For a class hetook this summer on working-class literature, senior guard Jonathan Wallace wasinstructed to pay attention to everyday people--the ones who aren't, like him,campus celebrities. When it came time to write a paper, Wallace chose to focuson the team's maintenance staff because, he says, "they're the ones who gethere at five in the morning, mop the floor, make sure the temperature's rightand everything's prepared for practice."
This is an article from the Nov. 19, 2007 issue
An appreciationfor necessary, blue-collar contributions is a big part of the reason whyWallace has gone from unheralded freshman to Wooden Award candidate. "He'smade this team go," says coach John Thompson¬†III. "There are nottoo many people who can do the things he can do, like managing the game andputting the ball in the basket. Under the radar, over the radar, he's aterrific player."
The student-bodypresident and a National Honor Society member at Sparkman High in Huntsville,Ala., Wallace originally intended to play for Thompson at Princeton. But whenthe coach took the Georgetown job, Wallace decided to follow him, even thoughhe had to do so as a walk-on. Wallace ended up starting from Day One and wasrewarded with a full scholarship in his second semester.
Often the Hoyas'primary ball handler last year, Wallace will cede that role to junior JessieSapp and sophomore Jeremiah Rivers. (Freshmen Austin Freeman and Chris Wright,both McDonald's All-Americans, will contribute in the backcourt as well.)Thompson wants to open up scoring opportunities for Wallace, whose average hasincreased each of his first three years. Improved guard play should alsorelieve pressure on 7' 2" senior center Roy Hibbert and help make up forthe loss of forward Jeff Green, last season's Big East Player of the Year and afirst-round pick of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Georgetown madeit to the Final Four last season, its first appearance in 22 years, losing toOhio State in the semis. Now the Hoyas are ready to go back. "Last year wasspecial," says Thompson, "[but] every year we throw out last season andforget about it. It's time to start all over again." In other words, backto work.
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|PG||Jessie Sapp [RETURNING STARTER]||6'3"||Jr.||9.1 ppg||3.5 apg|
|SG||Jonathan Wallace [RETURNING STARTER]||6'1"||Sr.||11.4 ppg||3.1 apg|
|SF||DaJuan Summers [RETURNING STARTER]||6'8"||Soph.||9.2 ppg||3.7 rpg|
|PF||Patrick Ewing Jr.||6'8"||Sr.||4.1 ppg||2.1 rpg|
|C||Roy Hibbert [RETURNING STARTER]||7'2"||Sr.||12.9 ppg||6.9 rpg|
|G||Austin Freeman [*HIGH SCHOOL STATS]||6'4"||Fr.||23.1 ppg||7.0 rpg|
Nov. 10 William& Mary (W 68-53)
Nov. 21 at BallState
Nov. 28 at OldDominion
Dec. 5 atAlabama
Dec. 22 atMemphis
The hostilitywill be thick at Ball State; this game was scheduled before Ronny Thompson,younger brother of Hoyas coach John, quit as Cardinals coach on July 12 andripped the program.
There arecupcakes here, but Old Dominion isn't one; the Monarchs won last year in theHoyas' campus gym. Alabama will be a test as part of the Big East/SECInvitational, but the gem is Memphis, a pre-Christmas gift for fans and apossible national title-game preview.
Coach JohnThompson III (4th yr.)
Big East record13-3 (first)
NCAA tournamentFinal Four
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Wallace's ability to shoot the three-pointer (49.0%) opens lanes for him todrive.