Showing posts with label Georgetown Hoyas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Georgetown Hoyas. Show all posts

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Georgetown Wins Third Straight Behind D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, November 30, 2013

With all the conference changes during the off-season, Georgetown was one school that decided to stay put, remaining as one of the original Big East teams.

The Hoyas will have their hands full with the likes of Villanova, Providence, Butler and Creighton, but should do well if they can play the kind of defense they did against Lipscomb on Saturday at the Verizon Center, holding the visiting Bisons to 27% shooting in a 70-49 rout.

Georgetown didn't really get into their game until the second half. After taking a one-point lead into the break, they outscored the Bisons, 43-23, for their fourth win of the season, against two losses.

The Hoyas were led in offensive categories by sophomore guard, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who was everywhere with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Smith-Rivera, Georgetown's leading scorer, was held below his season average of 18.7 per game, but hit six of 10 from the field, including going 4-for-6 from three-point range.

Georgetown started the season 1-2, with losses to Oregon and Northeastern, but has rebounded with three straight wins, defeating Kansas State and VCU prior to their Saturday win. A big test for the Hoyas comes December 21, when they play at Kansas.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Otto Porter Jr. Leads Georgetown over Syracuse with 33 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 23, 2013

With just five days left in the month of February, college hoops is being taken to a new level. Upcoming conference closeout games and tournaments await, with the victors getting the all-important post-season tourney invitations.

The most anticipated game of the day was at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, as the Orange hosted Georgetown, a game that produced a college record crowd for an on-campus meeting of 35,012.

For the locals, the outcome was disappointing, as Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. proved nearly unstoppable, scoring a career-high 33 points on the Orange in a 57-46 Hoya win, a victory which will forever stand as a testament to one of college hoops' greatest rivalries, one which is ended as Syracuse departs the Big East for the ACC next season.

In a game in which the winners shot just 35% (SU was held to 34%), Porter was like a blazing supernova, making 12 of 19 shots from the floor, including five of 10 three-pointers and canning all four of his free throws.

When he wasn't killing the home team with relentless scoring, the 6'8" sophomore from Missouri was hitting the boards hard, collecting eight of Georgetown's 34 rebounds. He played all forty minutes, the second time he's done so this season.

The win was Georgetown's ninth straight, and resulted in giving them sole possession of first place in the Big East with a 11-3 mark, as Marquette fell to Villanova, 60-56 and Louisville defeated Seton Hall, 79-61, producing a three-way tie for second place, with the Orange, cardinals and Golden Eagles all at 10-4.

There are still four regular season games left for each of the Big East contenders, so the regular season race is far from concluded.

Elsewhere, the ACC got a little more interesting, as Wake Forest upset Miami, 80-65, the first Hurricane loss in conference play. The 13-1 Hurricanes have four more conference games remaining, three of them at home, against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Clemson, though next Saturday's meeting at 10-3 Duke looms large.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 33 Points leads Georgetown; Showdown at Carrier Dome Looms

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Big East will break apart at the end of this season, but there's no lack of enthusiasm as old foes meet for what may be the last times.

Upcoming is an epic meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown, a rivalry that dates back decades, including the likes of coaches John Thompson and Jim Boeheim (still coaching) and players as diverse as Patrick Ewing, Carmello Anthony, Rony Seikaly and many others.

Both teams were in action Wednesday night, tuning up for the showdown for first place this Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

The Orange rode 20 points and 11 rebounds by C.J. Fair to an 84-59 rout of Providence, improving the Syracuse mark to 10-3 in the conference.

Georgetown was also on the winning end, whipping DePaul, 90-66, behind D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 33 points, a career high for the freshman guard.

Smith-Riavera came off the bench, as he has in all of Georgetown's games this season, to hit 10 of 12 from the field, including a 5-for-6 mark from three-point range. He also canned eight of 10 from the foul line and added three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

The Hoyas improved to 10-3 in conference play, tying Syracuse and Marquette for the top spot in the Big East.

Saturday's contest in Syracuse may be the last meeting between the two for some time, as Syracuse will move to the ACC next season. The game, which tips off at 4:00 pm, is already a sell-out, and will likely set a record for the largest crowd ever to witness an on-campus, regular season NCAA game, estimated at 35,012. The Hoyas are ranked #11 in the AP Poll; Syracuse checks in at #8.

NOTABLE: The Big 12 has heated up, as #9 Kansas valiantly tries to record its ninth straight regular season title. On Wednesday, the Jayhawks had to go to double overtime to defeat #14 Oklahoma State, 68-67, tying them with Kansas State at 10-3, for the conference lead. Kansas has already beaten the Wildcats twice and has a chance of running the table, with five regular season games remaining.

#21 Memphis was an 81-74 winner over Houston, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games and a 12-0 mark in Conference USA. The 23-3 Tigers haven't felt the sting of defeat since a 87=78 loss at Louisville on December 15.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Otto Porter Helps #15 Hoyas to 8-1 Mark with Career High 22

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 10, 2012

#15 Georgetown was the only Top 25 team in action on a very light Monday schedule of just seven games, but the Hoyas did not disappoint, putting 11 players in the scoring column in an 89-53 romp over the Longwood Lancers.

Sophomore sensation, Otto Porter, led the points barrage with a career high 22, adding four rebounds and seven assists to his impressive stat line. Porter went 8-for-11 from the field and made seven of nine free throws n 29 minutes of playing time, the most for any Hoya along with front court mate, junior forward, Nate Lubick.

The Hoyas went 24-9 last season and are off to an 8-1 start with their fifth straight win. Their only setback was an 82-72 loss to Indiana.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Otto Porter Buries UCLA as Georgetown wins in Brooklyn

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, November 19, 2012

UCLA got their star recruit into the mix, as Shabazz Muhammad was reinstated off suspension prior to their trip to the Brooklyn, NY, and a meeting with the Georgetown Hoyas in the Progressive Legends Classic tournament at the Barclays Center.

While Muhammad fit right in, scoring 15 points in 25 minutes, the 11th-ranked Bruins were undone by an underrated, unranked Georgetown squad that improved to 3-0 with a 78-70 victory.

Markel Starks, a junior guard, led all scorers with 23 points, but 6'8" sophomore forward, Otto Porter, put on an impressive, double-double performance with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, making both of his attempts from beyond the arc, cashing in four of five free throws and nabbing 11 rebounds.

When Porter wasn't busy scoring or rebounding, he got busy dishing to teammates, totaling five assists, or defending, with five blocked shots and three steals.

The game was Porter's first of full time action of the season, having sat against Liberty this past Wednesday due to concussion symptoms resulting from an injury sustained in the Hoyas' season-opening win over Duquesne on November 11. Porter played only six minutes in that game before sitting out with dizziness.

His 35 minutes on the floor against UCLA proved invaluable, as the Bruins found few openings in the Hoya zone defense, within which Porter excelled. The Bruins were held to 41% shooting and just 5-for-19 on threes (26%). On their offensive end, Georgetown sizzled, shooting a cool 55% for the game with seven of 14 threes.

The Bruins dropped to 3-1.

Georgetown will face #1 Indiana in the tournament championship game, Tuesday night, with tip time slated for 10:00 pm ET.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hollis Thompson, Jason Clark Lead Hoyas to Comeback Win over Marquette, 73-70

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hollis Thompson hit a tie-breaking, game-winning 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and Jason Clark pumped in 18 of his game high 26 points in the second half, as the 9th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas defeated #20 Marquette, 73-70, before more than 11,000 rabid fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

Trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, Clark and his Hoya teammates stages a furious rally to catch and finally surpass the Golden Eagles, sending them to their third loss against 12 wins. Georgetown improved to 13-1 and 3-0 in the Big East with their 11th straight victory. The Hoyas' only loss was a November 21, 67-63, setback to Kansas.

Sharpshooting Thompson was deadly from the field, hitting 6 of 7 shots, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. He finished with 16 points. Clark was less accurate but more persistent, making nine of 14 shots (2-for-7 on 3-pointers). The Hoyas shot an incredible 63% (27-43) for the game while holding Marquette to 44%.

Thompson, a junior forward, is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game. Clark, a senior guard, leads the squad with a 15.9 points per game average. It was Clark's fourth 20+ point outburst this season, two shy of his season high 28, which he scored against Chaminade in the Aloha Classic.

Off to one of their best starts in school history, the Hoyas hope to continue improving as the Big East season unfolds. Last season, they lost five of their last six Big East games - including an first round loss to UConn in the conference tournament, but still made the NCAA tourney, though they were eliminated in the opening round by VCU, 74-56.

NOTABLE: Khalif Wyatt pumped in 21 points to lead the Temple Owls to a 78-73 win over #5 Duke. It was Temple's first win over the Blue Devils since 1996. The unranked Owls are 10-3. Both Temple and 12-2 Duke have not lost at home this season.

#14 Kansas (11-3) got their Big 12 season started with a convincing, 67-49 home win over 23rd-ranked, 12-2, Kansas State.

Top-ranked Syracuse outscored Providence 51-39 in the second half to extend their winning streak to 16 games to open the season with an 87-73 win. The #1 Orange are one of just three unbeaten college squads. Missouri (14-0) and Murray State (15-0).

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wright Tallies 24 to Lead Hoyas over Louisville

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 31, 2011

College basketball - like all sports - has its highs and lows, but Georgetown senior guard Chris Wright has really been on a roller coaster ride over the past two games.

In Saturday's 69-66 win at Villanova, Wright spent 30 minutes on the court, but hoisted only three shots, missing all of them and finished the game with zero points. It was the first time he'd been held scoreless since the Big East tournament in 2008, when he was a freshman.

Back on his home court on Monday, Wright's fortune changed dramatically, as he led the Hoyas to their fifth straight win, a frenzied 62-59 victory over #15 Louisville, with a game high 24 points and a personal season high point total. Wright hoisted 14 shots, made eight of them and went 8-for-8 from the foul line, adding five boards and three assists.

Louisville came back from an 11-point deficit in the second half to briefly take a late lead, but Wright's diving scoop shot and Hollis Thompson's three-pointer put the Hoyas ahead until Wright made two free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining to ice the contest.

Georgetown, ranked #13 nationally, is just 5-4 in the Big East, caught in a traffic jam with eight other teams between 6-3 and 5-4. They are all desperately chasing 8-1 Pitt, though the feeling is that the Panthers won't survive the remainder of their season without at least one more loss.

The Hoyas are off until Saturday, when they host a dangerous, but unranked, Providence squad.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hoyas Shoot 72%, Hammer Blue Devils

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Georgetown Hoyas put on a shooting clinic at the Verizon Center Sunday, hitting 33 of 46 shots from the field, for an impressive 71.7% effort as they cruised to an 89-77 win over Duke.

While the Hoyas were hitting just about everything from everywhere, the Blue Devils were trying their best to stay in the game. After a first half run, the Hoyas took command, heading into the break with a 46-33 lead. Duke cut that to six, but that was the closest they would get, as Georgetown players just kept making their shots. Other than the shooting, Georgetown wasn't all that special. They were outrebounded by Duke, 32-22, and turned the ball over 15 times, one more than Duke. They did, though, manage to block 9 shots, and 20 of the 33 baskets came off assists.

Shooting the lights out were a trio of Georgetown players: Austin Freeman (8 of 11, 2-3 3-pointers, 20 points); Chris Wright (8 of 9, 1-2 3-pointers, 21 points); and, super soph center Greg Monroe (7 of 11, 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists).

The Hoyas, taking a break from the rigors of the Big East, got into Duke's psyche and bolstered their own resume, improving to 16-4 on the season. Duke, despite the loss, is 17-4 and will likely still be ranked in the Top 10 come Monday.

Notable: Of 14 games involving Top 25 teams Saturday, 4 of them went into overtime. The two biggest were in the Big 12, where #2 Kansas withstood the Kansas St. challenge, winning 81-79, while in Austin, the Baylor Bears upset Texas, 80-77, hanging the Longhorns with their third loss in two weeks.

The other two OT games produced wins by unranked teams, as San Francisco toppled #13 Gonzaga, 81-77, and unheralded UTEP outscored #25 UAB 11-2 in the second overtime for a 74-65 win.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wright, Hoyas Hand Pitt 1st Big East Defeat

College Hoops Player of the Day for DAY, Month, 2010

There are just too many good teams in the Big East to think that any one of them will go through the conference schedule without tasting defeat, and probably more than once.

Such was the case on Wednesday night, when the Georgetown Hoyas stormed into Pittsburgh's Petersen Events Center and stopped the Panthers' 31-game home win streak and 5-0 Big East start with an important 74-66 road win. Led, as they often are, by point guard Chris Wright's game-high 27 points, Georgetown broke a second-half 56-all tie with a 7-0 run and never allowed the Panthers closer than 6 after that.

Wright went 11-for-17 from the field, including hitting all 3 of his 3-point attempts and going 2-for-2 from the foul line. He also added 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal while outplaying his counterpart, Pitt's Ashton Gibbs, who was just 3-for-16 and 2 of 8 from beyond the arc for 8 points.

Pitt's loss left Villanova alone atop the Big East, at 6-0, followed by 5-1 Syracuse and Pitt. Georgetown improved to 5-2, good for sole possession of 4th place in the conference standings.

Notable: #3 Kansas staved off a determined effort by Baylor for an 81-75 win. Sherron Collins all but sealed the deal when he hit his 5th 3-pointer of the game with 1:13 left, giving KU a 5-point lead. Collins finished with a game-high 28 points, closely followed by Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn, who scored 27 and also canned 5 3-pointers. Dunn, who leads Baylor at 19.5 points per game, grabbed 9 boards to go with 2 assists and 4 steals.

Duke and North Carolina both lost on the same night, the first time that's happened since 2003, though it appears it could happen again sooner rather than later, especially with a slew of injuries plaguing the Tar Heels. Carolina was mangled, 82-69, by visiting Wake Forest (13-4, 3-2), probably the best unranked team in the country. Duke had its own problems at NC State, as the Blue Devils were spanked by the Wildcats, 88-74. North Carolina is 1-3 in ACC play; Duke's conference record is 3-2.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Villanova Stops Hoyas Despite Monroe's Huge Game

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 17, 2010

Villanova remained perfect through five Big East games and improved to 16-1 overall, as Scottie Reynolds scored 27 points in the Wildcats' 82-77 home win over Georgetown. The #4 Wildcats rule the Big East along with Pittsburgh, both at 5-0. Syracuse, 4-1, is hot on their tails. The #11 Hoyas dropped to 4-2 in the conference and 13-3 overall, yet remain one of the elite teams in college hoops.

Part of their formula for success has been the play of sophomore center Greg Monroe, who continues the tradition of exceptional big men from Georgetown. Monroe was an absolute force in Sunday's loss, hitting 9 of 13 shots and 10 of 15 from the foul line for a career-high 29 points, to go with his 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Monroe is quickly becoming one of the most-feared low post players in the nation. If his progress continues at its current pace, he may not be back for a junior season, as he is already regarded as one of the best big NBA prospects around, averaging a double-double every time his sneakers hit the court - 14.9 ppg and 10.0 rpg.

NOTABLE: When the latest polls come out today, expect to see at least one of two fixtures in the Top 25 drop out. Both North Carolina and UConn seem to be in the middle of rebuilding seasons and their troops are not prepared well enough for the rigors of life in the ACC or Big East. Both teams have already suffered 6 losses, and are under .500 in conference play (Tar Heels, 1-2; Huskies, 2-3). With the easy part of the season behind them, don't be surprised if one or both of these squads miss the NCAA tournament. Despite playing in big time conferences, 12 or 13 losses isn't likely to impress the selection committee.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wild Saturday Produces Six Top 25 Upsets

College Hoops Player of the Day for DAY, Month, 2010

Purdue being knocked from the rank of unbeaten - in a 73-66 loss at Wisconsin - was the most prominent of the upsets in a wide-open Saturday of college hoops action.

#20 Georgia Tech ended seasons of frustration, beating #5 Duke for the first time in its last five tries, stopping the Blue Devils, 71-67.

The other upsets included Notre Dame over #8 west Virginia, Missouri downing #12 Kansas State, UNLV topping #15 New Mexico, dealing the Lobos their second straight conference loss and 3rd in their last 5, and Oklahoma St. clobbering #22 Texas Tech, 81-52.

In that Big 12 match-up, the Cowboys' big-time scorer, James Anderson, notched 28 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers. Anderson, an unguardable 6'6" junior guard is among the top scorers in the nation, at 21.9 points per game. The Cowboys, largely overlooked in the polls, are a very respectable 13-2, their only losses coming at Rhode Island and Tulsa. They are tied with four other teams at 1-0 in the Big 12.

NOTABLE: Speaking of big-time scorers, Georgetown guard Austin Freeman poured in 33 points as his #12 Hoyas outlasted #13 UConn, 72-69. Freeman was 12-for-20 from the field, with 5 of 9 3-pointers finding the mark. He also had 7 rebounds to go with two assists and three steals. Georgetown improved to 12-2. The Huskies are 11-4.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wright Lights up Crimson with 34 in Georgetown Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After losing their first game of the season, to unheralded Old Dominion, 61-57, on Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas weren't about to drop a home game to Harvard, even though the Crimson seemed to have other ideas, keeping the game tight through most of the first half. Georgetown got a career-high 34 points out of Junior guard Chris Wright, extending a 44-33 halftime lead to a thorough thumping of their Ivy League foe for an 86-70 win. Wright, who hit 13 of 21 shots from the field, including 2 of 5 3-pointers, took over all aspects of the game with 4 assists, 6 rebounds and 6 steals in 35 minutes of playing time. Teammate Greg Monroe, who's quickly turning into an NBA prospect with his low post domination, doubled down with 16 points and 16 boards.

The Hoyas improved to 9-1 in their final tuneup before beginning Big East play, when they host St. John's on New Year's Eve.

NOTABLE: The number of undefeated teams continues to dwindle, with New Mexico the latest to feel the first sting of defeat. The Lobos met their match at Oral Roberts; the Golden Eagles unceremoniously dumping on them, 75-66. The Lobos are 12-1 and still off to their best start since 1973. Their loss leaves six undefeated teams: Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Purdue and West Virginia. Kentucky is the first team with 13 wins, followed by Syracuse with 12, Kansas, Texas and Purdue at 11-0. West Virginia is 9-0.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Georgetown's Monroe Sends Hoyas Past Butler

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Following a disappointing season in which the Hoyas finished 16-15 and did not receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, Georgetown looked forward to a better 2009-10 campaign with a number of solid returnees, including guards Jason Clark and Chris Wright and center Greg Monroe. With a promising freshman class filling some roles, Monroe has emerged as a leader on the court, and that was evident as the 6'11" sophomore achieved career highs in both scoring and rebounding in Georgetown's handy 72-65 triumph over #22 Butler.

Monroe tallied 24 points on 9-for-20 shooting and snatched 15 boards in a dominating performance as the 15th-ranked Hoyas improved their early-season record to 7-0. Playing at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V. Classic, the Hoyas were never seriously threatened, upping their lead to as many as 17 points during the second half. Monroe is averaging a double-double thus far in 2009-10 with 15.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

While the Hoyas were soaring past the Bulldogs, Butler was en route to its third straight loss against Top 25 opposition. Now 6-3, the Bulldogs have already dropped home games to Minnesota and Clemson.

NOTABLE: In the first game of the Jimmy V. Classic, Indiana prevailed over Pitt, 74-64, but the Panthers seemed to be intent on getting sophomore Ashton Gibbs the maximum number of looks from the perimeter. Gibbs threw up a boatload of shots - 25 in all and 15 from 3-point range - as he led all scorers with a career-high 25 points. Gibbs was only 5-of-15 from beyond the arc, but the experience should pay benefits down the road when the youthful Pitt squad faces Big East opponents.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Louisville Grabs Big East Share

Louisville blew past Georgetown, 76-58, likely ending the Hoyas' NCAA hopes. Georgetown is 14-12 overall and 5-10 in the Big East.

Louisville shot 70% in the first half - hitting all 6 of their 3-point attempts - and raced off to a 41-31 lead at Georgetown. Samardo Samuels and Earl Clark each had 9 points.

Clark scored a game-high 22. Terrence Willimans had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Louisville moved into a tie for first place in the Big East with Connecticut at 13-2. Winners of five straight, the Cardinals next host #8 Marquette on Sunday, March 1.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Beast of the East: Georgetown or Pittsburgh?

A new AP poll out Monday put the Big East in focus, placing Pittsburgh at #7, Marquette #12, Georgetown #14 and West Virginia climbing up to #23 on the heels of their upset over UCLA on Saturday.

Well, as soon as the poll (see sidebar below) was released, the Big East showed once again that no poll can contain the diversity of talent and overall competition in what's shaping up to be the best top to bottom conference in the nation. Results and recaps follow.

Georgetown 71 West Virginia 53 - Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green continue to demolish the competition in the Big East. Last night, Hibbert scored 20 points and Green had 15 as the Hoyas shut down the visiting Mountaineers, holding them to 38% shooting for the game. The superiority on the interior was evident from the rebounding stats: Georgetown 35, West Va. 19

The #14 Hoyas are on a significant roll. With their smashing win over #23 West Virginia, they've grabbed 8 straight wins and have surged to within a half game of conference leader, Pitt. With just five games remaining, Georgetown will try to avenge a 74-69 defeat at Pitt from Jan. 13 when the Panthers come calling Feb. 24. That game could determine who wins the Big East and gets the automatic tournament bid.

The same day the Mountaineers reach the Top 25, they suffer their worst loss of the season, equaling the 18-point defeat at Marquette, 63-81, on Jan 13. Ironic, isn't it?

Louisville 66 Pittsburgh 53 - David Padgett was the only Cardinal in double figures (16), but it was enough to upset the Big East-leading Pitt Panthers on their home floor. Louisville's scrappy defense forced 19 turnovers and limited Aaron Gray to just 12 points. While Gray earned his 12th double-double with 10 rebounds, he was the only Panther to shoot better than 50% from the field (5-8).

It was likely the biggest win of the season for Rick Pitino's kids, and it couldn't have come at a better time. With the focus on quality wins down the stretch, the Cardinals road win over #7 Pitt surely will make the right impression on the NCAA Tournament committee. Louisville improves to 4th place in the rugged Big East at 8-4, (18-8 overall), but there's still work to be done, as they travel to Marquette on Saturday. A win there would virtually assure the Cardinals of a turn at the Big Dance.

Texas 83 Oklahoma St. 54 - Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry have tried to carry the Cowboys this season, but the team's dependence on the two stars has begun to show some strain. Boggan and Curry scored 28 points combined, but shot just 38% from the field. Meanwhile, the Longhorns were throwing it down at a 56% clip, including 8-15 from behind the arc.

Freshman sensation Kevin Durant had 21 points and 12 rebounds for his 15th double-double (he's averaging 25 and 11.6) of the season. He's scored in double figures in all 25 games, but the quirky Longhorns still trail Texas A&M by 2 games in the Big 12 standings at 8-3. Kansas is second at 8-2 and the Aggies are 9-1.

#17 Oklahoma St. dropped to 5-5 and 19-6 overall.

Duke, which has dropped out of the Top 25 for the first time in 11 years, has lost 4 in a row, but one wonders how much resentment is directed at coach K by the voters, who continued to keep Alabama and Arizona in the Top 25 despite similar slipups in the past.

I can't believe I'm actually defending coach K (no, I can't spell his name) and the Duke program, but while the Devils may not be a dominant squad this season, I'd still take them against half of the teams ranked 15-25 and especially against the likes of Alabama and Arizona. [rant] The AP poll may be a lot of things, but one thing it certainly is not is unbiased. [/rant]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Georgetown Garners Respect in Current Poll

In Monday's latest AP Top 25 (see below in the left-hand column) a few new names popped up. Getting the biggest boost was Southern Illinois, which debuted at #21, replacing, ostensibly, Notre Dame (though the Irish are without a doubt a better team than Alabama or Arizona). The Salukis have been surging through the Missouri Valley conference into a tie for 1st place with preseason choice Creighton at 10-3.

Southern Ill. won at Creighton back on January 20, but has since won four more straight and are a very respectable 19-5 overall with wins over Wichita State (twice), Virginia Tech and Minnesota to name just a few.

The Salukis have another date with Creighton on Saturday and a road game at Horizon conference leader, #10 Butler the following Saturday. Those games should provide some indication of this team's potential to make madness in March.

Right behind Southern Illinois is Georgetown, at #22 in the poll. The Hoyas have an impressive front line - one of the tallest in the nation - revolving around 7-footer Roy Hibbert. At 16-5 and 6-2 in the Big East, the Hoyas have seemingly hit their best stride. Following consecutive losses to Villanova and Pitt, Georgetown has strung up five straight wins, by an average margin of 16.6.

Losses to Duke and Oregon are still major blemishes, though those losses came at the end of November and beginning of December, and the Hoyas are looking more organized and turning the ball over much less. If Hibbert and forward Jeff Green (24 points vs. St. John's last Thursday) continue to contribute, the Hoyas could go deep in March.

Last night there was but one Top 25 game, and Texas A&M was triumphant again. The Aggies tore through Texas, 100-82, just two days after knocking off Kansas on the road. What was a three-way tie just 3 days ago is now a 1 1/2 game lead for 8-1 A&M in the Big 12. Coach Billy Gillispie has built himself a powerhouse offense around Acie Law and the Aggies are currently #6 in the AP poll. They're 20-3, with the losses at UCLA and LSU and a lone conference loss at Texas Tech.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Villanova slays Georgetown's giants

With potentially one of the best front lines in college basketball, the Georgetown Hoyas can't seem to translate their height advantage into meaningful wins.

Last night, the Villanova Wildcats tore up the Hoyas at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, ending Georgetown's 7-game winning streak. Down by as many as 9 points in the second half, the Wildcats pressed full court and wore out the Hoyas, producing 22 turnovers and a 56-52 win.

The Wildcats earned the win by limiting ball access to Georgetown's 7'2" center, Roy Hibbert, who didn't attempt a shot from the field and finished with 2 points (2 of 6 from the foul line). Jeff Green, the Hoyas other inside force, was held to just 7 points.

Meanwhile, Villanova rallied, holding the Hoyas scoreless for a 6 minute stretch in the second half. Even more remarkable, Villanova outrebounded the Hoyas, 31-27. The surprising win was the first in Big East play for Villanova after dropping their first two to West Virginia and DePaul.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Conference Play Underway

The heart of the college basketball season began in earnest this week as conference play kicked off across the nation. With over 150 games scheduled in the first week of the year, here are some of the highlights from Saturday:

Florida 67 Georgia 51 - The #3 ranked Gators scored 42 second half points and turned around a one-point Bulldog halftime lead. Florida was not particularly sharp, but their defense was the story as they held the Bulldogs to 39% shooting and only committed 12 personal fouls. Georgia was unable to convert from the charity stripe, missing all five of their attempts. Corey Brewer led the Gators with 19 points.

Georgetown 66 Notre Dame 48 - The Hoyas unceremoniously ended Notre Dame's 12-game winning streak, as they capitalized on poor shooting by the Irish to take an early lead and were never headed. Nearing midway in the first half, Notre Dame had only hit 1 of 11 from the field and were trailing by as many as 16. Roy Hibbert hit 8 of 9 shots from the floor and finished with 19. The 48 points scored by the Irish was easily their lowest point total of the season, their previous low being 69 in a loss to Butler. Notre Dame shot just 31% (16-51), including 4-23 from three-point range. Georgetown extended their win streak to seven.

The Hoyas were unranked going into the game, though after the impressive win over #17 Notre Dame, should reappear in the top 25 next week.

Virginia Tech 69 Duke 67 OT - The #5-ranked Blue Devils opened ACC play in a most uncharacteristic manner, dropping their home opener to the upstart Hokies. Duke had entered the game 13-1, including wins over Gonzaga and Georgetown. The Hokies had lost 4 of their 5 road games this season, but none by more than 5 points. Losses at George Washington and Marshall were by 1 point apiece. The win upped Virginia Tech's record to 11-4. Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies with 20 points.