The Van Buren Boys

The Blogosphere's best source for the latest analysis and
commentary from the world of Georgetown Hoyas basketball.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Still in (this week's Bracketology)

Well, boys, at least someone thinks we're still in.

The latest bracketology says we're still going to The Dance--though we're down to a 10-seed.

That being said, I'm a bit concerned that they are predicting 8 Big East teams! That just seems crazy.

Post Chat

Here is the PostChat with the author of the JTIII feature:

She took my question from Austin, TX.

From the Post

Click on this link to read the Washington Post's article on yesterday's game. According to them, it's more of the same: slow start = loss.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Offensive Rebounding

I caught the second half of today's GU-Nova game. It looked to me like we were getting absolutely killed on the offensive boards by guys much smaller than us. I think it's looking more and more like we're going to have to fight it out with ND for the last Big East spot. A win against UConn would go a long way in that direction.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Power 16

Okay boys, it's gonna be tough.

At's Power 16 for the week, UConn is a 3 seed.

Nova is not ranked, but they're getting votes (one of 4 teams). That means the pundits are putting them in the top 20 teams right now.

Tough, very tough.

Pep rally

Beat 'Nova PEP RALLY
Both the men's and women's basketball teams will be in action against the Wildcats of Villanova this weekend. Come help the teams get ready for their games by showing your support Friday night.
Basketball Pep RallyFeaturing the men’s and women’s basketball teamsand head coaches Terri Flournoy and John Thompson III
Friday, February 25th @ 7:30 pmHarbin Patio
The pep rally will include a barbecue, and BIG EAST ticket raffle for students. Studnents can also purchase tickets for the games, but don't wait... tickets for Sunday's game are going fast!
Don't miss this great opportunity to hear from the coaches and see the players all in one place.
We'll see you there!WE ARE GEORGETOWN!

Post article on Rich Chvotkin

Great story on a great play-by-play man:

"Green hits a snowbird! And the Hoyas clean the dust off the nets. Reed picks Bailey's pocket and here come the Hoyas the other way. Bowman feeds Hibbert. Hibbert with a lefty-hooker in the lane! The game clock arrests with 18:32 and the Hoyas holding a 4-0 lead on four unaswered. " I love Chvotkinisms.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Sports Guy and the Hoyas

I was reading the Sports Guy's column on this morning where he breaks down his NBA All-Star experience with fake awards he would have liked to give out. Here's one with a Hoyas connection that I think all of you will enjoy (you have to read to the bottom).

The Jim Gray Award for "Strangest moment that involved Jim Gray"
Gray and I were introduced for the first time on Saturday afternoon ... he walked away ... and then returned 30 seconds later to ask me, "Are you the Bill Simmons from Page 2?" He proceeded to tell me that I was wrong about his performance after the Artest Melee, when I wrote about his voice "inexplicably quivering." According to Gray, many people on the floor were sprayed with pepper spray -- including him -- which explained his general demeanor after the incident. Fair enough. Although I think this should be another event on All-Star Saturday -- "Spray Jim Gray with Pepper Spray."

Three other goofy brushes with greatness:

1. I followed Mark Eaton in a urinal, which was like following U2 at Lollapalooza.

2. I stood in line to buy drinks at the NBPA party with Wilmer Valderrama, Danny Masterson and a sloppy Bijou Phillips right behind me, but I wasn't quite drunk enough to ask Wilmer the "real or fake?" question about his ex-girlfriend Lindsay Lohan. Wilmer's carrying that secret around like Bob Woodward's carrying Deep Throat's real name.

3. At one point during the NBPA party, you could have formed an isosceles triangle using me, Dikembe Mutombo and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the three points 20 feet apart. I couldn't have been more riveted -- they were standing out like two skyscrapers. Who wants to sex Mutombo!

To read the entire article click here


Three games left. And after last night's BC-Nova game I'm thinking our chances against the Huskies are better than against the Wildcats. And, for the record, I think our chances of beating UConn are slim to none.

When most of the other teams in the league are peaking, we're dropping like a stone. I think we're going to have a very disappointing end to the season.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bubble Trouble

Forgive the cheesy title. Just trying to spice things up.

Anybody see the latest ESPN Bubble Watch:

Call me pessimistic, but I think these next 3 games may prove troublesome. 'Nova & UConn are looking tough right now. Sure we should be Providence, but then again we should have run over St. Johns. I think NCAA is moving more towards goal than expectation. According to ESPN, the Nova game determines our fate, but I don't think beating Nova guarantees anything at this point. Certainly going 2-1 makes a difference and is doable, but I'd feel more confident had we not dropped the St. John's game.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

St. John's Game

Stephanie is going to the game today at MSG. I'll provide her analysis after the game.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm speechless

From Hoyas to Henson?
Ex-Georgetown coach wants Aggies job
By Jeff CarltonTribune ReporterFebruary 18, 2005
Former Georgetown men's basketball coach Craig Esherick took over for one coaching legend. Now he wants to replace another.
Esherick, 48, told The Tribune on Thursday he has applied for New Mexico State's head coaching job, which opened after illness forced Lou Henson into retirement after 41 seasons.
"I'd be a heck of a coach for them," Esherick said by phone. "But that is not my call."
New Mexico State Athletics Director McKinley Boston confirmed he has received Esherick's application. Bubba Jennings, a former star at Clovis High and Texas Tech, had also applied, Boston said. Jennings is the director of video operations for Texas Tech.
Lou Henson has two road wins since retiring from New Mexico State. N.M. 28, from Las Cruces to Sunland Park, will be named for the legendary Aggies and Illinois men's basketball coach, the state Transportation Commission announced Thursday. Henson had a street named after him in Champaign, Ill., where he coached the Illini for 21 years.
He had a 779-413 record in 41 years, including two stints at NMSU, his alma mater, from 1966-75 and 1997-2005.
Boston said he is two to three weeks from weeding out the applicants. He said he plans to interview candidates and make a hire by early April during the Final Four.
"This is very much an open process," Boston said. "I am committed to finding the best coach that I can afford."
Esherick coached the Georgetown Hoyas from 1999 until 2004. His career record is 103-74. He took over for legendary coach John Thompson and was replaced by John Thompson III.
Esherick is a Washington, D.C., native who has spent most of his life on the East Coast. He played basketball at Georgetown, graduating with a finance degree in 1978.
After one season as a high school coach and two more as a Georgetown graduate assistant, Esherick became an assistant coach under the elder Thompson in 1982. He served on Thompson's staff until his retirement in 1999. Then Esherick took over.
In his first season, he coached the Hoyas to the NCAA Sweet 16, his only appearance in that tournament as head coach. The following season, Georgetown turned down an NIT invitation.
One season later, the Hoyas played in the NIT, losing the title game to St. John's. In Esherick's fourth season, Georgetown went 13-15 and did not receive a postseason bid for the first time in 30 years. Esherick was fired.
As a coach and player, Esherick participated in 20 NCAA tournaments. As an assistant coach, he made it to three Final Fours and won a national title.
Esherick is a college basketball analyst for AOL Radio. He said the job gives him the chance to travel and learn from other coaches.
"I think there is an awful lot of potential (at New Mexico State)," he said. "I think, clearly, I do want to get back into coaching. I think I have a great chance to win there. I sent in my application, and that is all I know right now."
Esherick would replace another legend in Henson, who retired at NMSU on Jan. 22 as the sixth all-time winningest coach with 779 victories. He is NMSU's all-time winningest coach with 289 wins. He also is the winningest coach at Illinois.
Jennings coached for nine seasons at Artesia High, leading the Bulldogs to two state titles. He was the state's high school player of the year at Clovis in 1980. He set a state record for points in a game and career points.
Jennings was the 1985 Southwest Conference Player of the Year at Texas Tech. He was later drafted by the Dallas Mavericks.
Boston said he has encouraged New Mexico State interim coach Tony Stubblefield to apply. Stubblefield has coached the Aggies to a 5-20 record, including Thursday's 91-49 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Larry Shyatt, who was an assistant at the University of New Mexico and a head coach at Wyoming and Clemson, denied through a spokesman that he is interested in coaching the Aggies. Shyatt is an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan.
"He is not a candidate for New Mexico State," said Fred Demarest, a Florida Athletics Department spokesman. "He hasn't been contacted by New Mexico State. He did not apply."

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Washington Post college basketball gurus today

Princeton, N.J.: George Washington seems to be hitting its stride while Maryland is still up and down and Georgetown is losing to teams they need to beat this time of year (Notre Dame). Are all three in the tourney, or just the Colonials and the Terps?

Matt Rennie: I disagree on Georgetown. Winning AT Notre Dame would have been huge, but that's not a loss that hurts the Hoyas too much. If they can win at st. John's and beat Providence at home, they should get in. I think the Colonials are in a more dicey position, though I agree they are playing better. There's no way you can say they've assured themselves of an at-large bid.

Eric Prisbell: I think Maryland has a great chance to make it; an 8-8 ACC record would clinch it. Georgetown has an excellent chance if it gets 18 overall victories. GW’s RPI has improved to a respectable level (59-ish), but the A-10 is rated the 16th-best conference in the country. A conference that low doesn’t deserve two bids. GW will be an interesting test case for the committee.

Washington, D.C.: What, realistically, do the Hoyas need to do in their final few games to ensure themselves a spot in the tourney? Also, do you have a sense of how much of their success this year is attributable to JT-III and how much is based on the fact that pundits simply did not appreciate how talented the younger players are?

Eric Prisbell: If Georgetown splits its final four regular season games, it should be enough. The Hoyas have an excellent RPI better than 40. Ten wins in the Big East should be enough. Beat St. John’s and Providence and that’s enough. Short of that, they will be sweating it out unless they win a game or two in the BE tourney. Oh, and credit JTIII with their success because he is a candidate for national coach of the year honors, in my opinion.

Matt Rennie: I agree that a 10-6 record gets Georgetown in (and the Hoyas could beat Villanova at home too, though winning at U-Conn. might be too much to ask). JTIII deserves a lot of credit for getting his team to play hard for 40 minutes a game, but there's no question that Jeff Green has exceeded virtually everyone's expectations.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Well, at least we can say that our boys don't give up. That was quite a valiant effort in the last minute of the game.

With that being said, let me be the first to say that exposure on national TV might kill Georgetown's chances of making the tournament.

Though I didn't see tonight's game because I'm stuck at work, it didn't seem to go very well. It's true that we picked up in the second half, but the first was abysmal.

This is only the second time we've been on national TV and this is the second time we've gotten beaten . . . badly (okay not badly tonight, but we got beaten badly in the first half). I have to believe that the fact that only our worst outings are reaching a national audience is going to hurt us on selection Sunday.

That's my two cents.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Son Also Rises

Great article about the rise of JTIII. Tomorrow is big for us; we could secure a spot in the tourney and in the top 25. Also, a win would put us in a 2nd place time with Cuse.

Updated Bracketology

I'm not a bracket seeding expert, but does it make sense to anybody that in the updated bracketology on ESPN, GU is now a 7 seed (with a downward triangle) from a 6 seed? Am I missing something?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Closer to Lock than Bubble

I can't say I'm nearly as on top of GU basketball as you guys, but I did see this prediction on recently (citing Syracuse, BU, Pitt, and UConn as locks out of the Big East):

Big East
Work left to do: Villanova, Georgetown, Notre Dame, West Virginia
UConn moves into lock status after victories against Villanova and at Syracuse. Nova and Georgetown are looking really solid right now. Notre Dame got a huge W last night but likely needs more.
Villanova (14-5 (5-4), RPI: 17, SOS: 19) Solid profile that is very close to a lock right now. 'Cuse, BC and Pittsburgh all coming to Nova in the next five games. One win likely is all the Wildcats need.
Georgetown (15-6 (7-3), RPI: 35, SOS: 43) Another team that has moved much closer to lock than off the bubble. Numbers are there. League standing is there. Unexpected season buzz factor is there. Ten Big East wins is very reasonable and that would be more than enough.
Notre Dame (14-6 (6-4), RPI: 40, SOS: 61) Came through UConn/'Cuse/BC gauntlet 2-1, but still has work left to do. Chances abound with Pitt twice and UConn (along with UCLA) still left on slate. If Irish miss Dance, no one to blame but themselves.
West Virginia (13-7 (3-6), RPI: 67, SOS: 72) We'll add the Mountaineers, but WVU needs a lot of work on its profile to get more significant sniff. 0-6 vs. RPI Top 50 not a good foot to put forward.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Another game, another win

Close game down the stretch and the Hoyas, once again, found a way to win. I listened to it. Ryan was there and hopefully he'll post a recap if he's not too busy celebrating Kevin McHale's new headcoaching position (hopefully Kirt Rambus won't charging the T-wolves bench). Board members who saw the game said JTIII adjusted beautifully after halftime and we got much better at breaking down the WV defense and cutting down on our own turnovers, although we still had way too many. So we are in third place in the Big East, two games behind BC, and one game behind Cuse. Wow. Next game is on TV -- against Notre Dame on ESPN Classic. Hopefully, Mike and Steve will be able to see it in spite of their crappy cable packages. I think we are really only two wins away but three will make us a total lock. We have 5 games left. St. John's and Providence should be wins. That means we have to steal one against Notre Dame, Villanova, or UConn. If we beat Notre Dame, I think we can start worrying about seeding. Too bad we have a new AD -- JTIII needs a contract extension. And, for the records, from here on out: MAKING THE NCAA TOURNAMENT IS AN EXPECTATION NOT A GOAL!!!!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


This week's Bracketology at has Gtown as a 6 seed. Even nicer, it lists GU as an "underrated" team. Hopefully with time--and more wins-- we can get the respect we deserve.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Reviews of JTIII

Someone posted this link on the Hoyatalk board. These are Ivy League fans assessing JTIII as a coach in light of the problems Princeton has had since he left. We heard nothing but good things from them when GU was considering hiring him and this echos those sentiments. Interesting stuff and very complementary.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Taking Stock

Okay, we we're 7 and 3 in the Big East. When Hoyatalk did a poll at the beginning of the season, it asked how everyone thought we'd do in conference: 1-15, 2-14, 3-13, 4-12, 5-11, 6-10, 7-9, or 8-8. It didn't even have an option to say we'd have a winning season! The majority picked 6-10, btw. This team is just incredible. Tyler Crawford stepped up big tonight. Where did that come from? Winning at the RAC is always a big achievement. Clearly, the fantastic freshman three of Green, Hibbert, and Wallace, have hit some sort of a wall, though. We've played more BE games than any other BE team so hopefully having this week off will allow them to get back into the swing of things. Lord knows, we'll need them down the stretch. We need to win 4 out of the next 6 to guarantee a place in the Dance. 3 wins might do it, but we'd probably be sweating it out without a win or two at MSG. We have three home games (West Virginia, Nova, and Providence) and three away (St.John's, Notre Dame, and UConn) left. These are all winnable. Naturally, West Virginia, Providence, and St.John's are the most winnable, but even UConn doesn't scare me with the way they've been playing.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Speaking of Blue & Gray

Interim AD Adam Brick announced before the Seton Hall game that the Hoyas will be returning to traditional GU colors next year -- home grays and road blues. No more of the black and teal. Also, from now on, our uniforms are going to be made by Jumpman23.

Check out the shoes (and the cool pic of JTIII)