Tagged with Men’s Basketball

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.

(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.

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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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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Recruiting Update: Three New Names Consider Georgetown

Since the last recruiting update, Nigel Williams-Goss has committed to Gonzaga, Anton Gill signed up for Nebraska, Anthony Collins went to Texas A&M and North Carolina landed Kenny Williams. Gill nearly rejoined former teammate Akoy Agau on the Hilltop, but instead will play in Lincoln, NE. The Hoyas were 0-4.

Now a new group of names has appeared in connection to Georgetown basketball, including a former commit, a 6’9” forward and another graduate transfer guard from the state of Florida.

F Noah Dickerson

A four-star recruit in the class of 2015, Dickerson committed to Georgetown back in May 2014. He had a change of heart, however, and chose to sign with Billy Donovan at Florida. Of course, Donovan has since left Florida for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant. Dickerson has been released from his commitment to the Gators.

According to Casual Hoya, Georgetown is very much in the mix to land its former target. As a 6’8” forward, Dickerson would add depth to a roster that already includes sophomores Paul White and Isaac Copeland and junior Akoy Agau.

F Johnathan Williams III

Williams III played his freshman and sophomore years at Missouri and will have to sit out a season before becoming eligible to play for Georgetown. He averaged about 12 points and seven rebounds a game last season, starting all 32 games for Missouri. Williams III also showed the ability to play from the outside with Missouri. He attempted 64 three-pointers last season, hitting several in a 22-point performance against Oklahoma State.

Head Coach John Thompson III and Georgetown hosted Williams III yesterday, though the forward also stopped by Southern Methodist a week ago. Gonzaga and Michigan State are also competing for the transfer.

G Eli Carter

A 6’2” guard from Florida, Carter played at Louisville before heading to Gainesville. Now he is immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer. He played in 28 games last season, averaging 8.8 ppg and shooting 30.5% from beyond the arc. Over half of his field goals were threes. The guard suffered broke his leg in his junior season, from which some believe he never recovered.

Georgetown is, of course, short on guard depth. While Carter doesn’t offer the upside of Nigel Williams-Goss or Kenny Williams, the Hoyas could use more bodies in the backcourt to replace the minutes and impact of Jabril Trawick. Clemson and Boston College are also interested in Carter, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

 

 

 

 

 

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Recruiting Update: Top Guard Targets

While most of the varsity sports on the Hilltop wrap up their seasons and the student body celebrated Georgetown Day, the men’s basketball coaching staff is already hot on the recruiting trail for next year. The team currently has one open scholarship spot open and is seeking to fill it with a guard via a transfer or graduate school recruit. Casual Hoya, a Georgetown fan site, has been posting about a couple of Georgetown’s top targets. Let’s take a look at each:

Anton Gill (6’3” sophomore guard, Louisville):

Gill was an elite scorer with great verticality coming out of high school (he was ranked #48 in the country by ESPN, ahead of the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine). At Louisville, his minutes stagnated, and he couldn’t crack the rotation. He announced his intention to transfer at the end of March. He played high school basketball with Isaac Copeland and college basketball with Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau so he has serious connections to the Hoyas. Gill took an official visit about a week ago but would have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules.

Anthony Collins (6’1” graduate point guard, South Florida):

Collins is a defensive-minded point guard (averaged 1.5 steals per game last year) who also has a great playmaking capacity. Hoyas could really use another point guard so DSR can spend more minutes at his natural off-guard position. Since Collins would be a 5th year graduate-transfer, he would be immediately eligible. Per Jon Rothstein of CBS, Collins has cut his list down to Georgetown, Tennessee and Baylor, but Texas A&M has recently gotten into the mix.

Nigel Williams-Goss (6’3 “sophomore guard, Washington):

Williams-Goss is easily one of the best transfers available. He averaged 15.6 points 5.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds a game during 2014-2015 season while being named to the All Pac-12 team. Williams-Goss is a well-rounded player who would be a huge boost for the Hoyas should they recruit him. Even though he would sit out a year, Williams-Goss would have two seasons to play with the current freshman core of Copeland, Peak, White, and Campbell (a potent combination). Williams-Goss has reportedly narrowed his choices to Georgetown, UNLV, Texas, Michigan State, Arkansas and Gonzaga. Coach Thompson will make an in-home visit with him this week and then Williams-Goss will make an official visit on May 8th.

Kenny Williams (6’3” high school senior guard):

Kenny Williams, ESPN’s #82 player in the country this year was locked into   attending VCU until Shaka Smart left to take the Texas head coaching job and

Williams was released from his letter of intent. Now, his recruitment is wide open with UNC, Michigan, VCU and Virginia looking like frontrunners, but Georgetown, which extended an offer to Williams last year, is still in contention. Williams is a well-rounded scorer, but his value comes from being one of the best shooters in the class of 2015. Williams would be a great addition to the already solid 2015 Georgetown recruiting class.

Any one of these guys would solidify an already strong Georgetown roster that looks poised to challenge even the toughest teams in the Big East.

Class of 2015 guard Kaleb Johnson signs his letter of intent to play for Georgetown next season.

Class of 2015 guard Kaleb Johnson signs his letter of intent to play for Georgetown next season.

In other recruiting news this week, Georgetown commit Kaleb Johnson officially signed his national letter of intent. That means

the 6’6” wing will be joining Jesse Govan and Marcus Derrickson as part of the incoming freshman class. Johnson is a well-

rounded player who will add outside shooting and defense for the Hoyas.

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Georgetown and Maryland to Meet Next Year

The Washington, D.C. metro area has long been one of the top basketball regions in the country, but the two premier local programs – Georgetown and Maryland – have not played each other consistently since the late 1970s. There have been occasional meetings between the teams in various tournaments since then, but none that have been scheduled. That changed on Tuesday afternoon when the local CBS affiliate reported that Georgetown and Maryland will play this upcoming season in College Park, Md.

The matchup will be the highlight of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, a series of contests that will pit opponents from the Big East and the Big Ten. 2015 will mark the first edition of the games, which are scheduled to run through the 2022-2023 season. The inaugural match-ups have yet to be formally announced, but individual games have been reported since last week and Brian Snow of Scout.com tweeted out what appears to be a complete schedule on Tuesday afternoon:

Georgetown vs. Maryland

Xavier @ Michigan

Creighton @ Indiana

Rutgers @ St. John’s

Illinois @ Providence

Nebraska @ Villanova

Penn State @ DePaul

Iowa vs. Marquette

From an interest standpoint, the meeting between Georgetown and Maryland could hardly have come at a better time, as both teams are projected to be among the best in the country next season.

Maryland, led by talented freshman guard Melo Trimble, returns the bulk of the talent from a team that spent much of the past season ranked in the top-20, received a five seed in the NCAA tournament and lost in the round of 32 to West Virginia. The Terps are bringing in a consensus top-10 recruit in center Diamond Stone and will likely be ranked in the preseason top-five, if not higher.

Georgetown, buoyed by the return of junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, brings back an incredibly talented group of freshmen to go along with a strong recruiting class. The Hoyas will expect to fall somewhere in the 15 to 20 range of the preseason polls.

The last meeting between the two programs came in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, where Georgetown rolled by a score of 75-48. Prior to that, the teams had not met since the 2001 Sweet 16, when the Terps beat the Hoyas 76-66 on their way to the Final Four.

This is a game that college basketball fans not only in D.C., but also around the country have been waiting a long time for. Along with a matchup against archrival Syracuse, it will be one of the most anticipated games of Georgetown’s season.

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