The Van Buren Boys

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gaughan's Hoya-Themed Truck to Rumble Around the Monster Mile

This weekend, Hoyas alumnus, Brendan Gaughan, will bring his Georgetown-University-themed paint job to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the "Monster Mile" in Dover, Deleware.

As a student, I was amazed that Brendan managed to play both football and basketball for the Blue and Gray. That amazement pales to my dumb-foundedness at his latest accomplishment: advocate for the value of a Georgetown education.

Will wonders never cease?

For more on the world of Brendan Gaughan Racing, check out the team's web site:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Barker Weighs in on Green & Hibbert

Barker explains why Roy will be more valuable next season than Jeff could have been. He's right on all of it, and indeed a number of these points have been made in this blog:

"1) You can't teach ..." : "Guess how many 6-10 or taller players who averaged double digits in scoring, six or more rebounds and two or more blocks will be returning to major-conference rosters next season? Hibbert (12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks) ... and, well ... Hibbert. That's it. Just one. And, as Thompson has always been quick to point out, Big Roy has only begun to scratch the surface of his potential. Green came to Georgetown with a high hoops IQ and an incredible skill set for a prepster. Of course, he improved, particularly his game away from the hoop. But few players in recent hoops history have enjoyed Hibbert's near-stratospheric developmental arc. "

"2) Team Need": "While 'Big Ticket' showed flashes of the game that made him a McDonald's All-American at Hargrave Military Academy, his 9.8 minutes-per game average and single season in the system leave him less prepared to fill the void that would have been left by Hibbert than the player who will likely be asked to assume Green's starting role: rising senior Patrick Ewing Jr. (14.5 minutes). Throw in gifted wing man DaJuan Summers, who enjoyed an exemplary freshman season (9.2 points), and incoming McDonald's All-American Austin Freeman (DeMatha), and the Hoyas actually have three NBA-caliber talents to share the onus of replacing Green's myriad contributions as the team's point-forward."

"3) Gameplan": "As good as Green was in his three seasons, Hibbert represents a far more daunting matchup problem for opponents on both ends of the floor. Defensively, Hibbert's ability to alter shots and provide help on dribble-drive proponents makes the paint a virtual no-fly zone for Georgetown opponents."

Barker is correct on all counts. I think that #2 is the big one for me. There are three players who can step up and pick up the slack for Jeff. And although they have not been as dramatic as Jeff's, Summers's dagger 3's in a number of big games took some serious stones. I think he will want to take the big shot in next year's Vandy, Nova, or Notre Dame-type game. You thrown in Freeman and Ewing, who got markedly better as the year wore on, and I think the void can be filled. Add to that player development--I think Roy, DaJaun and Ticket will all seriously elavate their games--and Freeman and Wright, and I think next year's team will be a better one come March than this year's was. That's not to say they will definitely be in San Antonio, but I think one has to put them among the top 4 or 5 contenders--particularly when you factor in post-season experience that teams like Memphis and Kansas can't match.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Good Riddance

I would have liked if he were fired, but I'll take his departure anyway I can get it. I will now donate to GU T&F. To say tha he cared for his student athletes is a huge, huge overstatement. I've never encountered a coach at any level or type of athletics with such a "What have you done for me lately attitude?". The man is a total SOB who, at least during our tenure at GU, treated the men's team like we were a bunch of thugs and mentally tormented many a female runner.

Georgetown Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Announces Resignation
Washington, D.C. - Georgetown University Director of Athletics Bernard Muir announced today that Ron Helmer had resigned as Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.

"Ron is taking a position at Indiana University," Muir said. "While we are sorry to lose someone of Ron's ability and experience, we are grateful for h is many contributions to the track program's success. Ron is someone who genuinely cares for and develops his student-athletes and we wish him all the best in his future. Our challenge, which we will begin immediately, is to find a top quality person to continue the track program's tradition of success."

Helmer spent 21 years at Georgetown, including the last eight as the Director of the Men's and Women's Track & Field and Cross Country program. Helmer's impact on the Georgetown program during his time on the Hilltop can be seen with 119 of his student-athletes earning a total of 341 All-American recognitions, including 43 student-athletes receiving 100 certificates since he became director in 1999. In addition, 219 student-athletes have won BIG EAST individual titles, including 67 since the start of the 1999-00 academic year.

At the NCAA Championships, he has guided 27 athletes or relay teams to a top-three finish, highlighted by four national champions. As for team accomplishments, Helmer has coached 20 top-10 finishes in NCAA Championship action, including a streak of 15-straight at the cross country championships that ended in 2003. In addition, under Helmer's reign six Hoya teams have won the Penn Relays Championship of America relay, the latest being the 2004 men's 4x800m squad with a time of 7:13.75, the seventh fastest time in collegiate history. He has been part of 38 BIG EAST Championship teams, including winning the BIG EAST Indoor women's title this year, and his student-athletes have been honored 11 times as the Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete award winner.
For more information on Georgetown Athletics, visit

Boswell on Hibbert & Green

Thomas Boswell has an article in today's Washington Post about Hibbert and Green's respective decisions. Boswell believes that both players made the right choice. I think I'm inclined to agree.

Giving in to my greedy side, I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed. I would have loved for both big men to come back for their senior years. But, then again, just last week I was praying that either start would return. After all, it made sense for both of them to go to the NBA. Jeff Green already accomplished everything that one could hope for individually: Big East Player of the Year, Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, the most outstanding player in his bracket in the NCAA Tournament. It makes sense that he would go.

I think there was also a good case for Roy going pro. Roy played an outstanding Tournament and, in most people's estimation, outplayed Greg Oden in the Final Four. You could argue that his stock couldn't get much higher. But Roy saw things differently. He believes in himself. He thinks he can be a number one overall pick. I don't know if he'll accomplish this goal, but I do know that it means Roy is coming back to the Hilltop ready to work. And that's a great thing. Just as with previous off seasons, you know that Roy is going to work his butt off this summer. That will undubtedly pay dividends for the team. Hopefully, it will also pay dividends for Roy next year.

The most interesting thing about Boswell's analysis in my mind is his focus on the players' relative maturity and the role that played in their decisiosn. As Boswell says:

[T]he bubbly Hibbert is clearly having a ball in college and doesn't want to stop acting his age. Why should he? Asked if he "kind of liked" college, including the classes, Hibbert answered, "I kind of love it."

On the other hand, ... Green is as sober and mature in public as Hibbert seems youthful and buoyant. ... "It's my time to move on," Green said. "The decision was very tough. . . . Just walking down the street people would say, 'Go get the money,' or, 'Come back and get your degree.' I'd just keep on walking, either way."

This is an underestimated component in these players' decisions to go pro or not. It's a trait that is readily apparent to anyone that has seen these two talk. Roy is obviously still just a kid. A kid who loves his life in college. It makes sense that he would hold on to that. Jeff just seems older. He is ready to move past Healy Gates.

I also thought it was really interesting that Roy appears to have taken out an insurance policy to protect him in case he gets injured next year. In our desperation to find a way to entice Jeff and Roy to return, loyal readers Joshua and I had previously mused about how to buy Jeff and Roy insurance policies without violating NCAA rules. Either someone found a way, or Roy decided to take matters into his own hands. Regardless of who is footing the bill, I think it's a good idea. The biggest reason to go pro is the possibility that you could get injured in college and lose out on all that money. I'm glad that Roy will be protected.

At the end of the day, Boswell is right. This really is a win-win situation. You have to be happy that both players made the decisions that they did. And, more importantly from the VBB's perspective, you have to be happy for the Hoya team's future. Roy's return ensures some depth in the front court. Summers just needs to continue along the course of development that he started upon last year. If Macklin works hard and develops this summer (much like Roy did after his freshman year), we're not going to miss Green too much. Especially if you consider the new speed and skill we'll have in the back court. We'll be a much more balanced team next year and, as a result, we'll be much more deadly. It should be a lot of fun to watch.

Hoya Saxa and Godspeed, Jeff.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Green Goes, Hibbert Stays

In a weird split decision press conference, one is staying and one is going. Although Jeff said that his decision was "not set in stone," it seems like he's gone. Roy, on the other hand, provided fodder for next year's t-shirt quote:

"I have some unfinished business here."

-- Roy Hibbert, C'08

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 23rd -- Decision Day

GU will hold a press conference tomorrow in which Jeff and Roy will announce their intentions with regard to the NBA Draft. Nobody seems to know anything but color me the eternal optimist if I believe that a press conference to announce they are staying in the draft is mother of all anticlimaxes. In fact, I have never heard of such a thing. Here's to hoping.....


Friday, May 18, 2007

Rumors: New Assistant Coaches

Rumors are swirling that GU has in fact hired David Cox to fill the Coach Broadus role as the program's lead local recruiter. The Coach Johnson role has supposedly also been filled with a third-year assistant out of Xavier, Kenya Hunter. Hunter, who also served as director of basketball operations for four years at NC State under Herb Sendak, has developed a great reputation as a lead recruiter at Xavier. I imagine he also picked up some Princeton offense knowledge as an assistant at NC State. Here is his bio:

One significant black mark on this hire is Coach Hunter's DUI arrest two seasons ago. He was suspended for several games from the Xavier team because of this incident.

Update: Cox and Hunter hired. Welcome to the Hoya family!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Early Summer Roundup

Well, I've been on my deathbed in Caracas and I know know that Jester has been down south trying a case. I'm not sure what excuses other contributors have.... We owe more regular updates to our reader(s).

There have been a number of signifcant happens in Hoyaland since the Sims commitment. Here's a rundown:

(1) The Hoya Hoop Club held its annual banquet with the IPB and me in attendance. It was a remarkable affair, as the coaches, JTIII, and President DeGioia all made speeches. Coach Broadus did a great job describing each member of the team. Afterward, the IPB and I spoke with a number of players. Jon and Roy autographed my copy of their SI cover. All players were very gracious. Kenny Izzo reported that he's planning on playing in Europe for a few years before he moves back to Chicago to pursue a career as a commodities trader. (He was also clearly chafing under his double major--accounting and finance, I think.) Tyler said that he was in for another summer of hard work. Roy avoided the IPB's question about doing an internship on the Hill so as not to reveal his future plans. There were no inside scoops on Roy or Jeff, but I clearly got the impression that Tay Spann would be leaving soon and JTIII wouldn't be going anywhere.

(2) Tay Spann is indeed leaving GU. This means that, if Jeff and Roy leave, our frontline will be unbelievably thin. Pat, Vern, and Summers will have to hold down the fort! Presumably, this also clears space for Nikita (not to be confused with St. John's College High School and future George Mason center Vlad Moldoveanu, as he was here:; Nikita attends St. John's Catholic High School).

(3) Rumors are swirling that there could be some issues with Nikita's transcript (presumably transfer credit from Belarus) and that GU is holding off on an official announcement until that is cleared up. After the Egerson situation, it cannot afford any more recruiting embarrassments.

(4) JTIII has still not yet been extended. Quotes from this article are a little worrisome. This could prove a decisive moment in President DeGioia's tenure. We are confident that the University will do what it needs to do to keep JTIII for the next decade. If it fails to do so, alumni wrath will be swift and strong.

(5) JTIII is close to hiring an assistance for the Broadus spot. A leading candidate is former D.C. Assault assistant and current Pitt Director of Basketball Operations David Cox. In fact, he has already reportedly interviewed for the position. Cox would be a great pick-up. He was a finalist for the spot that went to Syd Johnson. Presumably, JTIII didn't think that at that point he needed two D.C. recruiting gurus. Well, now he needs one and so Cox is the logical choice to fill the role, as he now has some collegiate experience to boot. Also, he likely wants to leave Pitt as his D.C. roots haven't really opened up the D.C. pipeline I'm sure Pitt had hoped for. Pitt will always have a hard time competing for D.C. talent with Georgetown and Maryland here. If Cox joins the program, I would expect JTIII to look to another Princeton guy to fill the Johnson role. In any event, here's Cox's bio from Pitt's website: Note that, as an assist with D.C. Assault, Cox coaches, Tony Bethel, Jeff Green, and Chris McCray. As a coach at Archbishop Carrol, he coached Ruben Boumjte-Boumjte. And he served as an Assistant Principle at Chris Wright's high school. Cox would be a huge asset in the local D.C. recruiting scene.

Hopefully updates on JTIII, Cox, the third assistant, Nikita, Jeff, and Roy will all be coming soon!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Video of Sims

The highlights of Sims begin at the 2 minute mark.