Tagged with Men’s Basketball

RAPID RECAP: No. 5 Duke 86, Georgetown 84

In an all too familiar situation, the Georgetown Hoyas (1-3) took the defending national champions and the No. 5 team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils (3-1), to the final minute, only to come up short in the final seconds.

Fresh off their first win of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten), the Hoyas came out ready to take on one of the toughest teams in the nation. In the first half, the Hoyas were able to match the Blue Devils’ strong offense, which was led by sophomore guard Grayson Allen, who scored 16 of his 32 points in the first half.

The Hoyas had their largest lead of the game in the first half when they were up 35-27 with 4:11 left in the half. Freshman guard/forward Kaleb Johnson closed out the first half by sinking a desperation half-court shot to give the Hoyas a 47-42 lead. The Hoyas finished the first half strong, shooting 57 percent from the field, compared to the Blue Devils’ 50 percent.

The second half was a different story and was a half of runs. Senior center and co-captain Bradley Hayes started the scoring in the second half to extend the lead to 49-42. But Duke quickly responded with an 8-0 run to give it a one-point lead. Sophomore guard L.J. Peak hit three free throws to put Georgetown back in the lead, but Duke then went on a 10-0 run, giving it its largest lead at the time, 63-54 with 13:45 remaining.

Johnson finally ended the Hoyas’ prolonged scoring drought with an easy layup, pushing them onto a 7-0 run, pulling Georgetown to within three at 64-61 with 9:28 left. After a quick Blue Devil two-pointer, junior forward Reggie Cameron nailed an NBA-range three-pointer to make it a two-point deficit for the Hoyas.

As the game wound down to the final five minutes of play, senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who finished with 14 points, hit a floater at the 4:30 mark to pull the Hoyas with one. Once again, however, the Hoyas’ inability to box out and get defensive rebounds plagued them in the second half, allowing the Blue Devils to take advantage of second chances.

The final minute of play featured a series of exciting events. Duke lead 79-72 entering the final minute of play, but Georgetown slowly began to chip away at the lead. Sophomore guard L.J. Peak converted on a hard drive and drew a foul, but then failed to complete the three-point play.

When Georgetown began to intentionally foul to stop the clock, Duke was able to convert on most of its free throws in the last minute. But with time winding down, sophomore forward Isaac Copeland took charge of the Georgetown offense, draining two three-pointers in a span of 15 seconds to decrease Duke’s lead to two points with 5.4 seconds left.

Georgetown then intentionally fouled and sent Duke freshman guard Derryck Thornton to the line. Following a timeout called by Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III, Thornton missed his second free throw, which led to the most important play of the game. With 5.4 seconds left, Copeland, who finished 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, tried to replicate Johnson’s first-half buzzer-beater with one of his own, but the shot came up short, putting an end to the possible upset. Copeland led all Georgetown scorers with 21 points.

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Men’s Basketball Schedule Update: Highlights, Tough Matchups and Planning Ahead for Road Trips

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Then-freshman forward L.J. Peak dunks the ball in Georgetown's sole victory over Villanova last season.

Then-freshman forward L.J. Peak leaping among a throng of Villanova players. Peak played 30 minutes, second-most on the team, in the Hoyas’ victory over the Wildcats on Jan. 19, 2015.

A little more than a week after releasing the dates and locations of its nonconference matchups, the Georgetown men’s basketball team revealed the entirety of its 2015-16 schedule on Tuesday. Below you can find all the information you need to know about the upcoming season of Hoya basketball.

What’s new?

Much of Georgetown’s schedule, such as a trip to Madison Square Garden this November for the 2K Classic benefitting Wounded Warriors Project, had been available for months. However, the update released on Tuesday included the times of the previously disclosed nonconference games as well as the order in which the Hoyas will complete in the double round-robin of Big East conference play, both of which will help Hoya fans start planning their road trips for the coming months.

D.C.-based Georgetown fans who hope to make the first round of the aforementioned 2K Sports Classic now know they will likely have to skip work or classes on Friday, Nov. 20, as the Hoyas tip off at 5 p.m. that day against Wisconsin in New York City.

Hoya fans can also plan for Georgetown’s conference schedule kick-off, which begins with a trip to Chicago to take on DePaul at 9 p.m. on Dec. 30. Picture the Hoyas struggling to generate intensity on the court while shaking off a post-holiday lassitude in front of a placid Allstate Arena.

New Year’s Eve Marathon No More?

For the past two years, the Big East began conference play with a five-game marathon on New Year’s Eve. This neat gimmick became more than a hassle for some last season as Hoya fans were forced to choose between spending the last evening of 2014 out on the town and spending it watching Georgetown take on — and fall to — Xavier as the clock ticked past midnight.

Although unacknowledged by the conference, the New Year’s Eve marathon would also have run smack into the semifinals of this year’s College Football Playoff for the second year in a row. The playoff is scheduled to take place on Dec. 31 and instead of pitting Big East basketball against college football once more, the conference instead scheduled its marathon for Saturday, Jan. 2. Georgetown will participate in the Big East basketball marathon by hosting Marquette at home at 5:30 p.m.

Hardest Stretch of Games

Projecting which section of a team’s schedule will turn into its most difficult is always a tricky task as teams often defy preseason expectations. What looks like a brutal three-game stretch in October can turn into a cakewalk for any team, and what seems like a surefire five-game winning streak can become a struggle to just win one.

That being said, the hardest portion of Georgetown’s Big East schedule, at the moment, appears to be a six-game stretch from Jan. 16 to Feb. 2. The run of games starts with Georgetown hosting Villanova at Verizon Center and continues with trips to Xavier and UConn, home games against Creighton and Providence and finishes with a road game at Butler.

During that five-game stretch, Georgetown can expect to face a Villanova team has won the last two Big East regular season championships, the Xavier and Butler squads that are expected to compete with the Hoyas and the Wildcats for spots at the top of the standings, and an old conference rival in UConn, a nonconference matchup that is unlikely to offer a reprise. On paper, Creighton at home should be a win, but Providence and junior point guard Kris Dunn will likely make first team All-American and as a result, the Friars will not be an easy victory.

Georgetown will likely be more than happy to go 4-2 over the course of those six games.

A True Regular Season Finale

A road game against Villanova finishing up the regular season jumps off the page upon examining the schedule. As mentioned above, the Wildcats have earned the No. 1 seed in the last two Big East Tournaments and are favorites to do so again this year.

Georgetown, however, has a realistic chance of regaining the top spot in the conference, and the meeting of the two rivals in Philadelphia on March 5 could easily come with a regular season championship on the line. Georgetown will hope that this year’s trip to the Wells Fargo Center will go better than it has in past seasons; by March, it will have been over five years since the Hoyas last won on the road against Villanova.

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Syracuse, Maryland, UConn Highlight Non-Conference Schedule

A fragmented image became whole on Monday – sort of. The Georgetown men’s basketball team released its 13-game non-conference schedule, confirming the dates of several high-profile contests that had been known for months and revealing the identities of several lesser-known opponents. The order in which the Hoyas will complete the double round robin of Big East regular season play, however, remains a mystery.

The release reinforced what has become clear over the last several months as bits and pieces of Georgetown’s schedule trickled out: the Hoyas will play one of their most challenging non-conference slate of games in recent memory this season. After opening the season at Verizon Center on November 14 against Radford, Georgetown will travel to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland in its second contest of the year. The Terps will be one of the top-ranked teams in the country to open the season and Xfinity Center should be rocking for the first regular season meeting between the two local schools since 2008.

The Hoyas will have little time to recover before heading to New York City for the second weekend of the regular season, where they will participate in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The four-team tournament will see Georgetown face off against last year’s national runner-up Wisconsin on Friday before taking on either reigning national champion Duke or Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.

It is an astoundingly difficult four-game sequence to open the season. The Hoyas could play fairly well and still start out 1-3, or notch a couple of headline grabbing victories and launch themselves into the top-10 of national polls.

Games against Bryant and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in the last week of November and the first week of December provide a much-needed respite before what likely will be Georgetown’s most anticipated game of the season: the renewal of its rivalry against Syracuse when the Orange travel to Verizon Center on Saturday, December 5.

Many are predicting a down year for Syracuse as the Orange deal with a reduced scholarship total after an NCAA investigation into widespread wrongdoing in the program, but the first game between the two schools since Syracuse departed the Big East in 2013 promises to be a gem.

Four home games against Brown, North Carolina-Wilmington, Monmouth and the North Carolina-Ashville will fill Georgetown’s schedule until Christmas vacation, when the Hoyas hit the road for an away game at Charlotte before heading home for the holidays. The road contest is a rematch from last year, when a late 49ers’ charge put a scare in the Hoyas, who ultimately won by three at Verizon Center. It will be Georgetown’s first true road game against non-power conference school since a December 2010 trip to Memphis, then a member of Conference USA.

After returning from Christmas break, the Hoyas will turn their attention to Big East play. As it has since the conference’s reshuffling two seasons ago, Georgetown will play both a home and away game against each of the nine other members of the conference. The dates and locations of those games have yet to be released.

The Hoyas will still have one more non-conference game to play however, traveling to Storrs, Ct., to renew another old Big East rivalry against UConn on Saturday, January 23. After a disappointing season following their national championship in 2014, the Huskies will likely be a top-25 team for much of the season, and the January matchup between the old foes figures to be another marquee game in a season full of them.

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Class of 2016 Guard Jagan Mosely Commits to Georgetown

Georgetown added the first member to its 2016 recruiting class on Monday night when Jagan Mosely, a 6-foot-3-inch shooting guard from New Jersey, announced his commitment to the Hoyas on Twitter.

Mosely is considered a three-star prospect and is ranked No. 115 and No. 196 in his class by Rivals and 24/7 Sports, respectively. He chose Georgetown over offers from Harvard, Northwestern, Xavier and Rhode Island, among others.

In the tweet announcing his decision, Mosely Photoshopped senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera’s number-four jersey onto his chest. It was a fitting choice given that Mosely will arrive on the Hilltop immediately after the departure of Smith-Rivera and will likely compete for some of the minutes vacated by the senior captain.

Mosely’s athleticism is readily apparent from watching him on his mixtape. With a 6-foot-9 wingspan, he is a defender who no player wishes to draw the attention of, and his speed and jumping ability make him a spark on the open floor. The Jersey City native’s offensive game is still developing — ESPN writes that he needs to work on his ball handling and that his jump shot is a work in progress.

Mosely is entering his senior season at St. Anthony’s High School, a perennial New Jersey powerhouse coached by Bob Hurley, father of Arizona State Head Coach Bobby Hurley and Rhode Island Head Coach Danny Hurley. The guard reportedly sports a 4.2 GPA and is at the top of his class academically.

The commitment offers some clarity going forward for Georgetown at the guard position.

The Hoyas should be fine — although slightly thin — on the perimeter this coming season, but the graduation of Smith-Rivera will free up plenty of minutes in the 2016-17 season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Georgetown add another guard to the Mosely’s class, and Bruce Brown, the No. 55 player in the country according to ESPN, reportedly has an official visit to the Hilltop scheduled for Sept. 3rd.

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Men’s Basketball Schedule Includes Big Name Opponents, Renewed Rivalries

Last year, Georgetown basketball announced its schedule for the 2014-2015 season on September 9. That means Hoya fans still have around a month to wait before knowing the exact details of when and where the team will be in action. Nevertheless, several dates and big-name opponents have been penciled in on Head Coach John Thompson III’s dance card.

First on the list is Radford of the Big South Conference. The Hoyas and Highlanders will meet on Nov. 14 at Verizon Center as part of the regional round of the 2K Classic, a set of games benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. The game will have familiar feel, as Radford, (22-12, 12-6 Big South) visited Verizon Center last season as well. Senior forward Aaron Bowen scored 16 points, including a spectacular 360 dunk, which effectively summarized the 76-49 rout.

FILE PHOTO: CLAIRE SOISSON/ THE HOYA Sophomore forward Isaac Copeland and his teammates will play against Syracuse, Connecticut and Maryland in the 2015-2016 season.

Sophomore forward Isaac Copeland and his teammates will play against Syracuse, Connecticut and Maryland in the 2015-2016 season.

Three days later, on Nov. 17, JTIII and company will travel across town to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland. The Terrapins finished at 16 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll last season after a 28-7 record and a 14-4 mark in Big Ten. This matchup will be a part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which will include eight games between Big Ten and Big East squads. The local rivals have played 64 times in their history, with the last meeting ending in a 75-48 Georgetown victory in 2008. National media have tipped the 2015-2016 version of Maryland to do great things, so Georgetown will certainly have its hands full this time around.

The 2K Classic will resume on Nov. 20, when Georgetown and national runner-up Wisconsin meet at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas gave the Badgers a true test last season, leading by as much as nine in the second half. This year’s game is one of two in the “championship round,” with national champions Duke and Virginia Commonwealth competing in the other matchup. Georgetown will meet one of those two teams in either the final or consolation game on Nov. 22. 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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