The Van Buren Boys

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

Monday, April 30, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Sims is a Hoya

Rapidly improving Baltimore big man, Henry Sims has committed to Georgetown. At 6-10, Sims is best known for his tremendous outside shot and passing ability. He has been focusing on his low post moves, which have improved dramatically over the last year. Those who follow the prep circuit also say he has all of the essentials to be a star in college--runs the floor well, can rebound, and block shots. The big strike against him is that he is very very skinny and needs to live in the weight room during his senior year of high school. Rivals ranks him 57th nationally and Scout has him at 54. Kudos to JTIII for bringing in another good one. The Sims, Braswell, Clark line up is formidable and the Hoyas are currently mentioned by 3 top 10 recruits. Supposedly, JTIII also has an in-home with Greg Monroe, the consensus #1 recruit in the country. With likely 2 ships left for 2008, the Hoyas can really target the super-elite recruits in 2008 and hopefully land one of them.

Baltimore star picks Georgetown over Terps
Maryland fans are already pointing the finger at Gary Williams and his staff for not landing Mount St. Joseph center Henry Sims, who gave a commitment to Georgetown last night. Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey tells it differently, though, and said today it was no fault of Maryland's coaching staff for not being able to lure Sims to College Park. "It was a very tough decision," Clatchey said. "It came down to Maryland, Virginia and Georgetown. He just felt like that was the right fit for him. "They (Maryland) worked extremely hard," he said. "They were active. I wouldn’t fault their effort at all." Clatchey pointed out that Georgetown will eventually lose three of its frontcourt players, making room for an incoming member of the 2008 recruiting class like Sims. Maryland has already brought in Dino Gregory, Braxton Dupree and Shane Walker. So the bottom line is this: Maryland lost a Baltimore recruit to neighboring Georgetown. Granted, it doesn't sound good, but if fans are questioning the effort of this one, Clatchey says don't. "Maryland is very active and definitely pursued him just as hard as the other schools."

And they talk about Hoya Paranoia. Are you kidding me? It is not like every player in Baltimore is destined to play for the turtles. Georgetown is not much farther from Baltimore than College Park. Oh yeah and we went to the Final Four last year. Georgetown has JTIII. Maryland has Sweaty Gary. If you were coming out of high school, where would you rather play? (And you have to think that DeJaun was talking up GU to his fellow Ballmer native.)

Finally, here are some answers from a recent Q&A the Baltimore Sun did with Sims.

Q&A // Henry Sims, Mount St. Joseph, basketball
What areas of your game need improvement?
I'll work on shooting, ball-handling, shooting off the dribble, defense, agility. I want to be more than a back-to-the-basket player.
Can you talk about your father, Henry Sims Sr.?
Growing up, I just had my mother because my father died two months before I was born. Early on, I thought every kid only had a mother. But then, when I was 3, she sat me down and told me the whole story -- that my father was the same person in terms of his personality -- that I was. When I was about 7 or 8, the pictures I saw of him started to appear in my dreams. I got really sensitive about it.
Did that affect your relationship with your stepfather?
At about 8 or 9, when my stepfather first came into the picture, I was rebellious. But I grew to love him and call him my father. In my heart, there's still a hole, but I play for my biological father and I pray for him before every game. I pray that he sees me and that he's proud of me.,0,1074218.story?coll=bal-utility-highschoolsp

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Random Attorney

While I must admit that I was surprised that Wick ended up in law school, the attached bio on this guy was much more wacky & nearly floored me. Before I tell anybody who this is, I'm curious if anybody else recognizes him. (Hint - no wonder he ended up with a job as I imagine his prior career must not have set him up)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Former Hoyas Hoops Star Courted by Presidential Hopefuls

The Courting of General Jones
Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have at least one thing in common on the foreign-policy front. His name is Gen. James Jones. Gen. Jones is a freshly retired Marine Corps general who stands 6-foot-5, speaks fluent French and served until December as supreme allied commander in Europe. He says he thinks that the troops should stay in Iraq but that the U.S. should close the Guantanamo military prison "tomorrow." He advocates engagement with friends and enemies alike. And, more to the point, he pledges allegiance to no political party. All of which has made Gen. Jones one of Washington's hottest political commodities.

As they look toward an election sure to be dominated by issues of war and national security, candidates from both major parties are clamoring to get Gen. Jones on their side. New York's Sen. Clinton has told some advisers that if she is elected she could imagine putting Gen. Jones in her cabinet, possibly as defense secretary, these advisers say. Her campaign says such talk "is way premature," but in a statement, Sen. Clinton says she has enjoyed her "many conversations about military and diplomatic issues" with Gen. Jones. "I am confident he has much to contribute to our nation in the years to come," she said. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, another top Democratic contender, consults regularly with Gen. Jones on foreign-policy issues and "thinks the world of him," according to one Obama aide.

Gen. Jones, a slow-talking native of Kansas City, Mo., is also close to some top-flight Republicans. Arizona's Sen. McCain, another presidential contender, recently described Gen. Jones as one of his "closest and longtime friends" and predicted he would play an important role in any future McCain administration.

"He's like [Gen. Dwight D.] Eisenhower, who belonged to no camp and everyone wanted him," says Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who considers Gen. Jones "one of our country's most important assets" and has been urging him to become a Democrat. Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California, who heads the centrist New Democrat Coalition and has known Gen. Jones for 10 years, calls him "the biggest 'get' out there" -- so big, she says, that she has been wary of pushing too strongly on him becoming a Democrat for fear he'll say no.
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, also a former Marine, calls Gen. Jones "a national treasure" and says he would like to see him run for higher office. "Jim is a rare political commodity these days," says Sen. Roberts, adding that he assumed Gen. Jones is a Republican. "With the Democrats trying to woo him, we owe it to ourselves to say, 'Please, stay home. You belong with us.' "
. . . .

Despite his size -- he played basketball for Georgetown -- Gen. Jones leans toward the laconic, even the mellow, particularly for a Marine. His friends jokingly call him "the intellectual Marine." He grew up largely in Paris, the son of an International Harvester executive. He graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and then joined the Marine Corps -- continuing an unbroken chain of Jones family Marines going back to 1939. His son, Marine Capt. Greg Jones, just completed two tours in Iraq. In 1979, Gen. Jones became a Marine liaison to the Senate, where his first boss was Sen. McCain, at the time a Navy captain. Witnessing the Republican takeover of the Senate in 1981, for the first time in decades, "taught me a lesson in bipartisanship," he says.

Gen. Jones says he is an independent but declines to say for whom he voted in recent presidential elections. "I don't think any particular party owns the issue of national security," he says. His reputation as a straight shooter helped land him a plum job in the Clinton administration as a senior military assistant to Defense Secretary William Cohen, who then appointed him commandant of the Marine Corps. In 2003 he became the commander of U.S. European forces as well as the military head of NATO, the first time a Marine general had held the post.

The Bush administration scrambled to keep Gen. Jones when he suggested he was ready to leave last year. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat down with him twice last fall to try to persuade him to be her deputy, an offer he declined. "I was very honored to be considered, and we had a wonderful discussion," he says. Mr. Rumsfeld tried to persuade him to take over as head of the Central Command, in charge of the Middle East. He turned down both offers, he says, because he had decided he wanted to leave government and travel less. Ensconced now at the Chamber of Commerce, a block from the White House, Gen. Jones makes no secret that he wants to return to government -- after the 2008 election. But for whom, or where, he won't say.

"I've been advised by some very close friends that it's time to show your colors," he says. "Some people say, look, if you're going to survive in this town you have to decide what you are. You are either a Democratic or a Republican. But I don't agree with that."

Loyal Alumnus and Hoyas Fan, Paul Erdman Dead at 74

It would be great if Georgetown did something to honor him.

Paul Erdman -- expert economist and prolific writer
Paul Erdman, a world-class economist and banker who used his knowledge of economics and politics to write best-selling novels, died at his Sonoma County ranch Monday after a long illness. . . . Mr. Erdman was a renaissance man -- an expert on high finance who once was the CEO of a Swiss bank, wrote 10 novels and two non-fiction books, was an Internet and newspaper columnist, and was a man of charm and culture who could talk on nearly every subject. His opinions on professional football were published in newspapers, he held baseball season tickets, and he admired the Georgetown University basketball team.
. . . .

Paul Emil Erdman was born in Ontario in 1932. His parents were Americans and his father was a minister. He was educated in U.S. prep schools and earned a degree from Georgetown's foreign service school. He later received a doctorate in economics with the highest honors from the University of Basel in Switzerland. He was an international economist from 1957 to 1961 in Europe and at the Stanford Research Institute. Later, he founded and was the CEO of a Swiss bank.
. . . .

Mr. Erdman had strong loyalties. One was to Georgetown. He appeared frequently on campus and on the 75th anniversary of the foreign service school he was one of 12 alumni to be placed in the school's Hall of Fame. Another was former President Bill Clinton.

Monday, April 23, 2007

MJ Classic Recap

I watched the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday night. As with most all-star games, it was more than a bit ragged but a huge step up from the McDonald's game, largely due to the absense of Mayo and Beasley, both of whom were utter ballhogs in that game (Mayo, to his team's detriment). I was keeping an eye on Wright and Freeman, but I also came away impressed with the Chris Wright who is headed to Dayton, Donte Greene (Cuse), Derrick Rose (Memphis), and Corey Fisher (Nova). Wright (Georgetown) and Freeman certainly distinguished themselves, as among the very best in their class. Both will be impact players from day 1. Wright showed remarkable quickness and very impressive passing skills. I think he will be the best passer on our team next year. His ability to hit seems was tremendous. Freeman dominated for stretches. His ability to finish from mid-range is relatively unique and he is built like a truck so he can take a great deal of contact and still finish. Wright also has the body of a junior or senior. I can't see either having that much of a learning curve. Here's nbadraft's take on their performances:

Austin Freeman -- Freeman lacks optimum size at around 6-4 1/2 but he's a physically imposing athlete who overpowers opponents on this level. His mid range game is very advanced as he shows a highly developed offensive game. Hit a three point runner from a few feet inside the half court line to end the first half. He's a step below the elite guys, but a talented prospect. Similar to Kevin Love, his immense width makes him appear shorter than he really is. Along with Chris Wright, Freeman will be an instant impact freshman at G'town.

Chris Wright (Georgetown) -- The DL Hughley look alike was very impressive matching up with Derrick Rose and playing well. He finished with 14p and 9a but stumbled down the stretch as Rose got the best of him late in the game. Jimmy Dykes made the bold prediction that Wright will end up the top point guard from this class when all is said and done. He may have the best college career, as it's unlikely players such as Rose, Mayo or Gordon will stick around for more than 1-2 years, however Wright may not either. Don't look for him to overtake Rose, but he definitely can be very good. He showed tremendous floor vision with a number of terrific feeds to teammates for baskets, one to Parsons threading the needle and hitting him in stride as he cut to the basket, and another to Greene. His combination of strength, toughness, point guard ability and athleticism reminds me of Jameer Nelson, only Wright is a bit bigger has a chance to be better.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

REMINDER: Austin & Chris on the Duece tonight

Freeman and Wright square off against each other in the 2007 Jordan Brand All-American Classic tonight at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Hopefully, they will get some serious burn and become comfortable with playing in MSG--the site of many more Hoya wins in the next four years!
Here are their write-ups from the Jordan website:

Height: 6-1 · Weight: 190 · Position: Point Guard · St. John’s College Prep· Washington, DC · Hometown: Washington DC · College: Georgetown

Chris Wright has the entire package; perimeter stroke, toughness, versatility, academics, and compactly built. Wright plays low to the ground with the ball with his greatest strength being is ability to score. He uses his quickness and strength on the defensive side of the ball to amount numerous steals. Wright is a strong defender who is able to keep his man out of the lane and can apply a nasty full-court press. Wright is an excellent teammate who goes about his business and loves to play the game. His range is deep and he's confident with both his outside and mid-range jumper. For all his physical attributes, what really gives Wright his edge is his mental toughness. This season he has led St. John’s to a 26-8 record and a No. 4 ranking in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.

Height: 6-4 · Weight: 185 · Position: Wing Guard · DeMatha Catholic High School · Hyattsville, MD · Hometown: Washington, D.C · College: Georgetown

Nicknamed “A Free” Austin Freeman has deceptive explosiveness, a pure shooting stroke and point guard handles. He is a strong wing player that is capable of doing a lot of things on the court. Freeman can score in bunches, has tons of composure and his body gets him places inside. He has outstanding talent and is a big time producer, even with his left hand. He also has a patented hop back three-pointer that is unstoppable. As good as Freeman is offensively, he distributes the ball just as well. He has excellent body control and enjoys shooting the mid-range pull up jumper. Freeman led DeMatha to a 28-6 record this season, a No. 1 ranking in the Washington Post and a WCAC title. He will attend Georgetown University in the fall with fellow Jordan All-American Chris Wright.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Johnson to Princeton; Burke Turns Down Air Force?

The Daily Princetonian is reporting that Princeton has offered its men's basketball head coaching job to Hoyas Assistant Coach Syndey Johnson. He will be the second head coach produced by JTIII this year, as Coach Broadus has taken the reins at SUNY-Binghampton. Congrats to both coaches. Although coaching turnover it tough, it is an amazing testament to what JTIII is building at Georgetown that other schools are seeking out his assistants for head coaching positions. In a short time he is going to have an impressive coaching tree.

In other news, it appears that Assistant Coach Rob Burke may have been offered but turned down the head coaching position at Air Force.

Fellow Air Force assistants Larry Mangino and A.J. Kuhle were interested in the job. The potential non-academy candidates included former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker, who took the Harvard job; former Wyoming coach Steve McClain; Brown coach Craig Robinson and Georgetown assistant Robert Burke. Two sources in the coaching community indicated Air Force negotiated with an outside candidate. One source indicated it was Burke, who could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear why Burke would have turned down a head coaching gig at a program like Air Force. One possibility is that JTIII asked him to stick around at GU because he thought that Broadus and Johnson would soon depart. If this is the case, Burke showed incredible loyalty to pass up a big payday (the new head coach at Air Force will make as much as JTIII) and a relatively high-profile gig for a first head coaching job. Of course, the doomsday hypothesis has Burke sticking around at GU to fill JTIII's shoes when he bolts for the NBA in a year or two, but I doubt that is likely. Being a head coach at another institution would give him head coaching bone fides that he can't get as JTIII's assistance. Naturally, a third possibility is something about the job made him uncomfortable and he decided to hold out for better offers. Maybe Jeff and Roy are coming back, and after a national title, the lead assistant at GU will clearly be a hot item.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jester!

I know what Jester will be wishing for when he blows out the candles.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Respect From Brand Jordan

Will They Return for a Championship?

Green and Hibbert are giving the Hoya faithful hope with their most recent AP interview. What is so great about this is how sober and informed both seem. They are clearly approaching this with great maturity and with an eye toward their legacy as college ballplayers, their potential to maximize their draft status, and the importance of a college degree.

Georgetown's Green says it's '70-30' he'll return to Georgetown
Big East player of the year Jeff Green said Tuesday there is a "70-30" chance he will return to Georgetown for his senior season. Green and fellow junior Roy Hibbert submitted their names as early-entry candidates for the NBA draft last week. Neither has hired an agent, so both could return to fulfill their oft-stated goal of playing four years with the Hoyas. "Right now, 70-30 -- 70 coming back," Green said. "It depends on whether I'm ready. I still have a lot of things I need to work on to play at that level." Both players are potential lottery picks, and both said they want to get a gauge of what their NBA value is now and what it might be if they stay in school another year. "Do I want to go eight-through-14, or do I want to go top three next year?" Hibbert said. "That does play a factor in my decision."

Hibbert put his odds of returning at 50-50, even though he said Green is the more NBA-ready player. Should both return, coach John Thompson III's team could be a favorite to win the NCAA title next season. The Hoyas made the Final Four this year before losing to Ohio State in the national semifinals. "I wouldn't want to be at the end of a bench on an NBA team, not being able to develop and show what I can do, so another year here would be great, obviously," Hibbert said. "But I'm just going to see if Coach thinks I'm ready. I would love to come back and get a national championship banner in here. We were close this year, but next year could be great."

Green and Hibbert have until June 18 to withdraw their names if they want to return to Georgetown. The draft is June 28. "School is only going to be here four years," Green said. "The NBA will be there forever. You can't just give up that. That's a big thought in this process. Either way, I'm going to come back and get my degree.";_ylt=AlNE7zJiuv1EV.YskxLYAJ7evbYF?slug=ap-georgetown-green-hibbert&prov=ap&type=lg

Nikita Mescheriakov

Thanks to super fan Josh for passing along this article about Nikita Mescheriakov from the Frederick News-Post this past February. It seems that the Belarusian Bear (as I decided to dub Nikita earlier this morning) has a good stroke for a big man.

Shooting Czar
By John Cannon
News-Post Staff
Feb. 2, 2007

FREDERICK -- St. John's Catholic Prep boys basketball player Nikita Mescheriakov pops outside and catches a pass.

A 6-foot-7 forward, he's agile, skilled and strong enough to maneuver inside for a layup. But he has something else in mind: He pulls up behind the 3-point arc and unleashes a shot.

Two sounds follow.

The first one is made by the net, which emits a faint yet powerful "swish." That lets everyone know this big guy can nail long jumpers.

The second sound is made by the St. John's student section, which chants "Belarus." That let's everyone know where Mescheriakov comes from.

Click HERE for the full article.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mescheriakov Is a Hoya

This was a big surprise to me. I knew we were looking at this kid, but becuase (1) we don't have any scholarships available for next year, (2) we were pursuing Kris Joseph a very similar top-25 player, and (3) Mescheriakov is largely unknown and not highly ranked or recruited by major D1 programs, I assumed this wouldn't happen. Well, Jeff and Roy declared for the NBA and Joseph committed to Syracuse, so I guess JTIII thought he was worth a scholarship. He joins Wattad as two complete unknowns in next year's class, along with two McDonald's All-Americans. He was evidently headed to Loyola before JTIII saw him and became interested.
The Joseph loss is hugh, by the way. He is a local stud who (unfortunately) comes from Canada and grew up a Syracuse fan--still we were in his top 2 and there were rumors he was going to pull the trigger for GU. I wonder if Broadus's departure impacted his decision. BTW: We lost out on Yancy Gates to Cincinatti, so we can cross him off the list. It also looks like we've dropped on Samardo Samuels's list. I have to say that I'm kind of disappointed. I expected a post-Final Four glow to help recruiting. Hopefully, we win out with some of the other major targets on our list.

G'town Adds a Good One
I had alluded to this possibility over the winter and now it appears to have happened. With Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert NBA-bound, Georgetown has scholarship openings and the Hoyas will use one on St. John's (Md.) forward Nikita Mescheriakov, according to a person close to the player. Mescheriakov, a 6-7 Belarus native who has been in the U.S. for one year, plans to sign a letter-of-intent in the near future. He is the younger brother of former GW standout Yegor Mescheriakov.

UPDATE (from Jester of Magellan):

Here's a photo of Mescheriakov from the Washington Post. In case you can't tell, he's the second from the left. Nikita was a Second Team All Met selection this past year.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Greener Pa$ture$

Saw this AM that both Green & Hibbert are entering the draft, but without agents. While I'm personally not thrilled to see both declare for the draft (would have been great if JT3 could have shared pops 4 year tradition), I suppose the lack of hiring an agent is a nice compromise. I would have to think that the lack of an agent was somewhat the influence of JT - test the waters but not closing the door to a possible NCAA tittle. My money says Green comes back & Hibbert is gone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Voice Chimes In

The fine people at The Voice have joined their fellow student-writers at The Hoya with a plea to the Georgetown administration to give Thompson a raise. The piece, entitled "Pay The Man," will appear in today's addition of The Voice and is available online.

JTIII Already Preparing For The Next Season

The AP is running a story today about JTIII. I take a lot of solace from this piece. First, it shows that Thompson isn't letting any moss gather. As soon as the game against Ohio State was over, he started planning for next season; trying to figure out what the Hoyas need to do to get back. It is very obvious that these are not the words or actions of a man who believes he is on his way out the door.

Second, the article shows that Thompson has been talking to Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert about going to the NBA. It seem that JTIII is being very fair in his approach. He is doing what he can to help the two get a real feel for where they would go in the draft if they declare. In return, the article implies that Jeff and Roy are being very deliberate with their decision. I think that is all Georgetown fans can really ask for.

Here are some of the highlights.

Thompson Reflects on Georgetown's Run
By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer
5:05 PM PDT, April 11, 2007

...Two days after Georgetown's 67-60 loss to Ohio State, Thompson was studying his recruiting calendar. Before the week was done, he had made his first recruiting trip....

During the season, Thompson is almost unflappable when discussing the Hoyas, always focusing on the next game and averse to giving any sort of general assessment of the team. He said it's easier to think about the big picture once the season is over, but that no one ever asks about it then.

This time, someone was asking.

"Sitting here now, still in many ways it's hard for me to say we had a good year," Thompson said. "You get that close and you just don't know -- so many things have to fall in place to make it to that point."

His mind drifted to his childhood, when his father's Georgetown team lost to Iowa by one point in the regional finals of the 1980 NCAA tournament.

"I remember that was one of the times in my life where back in the room I saw my Pappy cry," Thompson said. "Years later, after they won (the championship), I remember him saying you don't know if you're going to get to that point again. So much has to go right.

"So I can sit here and say we had very successful season, but it still hurts."

The Hoyas finished 30-7, losing to Ohio State in a game in which their best player, Jeff Green, took only five shots and their second-best player, Roy Hibbert, spent a good deal of time on the bench in foul trouble. Still, the season capped a remarkable resurgence under Thompson, who inherited a 13-15 team three years ago.

Next year the outcome could be different. If Green and Hibbert return, the Hoyas should easily be ranked in the top five at the start of the season. After the Final Four, Thompson told his players to take a break from the gym a couple of weeks, but the coach, in addition to the recruiting, decided to get a head start on next season's game plans.

"I've already started jotting down notes, writing down thoughts," Thompson said, "figuring out how we can get back."

Thompson said he is having "ongoing conversations" with Green and Hibbert as to whether the two juniors should declare for the NBA draft. He called it a "business decision" and said he's been gathering information on how high the players would be picked. He said their decisions could go either way.

"A lot of times, people who have any inkling that they will have a chance to be drafted -- let alone be drafted high -- boom, they're gone," Thompson said. "And these two, they like what they're doing. They both want to and will get a degree from Georgetown. At the same time, we still have to go through the process and see what's the right thing for them."...

The entire article is available at the L.A. Times' website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Visual Confirmation

We've heard much about Jeff Green and Tyler Crawford's trip to the Wallace family farm. Scouring the internet the other day I came across this picture of that much ballyhooed trip.

Could Jeff stand any farther away from that cow? I think J-Wall was right--Jeff definitely looks scared. Maybe he was worried that the cow would eat him.

The resolution isn't great, but the picture is.

The Inside Perspective on Learning from JTIII

Loyal reader Joshua alerted me this great NBC Sports article from a while back. The author, Ed Persia played for JTIII at Princeton from 2000-2004. Persia provides an insiders perspective on what it's like to be a player under Coach Thompson.

An Inside Look at Coach John Thompson III
By Ed Persia
Special to

If I had to sum up Coach Thompson in one word it would undoubtedly be "traditional."....

Perfecting basic fundamentals was the focus of our every-day practice regimen. Every practice, without fail, started out with three lines in which each player would go through a series of dribbling moves up and down the court. That would turn into two layup lines, where one was expected to attempt every possible layup he could think of with each hand. From there we would make our way into the dreaded "star drill," where we would fire chest passes half-way across the court in weave-like fashion.

What seemed elementary and routine after my first freshman practice could not have been further from the truth. These coaches had a microscope on every little move that every player made and criticized and critiqued as if their lives depended on it.

Bye-Bye Jeff & Roy?

Here's the latest on the possibility of Jeff & Roy turning pro from Chad Ford’s blog on

Former Michael Jordan agent David Falk has been making a strong pitch to Georgetown players Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, and according to multiple sources, it looks as though both players are leaning toward declaring.

Of the two, Green is more confident about turning pro; Hibbert still has reservations. But ultimately, most expect to see both of them in the draft.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Science Center

Could the designs for the new science center be any more disappointing? Instead of picking up on the stone exterior of the new business school facility, the architects have gone with industrial minimalism. And, in 2010, Georgetown will add this to Reiss, Lauinger, and Harbin as one of its ugliest structures. Bravo.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I am posting this only becuase of the severity of the situation. It is very much a rumor. There have been reports that JTIII has informed the team that he may not return next year. This would, of course, be the result of DeGioia low-balling him in the contract negotiations. Again, this is a rumor and nothing more but with how Georgetown has managed the basketball program in the past, it would not be shocking. It might be worthwhile for the alumni who have not yet done so to contact President DeGioia on this issue. The silence out of 2nd floor Healy on this issue has been deafening.

Wattad in Capital Classic

None of the VB Boys were able to attend the Capital Classic this year as it was moved out to suburban Maryland from the Capital(!). Early reports don't have much to say about Omar Wattad's performance. Evidently, he had 7 points and knocked down a 3. It is unclear how much playing time he got. I will update the blog as more information becomes available.

Freeman Is Met Player of the Year

The Washington Post has named Austin Freeman its Boy's Basketball Player of the Year. Here is what his blurb says:

Repeat All-Met led the Stags to the No. 1 ranking and a third consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and City Title. Averaged 22.2 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Named a McDonald's all-American. Considered one of the best players in school history. Will play for Georgetown.

Wright, of course, stil recieved first team honors. He and Freeman were the only two juniors to make first team last year. This year there is only one junior on the list. Care to guess who? That's right, Georgetown-bound Jason Clark. Here are Wright's and Clark's write-ups and their photo (Clark is all the way on the left):

Chris Wright: First three-time All-Met in boys' basketball since Adrian Dantley (DeMatha, 1971-73). Scored 2,580 career points. Averaged 30.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 2006-07. Named McDonald's all-American. Will play for Georgetown.

Jason Clark: Poised to leave his mark as one of the area's top players. Terrific scorer averaged 21.6 points and six rebounds for Knights. Able to shoot from the outside or get to the basket. Committed to Georgetown.

Congratulations to Austin, Chris, and Jason! Can't wait to see you in blue & gray!
Obvious, as he did not play in the spring, Chris Braswell did not make the team. His innaction also has led to him dropping from a consensus top 20 recruit nationally to a top 50 recruit. But in a recent interview, he stated that he will return to Dematha and now has the proper academic focus. I hope he is back on track!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

First Announced Game of the 2007-2008 Season

The Hoyas will take on the Crimson Tide of Alabama on December 5, 2007, at 9:30 p.m. in Birmingham, Alabama. The game will be televised by ESPN--hopefully in HD.

Respect for GU

I know they say next season starts now, but this seems a bit early for this kind of talk. But, if both Roy & Jeff return, this would not be surprising.

New Contract for JTIII?

Does anyone have any intel on this subject? I see that there has already been a lot of announcements and major movements with respect to many Division I programs.

The longer this drags out the more it concerns me.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Say Is Ain't So

Today on, BJ Schecter presents “The draft debate,” in which he breaks down who in the NCAA should stay in college, who should go pro, and which each of these athletes is scheduled to do. While Schecter argues that fantastic players like Afflalo, Hansbrough, and McRoberts should stay in school, he says that both Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert should go pro. What’s more, he believes that both of them will do so.

Jeff Green, Jr., F, Georgetown
Green is long, athletic and knows how to get to the rim. Simply put, he's an NBA player and pro scouts love his game. He's a sure top-10 pick.
What He'll Do: Go

Roy Hibbert, Jr., C, Georgetown
The big man went toe-to-toe with Oden in the national semifinal and actually outplayed him. His offensive game is raw, but at 7-2 he's in demand.
What He'll Do: Go

Given the latest rankings on, maybe he’s right. That site currently lists both Jeff and Roy as top-10 picks. Jeff is projected as the 7th overall pick and Roy is at number 9.

What Do You Want First?

The good news? Or the bad news? On the Sports Guy's blog on, Bill Simmons provided a collection of thoughts going into last night's NCAA championship game (congrats to Florida). If his musings are a bellwether they provide some good news and bad news for Hoyas fans.

Bad News

The bad news is that he sees Roy Hibbert as a top-1o pick in this year's draft. In his mind, Roy may be one of the most underrated players out there.

Roy Hibbert is looming as the most divisive lottery pick this June -- some believe his lack of athletic ability makes him a backup center at best, while others see him as a potential All-Star. I'm closer to the latter camp because he reminds me a little of Rik Smits, who was unequivocally one of the most underappreciated players of the past 20 years.

Maybe Reggie Miller received the most attention on those contending Indiana teams in the mid-'90s, but Smits was their most valuable player -- he gave them a low-post offense and always commanded a double team, which opened the floor for Reggie. In his prime (a four-year stretch from '95 to '98), Smits averaged 18 points and 7 rebounds a game, shot 52 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free-throw line and shined during the '95 playoffs (averaging a 20-7 over 17 games and outplaying Ewing). Unfortunately, he couldn't crack an All-Star team until the tail end of his prime ('98) because Mourning, Ewing and Dikembe Mutombo were always blocking the way. But that Pacers team made three runs at the title ('94, '95 and '98) with Smits providing the entire low-post offense.

And if that's not enough, he had a great nickname (The Dunking Dutchman), he kept the middle-part hairdo going for about eight years after it became taboo, he made one of the most underrated playoff game-winners ever (a buzzer-beater in the '95 playoffs against Orlando in a game in which the lead changed hands four times in the last 15 seconds), and he delighted NBA fans to no end when he shaved his head during the '98 playoffs (became the all-time answer to the trivia question, "Which NBA player looked the worst with a shaved head?").

Needless to say, I enjoyed the Smits Era and he's the center on my All-Underrated Team from the past 20 years, along with Tom Chambers, Detlef Schrempf, Nick Anderson and Mark Price, as well as Ricky Pierce and Eddie Johnson coming off the bench. (Note: Big Shot Brob would have been the starting power forward as recently as three years ago, but everyone appreciates him now so he's fairly rated.) Hibbert won't be as good offensively unless he can develop Smits' deadly 17-footer, but he's a better shotblocker and rebounder, as well as someone who could take advantage down low against smaller players in the pros. He's also a legitimate 7-foot-2, which gives him something in common with only 5-6 players in the NBA right now. I like him. He's a top-eight pick in my mind. Unquestionably.

Good News

The good news is that Simmons, who has been high on Jeff Green all tourney, thought his draft stock plummeted with his performance Saturday evening.

As for teammate Jeff Green, I had him pencilled into my top six until Saturday's ghastly performance against OSU, when he reverted back to pre-February "maybe I'll let the game come to me instead of taking it over" mode. Bad move. Was he nervous? Was he intimidated by OSU's big guys? Impossible to say. But when somebody's major draft-day gimmick is, "I come through when it matters," and then he disappears in a Final Four game ... well, that's not good.

All I can say is: "One more year! One more year! One more year! One more year! One more year! One more year!"

Monday, April 02, 2007

Update: The Contract Situation

President DeGioia had better not screw this up. Pay the man his money!

Keeping Thompson will be main focus

During the run-up to the Ohio State game, Georgetown president Jack DeGioia announced his intentions to sit down with Thompson tomorrow to discuss the coach's financial future. That the university has not already rewarded Thompson with both a substantial raise and a major extension is somewhat of a surprise. One agent at the Final Four who represents multiple Big East coaches dubbed Thompson "one of the five hottest commodities in the profession at any level." Thompson has two years remaining on a deal that pays him $456,000 a season. That salary ranks in the bottom third among his Big East coaching brethren and is a comparative pittance to the salaries of the other three Final Four coaches, each of whom is paid well in excess of $1 million.

Note: The alumni who read this blog might want to shoot President DeGioia an e-mail today about the contract situation. I will be sending him a short e-mail voicing my support for Coach Thompson receiving a competitive market salary:

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Last Night and Taking Stock

Well, last night was very disappointing for all Hoya fans. You can't always expect to win games in the final four against #1 seeds, but that was a stunningly winnable game the Hoyas lost last night. I wish they could have lost to a team that turned in a great performance but Ohio State was just a smidge better than the torpid and sloppy Hoyas. Roy was great and did outplay Oden, but the team never got into an offensive rhythm. J-Wall was also money. Of course, this was Jeff's most passive performance since the loss to Nova in January. There is no point rehashing this though. He is often a cautious performer and, frankly, we wouldn't have made it out of the second round without Jeff Green so no need to harp on less than great performance. Jeff will go down as an all-time great Hoya . . . especially if he sticks around for his senior year.

The Future

So here are the big issues I see for the off season:
  1. JTIII's new contract. There is no doubt that DeGioia is going to offer JTIII a new contract. The big question is will the University low-ball him and risk him leaving in the short-term. JTIII needs a $1+ million contract, increased funds for hiring new assistants, and increased funding for the program in general. The alumni and students will riot if this gets screwed up. President DeGioia needs to realize that his presidency could very well be on the line if he screws this up. If funds are a problem, he needs to sit down with some major donors and figure out how it can happen. No excuses. (It may become necessary to mobilize the students and alumni if no word is heard about a new contract soon.)
  2. New assistants. A new assistant will need to be hired to replace Broadus. It is possible that either Burke or Johnson could go elsewhere as well. Johnson has been the subject of rumors for the Princeton head coaching job. This would be great for him and fine for Georgetown, as JTIII continues to build his coaching tree. What would be horrible is to lose Burke as well this year. We need some stability in the assistance coaching ranks and it is clear that Burke plays a major role in both recruiting and working with the players. As far as replacements go, one who is being rumored is Troy Weaver, a D.C. native and resident who was an assistance for Syracuse (credited with landing Melo, among others) and is currently a scout for the Jazz. He would be a great hire. The one big problem could be paying him enough to get him to come to the Hilltop.
  3. Jeff & Roy -- staying or going. In interviews last night, neither was willing to say much. I think they really don't know what they'll do next, but there is a good chance that one will come back. Roy is much more likely as he can still improve his draft status dramatically. Jeff could improve his too but probably not as much. I hope they both come back and graduate. Both because I want Georgetown to win a championship and because I think it sets a good example for the players who follow them. Academics matter. The way we went out this year and the talent coming in both make it more likely that they return. I'm giving Jeff a 50% chance of coming back; Roy I'll put at 75%.
  4. Recruiting. Georgetown will have a lot of scholarships to fill for 2008-2009. There are four juniors, plus the scholarship Egerson vacated. That makes five openings. Jason Clark and Chris Braswell fill two of them. The players on the radar include: Samardo Samuels (6-9/230; Rivals #7; also being recruited by UConn, UNC, and Florida); Ed Davis (6-9/215; Rivals #8; also being recruited by UVA, VaTech, Kentucky, and UNC); David Ebanks (6-7/185; Rivals #11; also being recruited by Miami, Ohio St., Georgia, Indiana and Memphis); Yancy Gates (6-8/250; Rivals #17; down to GU and Cinci); Henry Sims (6-10/215; Rivals #57; down to GU and UVA); and Kris Joseph (6-7/210; unranked; also being recruited by Maryland). Landing three of these guys should be easier in the wake of the Final Four, but Broadus's departure hurts. We'll see how it all shakes out and if others pop up on the radar screen.
  5. Player development. There are many questions here to be answered. JTIII has done a great job of developing players and hopefully we'll see a big improvement over the summer from this year's freshmen. Macklin has a huge upside but needs to live in the weight room this summer. Rivers needs to take jumpshots until his arms fall off. And Summers needs to work on both his jumpshot and handle--although he is closer to being a finished product than the other two. I also think Roy can take a major step forward. He still needs to improve his endurance and strength so he can play 35 minutes per game.
  6. 2007 Freshmen. I can't wait to get to the Kenner League games to scout these guys. The IPB and I are planning on going to the Capital Classic to check out Omar Wattad--who is a total mystery. We've seen Wright and Freeman. They will be great but we will scout them more.

Keep checking in with the VB Boys for updates during the offseason. Go Hoyas!