The Van Buren Boys

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

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

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