Men’s Soccer Announces 2015 Schedule

Georgetown has cemented its place as an elite men’s soccer program over the last several seasons. Its 2015 opponents, recently announced, reflect its position at the very top of Division I. The schedule for this fall starts out with an exhibition match against archrival No. 10 Syracuse and never looks back.

The out of conference portion of the season is difficult enough to give SEC football coaches nightmares. Instead of starting on August 22 with a warm up match against a relatively easy opponent, No. 5 Georgetown hosts the national champions, No. 1 Virginia. The Hoyas will be looking for revenge, or maybe redemption, after falling to the Cavaliers in penalty kicks in last year’s postseason.

From there it is on to Fort Myers, FL, which known for three things: being the hometown of yours truly (Try El Patio on the corner of 41 and Colonial for great Peruvian food or the Publix on McGregor and Gladiolus for the best subs in the country), world-class beaches and the dreaded Florida Gulf Coast University. The 2012 March madness Cinderella story may have put FGCU on the map and in the night terrors of Hoya fans, but its soccer team has been very good as well for several seasons running. After FGCU, Georgetown visits Tampa and takes on the University of South Florida. Both games will take place in early September in Southwest Florida, so the Hoyas will battle heat and humidity as much as their opponents. Continue reading

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John Thompson Jr. Receives Court of Honor Award

Former Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson Jr. has another award to put in his already crowded trophy case.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) bestowed Thompson with the organization’s Court of Honor Award at a gala in New York City this past Wednesday night. It was the sixth Court of Honor Award given out by the NABC, the largest association of basketball coaches in the country, with over 5,000 members from the NCAA down to the high school level.

According to the NABC, the Court of Honor Award is “presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots, and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.”

In previous years, the award has been given to chairman of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo, former Senator Bill Bradley, Nike co-founder Phil Knight, CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz and ESPN analyst Dick Vitale.

Thompson has been a fixture at Georgetown since his hiring in 1972. He served as head coach of the men’s basketball team until 1999 and can still be seen roaming the halls of McDonough Gymnasium and sitting behind the baseline at every home game.

The first African-American coach to win a national championship, Thompson’s influence has long stretched beyond the basketball court. After his retirement, the Washington DC native established the John Thompson Charitable Foundation to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children in the District.

A crowd of several hundred attended the Wednesday night gala, including Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, the head coaches at Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina respectively.

Thompson is among the most admired coaches in the history of college basketball, a fact the Court of Honor Award is yet another testament to.

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L.J. Peak Named to USA U19 National Team

(MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA)  Rising sophomore forward L.J. Peak had a number of memorable games in his freshman season, including a dominant 23-point performance in his college debut.

Rising sophomore forward L.J. Peak had a number of memorable games in his freshman season, including a dominant 23-point performance in his college debut.

While most of the Georgetown basketball team is spending summer on the Hilltop taking classes and gearing up for the 2015-2016 season, at least one player will be absent. And unlike last year, when Joshua Smith’s absence led to speculation about his status for the coming season, Georgetown coaches and fans alike will welcome the truancy. USA Basketball announced that sophomore L.J. Peak was among 12 players who had made the U19 national team that will compete in the U19 World Championships from June 27-July 5 in Greece.

Peak and UCLA center Thomas Welsh are the lone college players on the roster. The rest of the 12-man team is comprised of some of the top incoming freshmen and high school players in the country. Arizona’s Sean Miller will coach the team and is joined on the bench by his brother Archie, the head coach at Dayton, and Providence head coach Ed Cooley.

The experience figures to be a valuable one for Peak, who averaged 7.9 points per game and was named to the Big East all-rookie team as a freshman. The South Carolina native has the potential to be the best pure scorer in recent Georgetown history and a summer with the national team will provide training and competition against some of the best talent in the world.

Peak’s shooting from behind the arc is one aspect of his game that Georgetown fans will be sure to keep an eye on in Greece. Peak displayed an uncanny ability to get to the rim and finish throughout his freshman year, but struggled with his three-point shot, making only 24.6% of his attempts. However in the last game of the year – a round of 32 loss to Utah in the NCAA Tournament – Peak was the Hoyas’ best player, scoring 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

If Peak can replicate that effort on a consistent basis this summer with the national team, it would set him up for a monster sophomore campaign. While much of the early hype surrounding next year’s team has involved senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and sophomore forward Isaac Copeland, it is not implausible to envision Peak morphing into one of the Big East’s most lethal weapons on offense.

Regardless, the opportunity to play for his country and travel to Greece should be a memorable experience for Peak, whose first trip out of the country was to the Bahamas with the Hoyas last Thanksgiving according to CSN Washington. The sophomore will continue to rack up the frequent flyer miles in August when he travels to Italy with the rest of the Georgetown team for a pre-season tour.

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Former Hoya Stars Take the Field Together Again

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Midfielder Tyler Rudy made his debut for New England Wednesday.

Midfielder Tyler Rudy made his debut for New England Wednesday.

Midfielder Tyler Rudy made his debut for the New England Revolution in the team’s US Open Cup loss Wednesday. Rudy, who spent four seasons on the Hilltop with Georgetown and captained the Hoyas his senior season, started the game and played 72 minutes before being replaced by first-team regular midfielder Scott Caldwell.

Rudy has seen significant playing time with New England’s third-tier affiliate, the Rochester Rhinos. He had just recently returned to the Rochester lineup after missing several games to injury.

New England’s 1-0 defeat to the Charlotte Independence brought an end to the team’s US Open Cup dreams this season. The single-elimination tournament includes sides from all levels of American soccer, from amateur teams to MLS champions.

Coaches of top teams often choose to play back up or reserve players in the tournament in an attempt to rest stars for league games. Revolution manager Jay Heaps followed this strategy, starting a number of players who have seen limited minutes this season.

FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Steve Neumann started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence.

Steve Neumann started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to the Charlotte Independence.

Along with Rudy, another former Georgetown star benefited from this strategy. Midfielder and forward Steve Neumann made a rare appearance for New England. While Rudy has been sent to a lower division to adjust to being a professional and gain valuable experience, Neumann has been fighting for playing time on the Revolution bench. He has played just 52 minutes this season.

Neumann played the full 90 minutes Wednesday, but neither of the Hoyas’ efforts were enough to advance their team to the next round. Charlotte, which plays in the United Soccer League along with Rochester, scored the match’s lone goal in the 55th minute. It will play the Chicago Fire on June 30th.

Rudy and Neumann, meanwhile, will return to their respective clubs after taking the field together for the first time since 2013. Georgetown and New England fans will certainly hope the Hoya pair will play together again in the near future.

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Collins, Pomeroy and Carter Selected in 2015 MLB Draft

Georgetown’s baseball program has enjoyed a historic week, as three Hoyas were selected in the 2015 MLB Draft. Junior catcher Nick Collins was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round with the 248th overall pick. In addition, junior right-handed pitcher Curtiss Pomeroy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 28th round with the 840th overall selection and senior first baseman AC Carter was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 40th round with the 1187th overall pick. The three draft picks set a program record.

Collins, a left-handed hitting catcher, enjoyed a standout junior season, becoming the first Georgetown player to earn the Big East Player of the Year award. He had a batting average of .370 with 78 hits, including seven home runs. Collins led the Big East in hits, home runs and slugging percentage while leading the team in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and hits. He is the highest draft pick under current Head Coach Pete Wilk.

Pomeroy’s path to being drafted was more unconventional. He was recruited to the Hilltop as a position player, and spent his first two seasons and the beginning of his third season playing in the infield, primarily at third base. This season, he played in 17 games, starting 11, and had a batting average of .262. Later in the season, he was converted into a relief pitcher, making five appearances out of the bullpen and recording a 7.20 ERA in five innings, with eight strikeouts and no walks. Although he has not had much experience on the mound at the college level, he is being drafted based on his potential as a hard-throwing reliever.

Carter, the lone senior in the group, had a strong season in 2015, batting in the cleanup spot behind Collins. Carter, who spent his freshman season at Notre Dame and his sophomore season at Seminole State College of Florida, had 60 hits, with a batting average of .316. He had six home runs and led the team with 17 doubles and 42 RBIs.

Collins and Pomeroy, both juniors, will have the choice to either pursue their professional baseball dreams or return to the Hilltop for one more season. Collins, who was the highest draft pick of the group and is coming off an outstanding season, seems likely to turn professional. Pomeroy may return to the Hilltop in order to refine himself as a pitcher before going pro, but no one could blame him for pursuing a career in MLB.

The three selections are a reflection of an uptick in the status and success of Georgetown’s baseball program, as the team ended a postseason drought by appearing in the Big East tournament this season. The program’s future is looking up, even if Collins and Pomeroy choose to forgo their final years of eligibility.

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Class of 2017 SG Tyler Foster Commits to Georgetown

Rising junior guard Tyler Foster of Gilman High School in Maryland has committed to Georgetown, marking the first Class of 2017 commitment for Head Coach John Thompson III and his staff. The Baltimore native chose Georgetown over Virginia Commonwealth and Dayton.

Because Foster and his class are still two years away from college, recruiting sites have not yet refined their Class of 2017 rankings. However, ESPN recently listed Foster as a 4-star recruit and the No. 27 shooting guard recruit in the nation in his class.

The 6-foot-5 Foster possesses good size, length and athleticism for the shooting guard position. He is very crafty and is able to attack off the dribble and finish around the rim effectively. In addition, the right-handed guard has the ability to make outside shots, although like many high school players he needs to improve the consistency of his shot.

Foster’s athleticism and length lead scouts to believe that he will develop into an above-average wing defender. Recently, Georgetown has built its roster around this type of player, as recent Hoyas including Jeff Green, Otto Porter Jr. and Hollis Thompson as well as current players like Paul White, L.J. Peak and Isaac Copeland have enjoyed success under Thompson.

Although 2017 is a long way away, it is easy to see where Foster will fit on the Georgetown roster. The current roster has only three guards: senior D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and sophomores Peak and Tre Campbell. By the time Foster arrives on the Hilltop, Smith-Rivera will have graduated, and Peak and Campbell will be seniors, if they don’t choose to transfer or leave early to pursue professional careers. In college basketball, a lot can change in a short period of time, but if Foster develops the way scouts expect him to, it is easy to envision him carving out a significant role in Thompson’s rotation.

As a rising junior, Foster’s commitment comes earlier than the majority of high-level basketball prospects. An early commitment means that there is a still a chance that something could change between now and National Signing Day in his senior year, as recruits are not bound to their commitments until they sign their National Letter of Intent.

Still, Foster’s early pledge to Georgetown is encouraging because it shows his desire to be a Hoya. Even though he could have waited and potentially received more scholarship offers, he chose to take himself off the market and commit early. In addition, Thompson’s willingness to tie up a scholarship for Foster that he and his staff are impressed enough by Foster’s game that they would rather lock him up now rather than potentially wait for other recruits.

Foster’s commitment continues a strong run of recruiting for Thompson and his staff. The Hoyas’ highly-regarded five-man 2014 class lived up to its billing in 2014-15, as Campbell, Peak, Copeland and White each delivered significant contributions in their freshman seasons. In addition, the team’s Class of 2015 recruits, center Jessie Govan and forwards Marcus Derrickson and Kaleb Johnson, project to be immediate contributors in 2015-16. With a significant amount of young talent in the fold, the future of the program is bright.

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