The Van Buren Boys

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

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rivers to Indiana - Maybe Not?

This morning's Boston Globe is reporting that the Jeremiah Rivers-Indiana transfer may not be a lock. Marc Spears of the Globe states:

"While Indiana seems to be the favorite to land Rivers's son, Jeremiah, Georgia Tech and Central Florida are also possibilities. Jeremiah will have to redshirt a year before using his two years of eligibility after transferring from Georgetown."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hoyas' JTIII To Coach Team USA U-18s

All I've got to say is that I hope that this helps Georgetown with recruiting. I would think that it could.

Georgetown's John Thompson III to Serve as Assistant Coach for USA
Basketball U-18 National Team

May 21, 2008

Washington, D.C. - Georgetown University Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson III has been selected to serve as an assistant coach with the 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team that will compete in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship scheduled for July 14-18 in Formosa, Argentina.

The 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 National will be coached by Bob McKillop from Davidson College and Thompson III will serve as an assistant coach along with Anthony Grant from Virginia Commonwealth. The coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's College Committee, chairedby USA Men's Senior National Team assistant and Syracuse University Head Coach Jim Boeheim, and approved by USA Basketball's Executive Committee.
For the rest of the story, click here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

DaShonte Riley Commits To Georgetown

DaShonte has been (reportedly) the #1 priority for JTIII since the Hollis Thompson commit. He is a top-flight big man listed at 6'11, 220 lbs. This is Draft Express's write-up:

There is little more that you can ask for physically out of a center prospect then what Riley gives you. Blessed with a big frame, huge wingspan, and ability to run the floor like a gazelle, he constantly gives you flashes of potential that leave you drooling. An explosive leaper, he has very nice timing when attempting to block shots and usually does a good job staying out of foul trouble. The problem with Riley seems to pick and choose when he’s going to display his talents, often instead opting to loaf around the court.

The effort that Riley displayed in the two games that we observed him over the weekend was incredibly disappointing, with the big man often seen walking up and down the floor or pouting on the bench. He seemed as if he would have much rather been at home in Detroit than showing his stuff in front of a plethora of high major coaches in Akron, something rather concerning when you basically had a “who’s who” of college basketball at each of his games. The mental aspect of things is far and away the area that the center needs to work on most because if he ever develops a desire to play the game at a high level, the possibilities are downright scary.

At a legit 6’11, he is very coordinated for a player his size and shows flashes of solid footwork in the post. His post moves are fluid with a turn-around jumper out of the post going towards his left shoulder proving to be his go-to move at the moment, though he did show flashes of a nice right handed jump hook. When facing the basket, Riley showed a decent jumpshot out to the 14 foot area and made a few gorgeous passes. One would expect a player who is so young and still relatively raw to hesitate when faced with a double team in the post, but Dashonte was able to consistently find the open man when placed in that situation time and time again.Defensively, there are times when Riley leaves you gawking at how good he can possibly come. With a wingspan looking to be in the 7’4 area and explosive leaping ability, he has already established himself arguably as the top shot blocker this class has to offer. Also able to move well laterally, Dashonte has shown the ability to guard big men who tend to face the basket just as well as he defends traditional centers.

Needless to say, its Riley’s potential as a stopper on the defensive end that has made him one of the elite prospects in the nation. Very similar to Texas A&M freshman
DeAndre Jordan, Riley has all of the tools to be an elite draft prospect, but very rarely puts them ball together. He will likely have the opportunity to be a first round draft pick after his freshman year based on his upside no matter how he plays, but like Jordan, will probably be better suited to stick around for a few years in college before considering the NBA.

According to , Riley will spend at least one year playing for JTIII., by the way, ranks Riley #15 nationally in its class of 2009. Riley attends the Country Day School in Detroit, alma mater of Shane Battier. Riley, like Monroe, Thompson, and Vaughn, is supposed to be an excellent student--something that JTIII clearly places high on his list of recruit attributes.

Here's some video of Riley in action:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Man Barker On The Hoyas' Transfers

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, my man Barker Davis, had a piece in The Washington Times on Monday about all of the players that have transferred from Georgetown since JTIII took the helm. It is based primarily on an interview with JTIII himself. It's pretty good stuff.

Calmly weathering the losses

May 12, 2008
By Barker Davis

Turnover doesn't always equal turbulence.

Over the past two months, a Georgetown basketball program that
has made three straight NCAA tournament appearances and won back-to-back Big
East regular-season titles has absorbed some painful losses.

First, one of the most successful seasons in school history
ended with two losses in the team's final three games. The sting of the squad's
loss to Pittsburgh in the Big East tournament final was at least tripled by the
season-ending defeat Davidson handed the Hoyas in the second round of the NCAA

That upset loss forced the program to bid a premature farewell
to the senior class that arrived on the Hilltop with coach John Thompson III
before the 2004-05 season and proceeded to compile a 100-36 record to complete a
remarkable revival.

Replacing a class that included an All-American center (Roy
Hibbert) and the most seasoned player in the college game (Jon Wallace with 136
straight starts) qualified as a major task before the surprising developments of
the last three weeks. First came transfer announcements from key sophomore
reserves Vernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers. Then came confirmation that recruit
Chris Braswell, a much-needed frontcourt player, would not be joining the Hoyas
next season because of ongoing academic issues.

Down to just nine available scholarship players and only one
returning frontcourt player with any experience, the Hoyas aren't likely to earn
any three-peat votes in what perhaps will be the deepest conference in America.

"Obviously, we will not have the sheer number of bodies up
front that we have had the past couple of years. But I have confidence in the
people returning and in those arriving," Thompson told The Washington Times last
week. "We'll be OK. We'll figure it out. ... That's what we do."

Outwardly, Thompson shows no signs of being frazzled by the
events of the last couple of months. He still finds it somewhat difficult to
discuss the Davidson game, proof of the emotion lurking beneath his mellow
demeanor. But he has no trouble discussing the senior class he describes as the
"most special group of young men [he has] ever had the privilege to coach."

Nor does he have any problem discussing the issue of
transfers; seven players have left the team during his four-year tenure: Ray
Reed (2005), Cornelio Guibunda (2005), Josh Thornton (2005), Marc Egerson
(2007), Tay Spann (2007), Macklin and Rivers. None of the seven were starters.

"Attrition is inevitable," Thompson said. "Part of it is
natural when you have a lot of extremely talented kids in an extremely
competitive environment. Everybody wants to play. Everybody expects to play. In
many respects, you want them to have that attitude. But there are only so many
minutes available. I'm not going to make promises about playing time. That's a
fluid situation for every player on the roster, from seniors who have started
before to freshmen who are just walking in the door. Those minutes are earned,
not promised.

"Transfers are just part of the equation at this level. I'm
not going to say they're an unfortunate reality, because look at Patrick
[Ewing]'s situation and how well that worked out. The bottom line is that
Georgetown isn't for everybody. We expect a lot on and off the

Given the team's heavy personnel losses, Georgetown's incoming
recruiting class will have to adapt quickly to those demands, particularly
coveted forwards Greg Monroe (6-foot-10, 226 pounds) and Henry Sims (6-11, 215).
With the team gutted up front by the graduation of Hibbert and Ewing and the
defection of Macklin, both Monroe and Sims will be expected to make an immediate
impact on the boards as the two tallest members of the team.

"The freshman class does not have the luxury of time,"
Thompson said of a recruiting crop ranked No. 3 in the nation by
That ranking will drop a few slots with Braswell's loss, though he was the least
decorated of the team's four signees (also Bishop O'Connell guard Jason Clark).

"There are some similarities to my first year here," Thompson
continued. "The newcomers are going to be thrown into the fire and expected to

Actually, the young Hoyas won't make it through November
without a severe test. Georgetown committed to the Old Spice Classic, an
eight-team, three-game tournament that will take place in Orlando, Fla., over
the Thanksgiving weekend. Aside from Georgetown, the field will feature four
other NCAA tournament teams from last season (Tennessee, Michigan State, Gonzaga
and Siena) and a pair of NIT squads (Maryland and Oklahoma State).

"Obviously, it's an extremely challenging field, and we have a
young team, so I may regret it. But I really want to find out where we stand,
get a true sense of who and where we are quickly in the year," said Thompson,
who knew about the transfers before Georgetown agreed to participate in such a
demanding event.

Thompson also seems genuinely enthused about the possibility
of Georgetown meeting Maryland for just the third time since 1980: "I'm not sure
if that matchup draws much attention nationally. But locally, I know it would be
a very big deal."

In fact, cautious optimism seems to define Thompson's demeanor
as the Hoyas move toward what most assume will be a daunting transition season.

"It's a little like my first year here when we had a group
that was very young and hungry," Thompson said. "I'm really excited about this
year. It should be fun."


With the departure of six players through graduation or
transfer, Georgetown will feature a vastly different roster this season. Though
three starters return, coach John Thompson III loses six players off the 10-man
postseason rotation and returns only one frontcourt contributor (current
sophomore DaJuan Summers). Here's a closer look at the players who are gone, the
players who are returning and the new arrivals for the Hoyas:


Player/position G/GS '07-08 Pts Reb Min

Roy Hibbert C 136/121 13.4 6.4 26.3

Jonathan Wallace G 136/136 10.7 2.1 28.7

Patrick Ewing Jr. F 50/12 6.1 4.2 21.7

Vernon Macklin F/C 65/0 3.4 2.1 12.8

Jeremiah Rivers G 68/0 2.5 2.4 18.6

Tyler Crawford G/F 102/1 1.0 1.1 6.1


Player/position G/GS '07-08 Pts Reb Min

DaJuan Summers F 70/67 11.1 5.4 27.2

Jessie Sapp G 104/70 9.7 4.1 26.8

Austin Freeman G/F 34/23 9.1 3.0 25.6

Chris Wright G 16/0 5.7 2.4 17.3

Omar Wattad G/F 11/0 1.0 0.4 3.3

N. Mescheriakov G/F 0/0 NA NA NA


Player/position Hometown Recruiting ranking*

Greg Monroe F/C Harvey, La. 7.0

Henry Sims, F Baltimore 40.3

Jason Clark, G Arlington 66.7

Julian Vaughn F Vienna Florida State transfer**

* Average ranking from, and ESPN

** Must sit out the coming season as a practice-only player
per NCAA rules

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No Bras next year.

Yikes! We are going to be thin up front! This is from

Six-foot-8 senior forward Chris Braswell will return to Hargrave Military Academy for a postgrad year. The Georgetown signee was more active this weekend than we've seen in the past; he scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the quarterfinals for Triple Threat.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rivers To Indiana

Several news sources, including The Washington Times, are reporting that Jeremiah Rivers, who announced his intention to leave Georgetown last week, will be heading to the University of Indiana. Rivers is the second major Big East defection to head to IU this offseason. Former Marquette coach, Tom Crean is also heading to Bloomington.

A couple of intersting notes from my man Barker's short article on this topic:
  • Indiana only has one guard returning with any experience. So, in that respect, the change makes sense for Jeremiah, who was looking to be the 3rd or 4th guard for the Hoyas.
  • Rivers reportedly felt that Crean's perimeter-oriented system would help improve his performance.
  • The Boston Globe reported yesterday that Doc Rivers was not happy with his son's decision to leave Georgetown.

There you go IPB, there's you opportunity to make some tangentially related Celtic's post.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's Official: Rivers is Gone

The Hoya has the scoop:

This transfer is a little more understandable than Macklin's. From what we have seen, Clark is already a step better than Rivers and would have cut into his playing time considerably. I also understand these guys (Rivers and Macklin) wanting to take a year off to work on their games and to try to get into a system that may not require quite the skill level that JTIII's does. That said, JTIII really went all out to get them a great deal of experience, putting them into high-pressure games and asking them to make big plays, even as fans cringed. I don't think this transfer will affect us significantly, but I really wanted to JR to say. I loved the connection to Doc and I was hoping we could get the inside track on his little bro. Beyond that, he seemed like a nice kid what was working hard (as did Macklin). Oh well.

In other news, the Hoyas appear to be on the receiving end of a transfer. Julian Vaughn (6'10, 239) is leaving Florida State for the Hilltop. Vaughn averaged 3 points and 2.3 rebounds as a freshman at Florida State, over 13.3 minutes per game. One interesting tid-bit, Vaughn had some weird medical condition last year, that probably contributed to his lackluster performance: My guess is that, like Macklin and Rivers, he probably welcomes the year off to work on his game. One nice bonus is that Vaughn, like JTIII's other two most recent recruits, Monroe and Thompson, is an outstanding student. His GPA at Oak Hill Academy was over 3.7; Vaughn's father is a Cornell alum.

I suppose it is worth wondering if this indicates anything about Chris Braswell's status. With all of the transfers, I sort of doubt it. Vaughn played for DC Assault, so I assume that Coach Cox knew Vaughn and wanted him at the Hilltop.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Macklin to Florida

The Florida media is reporting that Vernon Macklin will be transferring to the University of Florida.

I have to say, I'm a little surprised that Florida would expend a scholarship on a player like Macklin. Not ot say that he's not talented, but a scholarship is a valuable commodity for a big program like Florida and Macklin will only be able to contribute for a year -- and that's assuming that he actually fits into the Gator's scheme.

Very interesting.