Tag:Georgetown
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 6:15 pm
 

Gates plays to potential and Cincy looks sharp

Henry Sims, left, and Yancy Gates went toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow Thursday afternoon. (US Presswire)
By Matt Norlander

After two days of yawn-inducing basketball -- some of it even eye-gouging -- the afternoon session of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday delivered the goods.

First it was Syracuse coming back to beat UConn 58-55 to advance to the semis, and then Cincinnati and Georgetown needed 50 minutes to decide who gets the Orange Friday night. It's Cincinnati by way of a 72-70 double-overtime victory. The Bearcats: holding seed, winning again and getting production from all over the floor. They're starting to look like they did in January, when the team was rolling, beating good teams on the road and looking like a top-two or -three team in the Big East.

“To go 2 for 21 from 3 and win the game against Georgetown is unthinkable, it’s just unthinkable,” Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin said.

The Bearcats outscored Georgetown 13-4 in the last 6:02 of regulation, and then the Hoyas had a span of nearly seven minutes when they only put up five points, three of which came off of free-throws. It came to bea game of runs. Had Otto Porter and Henry Sims not hit game-tying shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime, Cincinnati wins -- maybe a little too easily.

One win in a game on a neutral floor doesn't complete the return to form, but it's a really good sign. Cincy trailed for most of the game, but it stayed in it thanks to Yancy Gates' play. And how often have we been able to say that in the past? Gates has been improved ever since the brawl (I hate to mention it, but it is the only frame of reference for his turnaround in this case) and become a guy who isn't a black hole when he's on the floor.

“It’s like a proud parent,” Cronin said. “We’ve been working on this guy a long time. Yancy, and Dion Dixon, they’re traditional guys. They’re young seniors. … His best basketball is still way ahead of him. He’s been called upon to do a lot — too much — to rebuild our program. … For me, two things, I’m happy for him, but also as a coach, it’s great when you know you have a horse, and you get him the ball and he’s delivering. It gives you options.”

Used to be in past seasons, and even in this one, that Cincy wasn't functional when Gates was in the game. He took the wrong shots at the wrong times. Made dumb fouls. Killed on-court chemistry. But that's not the case anymore. Gates had a skilled big man go at him all day -- and the Cincy senior responded beautifully. The final tally:

Gates: 23 points and eight rebounds, three steals on 10-of-19 shooting. Turnovers: none.

Sims: 22 points and 15 boards.

Both played 46 minutes. It was awesome. The Big East is almost assuredly never going to be the conference of big men that it was for 15 years, but this was a fine fight to see. Gates spoke about not wanting to just be one-and-done in the Big East in his final season. He wanted to see Friday night -- badly.

“Henry Sims, he’s a great player, so I was trying to guard him as tough as I can, and we try to call upon us. It was a good battle between two big men, two seniors, too,” Gates said.

The maturity in Gates is easy to see. His head just seems clearer. The taunts still exist, but he lifts up his teammates now. After a lot of made baskets and big rebounds Thursday afternoon, Gates was talking with teammates. Encouraging. Reaffirming communication on what went right on the previous play, or where he was going to be on the defensive one upcoming. It's a great thing to see, this big man playing like a big man and a most valuable one at that.

As a team, we don't know if Cincinnati is reliable. As a man, with less than 10 games remaining in his career, it seems Gates is.

Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:11 am
 

Night Court: Kansas clinches eighth straight

In a "rebuilding" year, Bill Self led Kansas to its eighth straight Big 12 title. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games … in a different format than usual to accommodate the less-than-stellar slate.

Eight in a row: Heading into the season, not many people had Kansas winning the Big 12. In what may have been Bill Self’s best coaching job, though, the Jayhawks got better as the season went on and clinched the Big 12 regular-season title with a win at Oklahoma State on Monday night. It’s not a vintage Kansas team, it doesn’t have a lot of depth or a ton of offensive options – but Self has the Jayhawks in contention for a No. 1 seed. Unbelievable stuff.

Georgetown under the radar?: It’s tough for a top-12 team to fly under the radar this late in the season, but if anyone fits that description right now, it could be Georgetown. The Hoyas just throttled Notre Dame on Monday night, locking the Irish down defensively and making plays at both ends of the floor. Because Georgetown has had some hiccups this season – double-digit losses to Seton Hall and Pittsburgh – the Hoyas might not get the attention they deserve.

Notre Dame needs to find its shot: The Fighting Irish are not the 3-point heavy team they’ve been in the past, but still, they’re not playing well right now. They shot just 4-of-31 from deep against St. John’s over the weekend and they didn’t do much better on Monday, knocking down just 3-of-17 from behind the arc. Throw in the fact that Jack Cooley only had two points, and Notre Dame simply did not look dangerous.

Everything Baylor: I know it was only Texas Tech, but when Baylor plays like it did on Monday night, the Bears are still a pretty tough team to beat. Perry Jones and 15 points and 10 rebounds in only 27 minutes, while Anthony Jones, Quincy Acy and A.J. Walton also scored in double-figures in the 77-48 win. Turnovers were still a problem, but it was a reminder that Baylor – despite its weaknesses – still has a ton of talent.

17-0: Mississippi Valley State improved to 17-0 in the SWAC with its win over Jackson State on Monday night, led by Kevin Burwell’s 30 points. The Delta Devils can finish the regular-season unbeaten if they beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Thursday.

MEAC race heats up: Savannah State stayed atop the standings with its win over North Carolina A&T, but Norfolk State remained only one game up after beating Florida A&M on the road. Delaware State dropped a one-point game at home to Morgan State, putting the Hornets out of the hunt.

March Madness comes early: The month of March technically doesn’t start until Thursday, but conference tournaments kicked off tonight in the Big South. VMI and High Point both advanced, meaning Radford and Gardner-Webb are both headed home.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:41 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:59 pm
 

Georgetown's young kids what makes Hoyas tick

By Jeff Goodman

PROVIDENCE - John Thompson III enjoys going under the radar. 

"You don't need to write anything," JT3 said after his Georgetown Hoyas won their 20th game of the season, a 63-53 victory at Providence on Saturday night. 

But this is a team worthy of more ink than it has received throughout a campaign that has taken it from 10th in the Big East preseason poll to one that has risen all the way to 10th in the nation. There's the veteran, Jason Clark. The breakout player, Henry Sims. The scorer, Hollis Thompson. But the freshmen have been as critical to this team's success as anything else. 

"They've been as refreshing as hell," JT3 said. "They're just about winning. They aren't worried about their minutes or how many shots they get. Just how they can help the team win." 

Clark admitted this isn't a team that will blow you away in terms of pure talent. There may not be a first-round draft pick on the entire roster, but they do it in a similar way as Syracuse: Power in numbers. 

The veterans carry the load and the young kids don't just accept their roles. They thrive in them. 

JT3 has had the identical starting lineup in 24 of the 25 games this season and the lone time he altered it was when starting point guard Markel Starks wasn't available. 

There's Otto Porter, the kid from Missouri who didn't play AAU ball. He leads the team in rebounding. Then there's the versatile 6-foot-8 forward Greg Whittington from nearby Columbia, Md.,, 6-foot-5 guard Jabril Trawick out of Philly and ex-DeMatha big man Mikael Hopkins. 

"They don't play like freshmen," Hoyas sophomore Nate Lubick said. "Or act like freshmen." 

"It's not forced or fake," JT3 added. "And it's contagious." 

This is a Georgetown team that has bowed out in the first round each of the last two seasons, but that was with Chris Wright and Austin Freeman as the vets. Freeman was too quiet to lead and while Wright had made progress, his focus was still too much on himself and his numbers. 

Now Clark is the leader -- and he's always been a guy who has accepted being in the shadows. 

"We don't care about who's going to score points," Clark said. "The chemistry is much better than it has been the last few years." 

The Hoyas won their 10th Big East contest on Saturday night. They have won at Louisville, against Marquette and UConn -- and beaten Memphis twice and also knocked off Alabama in Tuscaloosa back when the Crimson Tide had a complete team. 

Georgetown shares the basketball. The Hoyas rebound -- and they guard. 

Providence made just 4-of-28 shots from the field in the first 20 minutes and wound up shooting below 26 percent in the loss. Teams are shooting 38.8 percent from the field against the Hoyas this season and 28 percent from beyond the arc. 

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in the eyes of many. Instead, Georgetown sits just a game out of second place in the Big East. 

"It's still too early to start worrying about getting pub or attention," JT3 said. 

Too early? That may have been the case in early-January after a 3-0 league start, but not now with just four regular-season contests left in the season. 


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:28 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 3:19 pm
 

No. 1 senior Nerlens Noel discusses recruitment

By Jeff Borzello

Nerlens Noel's recruitment has heated up since he reclassified to 2012. (MassLive.com)

Since Nerlens Noel announced a few weeks ago that he was reclassifying to the class of 2012, he’s been the most talked-about recruit in the country.

Noel, a 6-foot-10 Massachusetts native who plays at Tilton (N.H.), immediately moved to the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Moreover, the schools pursuing him have really turned up the heat.

“Recruiting has gone crazy all of a sudden,” Noel told Jeff Goodman on SiriusXM’s Inside College Basketball on Thursday afternoon. “I just need to plan out some visits to get out to all these schools. Keep talking to coaches, build better relationships with them.”

Noel is currently considering Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown and Connecticut. He later tweeted that Providence was also on his list, but did not mention them during the interview with Goodman.

He visited Syracuse this past weekend for the Orange’s win over Connecticut, and he will trip to Kentucky this coming weekend.

“I’m talking to a few more coaches to get down to their campuses during vacation,” Noel said.

Noel is the best shot-blocker in the country, and would immediately be the best in the college game too. He has tremendous dexterity defensively, able to cover a lot of ground and alter shots with either hand. Noel’s offensive is constantly getting better, and he is developing post moves and is taking defenders off the dribble as well.

He would dominate defensively wherever he ends up.

“Just a good program where I can go and play and be comfortable with the coaching staff, the whole program,” Noel said. “I know I can develop as long as I’m there, as a player and a person.”

Noel maintains that he is wide open among the six schools he mentioned, and he is still a long way from making a decision.

“I don’t really have a timeframe,” Noel said on the show. “I just want to make sure I get in all my visits to these schools. However long that takes.”

Posted on: February 12, 2012 8:40 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 8:47 pm
 

Night Court: Seton Hall, Purdue get bubble wins

Meyers Leonard struggled mightily on the offensive end against Michigan, as Illinois lost by nine. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: In a game with major implications for the bubble, Seton Hall went on an 18-5 run to finish the game en route to a 73-66 win over Pittsburgh. Even more impressively, the Pirates played the final six minutes without Fuquan Edwin, who fouled out after making a jumper to cut the lead to four. Brandon Mobley came up with an important steal, while Herb Pope made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, to clinch the victory for Seton Hall. Pitt probably needs to win the Big East tournament to get to the Big Dance now.

Win to brag about: Stony Brook came into Sunday at 12-1 in the America East and on top of the standings. Second-place Vermont simply went out and hammered the Seawolves by 19, holding them without a 3-pointer despite 15 attempts from behind the arc. Four McGlynn had 24 points off the bench for the Catamounts, who can now win a share of the regular-season title – and potential homecourt advantage in the conference tournament.

Loss to hide from: Only two days after beating Iona to take sole possession of first place in the MAAC, Loyola (Md.) was throttled at home by Fairfield, 68-51. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ seven-game winning streak, as they shot just 17.4 percent from the field in the second half. A 12-0 run midway through the second stanza broke things open for the Stags.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In the “Battle for Brooklyn,” LIU-Brooklyn senior Jamal Olasewere shot 11-for-11 from the field, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds in an 81-78 win over St. Francis (N.Y.). The win keeps the Blackbirds atop the Northeast, and completes a two-game sweep of the city rival Terriers.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Michigan is most vulnerable on the inside, so most expected Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard to have a monster game on the interior. However, he struggled with foul trouble and only finished with five points on five shots as Michigan came out with a 70-61 win. Leonard did grab 12 rebounds, but Bruce Weber needed more offensive production from his big man. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 0: Binghamton is still winless after losing a 62-60 game to Hartford. The Bearcats have five regular-season games left to get a victory.
  • 6: The Northeast has a “Rivalry Week” where each team plays their rival twice in a matter of days. All six matchups featured 2-0 sweeps.
  • 26: Kyle Weems became the 26th played in Missouri Valley history to reach 1800 points, as Missouri State beat Bradley by 11.
  • 10: St. John’s became the first team in the country to lost 10 games to top 25 teams this season.

Three other notable results:

  1. Georgetown hit three 3-pointers during a key three-minute stretch late in the second half to hold off St. John’s, 71-61.
  2. The Big Ten featured a monster bubble battle on Sunday, with Purdue getting the big victory over Northwestern, 87-77. John Shurna had 30 points in the loss.
  3. Washington’s Terrence Ross had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Washington to a 75-72 victory at Oregon State. The game was a must-win for the Huskies, in order to keep pace with California at the top of the Pac-12.

Notes:

  • Connecticut announced that Warde Manuel will be the new director of athletics for the university. Manuel has been the AD at Buffalo for the past six years.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a missed 3 with 1.8 seconds left to give Virginia Tech a 66-65 win over Boston College.
  • Scott Machado racked up a triple-double in Iona's tougher-than-expected win over Marist. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
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Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:24 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:23 am
 

Night Court: Western Carolina wins by ... 102?!

Trey Burke had 20 points, including the game-winning assist, to lead Michigan to a 60-59 win over Michigan St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Michigan struggled defensively for much of the second half, but the Wolverines came up big down the stretch to hold on to a 60-59 victory over Michigan State. Stu Douglass made the game-winning layup with 36.5 seconds left, off a terrific pass from Trey Burke. Draymond Green missed a potential game-winning shot and tip-in on the Spartans’ final possession. Burke led the way with 20 points.

Win to brag about: Beating Maryland in itself isn’t that impressive, but Florida State continues to turn it around after an embarrassing loss to Clemson two weeks ago. The Seminoles used a 21-3 run in the second half to dispatch of the Terrapins, 84-70. For a team that has the reputation of being offensively inept, Florida State has now scored at least 84 points in three of its last five games. Ian Miller and Okaro White combined for 31 points off the bench.

Loss to hide from: I have no clue how Toccoa Falls does against its usual competition (it's 3-6), but it apparently can’t handle Division-I opposition. Western Carolina had nine guys score in double figures, defeating the Eagles, 141-39. The Catamounts outrebounded Toccoa Falls 62-16, and only three players did not reach double-figures in scoring.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis has had several impressive performances this season, but Tuesday’s game took the cake. The Kentucky freshman had 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Wildcats to an 86-63 win over Arkansas. Moreover, he broke the school’s single-season record for blocks – with 12 games left in the regular season.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert has been one of the most underrated freshmen in the country this season, but Tuesday didn’t show that. Tolbert went just 1-for-10 from the field and turned it over five times before fouling out. The Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma, 64-55.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3: After losing 18 of 21 in the rivalry, Michigan has now defeated Michigan State three straight times.
  • 102: The margin in Western Carolina’s win over Toccoa Falls was the third-largest in Division-I history.
  • 15: It’s been 15 years since an SEC player had 27 points, 14 boards and seven blocks in a game. Anthony Davis did it tonight.

Three other notable results:

  1. With first place in the Big South on the line, UNC-Asheville improved to 8-0 with a victory over second-place Coastal Carolina. J.P. Primm had 23 points, helping UNCA overcome six guys scoring in double-figures for Coastal.
  2. Purdue bounced back from last week’s loss to Wisconsin with a 75-68 win over Iowa. The Boilermakers overcame a five-point halftime deficit.
  3. Jason Clark scored 31 points despite going just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line, leading Georgetown to an 83-75 road win at DePaul.

Notes:

  • The lone overtime game on Tuesday was between LSU and Auburn. Auburn’s Varez Ward sent it into an extra session with a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left, but LSU dominated the overtime for a 65-58 win.
  • Boise State freshman Anthony Drmic had a chance to make a name for himself early in Mountain West play, but he shot just 1-for-8 from the field in a 66-55 loss to Colorado State.
  • North Dakota State, currently 6-2 in Summit League play, went into North Dakota – a team with three D-I wins this season – and lost, 59-54.
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Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:32 pm
 

Georgetown hosts Chinese high school team

The Hoyas took the extra effort to repair the image and relationship between American and Chinese basketball this week. (AP)

By Matt Norlander


In the midst of a surprisingly good campaign, Georgetown hoops didn't need to do this. Didn't need the PR or the reminder of what happened last summer with the Bayi Rockets. But Georgetown's claimed all along that fight marred, only temporarily, what was an incredible trip. There were games after the fight, games that started and ended without a problem.

Seems the Hoyas are doing their best to make their team synonymous with good global diplomacy, as they hosted a high school team from China this week. USA Today's Nicole Auerbach reported Georgetown was a planned stop for Nanyang Model High School. Perhaps it was in an effort to -- I guess "ease tensions" is too strong a phrase so I'll go with -- relax the relationship between American and Chinese hoops. A small but meaningful meet-up.

The Chinese players took photos with [Georgetown coach John] Thompson [III], and they also received pins and Georgetown T-shirts from the coach. More than most, Thompson understands and appreciates foreigners welcoming a basketball team with open arms and helping them explore a new culture.

"We had a great experience over there, the time we were in Beijing and Shanghai," Thompson said. "Part of that, above and beyond the basketball component is the cultural exchange, learning about their culture.

"This team is coming over here for a couple of games, and they contacted us. We just wanted to welcome them here and show them a little bit of Georgetown."

The team is from Shanghai and in fact is the same school where Yao Ming played ball when he was a young, sprite 160 centimeters or so. According to the trip organizer, Joe Cooley, this kind of host-and-play trip is the first of its kind for a Chinese high school team. It's also made stops in Chicago, Buffalo and Pennsylvania. They're also heading up to see a Knicks game this weekend, according to Auerbach's article.

Good on Georgetown, who plays at St. John's Sunday.

More College Basketball coverage
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:07 am
 

Night Court: No BCS title game in these parts



By
Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Certainly not the BCS title game. Cincinnati bounced back from Saturday’s last-second loss to St. John’s with an impressive four-point win at Georgetown. The game was tied with 1:07 remaining, when Cashmere Wright hit two free throws. Cincinnati went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 67 seconds, holding off the Hoyas, which lost their second straight game. Sean Kilpatrick had 27 points for Cincinnati.

Win to brag about: Monday’s game against West Virginia was a game Connecticut should have won. And the Huskies did, 64-57. But the way they did it had to give them confidence going forward. Andre Drummond had his best game of the season, putting up 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Jeremy Lamb scored 25. Connecticut also held the Mountaineers to 32.3 percent shooting.

Loss to hide from: There weren’t any terrible losses on Monday, but Oklahoma is reeling and needed a solid performance against Oklahoma State. The Sooners didn’t get it, trailing by as many as 17 points en route to a 72-65 loss. Le’Bryan Nash had 21 points for Oklahoma State, which has now won four of its last five against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is now 0-3 in the Big 12 after going 10-2 in non-conference play.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Matthew Dellavedova hit six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points, helping Saint Mary’s beat San Francisco, 87-72. Dellavedova also dished out four assists and grabbed six rebounds. His teammate Stephen Holt came one rebound short of a triple-double, getting 11 points and 10 assists.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: West Virginia’s Darryl Bryant had been rolling lately, scoring at least 25 points in three of his last four games. On Monday against Connecticut, however, the senior guard shot 2-for-13 from the field and finished with just eight points. Bryant was 1-for-7 from 3-point range. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 59.1. That’s the percentage Georgetown shot from the field, but turning the ball over 17 times did the Hoyas in against Cincinnati.
  • 24. Wyoming has now defeated Idaho State twice this season, with both victories coming by 24 points.
  • 17-3. That’s the run Connecticut went on after head coach Jim Calhoun picked up a technical foul in the second half.

Three other notable results:

  1. Norfolk State improved to 4-0 in the MEAC, the Spartans’ best start since 2004-05, with a 68-48 win over Howard.
  2. Mississippi Valley State beat Alabama A&M on the road, moving to 3-0 in the SWAC.
  3. Air Force overcame a slow start to beat Texas-Pan American, 67-50. 

Notes:

  • In its first game without suspended head coach Todd Bozeman, Morgan State lost to Savannah State, 57-55.
  • Former Oklahoma transfer Ray Willis had 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals for North Carolina Central, as it beat Bethune-Cookman.
  • A couple of recent transfers made their announcements. Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) decided on UNLV as his next destination, while Jamal Branch (Texas A&M) opted for St. John’s.

Photo: AP

 
 
 
 
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