been prone to various lulls during a game that haven't been critical against lesser opponents. And for 30 minutes Thursday against Memphis, the Hoyas had things well in hand, only to hit a late game skid that nearly careened out of control.

Despite just two field goals in the final 10:24 of play, the Hoyas held off Memphis for its eighth straight win, 70-59, before a season high 12,045 at Verizon Center in the final non-conference game leading into Big East play next week.

The Hoyas opened the game crisply, forcing Memphis into four turnovers in its first seven possessions and opening a 15-6 lead. The Tigers responded with points in each of its next four possessions to close to 17-14, answered by a Markel Starks three point play and a Jason Clark layup to build the lead to five, 23-18. Reserve forward Ferrakohn Hall, a Seton Hall transfer who joined the roster Dec. 15, scored a basket and two field goals to tie the score at the 7:05 mark, and Georgetown held a narrow lead until it outscored the Tigers 6-0 in the final 1:56 to end the half, capped by a driving Henry Sims dunk with six seconds to intermission. With a 20-8 advantage in the paint, the Hoyas shot 52 percent from the field and led by seven at the break, 35-28.

Georgetown turned up the intensity to open the second half despite scoring on four of its first 12 attempts. The Hoyas' defensive prowess and a hot hand from senior Jason Clark quickly moved the lead into double digits, as the turnover bug and a general lack of attention on defense put the Tigers in a deep hole. A Clark jumper gave the Hoyas a 14 point lead three minutes into the half, 42-28, and a pair of Clark free throws two minutes later saw the Hoyas increase the lead to 48-31, a 17-3 run dating back to the final 1:56 of the first half. Georgetown wasn't shooting particularly well (4 for 12 from the field) but Memphis was lost on the offensive end (1 for 7 to begin the half) and found themselves down 20 at the 11:29 mark, 56-36.

Two changes by the Tigers began to turn this game around, two that will be of particular concern to the Georgetown staff in their post-Christmas planning for Louisville: 1) after a variety of man to man defensive sets, the Tigers settled into a zone and began to lock down the middle, and 2) offensively, Memphis began to drive inside with success. Both worked uncomfortably well, though time (and free throws) were not on Memphis' side.

A key to the Tiger comeback was forward Adonis Thomas. Over the next two minutes, Thomas scored inside on three consecutive possessions to cut the lead to 15 at the 10:09 mark, then drove past Henry Sims to cut the margin to 13 at the 9:18 mark. Though the Hoyas had picked up a key advantage when Memphis center Tarik Black fouled out midway through the half, the smaller Tigers were back in the game and the Hoyas were slow to adjust.

From its 1-7 start, the Tigers made eight of its next ten as the Hoyas stood stuck at 58. A Henry Sims to Otto Porter drive broke a four minute drought, now up 11, 61-50, but three consecutive GU turnovers closed the gap to an uncomfortable seven at the 4:26 mark, 61-54. Markel Starks' basket with 3:50 opened the lead back to nine, 63-54, but it would be the last field goal of the evening for the Hoyas, who tightened on defense but would rely on the foul line to stay afloat as the Memphis defense employed a full court press to keep the pressure up.

A pair of baskets by Will and Anthony Barton brought memphis to eight with 2:16 to play. Running down the clock, Hollis Thompson missed a three and Will Barton was fouled, but Barton missed the front end of the one and one and Georgetown responded via two free throws from Sims to turn what could have been a six point game into a 10 point lead with 1:40 to play. Neither team was able to score from the field thereafter, picking up points at the line but not enough to change the outcome. Had Memphis not been "sleepwalking" in the early second half, as noted by the ESPN announcing crew, the outcome could have been different.

Four starters led the way for GU. Jason Clark led all scorers with 18, followed by 17 from Thompson, 12 from Starks and 12 from Sims, who struggled from the field through most of the game (3-12 FG) but held his own defensively with nine rebounds.

The Tigers were led by Crawford's season high 17, but UM fans have to be asking "what if" had the Tigers showed any of the fight in the first 30 minutes that they showed in the final 10. Point guard Joe Jackson, who was 8-14 for 20 points against the Hoyas in Maui, finished 0-7 from the field. Had center Tarik Black been available as the Tigers made their run, the Tigers could have been even more effective, but Black played just 13 minutes and fouled out without a rebound to his credit. Leading scorer Will Barton, averaging 55 percent from the field, shot a season low 3-10 from the field, while 6-9 Wesley Witherspoon continues his slump, failing to score in five minutes of play.

Memphis turnovers,
1st half

GU turnovers,
2nd half

GU pts in the
paint, 1st half

GU pts in the
paint, 2nd half

GU fast break
pts, 2nd half

GU rebound

Memphis free throws,
2nd half

GU free throws,
2nd half

Memphis record
vs. ranked opponents
since 2010


Questions remain for the Hoyas as well, and the Big East offers no room for error. The Hoyas will need more from Nate Lubick (0-1, 2 pts) and its bench (2-4, 7 pts) to be a more effective team late in games, especially if key players get into foul trouble, something largely avoided in the first ten games this season. For now, the non-conference portion of the schedule has been a rewarding one, and has elevated the Hoyas' stature beyond where many thought they would be at this point with 10 underclassmen. Now comes the hard work.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       31   3-8   2-4   2-3   1   3  3   14
Clark        37   6-9   1-3   3-6   5   1  2   18
Thompson     38   3-4   2-6   5-6   9   1  2   17 
Lubick       17   0-1   0-0   2-2   4   3  3    2 
Sims         34   3-12  0-0   6-9   9   2  2   12
Whittington   6   0-0   0-0   0-1   0   0  2    0
Porter       28   2-3   0-1   1-1   4   3  2    5
Trawick       9   0-0   0-0   2-2   2   0  1    2
DNP: Adams, Hopkins, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       4
TOTALS      200 17-37  5-14  21-30 38  13 17   70

Additional links follow below.

Big East: Two More Schools Considering Exit? 12/22/11

In a year where the University of Connecticut brought the Big East Conference its sixth NCAA men's basketball championship since 1984, the biggest story of 2011 was the pending loss of three conference mainstays and a fourth about to enter the league in another painful round of conference realignment.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that two Big East schools that do not play football have begun to discuss forming a new basketball-only conference.

“I’d be shocked if they didn’t leave,” said a source to the Chronicle's Brad Wolverton. “They’re going to get there eventually, but someone’s going to have to lead them."

The schools were not named, although Internet speculation Wednesday seemed to center among two in a list of three: Providence, Seton Hall or DePaul, none of whom have enjoyed consistent success since the conference expanded to 16 teams in 2005.

Georgetown is not part of this speculation. University president Jack DeGioia told the Chronicle that "We certainly could have confronted in this moment an opportunity to break up the conference, and we emphatically made the decision to keep it together...I would be surprised to hear that any of our non-football-playing members would report contemplating separation."

The Big East is on the verge of a major TV deal in the next year, and the networks bidding on the package would expect that all hands would be on board for a commitment. By comparison, a new conference would receive far fewer TV revenues and would need to wait as many as eight years for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

"Although they've had discussions, I've had no indication from any of them that they have serious desires to break away," said Big East commissioner John Marinatto, who did not identify the two schools.

The Big East added Central Florida, Houston, and SMU as all-sports members of the conference beginning in 2013, replacing Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia.

Under The Radar 12/21/11

"I'm not sure I've seen a Top 20 team get less ink and fanfare than Georgetown," writes columnist Jeff Goodman in this link to CBS Sports.com. "Could the 2011-12 Hoyas," he asks, "be more formidable despite the departure of star guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman?

"I know a lot of people didn't expect us to do much this year," said senior Jason Clark. "They are writing us off."

West Virginia Court Denies Big East Motion 12/21/11

A Morgantown, WV judge has denied a motion by the Big East conference to dismiss the suit filed by West Virginia University to break its contract with the conference, reports the West Virginia Record.

The West Virginia judge will rule by Jan. 1 on a related motion to move the case to Providence, RI, where the conference offices are located. Meanwhile, a judge in Providence will rule on a parallel motion by WVU to dismiss the case in Providence, according to the report.

The Charleston Gazette reports Big East officials have petitioned the Providence court to issue a temporary injunction to force WVU "to participate in all scheduled Big East conference athletic contests" during litigation, in case WVU begins to schedule Big 12 contests over Big East games in 2012.

Georgetown 81, American 55 12/17/11

Shaking off a sluggish first half, the Georgetown Hoyas pulled away in the second half in a 81-55 win over American, its seventh straight win tthis season.

The first seven minutes of the game evoked memories of the Howard game, as Georgetown was inconsistent on both ends of the court. From Henry Sims' opening basket, the Hoyas missed five of seven shots and coughed up three turnovers. THe Hoyas were steadied by Markel Starks, who sank three pointers on three consecutive possessions to give Georgetown a 15-10 lead, one it held throughout the rest of the half. Despite holding the Eagles to 35 percent and allowing just two threes in 12 attempts, the Hoyas' nine turnovers allowed American a chance to stay close throughout the first half, trailing 32-26 at the break.

In many of the early games this season, second half adjustments have been vital to Georgetown, and such was the case Saturday with senior Henry Sims. The 6-10 senior picked up assists in three of the Hoyas' four possessions and matched it with three inside baskets in the next four, completely overwhelming the Eagles inside and giving the Hoyas a 48-35 lead with 14:32 to play. The passing game allowed Georgetown a number of easier baskets, with assists on eight of Georgetown's first ten field goals of the second half, and nine of ten which were either a layup of a dunk.

"He was best today—and I told him this in the locker room—at his communication on defense. The whole time, you heard Henry talking," said Thompson. "And our defense got better in the second half because our talking got better. And he was, I thought, outstanding. I heard Henry’s voice calling screens, calling 'switch, 'watch this.' And I think that’s what he did better than anything. Better than the points. Better than the passes."

Georgetown opened a 20 point lead with 8:33 to play, and while the Hoyas were not as proficient from outside, it continued to pound the game inside and continued to build the score as reserves took over.

American struggled in the half on a variety of levels, but the Eagles were unable to take advantage of some trends which had served them well in their previous eight game winning streak. The Eagles have averaged 15.7 points per game via free throws, but were held to just five in this game. AU was shooting a at 37 percent from three, but ended up with 26 percent in this game. Senior Charles Hinkle, entering the game averaging 22 points a game, had just six at the half and finished with 16, a margin of error AU coach Jeff Jones acknowledged wasn't enough to keep up in this game.

GU turnovers,
1st half

GU turnovers,
2nd half

GU pts in the
paint, 1st half

GU pts in the
paint, 2nd half

GU rebound

GU 2-pt. FG%,
2nd half

GU 3-pt. FG%,
2nd half


"I was proud of the way we competed in the first half, I don't think we played very well but we certainly competed," said Jones. "We've got to be a lot tougher than we've played at times."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       32   2-2   4-6   2-2   0   2  1   18
Clark        29   2-2   1-5   2-2   3   2  4    9
Thompson     30   6-10  0-2   3-3   8   2  1   15 
Lubick       21   2-3   0-0   0-0   5   1  1    4 
Sims         26   7-10  0-0   3-4   3   6  1   17
Whittington  23   0-0   1-2   0-2   1   1  2    3
Hopkins       2   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    2
Porter       22   3-6   0-0   2-4  10   2  2    8
Bowen         2   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  3    0
Caprio        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Trawick      12   1-1   0-0   3-3   0   2  3    5
DNP: Adams, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 24-35  6-16  15-20 34  18 18   81

Additional links follow below.

Thompson To Leave WTEM 12/16/11

Former coach John Thompson has announced he is leaving his afternoon radio program at WTEM-AM after 13 years, reports DCRTV.com.

Thompson joined the station shortly after resigning as Georgetown's coach in 1999. The departure is effective in February.

The Lost Rivalry 12/16/11

 In a few years, Georgetown will see two of its longtime Big East rivalries fade away, a victim of conference realignments. Some hope that the rivalries can continue, but history often dictates otherwise. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the last game in a series which defined Washington area basketball, but which seems as distant as ever.

 On December 16, 1981, Georgetown defeated George Washington 61-48 before 8,695 at Capital Centre, the 93rd and final meeting between two schools not only separated by two miles, but by three decades of ill will. Each side blames the other for the end of the series: some fans recall comments made by GW coach Gerry Gimelstob against Patrick Ewing heading into the 1982 Georgetown-Virginia game, while many GW fans blame John Thompson's avoidance of local rivals (GW was scheduled to host GU in 1982-83) as the beginning of the end.

In the intervening years, Georgetown has played local opponents 22 times, including three against Maryland, but none versus GWU; for its part, GU students give it little thought, as some prefer to call GW "Georgetown's Waitlist." Downtown, the subject is never settled, none more so when a GW candidate for student body president called for a march from Foggy Bottom to Healy Gates to call for action. The 2006 march failed when only 15 marched and few GU students were there to welcome them--it was Senior Day versus Syracuse at Verizon Center.

Despite its proximity, the schools participate together in fewer high profile sports, particularly for men. GW has no football or lacrosse program, each of which mark the larger on-campus sports by fan attendance at Georgetown. Soccer, rowing, and baseball are generally more common, but none with the passion of men's basketball. From time to time, new coaches arrive and say they're open to discussing a game or a series, but if fades off the pages. In 2006, then GW athletic director Jack Kvancz said that venue and ticket distributions were issues that needed to be settled before the schools could resume, and both remain issues today.

Georgetown George Washington
All-Time Record 1527-948 1224-1047
Current Record 8-1 4-6
Record, 1982-2011 660-296 466-401
Conference Championships 9 4
NCAA Bids 27 10
NIT Bids 11 4
Weeks In AP Top 25 365 72
All-Time NBA Players 34 7
Wins In Series 54 39
Last Win In Series 1981 1977

In a impasse such as this, four factors need to be honestly discussed to ever see a rivalry renewed (which dates to the start of college basketball in the District) ultimately resume:

  1. Decouple the BB&T Classic from the discussion.. Fifteen years of ill will on both sides, none more so than by the annual jabs by Washington Post columnist John Feinstein, have made the issue of Georgetown playing in the BB&T Classic largely untenable. Thursday's column at DCIst noted that with fading attendance, the entire tournament may be at risk. Regardless, for these schools to consider a series it must be outside the jurisdiction of Feinstein and the BB&T. That does not preclude from Georgetown playing there, but it should not be a quid pro quo to arrange a series. This will take some discussion within George Washington circles so as not to damage its own relationship within the BB&T, but this is not insurmountable.
  2. Establish Verizon Center as the default site for both schools to host the games. Georgetown is not going to play road games in the 5,000 seat Smith Center anymore than Maryland is. A multi-year series such as this is best suited in a large arena where both sides can bring fans, and where the two schools can share "home" and "away" designations each year. For 42 games from 1949-1990, the Xavier-Cincinnati city series shared a single arena (the Cincinnati Gardens) and the glory years of Philadelphia's Big Five were built around a single arena (the Palestra) rather than the friction which followed over each school's home courts. Verizon Center is big enough for both schools. This will take some discussion within Georgetown circles so as not to damage its own relationship within the scheduling parameters of Verizon Center, but this is not insurmountable.
  3. Get television backing. Most multi-year series for Georgetown now come with some sort of TV component at play, such as recent series with Duke, Memphis, and Temple. A local game needs to include some level of interest from a regional or national cable network to make it financially viable for both teams to do so. This will take some discussion by both schools to work through TV rights and/or revenue sharing over the tickets sold, but again, this too is not insurmountable.
  4. Make It The Season Opener.
  5. When both schools were independents, timing was not a critical factor for games--early, mid-season, or late. The Big East and A-10 schedules make this concept obsolete, and the glut of early season tournament commitments almost dictate a November timeline. Could the schools consider a series which opens the season, on a Friday or Saturday night at Verizon in mid-November? One could partner it as a doubleheader with other local schools (a four year rotation of games among Georgetown, GW, Maryland and George Mason, for example) but the idea that Georgetown and George Washington can or would readjust conference play and/or intersectional rivalries to accommodate the other is increasingly unlikely. Equally rare, a night-time game at Verizon Center, would add to a city-wide excitement for a season opener--but this must be negotiated within a variety of arena and pro sports channels.

Rivalries, like relationships, can often be gone and lost forever. As Georgetown fans ponder what life will be like without a 35 year rivalry with Syracuse or Pittsburgh, it would do well to see what became of a 75 year rivalry that is all but forgotten today.

Alumni In Pro Sports 12/14/11

A study by the Wall Street Journalnotes that Georgetown has produced more current pro sports owners as undergraduates than any other university, and its six owners overall is second only to Harvard, of whom all its alumni owners attended either Harvard's MBA or law programs.

Ewing Jr. Waived 12/14/11

Late Wednesday, the NBA's New Orleans Hornets announced they will waive Patrick Ewing Jr. (C'08), who was signed as a free agent at the end of last season. Ewing scored three points in his seven game stay with the Hornets.

Big East Attendance 12/13/11

Through games of Dec. 10:

1) Louisville 20,759
2) Syracuse 20,327
3) Marquette 13,414
4) Connecticut 11,001
5) Pittsburgh 8,851
6) Georgetown 8,316
7) West Virginia 7,969
8) Notre Dame 7,294
9) Seton Hall 6,637
10) Villanova 6,500
11) Providence 5,775
12) DePaul 5,464
13) Cincinnati 5,352
14) St. John's 4,421
15) Rutgers 4,102
16) USF 2,252

Tyler Adams Sidelined Indefinitely 12/10/11

Freshman center Tyler Adams has been sidelined indefinitely following a medical examination, per GUHoyas.com.

"Adams is undergoing a series of tests and evaluations regarding his heart at Georgetown University Hospital. Until further notice, he will not participate in any basketball-related activities until cleared," reads the release.

Adams averaged 2.5 points per game in four games this season.

Georgetown 62, Howard 48 12/10/11

Georgetown led 17-0 to begin the game and won by 14, but in-between was, well, something else.

A sluggish Hoyas team managed eight field goals in the second half and missed 12 of 13 shots from three in holding off Howard 62-48, in a game that was as close as two points with seven minutes to play.

The opening seven minutes of the game was a flashback to Georgetown's domination of NJIT the week before. Georgetown moved quickly to set the offensive pace, and shut down Howard on its first 13 possessions, holding the Bison to 0-9 shooting and four turnovers. With Georgetown leading by as many as 17 in the first half, few could have imagined the grinding game to come.

First 7 Mins       2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  TO  PTS
Georgetown         3-8   1-2   6-8  10  4   2   15
Howard             0-6   0-3   0-0   4  0   4    0

Howard guard Dadrian Collins, added to the starting lineup Saturday, broke the run with a three pointer with 10:39 in the half, and the Bison began a slow and methodical approach to get back in the game. For its part, Georgetown embarked on a series of poorly executed plays, often with missed layups or, just as often, missed free throws. A pair of Jabril Trawick layups were the only Georgetown baskets in a five minute stretch midway through the half, but the Hoyas still led comfortably, 23-5. Howard closed to as few as 12 in the half but the Hoyas still looked confident taking a 13 point lead at the break, 30-17, even though the Bison had outscored GU 17-13 in the final ten minutes.

Always a good team to open the second half, the Hoyas showed none of it to open up the second period in this one. Georgetown missed its first four shots, Howard made three of four, and suddenly the 17 point opening was now a memory, 32-25. A drive by Henry Sims rallied the crowd, 34-25, but Georgetown was returning to its errant ways inside and the Bison kept clawing back, closing to 34-32 at the 12:40 mark and 38-36 at the 10:26 mark. In each case Georgetown was able to answer with a basket and a foul (first from Nate Lubick, next by Hollis Thompson), but neither connected on the free throw. In fact, the Hoyas missed its first six free throws of the half, including two from Thompson, an 89 percent shooter coming into the game.

For its part, Howard made its share of mistakes that could have given them the lead. Consecutive Bison turnovers helped stabilize the Hoya lead to 42-38 with 8:42 left, and Howard remained uncomfortable in Georgetown's defensive sets. Nonetheless, one could not help but he surprised by the lack of any offensive accuracy from the men in the gray jerseys--the Hoyas entered the final seven minutes of the game with just three second half field goals and following a Mike Phillips jumper, the Bison were back within two with seven minutes to play.

FT shooting by
Jason Clark,
best by a
GU player since 2004

FG shooting by GU starters

Howard edge,

Georgetown edge,

GU 3-pt shooting,
1st half

GU 3-pt shooting,
2nd half

GU record vs.
MEAC schools

Next 26 Mins       2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  TO  PTS
Georgetown         9-22  0-9   9-16 21  1   8   27
Howard             9-22  4-7  10-16 27  7  11   40

At this point, Georgetown stepped up and Howard stepped back.

Following a "held ball" call on a Jason Clark jumper, Howard was whistled for a shot clock violation as Georgetown moved to a full court press on the possession. Following a pair of Hollis Thompson free throws, Otto Porter picked up a steal and a dunk, 46-40. Following a timeout, the Bison then couldn't get the ball in bounds and turned the ball over again, which resulted in a foul and two more Thompson free throws, 48-40. The Bison closed back to five but coughed the ball up on three of its next four possessions, which the Hoyas converted on each for an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Final 7 Mins       2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  TO  PTS
Georgetown         3-6   0-0  14-18  5  1   2   20
Howard             2-7   0-1   4-6   7  1   8    8

Georgetown's shooting numbers were, by any definition, poor. Its 1-13 mark from behind the arc was the lowest percentage in the JT III era, and its one three was the fewest since Nov. 29, 2006 versus Oregon, its last non-conference loss at Verizon Center. The Hoyas shot just 29% in the second hand and 32% for the game, the lowest numbers of the season. The game may have been won at the foul line where, despite a subpar 62% performance, the Hoyas took 20 more shots than the Bison and connected on 15 more.

Howard struggled mightily on turnovers, giving up 24 and eight in the final seven minutes when the game was very much in play. Howard coach kevin Nickleberry knew his team had lost an opportunity late.

"It's been that way all year for us," Nickleberry said in post-game comments. "We were up double digits against Old Dominion, up 20 against Rider, down 15 to American and took the lead. We've been able to come back and put ourselves into position every game and it really comes down to can we close, make shots down the stretch, execute down the stretch, close the game out, but we're young."

"It would be easy to stand here and come up with a bunch of excuses to what happened, but I don't want to take away from what Coach Nickleberry and his guys did," said coach John Thompson III. "They outplayed us today."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       26   1-4   1-3   0-0   0   1  4    5
Clark        32   1-8   0-2  10-10  3   1  2   12
Thompson     32   2-4   0-4   8-11  6   0  2   12
Lubick       25   1-3   0-0   2-5   8   3  2    4 
Sims         23   2-5   0-0   3-4   6   2  4    7
Whittington  12   0-0   0-1   0-0   4   0  2    0
Hopkins       6   0-0   0-0   3-4   1   0  1    3
Porter       31   6-9   0-2   1-4   4   0  1   13
Bowen         2   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
Trawick      11   2-2   0-1   2-4   1   0  2    6
DNP: Adams, Caprio, Ayegba
Team Rebounds                       3
TOTALS      200 15-36  1-13  29-42 36   7 20   62

A full recap follows Saturday evening.

Tyler Adams Sidelined Indefinitely 12/10/11

Freshman center Tyler Adams has been sidelined indefinitely following a medical examination, per GUHoyas.com.

"Adams is undergoing a series of tests and evaluations regarding his heart at Georgetown University Hospital. Until further notice, he will not participate in any basketball-related activities until cleared," reads the release.

Adams averaged 2.5 points per game in four games this season.

Big East: Then & Now 12/9/11

What should fans make of the new Big East configuration? Columnist Howard Megdal shares his thoughts at this link to Capital New York.

"The death of the original Big East, after all, happened long ago," he writes. "The group of 16 that comprised the finest basketball conference in NCAA play already included decidedly non-northeastern teams like DePaul, Marquette, South Florida and Louisville. No matter which schools the conference added, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, two keys to the Big East's longtime identity, weren't coming back, having bolted for the Atlantic Coast Conference."

"But remember that every time Georgetown comes to Madison Square Garden to face St. John's, or every time Jay Wright and Villanova square off against Seton Hall, they're only able to do so because somewhere, thousands of miles away, Boise State is going to be playing football against San Diego State."

Ranking The Big East 12/9/11

Earlier this week, the Rush The Court site ranked the teams in the Big East after three weeks of non-conference play, and were positive on the Hoyas' early success.

"The win over Alabama, thanks to Thompson’s shot, could be the quality road win that puts them over the top and into the NCAA Tournament," writes Brian Otskey. "Of course that is three months away from now but the thought occurred to me right after the game. Quality road wins are hard to come by and that was one of the better victories of the season to date in all of college basketball."

An online poll conducted by the site indicated 71 percent of readers think the Hoyas are capable of being a top five team in the Big East this season.

Closing The Deal 12/9/11

There are a lot of moving pieces to a multi-school expansion, not the least of which is legal. Washington-based law firm Covington & Burling (home to Georgetown's Paul Tagliabue (C'62) and a number of GU alumni) is cited for its efforts in the project, according to the AmLaw Daily blog.

"Our relationship with Covington & Burling has been extremely beneficial and integral to our expansion discussions, as well as our television planning," said Big East commissioner John Marinatto. "I would like to single out Peter Zern for his expertise, professionalism, and counsel over the course of the past year. Peter has been incredibly responsive to our many needs during some difficult times, and, along with his associates, has been available to us essentially on a 24/7 basis."

Zern is a 1998 graduate of the Law Center.

Also worth noting: Zern and Covington helped the NFL land its eight year, $15 billion contract, the experience of which may help the Big East when its current ESPN agreement comes up for review next year.

Selling The New Big East 12/9/11

Georgetown averaged 12,675 fans per game in 2010-11. Imaging having that many in season ticket holders.

Marquette University is close to that number, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Warriors are already at 12,475 coming into December, second only to Louisville. Still, interim athletic director Mike Broeker knows that the loss of Syracuse and Pitt could have an impact.

"I hope people are coming to see us," he said. "We're replaced those schools with programs in big markets, and with great potential."

Marquette welcomes Larry Williams, currently the athletic director at Portland, as its new AD in January.

Left Behind 12/9/11

The various news stories on the Big East expansion fall into one of three camps: excitement (the five new Big East markets), cautious optimism (the existing Big East markets) and skepticism bordering on ill will (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and ESPN.com). But for some schools, the hardest part of the Big East's news is that they weren't chosen at all.

In September, East Carolina publicly applied to join the conference, but were not in the short list of schools from which to grow. ECU athletic director Terry Holland is undeterred, however, according to this link in the Jacksonville (NC) Daily News.

"East Carolina University’s goal has been, and continues to be, to participate in a conference or a division of a conference with a geographic footprint that helps create the regional rivalries that are an important part of a highly successful intercollegiate athletics programs," Holland said, focusing on a plan to merge the Mountain West and Conference USA, creating what was once thought to be as many as 32 teams, but now appears to be just 16, based on moves by the Big 12 and Big East.

The remaining schools include nine from Conference USA (Alabama-Birmingham, East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP, and Tulane) and seven from the Mountain West (Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, UNLV, Nevada, and Wyoming). Although the alliance is intended to secure the schools a BCS qualifier, the losses of Texas Christian and Boise State appear to be the most critical setbacks to such an alliance reaching that level of national attention.

Another school off the list is Memphis--a strong basketball program with historical ties to Louisville and Cincinnati, but its decline in football did not go unnoticed and football is what drive this wave of realignment.

"[The] most surprising team left out of Big East talk," writes the Tulsa World." Memphis is [the] 20th-largest city [but] football struggles likely hurt [the] school," it wrote.

Finally, there is Temple, the most eastern of the football orphans, but dogged by their days as a Big East doormat from 1991-2004. The Owls had few friends among the football crowd, but two Big east basketball coaches have lobbied for Temple to rejoin the conference as a full member.

“Temple is a natural,” said UConn coach Jim Calhoun to the Manchester (CT) Journal-Inquirer . “I know [Villanova coach] Jay [Wright] doesn’t feel that way, but I think it would only help Big East basketball in Philadelphia. I know they have the Big 5 and Atlantic-10, but Temple is a natural rivalry.”

"Have you made basketball stronger? No. You're not replacing Syracuse and Pittsburgh," Louisville coach Rick Pitino told WDRB.com "My hope is that they will go out there and get a Temple or a Memphis, to keep basketball strong. That being said, we are still very strong without those teams, but if you want to be in the top two or three basketball conferences every year, you have to get stronger."

The Big East still has two seats to fill, presumably before the next TV contract goes into effect. As Central Florida was passed over for South Florida in 2005, UCF fans can now say that, sometimes, good things come to those who wait.

McDonough At 60: Part Three 12/9/11

Some editorial thoughts on the future of McDonough Gymnasium:

At 60 years, three things are apparent about the gymnasium: 1) it's obsolete, 2) it needs work, and 3) it's probably not going anywhere. Unlike many universities where buildings come and go, one literally needs an act of Congress to tear down a campus building. Sure, some are no longer with us (among them, Old South, the Foreign Service Annex, and the temporary veterans housing after World War II) but when a building gets built, it stays there ad infinitum. So, we can assume McDonough gym isn't going anywhere. Then what?

Georgetown's focus is to get the Intercollegiate Athletic Center built, sooner rather than later. At some point, and probably in the 2020 campus plan, some effort must be made to do more than rearrange the offices in McDonough that do not move to the IAC. A 70 year old building will need a full renovation, and that costs money.

The main part of the gymnasium is worth some discussion as well. Without the basketball teams practicing in it, the gym floor could be left with just volleyball and women's basketball, unless Georgetown wants to repurpose it yet again. Manley Field House, the former home of Syracuse basketball, was covered in turf and surrounded by a 200m indoor track, although that may be too much to ask for McDonough right now.

Georgetown doesn't need to wait for the IAC to be built before beginning some dialogue about what it wants McDonough to be, however. Some varying issues for discussion:

  1. Whither The Convocation Center? First discussed in 2000, the latest iteration was removed from the 2010 campus plan as a sign of good faith. That offer fell flat, however, because nothing is enough for some neighbors. But by 2020, does the idea of on-campus athletics return to the discussion, particularly if enrollment or a changing athletic climate dictate? There remains a need for a central activity center for the campus, and available options are all but gone. The McDonough footprint still offers the opportunity to balance limited athletic contests with the academic and social opportunities which are all but impractical today.
  2. An Intramural Facility? Alumni of a certain age remember when McDonough was the intramural center by default before the construction of Yates Field House. Yates is showing its age, and by 2020 the concrete facility will be over 40 years ago and at the end of its useful life. Does McDonough assume some of the intramural activities formerly in Yates, or is there a swap whereby intercollegiate teams begin to use Yates for practice and/or game facilities? Add in the variable of a proposal to convert North Kehoe Field to hospital property, and the Yates footprint may become a discussion as a new or reconstructed area for soccer and track.
  3. An Athletic/Academic Building? Though unlikely, the demand for classroom space is never ending. The second floor of McDonough has served many purposes over the years--from dorm rooms to Student Health--would be classrooms be part of a future mix?
  4. A New McDonough? The least likely and most expensive option, will there be a time in the next decade where the 1951 building is gutted or razed for something more appropriate for the mid-21st century, to include both an arena for intercollegiate activity and an upper level for additional training and practice opportunities not available in the IAC?

Fortunately for a University that does not move quickly on anything, time is still on Georgetown's side as to McDonough future. For a facility which has served the needs of thousands of student athletes and coaches for so long, giving it a second life is a cause worth pursuing.

Big East Expands By Five Schools 12/8/11

"Much like the conference as a whole, the Big East name -- though derived 32 years ago based on the geography of our founding members -- has evolved into a highly respected brand that transcends borders, boundaries or regions. It's national. Our membership makeup is now reflective of that."--Big East Commissioner John Marinatto

The Big East Conference formally invited, and received acceptances from, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, and Southern Methodist University, effective in the 2013-14 season, to eventually replace the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, and West Virginia University, keeping the basketball configuration at 16 schools.

After unsuccessfully trying to work through numerous demands by Brigham Young University, the conference also welcomes San Diego State University to join Boise State as football only members, bringing the conference's football roster to ten schools in a national alignment stretching from sea to shining sea.

"Over the last 32 years, the Big East Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics," said commissioner John Marinatto. "The inclusion of these five great universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to welcome these schools to the Big East family."

Each of the five schools adds to the footprint and stability of the conference in a changing world for college sports.

Southern Methodist and Houston add the #4 and #8 media markets to the next Big East TV contract, as the former Southwest Conference schools have seen a revival in their football programs in recent years and help open the state of Texas to Big East recruiting. Central Florida, the third largest university in the nation, adds the Orlando TV market and a built-in rivalry with South Florida that extends the conference's recruiting ties into Florida. Boise and San Diego, while distant geographically, adds two strong football programs that can help the league retain its status in the Bowl Championship Series after 2013--for these schools, especially Boise, the Big East may be the only realistic way these schools have any hope of a top tier bowl under the current rules. Four of the five schools were invited to non-BCS bowls this past week.

"I think what John Marinatto just did, he should get a substantial raise for what he just accomplished," said Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. "Getting Boise State, getting Houston, SMU. I think that is as good of a job for a commissioner with his back against the wall as I've seen since I've been in athletics. The teams you lost aren't as good in football as the teams you're bringing in."

The conference has also opted not to remain in the holding pattern caused by the lack of decision making from either the U.S. Air Force Academy and/or the U.S. Naval Academy to increase the football configuration to 12 schools. Various reports suggest that Navy may eventually join, but not now, and with the statement Wednesday (below) that Air Force would no longer pursue the Big East, a 12th school would follow from either the University of Memphis or Temple University, the latter of which competed as a football-only member of the conference from 1991-2004.

While the basketball teams will compete under one 16 team arrangement, a proposed divisional structure for football is below (2011 record in parentheses):

West East
Houston (12-1) Rutgers (8-4)
Boise State (11-1) Connecticut (5-7)
Cincinnati (8-3) South Florida (5-7)
San Diego St. (8-4) Central Florida (5-7)
SMU (7-5) 11th team TBA
Louisville (7-5) 12th Team TBA

Additional links follow below, but there is no online coverage in the three Washington dailies.

Coming on Friday, a look at how the moves of the Big East will affect moves in other conferences.

Associated Press
Chicago Tribune
Cincinnati Enquirer
Dallas Morning News
Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette
Hartford Courant
Houston Chronicle
Idaho Statesman
Louisville Courier Journal
Louisville Courier-Journal (2)
New York Daily News
Newark Star Ledger
Orlando Sentinel
Providence Journal
San Diego Union-Tribune
St. Petersburg Times
Sports Illustrated
USA Today
UConn Not Leaving 12/8/11

Sure, we've heard it before, but at least someone is on the record about it.

University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst told the Associated Press her school is staying put in the Big East.

"UConn is not in discussion with any other athletic conference officials at this time,” she said. “We have not, in my time at the Big East, discussed any time commitments for institutions [to leave].”

“Since UConn is an international university, we see the geographic expansion of the Big East as a way to showcase our academic excellence in an even more sustained way — far and wide. We look forward to Husky teams playing in different parts of the country, exposing our student-athletes to new regions and new experiences and to broadening our fan base.”

Syracuse Not Leaving Early 12/8/11

In contrast to the legal maneuvering of West Virginia, Syracuse is honoring the Big East's 27 month waiting period before leaving in 2014."We’ve been respectful of the entire process," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross told the Newark Star-Ledger. "With John [Marinatto] making his announcement today, I think they’re putting together what the new Big East is going to look like. As they go forward to put together multimedia deals and all that stuff, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that. We want our departure to be more of a mutual respect for each other.”

Air Force Not Joining 12/8/11

A candidate earlier this fall, the U.S. Air Force Academy will not be joining the Big East in 2013.

"The Air Force Academy will remain in the Mountain West Conference, where we have been since 1998-99 when we were a co-founding member of the conference," said LTG Mike Gould, "I made this decision based on what’s best for our cadet-athletes and the institution as a whole. This decision was made based on things like regional rivalries, like just playing our 50th football game against Colorado State University, loyalties to the conference, travel time for our cadet athletes and fans, school time missed, and travel costs. I feel the Academy is a key and pivotal member of the Mountain West, and think we can do a lot to help this conference continue its tradition of excellence. We of course continue to watch the changes happening not only in the Mountain West, but within NCAA sports around the country. As for now, 'we’re all in' the Mountain West Conference.”

ESPN Continues Disinformation Campaign 12/8/11

Somewhere between speculation and common knowledge is the evidence that ESPN has been doing its part to destabilize the Big East, as noted by the athletic director at Boston College earlier this year. While the reaction to expansion has been mixed by various columnists, ESPN's reaction to the expansion announcement has been altogether predictable.

Dana O'Neil: "One time not too terribly long ago, men of vision ruled college athletics -- people like Dave Gavitt, who formed the Big East on little more than a notion that a conference comprised of East Coast schools could be something special. Today, we are left with Mr. Magoo and myopic decisions based on a knee-jerk future rather than a long-term solution."

Andrea Adelson: "Simply put, these moves are more of a stopgap measure and less of a stabilizing force. Once the conference seas start shifting again, you can bet some of the current members are going to want to jump as quickly as Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia and TCU did."

(And ESPN will be right there to help...)

Meet The New Neighbors Updated 12/8/11

The Big East's largest addition since inviting Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, and South Florida in 2005 figures to change the look of the league Georgetown has been a part of for 31 seasons. Here's a comparison of the five new schools:

SMU Houston C.Florida Boise St. San Diego St.
Located Dallas Houston Orlando Boise San Diego
Founded 1911 1927 1963 1932 1897
Nickname Mustangs Cougars Knights Broncos Aztecs
Mascot "Peruna" "Shasta" "Knightro" "Buster" "Aztec
Affiliation Private Public Public Public Public
Campus 230 acres 550 acres 1415 acres 175 acres 300 acres
Undergraduates 7,000 31,764 47,580 17,368 24,590
7 10 12 7 8
US News
62 (Nat'l) Tier II (Nat'l) 177 (Nat'l) 67 (West) 164 (Nat'l)
Student-Faculty ratio 12:1 22:1 31:1 21:1 21:1
Students living
on campus
33% 15% 12% 8% 13%
Pct. in-state
46% 97% 95% 88% 91%
Tuition $39,430 $9,200 $18,092 $5,566 $6,570
Endowment $1.5 billion $495 million $102 million $79 million $120 million
Athletic Teams 17 16 17 19 19
Big East
17 16 17 (Football only) (Football only)
Ford Stadium (32K) Robertson Stadium (32K) Bright House Stadium (45K) Bronco Stadium (33K) Qualcomm Stadium (71K)
Moody Coliseum (8,998) Hoffheinz Pavilion (8,500) UCF Arena (9,465) Not in Big East for basketball Not in Big East for basketball
No baseball team Cougar Field (5,000) Jay Bergman  Field (3,230) Not in Big East for baseball Not in Big East for baseball
Final Four
1956 1967,68,
None Not in Big East for basketball Not in Big East for basketball
1993 2010 2005 Not in Big East for basketball Not in Big East for basketball
Doak Walker
Kyle Rote
Don Meredith
Eric Dickerson
Hakeem Olajuwon
Carl Lewis
Clyde Drexler
Fred Couples
Daunte Culpepper
Jermaine Taylor
Asante Samuel
Shaun Jefferson
Gus Johnson
Chris Childs
Trent Johnson
Randy Trautman
John Madden
Joe Gibbs
Tony Gwynn
Marshall Faulk
McDonough At 60: Part Two 12/8/11

Wednesday marked the 60th anniversary of McDonough Gym, which hosted men's basketball games from 1951-81 and women's games since 1960. But did you know the gym served a variety of now forgotten functions? At various times, McDonough housed student housing, a bowling alley, a squash court, and was the home to Student Health....all while serving as the home of a growing athletic department.

Some memorable events are noted below.

  1. A Presidential Inaugural (1953). One of the larger venues in Washington in the 1950's, McDonough served as one of two sites for the inaugural ball of President Dwight Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon.
  2. A Jazz Festival (1961). According to The HOYA, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie headlined the 1961 Intercollegiate Jazz Festival at the gym, featuring student combos from Northwestern, Dartmouth, East Carolina, Hartford, and West Virginia.
  3. A Papal Address Via Satellite (1963). Less than two years since its celebrated launch, Telstar satellite broadcasts were rare and usually reserved for significant national events. But at the opening of the University's 175th anniversary celebration, officials at NBC arranged for a 30 minute address from Pope Paul VI to beamed via satellite to the gymnasium to open the festivities.
  4. Vietnam War Housing (1969). The Student Mobilization of 1969 drew students nationwide to various marches on Washington. Georgetown opted to open McDonough to these visitors, over the objections of the athletic department.
  5. The Grateful Dead (1970). The unlikeliest Homecoming band in Georgetown History, nearly 5,000 Deadheads squeezed into McDonough for the event, surpassing the 4,500+ who saw the Who the year before. During the 1960's, acts from Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis to the Ventures, Peter Paul, & Mary, and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue all played at McDonough, but nothing quite like the Grateful Dead.
  6. A Tennis Tournament (1975). In the mid-1970's, Georgetown hosted a USTA tennis tournament inside the gym, as a fundraiser for the Lombardi Cancer Center, which was frequented by stars such as Stan Smith, John Newcombe, and Jimmy Connors.
  7. A Top Five Upset (1982); Georgetown's only home win over a Top 5 team at McDonough came in the last major scheduled game at the gymnasium, upsetting #4 ranked Missouri on Feb. 20, 1982 before a national TV audience. The attendance of 4,620 is presumed to be a gym record for a sporting event.
  8. Olympic Basketball Tryouts (1988). U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach John Thompson opted to conduct the national trials for the 1988 team at the gym rather than at a national center. The lasting byproduct of the trials? The gym was air conditioned for the first time ever.
  9. An NCAA Tournament Game (1993): The Georgetown women's basketball team played its first post-season game ever in the 1993 NCAA's, defeating Northern Illinois 76-74 at the gym.
  10. A Presidential Speech (2011). President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to speak at the gym since Eisenhower when he spoke on energy policy in March 2011.
Hugh J. Beins (1932-2011) 12/7/11

Former Georgetown basketball star Hugh Beins (C'53, L'56), who also served as an assistant coach and adjunct professor at the University, died last week at the age of 79.

The 6-7 Beins arrived at Georgetown in 1949 from Manhattan Prep, where he was the tallest player on the largest recruiting class in Hoya basketball history--the 10 member Class of 1953, nine of whom played in the Catholic leagues of the New York area. As freshmen, they went 16-1, with Beins in the pivot. After a rough 1950-51 season where the young Hoyas finished just 8-14, the 1951-52 Hoyas finished 15-10, its most wins since the 1946-47 season. Beins was among the starting five in the season opener against Fordham on Dec. 7, 1951, the opening of McDonough Gymnasium (see below).

Beins averaged 11.6 points and 10.2 rebounds as a senior, a season which saw the Hoyas earn its first NIT bid, losing to Louisville, 92-79. The NIT bid would produce Georgetown's only post-season invitation between 1943 and 1970. Beins' double-double was the first recorded at Georgetown by recently published NCAA archive statistics, and he is among only 12 Georgetown players to have done so.

A two sport letterman as an undergraduate, Beins played two seasons on the baseball team while earning his bachelor's degree in economics. One of four GU seniors drafted by the NBA in 1953, he passed on an offer from the Rochester Royals to enter Georgetown Law, where he also served as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame coach Buddy Jeannette 1953 through his LLB degree in 1956.

Following Georgetown, Beins served for three years as a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board before becoming general counsel for the eastern branch of the Teamsters in 1960, and later a lawyer in private practice for 26 years in the firm of Beins and Axelrod. From 1961 through 1990, Beins taught a course in labor law at the Law Center, earning him the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award and the Georgetown faculty Vicennial Medal, according to the Beins Axelrod corporate web site.

Beins remained a loyal supporter of Georgetown basketball for six decades. Beins could be seen at Verizon Center home games through last season, and was a member of a number of alumni activities, including the planning effort for the 100th anniversary of the sport at Georgetown during the 2006-07 season.

Hugh Beins is survived by his wife, seven children, and 18 grandchildren. Details on the funeral Mass are found in this link to the Washington Post.

Report: Big East To Extend Five Invitations 12/7/11

Five weeks after Big East presidents authorized conference expansion, the conference is ready to add three all sports members and add two more for a western football division for the Big East, according to multiple reports.

Invitations to compete in all Big East-sponsored sports are expected Wednesday afternoon for the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, and Southern Methodist University, effective in the 2013-14 season, to eventually replace the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, and West Virginia University, keeping the basketball configuration at 16 schools.

But they're not done at three. After unsuccessfully trying to work through numerous demands by Brigham Young University, the conference will instead extend an invitation to San Diego State University to join Boise State as football only members, bringing the conference's football roster to ten schools in a national alignment stretching from sea to shining sea.

"I think what John Marinatto just did, he should get a substantial raise for what he just accomplished," said Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. "Getting Boise State, getting Houston, SMU. I think that is as good of a job for a commissioner with his back against the wall as I've seen since I've been in athletics. The teams you lost aren't as good in football as the teams you're bringing in."

The conference has also opted not to remain in the holding pattern caused by the lack of decision making from either the U.S. Air Force Academy and/or the U.S. Naval Academy to increase the football configuration to 12 schools. Various reports suggest that Navy may eventually join, but not now, and if Air Force continues to stall, a 12th school would follow from either the University of Memphis or Temple University, the latter of which competed as a football-only member of the conference from 1991-2004.

Each of the five schools adds to the footprint and stability of the conference in a changing world for college sports.

Southern Methodist and Houston add the #4 and #8 media markets to the next Big East TV contract, as the former Southwest Conference schools have seen a revival in their football programs in recent years and help open the state of Texas to Big East recruiting. Central Florida, the third largest university in the nation, adds the Orlando TV market and a built-in rivalry with South Florida that extends the conference's recruiting ties into Florida. Boise and San Diego, while distant geographically, adds two strong football programs that can help the league retain its status in the Bowl Championship Series after 2013--for these schools, especially Boise, the Big East may be the only realistic way these schools have any hope of a top tier bowl under the current rules. Four of the five schools were invited to non-BCS bowls this past week.

While the basketball teams will compete under one 16 team arrangement, a proposed divisional structure for football is below (2011 record in parentheses):

West East
Houston (12-1) Rutgers (8-4)
Boise State (11-1) Connecticut (5-7)
Cincinnati (8-3) South Florida (5-7)
San Diego St. (8-4) Central Florida (5-7)
SMU (7-5) 11th team TBA
Louisville (7-5) 12th Team TBA

Additional coverage from the new schools follows below.

McDonough At 60: Part One 12/7/11

On Dec. 7, 1951, ten years to the day that the ongoing fundraising drive to build a new gym was put on hold with the onset of World War II, and 30 years since the first efforts were undertaken to replace Ryan Gymnasium, McDonough Memorial Gymnasium opened on the Georgetown campus. For better or for worse, it has remained largely untouched in the intervening years, becoming as obsolete to this era than Ryan was in the 1940's.

In the first of a three part series, we look back at the opening of this facility as seen in this excerpt from the 1952 Ye Domesday Booke:

"The week-end of December 7, 8, 9, 1951 is one that Georgetown men will long remember. On those dates was celebrated the welcoming of McDonough Memorial Gymnasium into the family of Georgetown. The gymnasium, built entirely by subscriptions from the Alumni and the friends of Georgetown, and dedicated to the man that has meant so much to the sons of Georgetown, Father Vincent McDonough, S.J., marked a new epoch in Georgetown history.

"With this colossal addition to the physical facilities of the University went the culmination of thirty years striving for a new and finer gymnasium. As early as 1921 the inadequacy of Ryan Gymnasium was evident and, as basketball gained more prominence in intercollegiate circles, a new gymnasium became a necessity. In 1939, a campaign was instituted to raise funds for a gym but, with the advent of war, thoughts were turned to more sober tasks. Then, nine years later, on February 8, 1948, the Alumni mapped out a personal solicitation campaign to raise the estimated cost of a new gymnasium, $861,000. Since that time revised estimates placed the total cost at $1,200,000.

"The first shovelful of dirt was lifted on May 20, 1950 and one year and seven months later the formal presentation of the building to the University occurred. The dedication attracted the largest turnout of Alumni Georgetown had ever seen on a single occasion. There were over 1,000 ex-Hilltoppers and their wives present for the colorful week-end. The presentation itself immediately preceded the opening basketball game of the season against Fordham.

"On Saturday morning a Solemn High Mass of Dedication in the new gymnasium was sung by the President of the University. Then the President and Directors of the University were hosts at a reception for the Faculty, Alumni and their wives. Later a formal inspection of the gymnasium was held. Climaxing Saturday's festivities was the Dedication Ball held on the spacious floor of the gymnasium.

"Thus ended the ceremonies of dedication, but with this dedication a new chapter in the life of Georgetown began. The fulfillment "of a long felt need and long cherished dream" had given to the University a new confidence and pride with which she could face the future. No longer would the sons of Georgetown have to speak apologetically of the athletic facilities but on the contrary could boast of the edifice they had built: an edifice that would play such an important role, in coordination with Georgetown's magnificent academic and educational institutions, in the University's efforts to incorporate in her children the advice given by Juvenal long ago: "Mens sana in corpore sano."
Georgetown 84, NJIT 44 12/4/11

In its sixth year of Division I competition, the New Jersey Institute of Technology has won only five games against Division I schools outside its own conference, the loosely named Great West Conference. It may be a while before they get their sixth.

The Highlanders were crushed by a pair of runs to open each half by the Georgetown Hoyas, who sailed past NJIT 84-44 at Verizon Center Saturday. With a lineup of no one taller than 6-6, and a pair of 6-3 forwards, NJIT was too small to compete with the Hoyas, who blazed past the Highlanders in two early runs.

Markel Starks opened the game with a three pointer for Georgetown in the first 18 seconds, which was as close as NJIT (3-4) would be all afternoon. The Hoyas opened 6-7 from the field over the first seven minutes of the half to lead 16-2, as the Highlanders missed all four three point attempts. Forward Isaiah Wilkerson helped kick-start the NJIT offense, scoring seven of the team's first 10 points and 13 by halftime, closing the lead to as little as 9 at the 4:38 mark as Georgetown was already circulating its rookies through the lineup. The Highlanders could not connect on more than two field goals thereafter before intermission, as freshmen Otto Porter and Mikael Hopkins dove the Hoyas to a 42-28 halftime lead.

A fourteen point deficit was more than respectable for NJIT, especially given its 14 point deficit to open the game. The Hoyas opened the second half in a big way, and NJIT had no counter.

Nate Lubick opened the second half scoring with an inside basket, but the Hoyas soon moved its game outside. Its next six shots over the ensuing four minutes were three point attempts and unfortunately for NJIT, four were good. For its part, NJIT's leading scorer was shut out in the second half, and the team was too small to absorb the long range artillery. By the time NJIT scored its first field goal, with 10:55 to play, Georgetown led by 35, 67-32. With its reserves playing most of the last 14 minutes, the taller Hoyas continued to move the score forward, as NJIT's inability to go inside and its futility from outside (1-10 from three in the second half) was a toxic combination. The Highlanders had as many free throws (5) as field goals after halftime. Emblematic of NJIT's shooting woes: guard Lamar Kearse, who scored 21 in the Highlanders' upset of Army last weekend, was 0-8 in this game.

FG shooting by NJIT's Ryan Woods & Isaiah Wilkerson

FG shooting by rest of NJIT team

Georgetown edge,

Georgetown edge,

GU shooting,
2nd half

NJIT shooting,
2nd half

"I was happy with the way we played for the first 20 (minutes)," said NJIT coach Jim Engles in post-game remarks. "I don't think [we] were really used to their length and we had some problems getting some shots off but the second 20, I would have like to see us compete a little bit better."

Hollis Thompson led all Georgetown scorers with 20 points, including 6-7 from three point range. Freshman Mikael Hopkins was encouraging off the bench, with 12 points.

"We just are finishing a difficult stretch with three games in six days, so you put the schedule together and you hope it turns out like it did," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "Now we have a week where we don't have any games, but it's a big week in terms of school. Classes end, the semester ends, so this is a big week in terms of catching up with your work. "

"My wife, her whole family went to Georgetown, that's why I played this game. From now on, they have no [say] on any scheduling priority," joked Engles, adding "I will not be scheduling Georgetown anytime soon."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       18   0-0   2-4   3-4   2   1  0    9
Clark        18   0-0   2-5   4-4   5   1  0   10
Thompson     19   1-3   6-7   0-0   1   3  3   20
Lubick       16   1-1   0-0   0-0   5   1  0    2 
Sims         15   2-3   0-0   4-4   5   4  0    8
Adams        11   3-5   0-0   2-2   6   1  3    8
Whittington  19   0-0   0-2   0-0   4   1  0    0
Hopkins      22   5-8   0-1   2-2   3   1  2   12
Porter       17   1-1   1-3   0-0   6   1  1    5
Bowen        14   1-3   0-0   0-0   1   0  2    2
Caprio        6   1-2   0-1   0-0   2   0  0    2
Trawick      25   0-4   1-1   3-4   3   1  1    6
Team Rebounds                       4
TOTALS      200 15-30 12-24  18-20 47  15 12   84

Additional links follow below.

Georgetown 57, Alabama 55 Update #2, 12/2/11 12:45 am

A Hollis Thompson three-pointer with 1.8 seconds to play rallied the Georgetown Hoyas past #12-ranked Alabama, 57-55, ending a 24 game home win streak by the Crimson Tide.

The game was seen as a defensive struggle and it lived up to the forecast, with the two teams combining for 39 points by halftime. Georgetown started slowly and saw Nate Lubick pick up three fouls in the first six minutes of play, but the Hoyas' 2-3 zone kept Alabama off stride for much of the half. Much like the second half of the Memphis game, neither team could break free for much of the first half, with the Hoyas shooting 40% for the half and Alabama finding nothing from outside, missing all nine three point attempts in the first half and showing an inability to get inside on the zone. Georgetown scored the last seven points of the half to lead 23-16 at the break.

Georgetown led by five twice in the first four minutes of the second half but junior Tony Mitchell and senior JaMychal Green began to refocus the Tide. Alabama closed to two with 14:01 to play before the Hoyas extended the lead to four, 35-31, but when Mitchell broke an 0-11 run for Alabama behind three, the Crimson Tide reignited the Coleman Coliseum crowd. Georgetown answered with a Greg Whittington three and a Jason Clark basket, but the Tide was rolling and took its first lead since midway in the first half, 41-40, at the 7:50 mark.

A turning point in the game followed 14 seconds later when Henry Sims drove to the basket and Green picked up his fourth foul. With an easier path to the basket, the newly aggressive Sims connected on a dunk, a three point play, and contributed an assist inside in three possessions, pushing the Hoyas back to a six point lead, 49-43 at the 5:09 mark. A Hollis Thompson offensive rebound and basket gave the Hoyas a nine point lead with 2:56 to play, 54.45.

With four fouls, Green reasserted his play inside and the Crimson Tide responded. Green went inside for two at the 2:38 mark, 54-47, then collected a dunk off a Alabama steal at the 2:00 mark, 54-49. Otto Porter's missed three was answered with a Mitchell three, 54-52, giving Mitchell 16 second half points and 20 overall. Suddenly, the Hoyas were on the ropes of another championship fight.

Inside a minute remaining, Georgetown opted to go to Sims inside, but Sims missed a reverse drive dunk and Alabama closed to one on a free throw at the :26 mark. On its next possession, Sims went inside again but missed a close-in shot. Opting for a man defense in UA's next possession, Jason Clark picked up a touch foul in the midcourt to UA's Trevor Releford with :13 left. Releford hit both free throws, capping a 10-0 run to give the Tide a 55-54 lead with 12.7 seconds, but it gave the Hoyas enough time for a last shot.

As noted on the ESPN replays, Hollis Thompson was in the corner and waited for UA's Trevor Lacey to make a move. Overcommit, and Clark could feed Thompson drive the baseline, but if Lacey held his ground, Thompson could move outside to take the three, which Clark executed perfectly to an open Thompson from 27 feet away. Alabama's half court shot glazed the rim, earning Georgetown its second Top 25 upset in a week's time.

Double figure games
by Henry Sims,
first 3 seasons

Double figure games
by Henry Sims,
this season

Last Alabama non-conf. game sold out

Last Alabama loss at Coleman Coliseum

GU fast break pts

GU 2nd chance pts

GU foul shooting,
2nd half

UA foul shooting,
2nd half

GU record
vs. non-conf. ranked teams since 2009

The trio of Jason Clark (22), Henry Sims (13) and Hollis Thompson (12) accounted for 47 of Georgetown's 57 points. Though Alabama hit its last three of four three point attempts before the final halfcourt heave, its 0-11 futility earlier in the game contributed to a 3-16 mark from outside, compared to the Hoyas' 7-17, none bigger than Thompson's last shot of the evening.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score:

            MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starks       32   1-2   0-4   1-2   4   2  3    3
Clark        36   3-4   4-7   4-4   2   1  1   22
Thompson     34   3-8   2-5   0-0   8   3  2   12
Lubick       14   1-1   0-0   0-0   2   2  3    2 
Sims         27   5-10  0-0   3-4   3   3  2   13
Whittington  15   0-1   1-1   0-0   2   1  3    3
Hopkins       4   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
Porter       35   1-5   0-0   0-0   2   1  2    2
Trawick       3   0-0   0-0   0-0   2   0  0    0
Team Rebounds                       3
DNP: Adams, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba 
TOTALS      200 14-31  7-17   8-10 29  13 16   57

Additional links follow below.

WVU-Big East Trial Set For June 25 12/2/11

West Virginia University plans to unilaterally leave the Big East and join the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2012. The prospect of a trial to determine their exit in the last week of June puts that timeframe in doubt, reports the Associated Press.

The Big East Conference has asked the West Virginia court holding one of two trials on the matter to dismiss the case, and to West Virginia's hope for a speedy trial on its home turf (the case was filed in Morgantown, WV), circuit judge Russell Clawges responded that "My immediate reaction is … it ain't gonna happen.”

Motions from both parties will be heard Dec. 19 in Morgantown. A separate proceeding in Providence has not been scheduled with that court to date.

BYU To Big East--What Happened? 12/1/11

Brigham Young University athletic director discussed the outcome of negotiations with the Big East conference to KSL-AM radio, confirming prior reports that BYU's existing television contracts were at issue.

"At that point in time, they were eager to make this happen and get BYU on board," Holmoe said. "We weren't at that time ready to do it, so we gave them a proposal. In that proposal, we said we could do that; we could sign on right now, if there were TV rights for our home games."

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Scott Pierce called BYU's position "unreasonable" in a column earlier this week.

"What is BYU’s value to a conference if the Cougars insist on retaining all TV rights to their home football games?," Pierce asked. "Zero."


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