The Van Buren Boys

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

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Barker on Ticket's Strange Decision

Strange timing for Macklin's departure

While there were few answers given to the media for public consumption in the aftermath of the strangest episode of the JTIII era, a reliable source assured us that Macklin's decision wasn't triggered by academic issues nor the competitive challenge of the program's elite trio of incoming frontcourt recruits (Greg Monroe, Henry Sims and Chris Braswell). Rather, Macklin's decision was based on the advice of those inside his circle but outside the program that his growth as a player was being stunted at Georgetown. Said the source: "Ticket [Macklin's nickname] chose to listen to what he wanted to hear from some folks outside the program, rather than what he needed to hear from those within it. When expectations don't meet reality, the hardest thing to do is point the finger at yourself." The picture of Macklin as hoops prima donna isn't pretty. From a strictly basketball perspective, Macklin's timing couldn't be more perplexing. After waiting his turn for two years behind an All-American center (Roy Hibbert), Macklin was finally going to be given the opportunity to shine next season. ... and in a more up-tempo scheme that would have accentuated his strengths (transition speed) while de-emphasizing his weaknesses (halfcourt post-up strength). And yet, Macklin chose to walk out the door just when his ultimate window of opportunity as a Hoya was opening.

The Big Ticket Is Leaving Georgetown

Fox Sports is reporting that Vernon Macklin is leaving the Hilltop. This could be huge for the Hoyas, who are obviously losing a considerable inside presence with the graduation of Roy Hibbert and Big East Sixth Man of the Year, Patrick Ewing Jr. Though several new big men will be arriving on the Hilltop next year, Macklin was poised to get considerable playing time next season -- especially if he could build upon the flashes of greatness he demonstrated down the stretch this past season.

We'll report more when additional information becomes available...and when I finish up a couple of projects here at work.

Georgetown reserve sophomore and former McDonald's All-American Vernon Macklin is transferring out of the program, according to sources close to the situation.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound athletic big man played sparingly behind Roy Hibbert in his first two seasons in college. Hibbert graduated after this past season, but the Hoyas will bring in one of the most talented frontcourt players in the country in skilled freshman Greg Monroe.
Macklin averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds this past season while playing 12.8 minutes per game.

P.S. - Thanks to Behemoth for alerting me to this story.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jester!

I hope you and the Mrs. do something special to celebrate.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

WaPost on Chris Braswell

We've known for some time that Braswell might not be showing up on the Hilltop in the fall. This article goes a long way to clarifying the situation. Hopefully, he can make it.

Unlocking the Door to His Future

The end of a curious high school career could come today for Braswell when he suits up for the Capital All-Stars in the Capital Classic at Comcast Center. The player once dubbed the Washington area's next great big man orally committed to the Hoyas in October 2006, but it's far from certain when he will suit up. Braswell repeated the eighth grade at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Forestville. Then, he spent his freshman year at Suitland dogged by rumors of poor grades and attendance. He spent the next two years at DeMatha, but he missed the final six weeks of his second season there without any explanation. He's spending this year at Hargrave Military Academy, a landing spot for athletes hoping the strict environment will help them improve their grades and gain initial NCAA eligibility. If Braswell can complete the class work this spring and summer to satisfy those eligibility requirements, and enroll at Georgetown in August, he expects the skeptics to say there is something fishy. If Braswell cannot, and has to return to Hargrave for all or part of the 2008-09 school year, he expects those people will say they knew it all along: Chris Braswell is a bad kid who can't do any schoolwork. "People are running their mouths about me," Braswell said. "But they don't know what I'm going through." A year ago, Braswell discovered he had a learning disability, which explains his childhood of academic struggles.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More 2009 predictions

Fox Sports has the Hoyas a #5, but Andy Katz has us all the way down at #19. I think that may be more realistic, but it is worth pointing out that he does not take into account players leaving for the draft. For instance, he has Cuse at #18 thanks to the play of Donte Green, who announced for the draft yesterday.

From Fox:

5) Georgetown
2007-08 Resume: 28-6, lost to Davidson in 2nd round of NCAA
Likely Early Departure: None
The Hoyas lose plenty of experience with the departure of four seniors, including starting point guard Jonathan Wallace and 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert. However, John Thompson III will likely have Dajuan Summers back, and he'll have a far more athletic group. Jessie Sapp and Austin Freeman return in the backcourt, and look for Chris Wright to take the reins from Wallace as the starting point guard. The Hoyas also add a strong recruiting class led by the consensus No. 1 player in skilled big man Greg Monroe.

Andy Katz:

19. Georgetown
John Thompson III has kept the Hoyas winning, regardless of personnel losses (like Jeff Green) that might have otherwise dropped them out of the Top 25. Georgetown still has a core group of players that can run the Hoyas' system, like Jessie Sapp, DaJaun Summers, Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jeremiah Rivers around one of the top big man recruits in the country in Greg Monroe.
Why not? Losing Roy Hibbert and adding Monroe won't be a crusher. Not having Patrick Ewing Jr. takes away an athletic finisher. But, perhaps, the biggest loss will be not having point guard Jonathan Wallace. There are not many glue-guy point guards in the country that had as much to do with his team winning a conference championship like Wallace.

Jason Clark: All-Met Player of the Year

Jason follows in the footsteps of Austin Freeman to be named the Player of the Year by the Washington Post. Congraulations Jason! We can't wait to see you in action next year.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Congrats to Kansas. Now, on to next year!

Luke Winn already has an early look at the top teams in the country next year, with the Hoyas coming in at #8. Here's his take:

8. GEORGETOWN - Greg Monroe is no Greg Oden, but the 6-10 forward from Harvey, La., is the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2008 and will help fill the void left by center Roy Hibbert's graduation. Look for unsung point guard Jessie Sapp to emerge as the Hoyas' MVP.

I'm as excited as anyone about next year, but let's not get too caught up in expectations. The Hoyas will be a young team with scary but unmolded talent. Let them develop at their own pace. No one would accuse me of being short on enthusiasm for the Hoyas, but this year was the first year since JTIII arrived that seemed to me to be a bit joyless. No matter how well we did--and the Hoyas had a great season--there was a sense that the team was underachieving. I think it will be nice next year to get out from under the expectation that we have a Final Four caliber squad. Could they actually be that good? Maybe, but I'm not counting on it. I just want to see some great basketball with exciting young talents like Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Greg Monroe. If they turn out to be great, we'll all enjoy it that much more. So when does Kenner League start up???

An "Illustrated" History Of Pat Ewing Sr.

As part of its coverage of Pat Ewing's selection for the basketball hall of fame, has a great series of photos documenting his career. It's definitely worth the visit.

Monday, April 07, 2008

PE2 Is Sick!

Pat Ewing Jr.'s days as a Georgetown Hoya are coming to an end. But, seriously, he deserves to go to the NBA. Why you ask, since he did not even start for most of his senior year.

The answer, my friends, is because of this dunk. This dunk, by itself, qualifies him in my mind.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


There is a good deal of All-American news on the Hilltop these days. Two future Hoyas made the Parade All-American list for 2008. Greg Monroe was, of course, a first team All-American. And Henry Sims made the fourth team. Congrats to both!

As for current Hoyas, Roy Hibbert was named a second team All-American, making him the second Hoya to receive such an honor during the JTIII era. (Jeff Green made the third team last year.) When discussing Roy's place among Georgetown's great centers, it is noteworthy that Dikembe Mutombo was only a third team All-American in his senior year. Of course, Roy's place in the pantheon at this point will depend on his performance in the NBA.

On last piece of good news, Jeff Green will be attending summer school at Georgetown this summer. He is reportedly 24 credits shy of graduation, so it sounds like he still has maybe three or four summers in front of him before finishing. I hope he sets a model for other Georgetown players who leave early. It would be great if under JTIII everyone who doesn't transfer earns a Georgetown degree.