7 Georgetown

With a pair of experienced big men leading the way, the Hoyas are poised for a long postseason run
November 20, 2006

There is a frenzybuilding on the Georgetown campus that hasn't been felt in more than a decade.Hanging in the front stairwell of McDonough Gym is a new reminder of the Hoyas'return to basketball prominence, a giant framed photograph of Georgetown fansstorming the court after last January's epic upset of top-ranked Duke. AtMidnight Madness on Oct. 18 a standing-room-only crowd roared as a teary-eyedPatrick Ewing stood at midcourt and embraced his son Patrick Jr., a forward forthe Hoyas. "I like the school spirit here tonight," said Ewing,Georgetown's past blessing its present. And student season-ticket sales are attheir highest levels since 1982, the elder Ewing's sophomore season.

Fans have everyreason to feel optimistic. Forward Jeff Green and center Roy Hibbert, theHoyas' top two scorers, and guard Jonathan Wallace, a three-year starter,return from last year's team, which went 23--10 and advanced to the Sweet 16for the first time since 2001. It was a remarkable achievement for a programthat just two years ago suffered through its worst season (13--15) in 31 years.Then coach John Thompson III reeled in a nationally-ranked recruiting class,featuring Maryland player of the year DaJuan Summers, McDonald's All-AmericanVernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. AddEwing, who sat out last season after transferring from Indiana, and theexcitement is palpable. Now all Georgetown has to do is live up to thehype.

Much of thepressure sits on the shoulders of the 6'9", 235-pound Green, one of themost versatile forwards in the country, whose passing skills are key to theHoyas' Princeton-style offense. "Jeff Green is the smartest player I'veever coached," says Thompson, "in terms of understanding what I'mtelling him, why I'm telling him, when to apply it and when not to."Green's post partner, the 7'2", 270-pound Hibbert, hopes to build on animpressive NCAA tournament during which he averaged 15.7 points and 10.0rebounds. The pair anchors a deep frontcourt that in time could conjure upimages of Georgetown's glory years.

The backcourt isanother story. After Wallace, says Thompson, comes "a cast ofcharacters." Expect sophomore Jessie Sapp, who played in all 33 games lastseason, to step into a major role. Rivers should also figure into the mix.

Allen Iverson wasthe star of the last Georgetown team to spend most of the season in the Top 10.The current Hoyas hope to match that feat. "We have a lot of goals: to bethe best team in the nation, to get to the championship," Green says."We just have to continue to work to get there."

STARTINGLINEUP

6'3" Fr. 13.6 ppg 5.2 apg

RETURNING STARTER *2004--05 STATS AT INDIANA †HIGH SCHOOL STATS

BIG QUESTIONS

Can the Hoyasfill the leadership and experience void left by five departed seniors?... Howwill players handle the pressure that comes with greater expectations?... Otherthan Wallace, do they have a consistent perimeter threat?

SCHEDULE

Nov. 11Hartford

Nov. 15 atVanderbilt

Nov. 19 OldDominion

Nov. 22 atFairfield

Nov. 27 BallState

Nov. 29Oregon

Dec. 2 Duke

Dec. 5 JamesMadison

Dec. 9 at OralRoberts

Dec. 16Winston-Salem State

Dec. 20Towson

Dec. 23 Navy

Dec. 30 atMichigan

Jan. 6 NotreDame

Jan. 8Villanova

Jan. 13 atPittsburgh

Jan. 17 atRutgers

Jan. 19 at SetonHall

Jan. 24DePaul

Jan. 27Cincinnati

Feb. 1 at St.John's

Feb. 7 atLouisville

Feb. 10Marquette

Feb. 12 WestVirginia

Feb. 17 atVillanova

Feb. 21 atCincinnati

Feb 24Pittsburgh

Feb. 26 atSyracuse

March 3Connecticut


FAST FACTS

COACH: JohnThompson III (3rd year)

2005--06 record:23--10

Big East record:10--6 (fourth)

NCAA tournament:Sweet 16

 

PHOTOMITCHELL LAYTONJEFF-OF-ALL-TRADES Few players in the country are as versatile as Green, who can shoot, rebound, pass and defend. ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)