The Van Buren Boys

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Hoyas on NBA on TNT

This is priceless. The Hoyas presented Kenny Smith with a #30 Hoyas jersey and the entire team signed a pair of the Jordan kicks. Charles Barkely offered to help J-Wal gain admittance to Auburn. This is great stuff.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Excellent Coverage by The Hoya

There are far too many articles to post here. Simply go to and enjoy.

Tiger Saxa!

There has been a great deal of coverage about the implementation of the Princeton offense at Georgetown and about the support of the Princeton community for JTIII and what he is trying to accomplish at Georgetown.

Carril Is Yoda to Notion of Perpetual Motion

Now Carril is 76, sitting in an orange seat overlooking the court at Jadwin Gym, talking about how his once-anachronistic Princeton offense has been recast as cool. Georgetown, coached by the Carril disciple John Thompson III, reached this weekend’s Final Four with an offense borrowed from the Ivy League. Carril has not been a college coach for 11 years. But he is wearing a Georgetown cap, and people keep calling to talk about the precise pass-and-cut offense that he supposedly invented but never called the Princeton offense. “I didn’t call it anything,” he said.

Princeton paranoia

"[Carril] is such a part of my consciousness," Thompson told reporters after the overtime victory that sent the Hoyas to Atlanta and tomorrow's national semifinal game against Ohio State. "There's not too many decisions on the floor or off the floor where I don't have Coach's voice in my head. He told me how to think and see the game." And he schooled Thompson in the precise and patient Princeton offense, another hot tournament topic. That is one that Thompson has heard too much about and spends a lot of time downplaying. "I think too much is made of that," he said. "People say the Princeton offense, and what pops into people's heads are slow white guys that are gonna hold the ball, for, you know, 35, 40 seconds and then take a 3-pointer and then get a layup. "Some of the teams, the teams I played on when I was at Princeton, we did that. But for the most part, that's just a connotation, an image that comes up. When I say, 'the Princeton offense,' I just think of guys playing together, sharing the ball, talented basketball, talented, unselfish players." No one seemed happier to hear Thompson's comments than Carril. "We buried the Princeton offense, and the Georgetown offense was born," he said in a telephone interview this week. "The things he did to add to the old style, the little nuances, the way they got their shots, the way they incorporate individual things we never did at Princeton to keep the flowing, it was a remarkable job. I'm tired of hearing about the Princeton offense."

Tiger Saxa

Thompson celebrated the East Regional title by cutting down the net at the Continental Airlines Arena and then leading the rabid Hoya fans in a chant of “We Are … Georgetown.” Still, it was also very much a Princeton night. Because of the proximity, there was great support from Princeton, with former players and friends there as spectators and even media members, such as former Tiger Sean Gregory ’98, who writes about sports for Time Magazine. But most of all, there was Carril, the retired coach who sat proudly with his Georgetown hat on, who watched as a former player to whom he gave his highest compliment – “he sees it” – reached a level he never had a chance to at Princeton.“To have Coach there meant a lot,” Thompson says. “He’s a part of what we’re doing. As I’ve been saying, there aren’t too many decisions I make where I don’t have his voice in my head.”

McDonald's All-American Game

I caught most of the the McDonald's game a few nights ago and while the game was junk for the most part(no defense played at all), both Freemand and Wright showed a few flashes. I thought they did and both executed some excellent passes to teammates coming off cuts and screens.

On cautionary note about Wright. I haven't had the opportunity to check the box score, but I know he was fouled on at least one occasion and missed both free throw attempts.
It is too early to assess whether he is a weak free throw shooter, but if you revisit my scouting report from the WCAC championship game, you will see that he missed a disproportionately high number of attempts in that game. We'll have to see how this bears out. Just something to keep an eye on.

Hopefully this is something he can work on over the summer.

A Shout Out to Comcast

Let me take a moment to congratulate the oft-criticized Comcast on the excellent and extensive Georgetown Final Four coverage. I've had the opportunity to watch the late-night Comcast Sportsnet coverage the last few nights and it has far surpassed my expectations.

Jester--please pass along this feedback to your source and many thanks for bringing this to our attention. But for your post, I would have missed the programming entirely.

Can we get some clips from the shows on the blog?

King of the Hill[top]

With Georgetown's first Final Four appearance in 20 years tomorrow the media has been awash with stories about all of Georgetown's personnel. How many Pat Ewing, John Thompson, Jonathan Wallace, Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, and Jeremiah Rivers stories have we seen this past week? A lot. But it wasn't until this morning that we finally got the scoop on the personality that is most responsible for the Hoyas resurgence.

"He is like a demigod on campus," junior Chris Seneca said...."He's got this prima donna thing," Seneca said. "That's what happens when you spend you whole life listening to people say they love you."...

At the arena, he seems to soak in the energy from the crowd....At halftime, he wanders through the concourse, greeting fans and accepting requests for photographs.

Of course, we're talking about Jack. For the entire profile on the Hilltop's most powerful mammal, check out the rest of Susan Kinzie's article from The Washington Post, "Hoyas' Mascot Laps Up The Love."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Georgetown Favored vs. Ohio State

Georgetown is going out as a one point favorite vs. Ohio State and is currently 14-5 to win the tournament. For comparison, Florida is 8-5, Ohio State is 3-1 and UCLA is 7-2.

Some odds have also been posted for Final Four MVP and, deservedly, Green and Hibbert are getting respect. Here are some of the odds:

Joakim Noah 11-2
Al Horford 11-2
Mike Conley Jr. 6-1
Jeff Green 6-1
Greg Oden 6-1
Arron Afflalo 6-1
Roy Hibbert 13-2
Darren Collison 8-1
Taurean Green 8-1
Jonathan Wallace 18-1
DaJuan Summers 20-1
Jessie Sapp 20-1

Point spreads and odds provided for recreational purposes

Slate on the Role of Georgetown in Black Culture

This is a must-read. It points out the differences between the last dominant Hoyas teams and the new version. As discussed, the newer model is clean-cut and not all that physical. Let's just hope we can have some apparel sales anywhere close to what GU had in the 1980s.

The World's Most Dangerous Basketball Team
How the Georgetown Hoyas changed college basketball

No program since John Wooden retired has left as deep an impression on basketball's collective psyche. Not Phi Slama Jamma. Not the Fab Five. Not Rick Pitino's Kentucky teams. Certainly no team involving Christian Laettner. And the students have it right: Fear is what made Georgetown memorable.

Part of it came from the Hoyas' style of play. They pressed up and down the court, trying to force turnovers and low-percentage shots. Patrick Ewing, and later Dikembe Mutombo, stood in the lane swatting (and often goaltending) shots away, shooting intimidating glances across the floor. Meanwhile, John Thompson the elder, a giant man with a white towel tossed over his shoulder, patrolled the sideline with a scowl. The Hoyas won a lot, too, reaching three national finals between 1982 and 1985.

But the fear, back then, had as much to do with race as hoops. Georgetown basketball under John Thompson was always intertwined with racial politics. That was inevitable when an elite Eastern university, then as now overwhelmingly white, started fielding teams made up almost exclusively of black players. When Thompson came to Georgetown in 1972, he wasn't plucked from some other sideline legend's "coaching tree." Rather, he had been plying his trade at a tiny Catholic high school in northeast Washington, D.C., at a time when the only notable black coaches were Lenny Wilkens and Bill Russell—both player/coaches for NBA teams.
. . . .

Around the time Georgetown won the 1984 national championship, the university trademarked the Hoyas name and snarling-bulldog logo. This was the first college sports team to become a brand—and it was a tremendously lucrative one. By the early '90s, Georgetown apparel outsold even schools with powerhouse football programs. Georgetown Starter jackets sold well across the country, but the team's image was especially resonant in black America. Not only was this an all-black team with a black coach, the Hoyas also played in a majority-black city run by a black mayor. Thompson took a well-publicized stand against Proposition 42, an NCAA rule change that he believed would threaten black athletes by imposing higher academic standards. Eventually the racial cues became more overt, most famously in the kente-cloth-trimmed uniforms of the Iverson era.

Eventually, touchstones of black culture spread from Washington, D.C., to every corner of college hoops. As revolutionary as Thompson's teams might have been, he always remained a traditionalist. Michigan's Fab Five made baggy shorts iconic, and Iverson didn't grow his famous cornrows until he left the Hoyas. It wasn't just the culture that passed Thompson by. His defenses became less effective with the rise of the 3-point shot and swingmen who could handle the ball and take it to the hoop. When Iverson left, the dying embers of Georgetown's place in popular culture went with him—the school's licensing revenues have dropped out of the collegiate Top 50 in recent years, overtaken by the likes of Boise State.

Clean-cut Hoyas

Is this another way in which JTIII is breaking down stereotypes? Possibly, and that's unfortunate.

Georgetown toes the straight and narrow
Good-guy Hoyas reflect their coach, stick to clean image on, off court

For Patrick Ewing Jr., transferring from Indiana to Georgetown required an upgrade in behavior. “We’re really clean-cut,” Ewing said with a laugh. “It was a surprise to me when I first got here, because being at one school where you see one thing, and you come here and see a totally different thing.” Georgetown is in the Final Four, but the Hoyas rank near the bottom when it comes to salacious stories off the court. They come across as men behaving goodly — a coach’s dream scenario that’s almost too good to be true — a group that truly functions as a team and keeps each other in line.
. . . .

And, so far at least, the whole team has stayed out of trouble. Even the tattoo on freshman center Vernon Macklin’s right biceps looks a bit out of place, and he guessed that only two or three of his teammates have one as well. “You trying to jinx us?” coach John Thompson III asked about the lack of off-the-court gossip. “No, we have a good group of kids. That’s because of their parents and the people who help shape and mold who they are — I wish I could take some credit for it.”

Whether he likes it or not, Thompson does get credit — first and foremost from his own players. When asked how the team got to be so straight-as-an arrow, Wallace answered: “We have to be.” “With coach Thompson, you’d better not mess around, or you’re going to get us all in trouble,” Wallace said. “Everybody just tries to do things the right way. That’s how he taught us, the whole system and the whole program. That’s just how we go about doing things.” Presented with those words, Thompson acknowledged he looks for a certain type of person as well as a certain type of player when he’s recruiting. It might be the trait he most has in common with his Hall of Fame father: Both have little tolerance for fooling around.

Georgetown basketball -- still having a social impact

This is an interesting piece from Time Magazine. A lot people said that elite recruits wouldn't want to pass and cut without the ball. Well, JTIII has had no problem attracting top flight guys to the Hilltop. To be fair, anyone who watched last night's McDonald's All-American game would have seen some incredibly selfish play (O.J. Mayo anyone?) but also great passing from the likes of Austin Freeman and in particular Chris Wright, who is already feeding backdoors in all-star games!

Race and the Georgetown Offense

When John Thompson III, coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team, took over the moribund program there three years ago, a persistent question hovered over him, the way Patrick Ewing once loomed over point guards when Thompson's father, Hall of Famer John Thompson Jr., coached the Hoyas during their 1980s glory years. Could he really import the Princeton Offense, the precise, pass-happy basketball style that Thompson absorbed as both player and coach at the Ivy League school, to a team like Georgetown, which competes in the high-powered Big East conference? Consider the Hoyas' most notable hoops alum over the past decade, Allen Iverson, who still enjoys hoisting 20 shots a game in the NBA.

"That whole line of questioning is baffling," insists Thompson III, 41, whose Hoyas mounted a bracket-saving comeback against North Carolina in the East Regional tourney to send Georgetown to its first Final Four in 22 years. "The perception—and it's an unfortunate perception—is that you go to the Big East and these guys can't, or won't, share the ball. Why not?"

Thompson, more than anyone else, knows what drives the doubters: a hoops stereotype that says black guys play with their bodies and white guys with their brains. And even if the 2007 Hoyas fail to win the national title on April 2 in Atlanta, Thompson's team has done more to smash that perception than any other in recent memory. "If you think of the Princeton Offense, you wouldn't think a team of African-American guys can run it," notes Georgetown star Jeff Green, whose last-second bank shot against Vanderbilt in the regional semifinals kept the Hoyas on their magical run. Why? he asks himself, mocking the ignorance. "Because we're not 'disciplined' enough.",8599,1604096,00.html

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reminder: McDonald's All-American Game on ESPN

Watch Austin Freeman and Christ Wright tonight at 8:00 and catch a glimpse of the Hoyas' future. If it looks anything like the present, I'll be happy.

Mario Batali Picks Georgetown

For all the Babbo fans out there, MB gave the following quote to

"Georgetown came from 10 back and then literally kicked the wampum out of North Carolina. If they can create that kind of momentum, they will easily beat Ohio State, which could and should have lost three games on their road to the final quattro. They'll probably play Florida, but it's the Hoyas at the finish. The father/son stuff is the juicy story."

Madeleine Albright on the Colbert Report

Last night Professor Albright gave Colbert a Jeff Green jersey and gave "a shout out to her great Georgetown students." Colbert expressed his admiration to Georgetown for hiring Henry Kissenger and Doug Feith.

Andy Katz on the Contract Situation

Georgetown is going to have to pay up. The Hoyas need to ensure that Thompson is one of the highest-paid coaches in the Big East. He has earned the right to renegotiate. If the Hoyas go cheap (which would be foolish and seems unlikely), his moving on at some point isn't a stretch. If he stays, the school should simply name everything around the hoops facilities "John Thompson" and let the family name rule.

Jeff Green's Dad and Roy Hibbert's Mom

A Hoya's Dad Gives the Marriott G'town Fever

Forgive the folks at the downtown JW Marriott if they've gone a little Hoya-mad -- decorating the hotel lounge in Georgetown banners and pennants, and serving a menu of "Hoya dogs," bright blue Hoya martinis (bartender won\'t say what\'s in them) and "Final Four" burgers. You see, it turns out that the father of junior forward Jeff Green works there. How do we know? Guess it's gotta be the big sign they've put out front: "JEFF GREEN'S DAD WORKS HERE!!" Also, the T-shirts bearing the same message that they've printed up for Jeff Green Sr.'s colleagues on the banquet staff. "We're very proud of Jeff Green and his son," said hotel rep Mark Indre ."It's like a family here. When you walk in every day, everyone's asking about Jeff Junior."

The local celebrations are a little quieter for fellow hometown Hoya Roy Hibbert . All quiet at alma mater Georgetown Prep -- spring break this week, though that allows the school's president, the Rev. William George, to journey to Atlanta. And Hibbert's old grade school, St. Michael's in Silver Spring, has standardized tests this week, though principal Kathleen McCann says the kids will make banners and cards to honor their tallest-ever alum (6-8 when he left eighth grade). His parents, from Bowie, are going to Atlanta, of course, which will halt all the phone calls. "We've had about 20 calls at our home," said mom Paddy Hibbert ."From Nevada, from Florida, from New York. My sister in the Caribbean wants to come, but I tell her, 'No tickets.' They just have to watch it from home."

Hoya Hysteria on Comcast SportsNet

In the past, there has been much talk amongst the Van Buren Boys concerning Comcast SportsNet's lack of Hoyas coverage. Like most DC media outlets (except for the Washington Times; Barker, you're my boy) CSN demonstrates a definite ACC bias. With MASN's decision to air most of the Hoyas non-national games, most of the VBB were ready to forget about Comcast in its entirety.

But not me. For a number of complicated reasons, I still remain loyal to CSN. This past week that loyalty has paid off. Comcast SportsNet's coverage of the Hoyas has been fantastic. They have provided the kind of in-depth coverage you’d expect from a local sports network.

And based on information that I was able to secure from an inside source at the network, that coverage should just get better as we approach this weekend’s games. On Monday the News Director at Comcast SportsNet provided details about the coverage that CSN expects to provide. Comcast SportsNet’s will have live coverage from Atlanta with CSN personalities David Lee and Chick Hernandez starting with the 6:30 p.m. edition of SportsNite on Thursday, March 29th. There will also be nightly reports from Atlanta at the 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. editions. Additionally, Comcast SportsNet will be airing special 90-minute “Hoya Hysteria” editions of SportsNite on Friday night following the Wizard’s game, and Saturday night from 10 to 11:30.

While the exact content of these broadcasts is scheduled to change, they are currently scheduled to contain a variety of pieces on the Hoyas that you won’t want to miss.
  • # 1 - John Thompson - First father and son duo to coach in The Final Four. Included in this piece - sound from CSN’s exclusive sit down with Big John and Little John along with some still pics of Big John's time as a player with Providence and the Celtics, as well as Little John's time at Princeton as a player and coach.

  • # 2 - Thompson's Exclusive sit down.

  • # 3 - Hibbert - Green sit down.

  • # 4 - History of Georgetown - the university and 100 years of Hoya hoops. Including possible interviews with President DeGioia and the university historian.

  • # 5 - Handheld camera piece by Hoya player Jonathan Wallace (not confirmed yet).

  • # 6 - Handheld camera piece by kids from "Hoya Blue" who are making the trip to Atlanta.

  • # 7 - Famous Alums: Tagliabue, Leonsis, Ewing, Clinton, Iverson.

  • # 8 - Patrick Ewing - Patrick Ewing Jr. package.

  • # 9 - Doc Rivers - Jeremiah Rivers package.

  • # 10 - JT3 mic’d up at practice - from CSN’s “On Campus Series.”
If Comcast does half of this stuff it should be fantastic. Almost all of it will appear on SportsNite. But my source also indicated that Comcast SportsNet’s new show, Washington Post Live, should also have significant Hoyas coverage this week. Washington Post Live airs at 5:00 p.m. (and sometimes re-airs later in the evening).

Is Georgetown Really That Stupid?

I have a bit more faith in the administration than some of my fellow VB boys but this article by Barker Davis is distrubing. Coach Thompson should have gotten a pay raise after the run to the Sweet 16. I'm stunned that he didn't. This is a total no-brainer. The University needs to up his salary big time. Jim Calhoun makes $1.5 million per year. Tom Crean makes $1.7 million per year. JTIII makes $456,000 per year. Yeah, that's not going to cut it. In addition to a $1 million pay raise, JTIII should receive a new on-campus practice facility and an expanded operational budget for assistant coaches' salaries and recruiting expenses. I would also suggest a significant buy-out clause so we don't have to keep worrying about this. If he wants to go to the NBA, so be it. Georgetown should at least get some cash in the process to go out and hire another top flight head coach. There is no way that the alumni of Georgetown should ever countenance JTIII going to another university. We did it before and we can do it again -- is still available.

Thompson awaits raise

As the Hoyas prepare for their first Final Four since 1985, Georgetown still has not announced a raise or contract extension for coach John Thompson III, and the coach's future with the school remains something of an elephant in the room. Thompson has two years left on a deal that pays him an annual salary of $456,000, according to the university's 990 tax form. That salary ranks 11th among the 15 current Big East coaches and stands as a glaring discrepancy considering Thompson ranks fourth in the conference in regular season winning percentage (72-29, .713) and third in NCAA tournament winning percentage (6-3, .667). Georgetown athletic director Bernard Muir yesterday declined to comment on the subject. Sources close to Thompson indicated the coach has been approached by several different NBA franchises in the last year, most recently receiving overtures from the Charlotte Bobcats, who are owned by District native and BET founder Robert Johnson.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Junk Yard Dog Weighs In

Hoya great Jerome Williams on his alma mater's victory over UNC to enter the Final Four.

Jeff And Roy On The Final Four

Here are some clips of Jeff & Roy's post-game interviews from Sunday. Jeff and Roy both reflect on making it to the Final Four.

Roy also comments on his upcoming battle with Greg Oden.

Hoyas Cut Down The Nets

Thanks to Behemoth, the Van Buren Boys' official production studio (and my little brother), for helping to put together this clip of the Hoyas cutting down the nets in East Rutherford.

Bring on the Buckeyes!

Dr. Rich Profile in USAToday

Dr. Rich got me through JTIII's first season when I was not living in D.C. and ESPN was only broadcasting two regular season Hoyas games. This profile is a great tribute to him, but the best thing about it is the audio clips of his call. Listen to the Vandy one. Priceless.

Hoyas' voice still has last word after 33 years

If the Georgetown men's basketball program spoke with one voice, it would sound like Rich Chvotkin.

As the Hoyas prepare for the program's fourth Final Four appearance, there has been one constant — Chvotkin, in one of elite-level college sports' most unusual radio play-by-play arrangements. Now in his 33rd season behind the mike, Chvotkin, 61, is a part-time announcer and full-time psychologist in Washington, D.C. Chvotkin (Shvaht-kin) is among the longest-tenured broadcasters for a school in one of the nation's big six conferences, one of the few whose full-time job is not in broadcasting — and perhaps the only one whose radio career was interrupted by six months in the first Gulf War as a lieutenant colonel in the Army reserves.

Chris Wright Wins McD's 3pt Shooting Contest

Let's see teams try to zone us next year with J-Wall and C-Wright raining threes on them.

Students Camping Out For Tickets

A Studied Celebration of Hoyas

Students said they were excited. But that didn't mean they were going so far as to blow their studies or anything. Georgetown is the kind of school where students bring their Arabic and biochemistry homework to do while they're waiting for basketball tickets. They spell each other in the ticket line so nobody has to miss too many classes. They don't burn couches, like some celebrators at other schools; they bring them along. "We did get stopped by somebody who wanted to know if we were stealing it from a dorm," said Emre Ozen, 21, a junior who supplied a black leather love seat for the camp out. "But I said it was mine."

Any college campus goes a little batty when its team does what the Hoyas just did, defeating a couple of tough competitors and coming within two games of winning the national college basketball championship. But Georgetown is a place that educates future Supreme Court justices, presidents and diplomats, and people take their studies -- and, arguably, themselves -- very seriously.

Senior Nick Miede was as thrilled as anybody about the university's victory Sunday over North Carolina, which put the Hoyas in the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta this weekend. He and a couple of friends camped yesterday outside McDonough Arena for tickets to the games, which go on sale today. Yet they were not planning wild overnight parties as they waited -- not this bunch.

"I'm going to write my thesis on microfinance and social capital," said Miede, 22, as he settled into a chair about noon, utilizing the time to work on his thesis. Nobody acknowledged skipping class to celebrate. Some said their professors even nudged them to loosen up and enjoy themselves. "I actually had a professor say we'd be idiots not to go to the game," Miede said.

. . . .

The Hoyas' homecoming, about 2 p.m., drew several hundred more students to the parking lot to cheer the players responsible for the excitement. Emily Solis-Cohen and Alison Randall had cut French class to be there -- with their professor's blessing. When Solis-Cohen, a freshman, received an e-mail that the team was arriving in 30 minutes, Professor Jean-Max Guieu decided to release the 15 students in his "Cultural History of the French People" class. "He knows how important this is," said Randall, also a freshman. "He said, in French, that this is a unique time in our lives."

Hoyas Occupy M St.

This is the best video I've seen of the Hoyas taking over M St. The students deserve a big thumbs up for not destroying property or getting into any trouble. MPD has publicly commended them for their nonviolent celebration. Insurance companies across America cheer for the Hoyas as they take on Ohio State!

The Rivers Boys

Great article from this morning's Globe about Doc and JR. Note that Doc and Pat Ewing often exchange text messages during games and Doc was forced to remain tight-lipped when asked about the Hibbert-Oden matchup in light of the 30k fine levied on Danny Ainge for chatting up Kevin Durant's mom.

One downside should the Celtics wind up firing Doc after this season is that all of these outstanding articles about JR in the Boston papers will dry up.

Doc has son in his eyes: Enjoys run of Hoyas
By Steve Bulpett/ The NBA
Boston Herald Sports Reporter
Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Updated: 05:19 AM EST

The space between coach and parent was crystallized in the final moments of regulation in the Georgetown-North Carolina game Sunday. With the score tied, Carolina’s Wayne Ellington got the ball and made his move on Hoyas freshman guard Jeremiah Rivers.

Doc Rivers had a different view of things from the stands at the Meadowlands than he would have had on the bench. This wasn’t just some random pupil providing the defense. This was his kid.

“My whole thought was no foul - just no foul and don’t gamble, because he’s a gambler,” the coach and Hoyas parent said before the C’s beat the Toronto Raptors, 95-87, last night at the Garden. “As a parent, you’re just thinking don’t make the shot and don’t foul. It’s funny how you view things differently as a parent. As a coach, you want a stop. As a parent, you just don’t want him to mess up. That’s the difference.”

Jeremiah did just fine, getting a hand up on Ellington’s missed jumper and getting the game to overtime, where Georgetown took over. As a result, Doc will have the pleasure of a gut-wrenching trip to the Final Four.

Of the two jobs - coach and parent - Rivers didn’t hesitate in regard to a question about which is more difficult.

“Oh, a parent,” he said. “Easy. As a coach, you can have an impact.”

“Maybe,” cracked a media type, referencing the tribulations of the Green.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Rivers replied with a laugh. “I’ve had a hell of an impact this year.

“But (as a coach), you can call a timeout. You can do something. As a parent, you can just sit there. You basically just watch and pray a lot.”

The father did get to offer some advice when Jeremiah called the morning after the Hoyas’ win in the regional championship.

“I told him to breathe,” Doc said. “Honest to God. I told him that (yesterday) morning because he was talking a million miles an hour. I just told him to take a deep breath and enjoy it.

“Then I told him the answer is no. He said, ‘To everyone who’s going to ask you for tickets, the answer is no. Just get that out of the way.’ ”

The requests figure to be more numerous, with the Final Four in Atlanta - the place where dad spent most of his NBA career and Jeremiah spent the first six years of his existence.

Doc already has booked his trip. He’ll return to Boston following the Celtics [team stats]’ game in Philadelphia Friday night and, following a practice that may or may not take place Saturday, he’ll board a private jet (NBA employment has its privileges) for Atlanta and the 6:07 tipoff.

The duel between Georgetown center Roy Hibbert and Ohio State big man Greg Oden figures to be a classic. Asked about the matchup, Rivers bit his lip (NBA employment has its muzzles).

“I don’t even know if I can answer that,” said the coach, whose team got fined $30,000 when director of basketball operations Danny Ainge sat next to Kevin Durant’s parents at the Big 12 tournament. “Hopefully very well. Privately, I’ve had some great things to say about that, but I can’t say them. Sorry.”

And what will he say if he walks by Oden’s family?

“I’m going to boo,” he said with a chuckle.

The former Marquette star now is bathed in Hoyas blue - a color he shares with former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing Sr., whose son also rises for Georgetown. The two don’t generally sit together at the games, but they text message each other frequently. On Sunday at the Meadowlands, Rivers was with his wife and daughter.

“Probably one of the neatest experiences in my sporting life outside of playing,” he said. “And maybe even neater than that.”

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Real Tragedy

I feel bad for the UNC faithful following yesterday's game. But recent events should serve to give everyone some perspective. Most of our readers are probably aware that Jason Ray, the UNC senior who served as the Tar Heel's mascot Ramses, was struck by a car last week. Well, the AP is now reporting that Jason has died from his injuries.

It kind of makes basketball seem less important, doesn't it?

The 180 Player

For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of the Hoyas' Final Four run has been the vindication of Jonathan Wallace. All year we've heard how Georgetown couldn't make a deep tournament run because their guard-play was subpar. But the guards, especially Wallace, have been solid all season. Jon's 19 point, 7 assist performance in Sunday's game should finally silence the critics. Jonathan is a big time player who is not only physically talented, but extremely smart.

Andy Katz gives the GU guards some well-deserved love in his Around The Rim column on this morning.

By Andy Katz

Who said the Hoyas were just Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert? Jonathan Wallace's tying 3-pointer should send a strong message that the Hoyas can play with anybody's perimeter.

"I just was able to step back and knock it down," said Wallace, whose 7-of-11 shooting helped Georgetown to a stellar 57 percent from the field.

Wallace (19 points), Jessie Sapp (15 points) and Jeremiah Rivers (Doc's son), a defensive and steady presence, held their own and more against Carolina's vaunted Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington.

"It seemed people kept counting us down," Rivers said of the guards. "Everyone kept saying that our guards weren't very good. But we've been solid all year."

People "in the know" have recognized how good Wallace is all year. Jay Bilas's love affair with the Boy From 'Bama is well documented. Rick Majerus, who knows college basketball almost as well as he knows buffets, has also been singing J-Wall's praises. He refers to him as a "180 Player," because the sum of his Field-Goal Percentage, Free-Throw Percentage, and Three-Point Percentage is over 180 (it is actually 187, or at least it was as of last week). According to Majerus there may not be another 180 Player in the country. I don't know if that's true, but I'll take his word for it.

The point is, Jonathan Wallace took a big risk coming to Georgetown with very little promised to him in return. And all he has done is offer up some of the most dependable play you could ask for. I don't know what will happen in the next few games, but I'm ecstatic that Jonathan has finally gotten his chance to shine on the national stage.

Update: I wanted to add a reference to Luke Winn's article on Georgetown's win, which appears on In addition to recounting everyone's favorite story about Jeff and Tyler's visit to the Wallace family farm, it again provides great insight into Wallace's depth of character.

A Hoya Revival at the Meadowlands

The most level head I could find amid the chaos was that of Wallace, the 6-foot-1 junior guard with a very un-Georgetown like background. He was raised on an 80-acre cattle farm in rural Alabama, and was the student government president at Sparkman High School in Huntsville, before coming to Washington DC to lead the Hoyas back to prominence. Green, in his postgame interviews, recalled a trip he and Tyler Crawford took this summer to the Wallace farm this summer, where "one big, tan-and-white cow that had a loose, dangling horn and just stared at me and Tyler."

The odd man on the Hoyas' mostly urban roster, though, had hit the biggest shot of the day, losing Lawson beneath a screen and drilling a three from the left wing to tie the game at 81-81 with 31.2 seconds left. Before telling his cow tale, Green had affectionately called Wallace, who averaged 11.0 points on the season but had 19 on 7-of-11 shooting on Sunday, "the best player on the team, to me."

And so it was Wallace who, when describing that shot, did not yell or spin a yarn about envisioning it in a dream. He simply said that it came, like most of the Hoyas' other clutch shots down the stretch, within the flow of their offense. "That's a practice shot," he said. "I shoot that shot every day."

* * *

In the tunnel afterward, Wallace made his way toward the Arena's exit without as much as a whoop or a holler, carrying his duffel bag and happily wearing his Final Four hat. Big John, who was waiting for his son to emerge, stopped Wallace and asked him, why, in the postgame press conference, he hadn't told the reporters, "I've been hitting big shots like that all year!"

Wallace shrugged his shoulders, and offered a hushed reply that seemed to appease the iconic former coach. Such boasting would have been uncharacteristic for the steady pilot of the Hoyas' unstoppable offense. And besides, he had more pressing things to do than bragging -- like catching the team bus outside, returning to DC, and preparing for the madness that awaits in Atlanta.

Andy Katz on Monica Thompson

Monica Thompson's battle grounds husband, Hoyas

When it was over, Monica Thompson could have climbed up the ladder to trim down a piece of the East Regional championship net. She had every right to have a few inches of the twine. Her strength, her will and her support meant that much to Georgetown's run to the Final Four.

The past two years, John Thompson III hasn't said much about his wife's battle with breast cancer. But don't think for a second that he hasn't been dealing with more stress and pressure than anyone else coaching in this field.

Thompson III somehow has balanced coaching the Hoyas to the Big East regular-season and tournament titles and now to the East Regional crown, while also helping with his wife's battle and raising three children under the age of nine.

"John has done an incredible job of balancing and keeping everything in perspective," said Monica, with one of her children, giddy with excitement, hanging around her leg while she held another. "I was diagnosed in November [2005] before the first game, and my whole treatment was the entire season and I finished my chemo during the [2006] NCAA Tournament.

"He was there, he was at every single chemo treatment," Monica said. "We're able to do it through the support of friends and family and the belief in God."

Monica said she feels great.

"I'm doing well and I'm really enjoying every moment of this," she said.

Monica said she went through the whole battery of treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and more. And throughout every day, there was John, never shirking his responsibility as a father and a husband to have more time with his team.

"This game was indicative of how it has been throughout the whole season, and I would say that it's a testament to John and his character and his personality and the way he is and how he never, never gives up," Monica said.
. . . .

"She's enabled me to balance, and that's the truth," JTIII said. "That's the answer. I said it last year at our banquet that she's allowed me to do my job and fortunately we've been doing OK."
How has he done it?

"I don't know, I don't know the answer to that," he said. "We just work hard and she's allowed me to do my job. I've been lucky, fortunate and blessed by her strength. She's tough, she's strong, she's a fighter and that's allowed me to do my job."

This past November, Thompson briefly discussed how difficult Monica's struggles were for their family. But then, like now, he didn't want to discuss too much. Earlier Sunday, John Jr. commended his son for balancing his life and his daughter-in-law's strength. Big John has helped out as much as he can, too, with the children. This has been a true family effort to support Monica and the children while helping this program run flawlessly and at a championship level the past two seasons.
. . . .

"I'm doing well now, my health is great," Monica said. "And my family is enjoying this moment."

Ewing Lives Up To Legacy

Hoyas Find More History in the Making

Ewing's basket off a missed Green shot in the final minutes helped draw the Hoyas within one, and his effort on the defensive end embodied Georgetown's pressure against North Carolina, which had no answer for the Hoyas' zone defense the final seven minutes of the game. Ewing wept for joy afterward, saying: "I had to let out. All those years people said I wouldn't live up to my father. And to accomplish something he did in college, to go to the Final Four and hopefully win a national championship, I just lost it when I saw him and my family."

M Street, March 25, 2007

Shouts of Pride Echo in Georgetown

The pressure of one of the most tense games of the NCAA basketball tournament was released all over M Street last night.

About 1,000 people filled the streets of Georgetown, many honking horns and screaming, a few standing on the tops of parked cars.

Shop owners stood in their doorways, cheering them on.

"All of a sudden, everybody ran out of their dorms," said Katie Abrams, 19, a freshman who participated. Some students lighted fireworks out of their dorm windows.

Update: Here is some video of the students setting off fireworks and singing the fight song in front of the White House.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Big Winner Allen Iverson

It was revealed during the commentary of the Nuggets-Cavaliers game on ESPN that Allen Iverson and George Karl made a friendly wager before tonight's game. Thanks to the tremendous effort by the Hoyas, AI's wallet is $500 fatter.

Bill Bradley Rooting for Georgetown

Bill Bradley was on Meet the Press this morning and at the end of the interview, Russert pressed him for a college basketball prediction. IPB in particular will be glad to hear that Bradley's response was, "My heart is for Georgetown."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

GU Line Update - Regional Finals

Some early lines have been posted for GU-UNC -- the Hoyas are starting out as a 3.5 point underdog and the preliminary over/under for the game is 140 points.

We also have updated odds for the eventual champion:

Florida 5-2
Kansas 7-2
North Carolina 9-2
Georgetown 6-1
UCLA 6-1
Ohio State 8-1
Memphis 10-1
Oregon 15-1

Point spreads and odds provided for recreational purposes only

CBS Announcers are Idiots

They tarnished Green's shot by claiming that he traveled, and they said it as if it was not even open to debate. There seems to be unanimity among those who know the NCAA rules that this was not even close to a travel. Here are some comments from referee forum on

"I am so tired of these announcers who don't know the rule. They keep talking about how his left foot was the pivot foot and that as soon as he lifted it, he traveled. Why won't these networks just hire an official that knows the rules? Drives me crazy. It was mainly Seth Davis."

"As soon as they started saying that, I started yelling, cursing, and throwing soft objects at my TV."

"This freaking ridiculous guys, the announcers are all idiots. I knocked over my water and spilt a bowl of ice cream on this one. GREAT play by the kid, GREAT no call by the officials. The reason its a no call is because there is NO CALL TO BE MADE. This is just driving me nuts."

"During March Madness, CBS ought to do what NBC does with golf. The golf coverage always has David Fay available to explain a ruling at the U.S. Open. Why not have a retired official available on the set for this sort of thing???? It would help explain these sort of situations to all who watch on television that have no idea when it comes to the rules of the game."

"It really favored the "up and under" move that the women use quite a bit that the fans always scream "walk" when i see it. But I think that he pushed off the right, stepped with the left and shot.....I am presently listening to the idiotic announcers on ESPN act like they are experts. once again, "ugly"="travel" in the minds of the uneducated, especially Doug Gottleib. That little snot nose pretty boy doesn't know crap...."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Billy Packer Beatdown

While I can't disagree with some of Billy Packer's comments during the game, was I the only one who was hoping that a loose ball would come hit him in the face? If I had a $ for every time he criticized JTIII's deployment of Hibbert. . . .

I propose that GU (who I believe was lucky to survive) hunt down Billy Packer & give him a giant wedgie.

Kudos to Ewing, Jr for stepping up big. Although the win was great, I was hoping his last jumper would go down & make him the hero.

On a personal note, I would have been a very bitter dude if I had to watch Vandy play Sunday.

Wise on Wallace

Mike Wise has a great article about Jonathan Wallace in today's Washington Post. It's one of those pieces that makes you proud of the team and the players that the team is comprised of.

From Farm to Hilltop, Wallace Ascends
By Mike Wise
Friday, March 23, 2007; Page E01

It's not the recruiting pitch an all-state player wants to hear: "You're not going to be on scholarship and you will never play." But that's exactly how John Thompson III enticed Jonathan Wallace to follow him to Georgetown three years ago: a promise of nothing.

What else was he going to tell Wallace? That a farmer's son from rural Alabama, whom Thompson had originally recruited to play at Princeton, was suddenly starting point guard material for a program hoping to be nationally ranked again?

That a keep-to-himself, Southern kid who grew up on an 80-acre cattle farm would follow in the footsteps of the District's John Duren; the Bronx's Fred Brown; Baltimore's Kevin Braswell; Hampton's Allen Iverson; and every other floor general from a metropolitan area who played right into the mean-mugging Hoya mystique?

That a student government president bound for an Ivy League education was going to stand out athletically in the Big East? To fill the kid's head with those dreams would have been worse than disingenuous; it would be just plain cruel.

Basketball on the Hilltop

A topic that Jester touched upon earlier has been further expounded upon by Mike Hume in the Falls Church News-Press: the impact of winning basketball on the students of Georgetown. When the VB Boys entered the Hilltop in 1996, the men's basketball team was like an NBA squad appended on to the student body. I recall a student noting how, in the year pior when the Hoyas went to the Elite Eight, there wasn't all that much excitement among the students. It is clear that this cannot be said of the support for the Hoyas under JTIII. Students ticket sales are at an all-time high and spontaneous happenings, like the second incarnation of Thompson Town in front of McDonough are a testament to the new found student spirit. While much of the apathy students felt for Georgetown basketball can be linked to a presumption that the Hoyas would and should always win a lot of basketball games and anything less was uninteresting and unworthy of support, I think a great deal of it can be attributed to the lack of interaction between the players and the students, as well as the coaches and the students. The recent events of Thompson Town illustrate the shift in culture beautifully and show that JTIII and his team are building a foundation for lasting success. Just imagine what an on-campus area would do.....

School Spirit Makes March a Time to Remember at GU

During the Craig Esherick Era of the early millennium, The Hilltop was virtually bereft of school spirit. . . . Student spirit organizations tried in vain to rally their classmates, but with limited results. Now, almost three years after John Thompson III took over the program, comes this scene from McDonough Gymnasium: With Sweet 16 tickets for the East Rutherford, N.J. bracket being made available Tuesday morning (okay, so I guess you can’t entirely forget about the Sweet 16 appearance), approximately 90 students crowded in to camp out by McDonough Monday night. Over the course of the evening, juniors Tyler Crawford and Jeff Green (guess you can’t completely forget about the Big East Player of the Year either) stopped by to thank the students for their support and posed with them for photos. A little while later, Crawford returned with Patrick Ewing Jr., who joined several students for a game of Horse on the courts outside the gym. Rumor has it he even resisted throwing down one of his signature reverse baseline jams, sticking to jump shots instead. Tuesday morning the students rose to the sight of John Thompson III hauling in a load of 150 McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches. Better than waking up with that creepy Burger King in your bed, if you ask me. Georgetown players interacting with students during the basketball season? A Naismith Coach of the Year finalist turned drive-thru delivery man? So much for Hoya Paranoia. “They’re still campus celebrities. When you see a basketball player, heads turn. But you see them eating at Leo’s [Georgetown’s main cafeteria] with non-basketball players and at parties with non-basketball players,” says Bailey Heaps, the Senior Sports Editor of The Hoya, Georgetown’s newspaper of record, who was in attendance at McDonough. “Stuff like Monday night, it really fits with the character of guys like Jeff and Tyler.”
. . . .

This isn’t to say that the Pre-JTIII Hoyas was “the wrong way,” but this team is much more media and fan friendly than some of the teams of yesteryear. These aren’t your father’s Hoyas. These aren’t even your older sibling’s Hoyas. And that openness, that unity this team is creating on Georgetown’s campus, is one of the things that makes college athletics so pleasurable to saps like me. From the minute Thompson III took the position, there was a resurrected sense of community. He rekindled the memory of the “We Are Georgetown” chant at his inaugural press conference, then led the cheer himself, as he cut down the nets at Madison Square Garden after the Big East Tournament. (Okay, so I guess you can’t entirely forget about that either.)
The latter scene played out in front of a boisterous contingent of Georgetown students and fans that traveled to New York for the tournament. There was a time not too long ago when the majority of students that fashioned themselves as basketball fans wouldn’t even make the manageable trek to then-MCI Center. Now, in analyzing the crowd factor at the East Rutherford Regional, states Georgetown boasts “one of the more dedicated student sections in the country, so the Hoyas should have an advantage in fan support.” To those that have followed the program over recent years, it is astounding to see those words in print. Credit undoubtedly goes to renewed (and infinitely more effective) efforts by the university’s spirit organizations and other promotional efforts, but the main acclaim must be handed to John Thompson III.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update on Jessie Sapp's Sister


Steveasha, then 13, was the innocent victim of a random shooting in a Harlem playground. The Hoyas were scheduled to play Florida the next day in the Sweet 16 game when Sapp learned his sister was in Lenox Hill Hospital. His first thought was to fly home and be by the side of his sister, who had dreams of becoming a forensic scientist or a model. But Steveasha, who plays basketball at Harlem Zone Promise Academy, wouldn't hear of it. Although barely able to speak because of the bullet that had entered her back and existed through her jaw, Steveasha made it clear to her family she wanted Jessie to remain with the Hoyas. "It means a lot to me to see Jessie out there playing,'' Steveasha told The Post in her first interview since the shooting. "I want him to make something of his life, and I want to make something of my life. To see him playing at a school like Georgetown is the one of the best things that ever happened to me."

The attractive, 5-7 young woman with a model's figure, who still must undergo two more oral surgeries, remains a little too self-conscious about her missing two front teeth to be seen in front of thousands of people cheering for her brother.

A Few Moments Worth Revisiting

As we get geared up for the start of Sweet Sixteen play this evening, I thought it would be a good time to revisit our last performance. Here are the official NCAA highlights of the Hoyas win over BC--including Jeff's and PE2's fantastic dunks.

While watching this clips I was struck by two things. The first was how late into the game BC led. I had almost forgotten how tense I was towards the beginning of the second half. Second, I can't believe how much you hear Pat Ewing Jr.'s name called out when you watch these highlights. I think it's fair to say that Pat may have been the difference in the game.

With that in mind, here's another look at that dunk!

And just so Jeff doesn't think that I've forgotten him, here's another look at his one-handed masterpiece.

Esherick Lauds 2007 Hoyas

Ousted Esherick proud of his Hoyas

The coach who persuaded Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert to come to Georgetown can only watch from a distance and wonder what might have been. While the two juniors have led the Hoyas back to the national stage and become arguably the most popular students on campus, the man who recruited them was chased away three years ago this month as students and alumni were on the verge of revolt. Craig Esherick was fired on March 16, 2004, the day before a protest rally was scheduled to take place in front of the university president’s office. Organizers, upset over the Hoyas’ worst season in 31 years, had collected some 3,700 signatures on a petition calling for the coach’s dismissal.

Coaching Staff Turnover

It looks like both Broadus and Johnson will be gone. I wonder who will replace them. Broadus, as our main recruiter, is a huge loss, but it is good for JTIII to build his coaching tree. Hopefully, that is the extent of the coaching losses for the season. Burke leaving would be huge. We can't have too much turnover.

Georgetown assistant to coach at Binghamton

Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus will be the next coach at Binghamton, a source told CBS on Wednesday. An official announcement is expected Monday.

From the Newark Star Ledger:

The hot name to take over for [Joe] Scott [as Princeton head coach] will be Sydney Johnson, the former Princeton point guard who led the Tigers to their monumental NCAA win over UCLA in 1996 as the team captain and helped them back to the NCAA Tournament the following season. Johnson is currently an assistant coach to former Princeton coach John Thompson III at Georgetown, which is playing in the NCAA's Sweet 16 Friday night against Vanderbilt at the Continental Airlines Arena.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Line Update - Regional Semis

As we head into Round 3, the Hoyas are a 7.5 favorite over Vanderbilt. They are currently going out at 8-5 to win the East region and 9-2 to win the tournament. Interestingly, most books have UNC as a slight favorite to win the East, but Georgetown is getting the same or slightly better odds as UNC to win the whole thing.

Point spreads and odds provided for recreational purposes only

Why we are now getting so many McDonald's AAs....

John Thompson III buys Egg McMuffins

Here is something that I would've paid to see: Georgetown Coach John Thompson III standing in line at McDonald's earlier this week and asking to buy dozens of McMuffins. Georgetown students camped out at McDonough Arena on Monday night in order to be first in line when tickets for the East regional games went on sale at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. You'll recall that they've done this before, last month when Big East tickets went on sale. This time, the most eager ones started queuing up around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, shortly after Kim Frank, the director of marketing and ticket operations, sent out an e-mail with ticket information.
(The athletic department acquired 1,250 tickets for the game, and it is up to the school to determine how they are allocated. From that pool of tickets, Frank and her staff have to take care of everyone from the coaches' and players' families to the big donors to the students. There are no comp tickets, she said. Roughly 15 percent of the tickets were set aside for students, who will be seated together inside Continental Airlines Arena.) Anyway, Thompson wanted to do something nice for them. "Our fans, our students, have been great since I've been here," Thompson said. "It might not be good for their health, but I stopped by McDonald's and brought a whole bunch of food for everyone. They seemed happy. To sit out there all night just to get a ticket to cheer us on, that means a lot." Channeling the Bog, I asked Thompson what he bought. "I had a smorgasbord," he said. "We had Egg McMuffins, we had Sausage McMuffins, and we had hotcakes and sausage."

Hoyas MUST Win on Friday Night

Not that I don't want GU to win for the simple joy of seeing them advance, but, I now have an economic interest in their victory Friday night. I snatched up 2 tickets on E-Bay last night to Sunday's matchup & I'm not going to be thrilled about seeing a UNC / USC v. Vandy game.

I have the simple wish of being able to watch GU earn their first final 4 berth in many, many years.

What's the scoop on Vandy? Reason tells me that this game will not be the push over game such as the victory in November.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hoyas 7th Most Popular Team According to Harris Poll

This bodes well for both ticket and apparel sales.

As March Madness heads into the Sweet Sixteen, one of the top-seeded teams, the University of North Carolina (UNC), is named the nation's favorite basketball team by the latest Harris Poll. The No. 1 team for the past four years, Duke, not only took an early exit from the tournament this year, but dropped to No. 2 in the Harris Poll as well. Ohio State, another top seeded team, moves up one spot and is now No. 3. These are some of the results of a Harris Poll conducted online between March 6 and 13, 2007 by Harris Interactive(R) among a nationwide sample of2,223 U.S. adults, 565 of whom follow college basketball. Rounding out the top-five favorite teams are the Wildcats of Kentucky(No. 4), who return to the list after dropping out of the top-10 last year,and the Bruins of UCLA (No. 5). The remaining teams on the top-10 list are Texas (No. 6), Georgetown (No. 7), Michigan (tied for No. 8), Indiana (tied for No. 8) and Syracuse (No. 10). Only one school on our list (Syracuse) is not in the NCAA tournament.Of the remaining nine, there are two teams seeded one, two teams seeded two, and then one each of a four, six, seven, eight and nine seed. Four of the top-10 will be playing this week in the Sweet Sixteen (UNC, Ohio, UCLA,and Georgetown). Georgetown is returning to the list after a 10-year absence (last on in1996) while Michigan also returns, last having been on the list in 2003. Three teams have dropped out of the top-10 this year: Illinois, Connecticut and Villanova.

Did somebody say Jay Bilas loves the Hoyas?


Georgetown's Jeff Green: Early in the year, there were a lot of question about Green's desire and motor. Was it the system that made him passive or was it his personality? Well, it very well could be neither. Green is just a sophomore, and he has blossomed into a star who can carry a team. Green simply knows how to play, and he makes winning plays on both ends of the floor. He is athletic, can handle and pass like a guard and can guard multiple positions. Green is one of the 10 best players in America, and there is no question about that in my mind. To top it off, Green is a really nice, sharp and polished young man. In fact, I have been incredibly impressed by the entire Georgetown team, which is made up of nothing but quality young men who are a credit to the game. In Winston-Salem, N.C., the Hoyas walked into the building in suits and ties, and every head turned toward a graceful, impressive-looking group. Once you sit down with them, the Hoyas are pleasant, bright and engaging young people. After having been around the program this season, it is clear that Georgetown is winning and is doing it the right way.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

SI Profile of Mr. Chris Wright

Can you just imagine what this team will be like next year if Green stays? (Damn CBS writers are encouraging him to go:

The next answer
Hoyas recruit carries confidence, energy of Iverson

"The bigger the game, the better he plays," says St. John's coach Paul DeStefano. "He can take over a game at any time. I've never had a player as explosive as he is."

Anyone in attendance at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., in January can verify DeStefano's praise. There, Wright led St. John's to a narrow 85-81 win over St. Andrew's (Barrington, R.I.).

His highlight-reel performance started on the game's first possession, when Wright made a 35-foot jumper to beat the shot clock. He went on to score 39 points without committing a turnover, adding five boards, five assists, two steals and a block. At a tourney filled with top-15 recruits such as Notre Dame Prep forward Michael Beasley, DeMatha guard Austin Freeman and Towson Catholic forward Donte Greene, all eyes were on Wright.

"I definitely like being that guy, I like having the role of being the guy teammates go to," says Wright, who was earlier named Most Outstanding Player at the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in December. "You can't be afraid to take the shots. If you miss them, you miss them. But if you make them, then everyone's going to love you."

With bravado like that, it's no surprise that Wright is often compared to Georgetown alum Allen Iverson. And yes, like the perennial NBA All-Star, Wright has both the confidence and skills to slash his way to the basket or sink an outside shot. But it's his ability to take over a game that has fans seeing shades of A.I. in Wright's play.

(Before the IPB freaks out, Chris Wright carries a 3.4 GPA and has never been in any disciplinary trouble. The comparison is strictly regarding basketball ability and attitude.)

GU Line Update

As we begin Round 2, the Hoyas are a 9 point favorite to beat Boston College and 6-1 to win the tournament.

Point spread info. provided for recreational purposes only.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jay Bilas

In the past I've thought that Jay Bilas is a curse. It seems that whenever he's part of the crew covering the Hoyas they end up having a correndous game. Well, if that's the case, then we're really screwed. Because Jay is now picking us to win the whole enchilada. That's right, Jay thinks the Hoyas are going to be national champions.

I've been a little concerned over the past few days that Georgetown seems to be a trendy Final Four pick. It's not that I don't like the Hoyas getting some love. It's just that March Madness rarely turns out like the prognosticators predict. That being said, the "experts" at are not quite as high on the Hoyas as the experts at Maybe that works to our advantage?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. All I have to say is, Hoyas, "beware of the Ides of March!" Let's not look past Belmont.

Red and Jeremiah

Great article from this morning's Boston Herald about the unofficial role Red played in recruting Jeremiah Rivers and Jeremiah's encounters with Red. This piece is further illustration of the tremendous influence Red had on the game. The entire article merited posting. Please enjoy....

On a side note, got to love how Rivers doesn't remember any of the actual converstions w/Red. Let's hope he doesn't have the same problem when JTIII speaks.

Doc’s kid took Red’s advice to heart
By Mark Murphy
Thursday, March 15, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Jeremiah Rivers doesn’t remember his actual conversations with Red Auerbach so much as the intensity.

From the first time his father, Celtics [team stats] coach Doc Rivers, introduced him to the late team president three years ago, Jeremiah Rivers held on to each word as if he might lose one valuable piece of wisdom.

“I can’t remember one particular conversation with him, only because I just tried to focus so hard on everything he said,” Rivers said yesterday. “I didn’t want to miss anything. I just remember trying to pay attention to each word he said.”

Rivers is a freshman backup point guard at Georgetown, the NCAA East Regional’s second seed, which plays No. 15 seed Belmont in a first-round game today at Joel Coliseum.

Georgetown can actually thank Auerbach for taking part in the recruiting effort.
“The first month my dad got hired I went up to Boston, and (Auerbach) was sitting there in (director of basketball operations) Danny Ainge’s office smoking a cigar,” he said. “I knew who he was, and I had heard about everything he had done for the game, so I was kind of shocked to just see him sitting there like that. Then my dad asked, ‘Do you know who this is?’ and all I could say was ‘Sure, of course, I know who he is.’ ”

Auerbach got right to the point.

“I remember him asking me where I was going to play,” said Rivers, then a high school junior being actively recruited by the Hoyas. “When I told him I was thinking of Georgetown, he told me that he lived right there in (Washington) and that he would be seeing me all the time.”
As such, Rivers discovered that he had just joined two distinct branches of the Auerbach family - the Celtics, through his father, and Georgetown, through the legacy of former Hoyas coach John Thompson and his son, current coach John Thompson III.

Though wheelchair-bound, Auerbach was true to his word. He maintained his presence at Georgetown practices.

“I could go and talk to him about anything,” Rivers said. “I was still kind of shocked every time I talked to him just because he was a person who had done so much for the game. He was just so extremely smart. I don’t think he had lost anything because of his age at all. He was very alive.
“That didn’t surprise me, because you could tell that he’s a teacher. That’s what it is with someone like him.”

Rivers subsequently became part of a fitting Georgetown tribute after Auerbach died last October. The team, dressed to the man in suits and ties, filed into Auerbach’s wake two days later.

“My dad was the one who told me that he died, and I could tell he was really upset,” Rivers said. “Coach Thompson Sr. was there. I saw Bill Russell. (Robert) Parish was there. There were so many legends there, but it wasn’t a sad situation. Everyone was just there talking. It was a more a celebration of what he’s done than anything.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Barker Does It Again

Barker Davis's writing about the Hoyas has been fantastic this year. I am constantly impressed by his insight. In today's Washington Times he turns his attention to an aspect of the Hoyas' success that has hitherto gone unexamined.

This key component of the Georgetown team has worked hard all year. He's endured abuse from opposing clubs and even our own fans (including the knuckleheads who sit behind me). But he's been training hard. It shows in his performance. He's making strides and it's making us a more formidable competitor. Of course, I'm talking about our male cheerleader.

Calling men of good cheer
By Barker Davis
March 14, 2007

They are the tape-wristed polyester warriors of the college sports world.

A dominating presence along the baseline or behind the bench, they take over timeouts with a daunting combination of megaphone-wielding zeal and compulsive hand clapping.

They are the men at the bottom of the on-court pyramid and the off-court machometer. Meet the male cheerleader -- easily abused, often misunderstood, always spirited.

"We're that guy on the court doing that thing that's a little bit out there that not everybody wants to do," said Georgetown freshman cheerleader Eric Cusimano at last week's Big East tournament. "I think the best kind of cheerleader would be a guy kind of like Will Farrell, somebody who's not going to take himself too seriously and just wants to have fun with it."

Now that I know that his inspiration is Will Farrell it all makes more sense. I knew that the awkward way he runs out on to the Verizon Center floor with that huge flag, waving it frantically and occassionally hitting an opponent (as well as a Hoya or two) with its billowing furls, couldn't be serious. I get it. It's supposed to be comical.

Why We Should Not Overlook Belmont

I just spent a few minutes on-line and found the following two pieces on Belmont:

The first mentions Belmont's 3 pt shooting proficiency. As we know, guarding the three has not been our strong suit this year.

Wonder if the Belmont coach will deliberately go small (check out their roster--they actually have a few fairly big guys) in an attempt to neutralize Roy and take him out of the game.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Don't Want To Be A Downer...


I think the Hoyas's window of opportunity may be closing quickly. Georgetown has been getting a lot of accolades. In fact, Georgetown seems to be a trendy pick to make the Final Four and the championship game, but alas, not the final (except for the love from Mike Wilbon).

But all this attention is going to have some negative reprecussions. As the Hoyas' stock rises, Jeff Green's stock soars. I think it's becoming increasingly clear that our days with Jeff may be numbered. I mean, it's gotten to the point where people are actually advocating for him to leave (thanks, Sports Guy, you jerk). now projects Jeff as the 7th overall selection in this year's draft.

  • 1. Greg Oden 7-0 250 C Ohio St. Fr. (Memphis)
  • 2. Kevin Durant 6-10 220 SF Texas Fr. (Celtics)
  • 3. Brandan Wright 6-10 210 PF UNC Fr. (Charlotte)
  • 4. Al Horford 6-9 245 PF Florida Jr. (Milwaukee)
  • 5. Julian Wright 6-8 225 SF Kansas So. (Phoenix)
  • 6. Joakim Noah 6-11 230 PF Florida Jr. (Philadelphia)
  • 7. Jeff Green 6-8 235 SF Georgetown Jr. (Seatle)
  • 8. Yi Jianlian 7-0 230 PF China 1987 (Portland)
  • 9. Hasheem Thabeet 7-3 265 C UConn Fr. (Minnesota)
  • 10. Al Thornton 6-8 220 SF/PF Florida St. Sr. (New Orleans)
The good news is that we still seem to have good odds of keeping Roy. Yahoo! Sports ran an article on March 11, 2007 where he again declares his intention to stay for his senior year.

Blast from the past
By Adrian Wojnarowski

...He will be a lottery pick millionaire in the NBA, and that could happen as early as this spring, if the spirit so moved him. But he shook his head, and said, “No … No,” on Saturday night. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant can come and go in college basketball, but Hibbert didn’t need those Georgetown students at Madison Square Garden to serenade him with, “One more year, one more year.”

“I’m a four-year player,” Hibbert said Saturday night, and it was easy to forget that someone legitimately asking him about his NBA Draft intentions would’ve once sounded like pure foolery three years ago. But Hibbert has a vision, a vision laid out by Ewing, Mourning and Mutombo, and if Georgetown was good enough for them, it’s good enough for him. ...

To be honest, staying at GU is in Roy's best interests too. doesn't have him in their top 60 picks in this year's draft (which is crazy when you consider that Thabeet is projected as a top 10 pick and Gray still falls in the top 25). In their 2008 Mock Draft Roy is currently projected as the 17th overall pick.

The really interesting thing, however, is that Roy isn't predicted to be the first Hoya picked in that 2008 mock. DaJuan Summers is on the list at number 10.
  • 1. Derrick Rose 6-4 200 PG Memphis HSSr.
  • 2. Michael Beasley 6-9 235 PF K.St. HSSr.
  • 3. OJ Mayo 6-5 210 PG USC HSSr.
  • 4. Eric Gordon 6-4 220 SG Indiana HSSr.
  • 5. Darrell Arthur 6-9 230 PF Kansas Fr.
  • 6. Darren Collison 6-1 170 PG UCLA So.
  • 7. Chase Budinger 6-7 190 SG Arizona Fr.
  • 8. Artem Zabelin 7-1 210 SF/PF Russia 1988
  • 9. Nicolas Batum 6-8 210 SG France 1988
  • 10. DaJuan Summers 6-8 225 SF G'town Fr.
  • 11. Javaris Crittenton 6-5 195 PG Ga.Tech Fr.
  • 12. Wayne Ellington 6-4 195 SG UNC Fr.
  • 13. Danilo Gallinari 6-8 210 SF Italy 1988
  • 14. Jerryd Bayless 6-3 182 PG Arizona HSSr.
  • 15. Kevin Love 6-9 260 PF UCLA HRSr.
  • 16. Mike Conley 6-1 180 PG Ohio St. Fr.
  • 17. Roy Hibbert 7-2 278 C Georgetown Jr.
So folks, the moral of the story is that the Hoyas might as well just run the table this year. It would be nice if we could wait for Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, but the time to act is now.

Go Hoyas!

The Scene From The Leo

As some one who lived through the dark days when Victor Paige was the best thing that the Hoyas had to offer, it's great to see the Renaissance that is occurring on the Hilltop. And that doesn't stop with what's happening on the hardwood. As that crazy voice in the cornfield told Kevin Costner, "if you build it, they will come." JTIII is building a contender and the student support has come.

Here's the scene from inside The Leo when the Hoyas' seed was announced on selection Sunday. I wish things could have been like this when I was living on campus.

Durant in Celtic green?

This blurb was posted on ESPN's page 2....wish I had caught that game.

"Funniest live shot: Danny Ainge sitting next to Durant's mother and grandmother during Saturday's Texas-Oklahoma State game with one of those "I swear, this was just a coincidence!" looks on his face. That was like a deleted scene from the "Blue Chips" DVD.

(By the way, instead of scouting top prospects and buttering up their families, Ainge should be back in Boston convincing Paul Pierce that it's OK to pretend he has plantar fasciitis for the next five weeks.)"

If Durant and Oden both go pro and Boston secures the top pick in the draft, Boston will face a very difficult decision. In some ways, I'd almost rather see the Celtics wind up with the #2 pick so the decision will effectively be made for them.

On a side note, I believe Ainge's son is the starting PG for BYU, which will presumably square off against Oden and Ohio St. if BYU squeaks past Xavier.

Big East Champions Highlight Video

Hoyas Win Big East Championship 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007


Does anyone have some time to do some digging and post a scouting report on Belmont?

Also, if anyone is able to find the approximate game times of Georgetown's first round and potential second round games, it would be great if you could post them.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Exercising the Demons

Great win and despite a second half tightening, I am so glad we emerged victorious. Villanova proved as tough as I'd thought they'd be.

All I can say we should be very thankful the college game is only 40 minutes because had that game been the length of an NBA game, we would have lost. No question about it in my mind. That's how much of a momentum shift there was from the first to second half.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


As I suspected, we will be facing Villanova tomorrow, a squad which obviously gave us fits both times we played them. I am not looking forward to this game, not at all.

For a #1 seed, we have a very unfavorable draw, especially if we somehow emerge victorious tomorrow and Syracuse beats ND.

Jeff Green Is the Big East's Player of the Year

The coaches of the Big East named our very own Jeff Green player of the year yesterday. Below is some of the media coverage of Jeff's accomplishment.

Green named best in Big East
By Barker Davis
The Washington Times
March 7, 2007

NEW YORK -- In the end, Jeff Green's unselfishness is precisely what netted him the league's top individual honor....
"I'm completely surprised," said Green, a 6-9, 235-pound forward from Hyattsville. "When I came to Georgetown, I never thought I could receive this type of award. It's a great honor for both me, Coach [John Thompson III] and our team. It means a lot because of the way it happened with us winning the regular season. We're so focused on this week and the postseason that it hasn't really sunk in yet. But it's something maybe I'll be able to sit back and tell my kids about one day."<

Green Is Big East Player Of Year
By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 7, 2007; Page E01

NEW YORK, March 6 -- Jeff Green may have been the only person affiliated with Georgetown basketball who was surprised by his selection as Big East player of the year. The versatile junior forward, after all, was the best player and the leading scorer on the team that won the regular season championship. His own coach, John Thompson III, said Tuesday night that Green "should've won it, and I'm glad he won it."
But in the days leading up to the awards ceremony, whenever his teammates asked him if he thought he was going to win, which would make him the first Hoya to earn the honor since Alonzo Mourning in 1992, Green said no.
"I told them I'd rather have Roy [Hibbert, Georgetown's 7-foot-2 center] get it. Because Roy has improved every year that he's been with us," Green said. "It was a big surprise to me that I got this award, because I was really hoping that Roy got it."

Hoyas' Green Top Player
By Tommy Hine
Hartford Courant Staff Writer
March 7, 2007

NEW YORK -- He thrives on filling each positive column on the stat sheet, a big man who takes as much pride in his assists as points.
It was that versatility that helped Georgetown's Jeff Green win Big East player of the year Tuesday on the eve of the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
"I like to have a well-rounded game," Green said at the Big East awards banquet at the Grand Hyatt. "I don't like going to games thinking I want to score 30 points just to build my point average. I want to have at least five assists every game, eight rebounds, maybe 15 points here and there. That shows a complete player.",0,15088.story?coll=hc-headlines-sports

This one might be my favorite headline:

Demetris Nichols Denied Big East Player Of The Year

There's nothing in the story that is particularly interesting, I just like the hometown bias.