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State of the Hoyas: The All-Time Georgetown Defensive Team

Casual wiseman sleepyhoya talks Georgetown and defense:


The biggest improvement over last year's team has been a new commitment to defense and rebounding. The freshman, in particular, have brought new toughness and enthusiasm on the defensive end and JTIII has the team committed to rebounding. Great rebounding is the best defense you can play - a defense of rebound takes the ball from your opponent and an offensive one keeps it for you. Either way, our opponent can't score when we have the ball. More encouraging has been the swarming team defense that's kept some pretty good teams under 50 points lately and contained Syracuse for much of the 45 minutes.

All this focus on defense is new to a JTIII team and has me thinking about great Hoya defensive players. So, without further fanfare, I present the All-Time Georgetown Defensive Team.

All-Time Georgetown Defensive Team after The Jump:

First Team:

Patrick Ewing:
Simply the best defensive player ever to play college basketball. For those who only saw him in the last half of his pro career, go back and look at some of the great games in college before his knees when out. Patrick was a great athlete and a menacing figure of the defensive end. Georgetown routinely held teams under 40% shooting during Patrick's tenure. Ewing did it with athleticism, drive, and a menacing look that sent the unmistakable message to go into the lane at your own risk. Patrick would have blocked a lot more shots except many teams gave up challenging him, and settled only for outside shots.

Alonzo Mourning:
No one had a better motor at Georgetown than Alonzo. He was simply relentless. While Ewing had more athletic ability, Mourning imposed his will on opponents every moment of every game he was in. Alonzo also hit the boards as hard as any Hoya in history. And, like Patrick, Alonzo had a mean competitive streak that left a lot of opponents hanging around the three point line.

Gene Smith:
Best on ball defender Georgetown has ever seen. Smith played on some of the great teams in the 1980's and was quite simply the human disrupter. He could get under another team's skin in a matter of seconds. He combined great foot speed, quickness and toughness that defined Georgetown's defensive philosophy and also contributed to the Big East's reputation as tough, defensive league.

Mike Riley:
Playing for John Thompson Jr. in the mid to late 70's, Mike was the quickest guy I have ever seen play for the Hoyas. Yes I saw Iverson play many times and Mike was quicker. He was the first of Thompson's designated defensive stoppers. He was taking real charging fouls long before the Duke drama department introduced upper level courses in flopping. Mike was small but tough. He came to Georgetown after serving two years in the Navy on a nuclear sub. He was the first guy I saw play he could change a game on the defensive end. It's a tradition at Georgetown that serves us well.

Merlin Wilson:
Wilson is the last player on the 1st team All-Time Georgetown Defensive Team. Fellow casual wiseman Bashful Hoya is a huge influence on this pick, and reminds us that Merlin played for JT Jr. in High School and followed him to Georgetown despite offers from much bigger programs. Merlin was a 6' 9" prototypical power forward before we knew what they were. Merlin shut down much bigger and better known centers and smaller and quicker forwards during his time as a Hoya. And despite much more famous big men at Georgetown, Merlin still holds the record for most rebounds per game.

Honorable Mention:

Dikembe Mutombo:
How can you have a multiple winner of NBA defensive player of the year not on the team? My only excuse is you can't have two centers and Patrick was better, actually much better, in college. Dikembe was great, and its too bad he hadn't quite embraced the finger wag as a Hoya. There;s just no telling how that would have pissed off an Orangeman.

Jeff Green:
Complete players play great defense and Jeff did just that.

Allen Iverson:
Like Michael Jordan, Iverson used his quickness and strength to be a steals machine. Although he didn't play that much defense in the pros, he did at Georgetown.

Tommy Scates:
The best shot-blocker Georgetown had ever seen - that is before Patrick arrived.

Looking back I'm sure of two things: 1) I've left someone deserving out and 2) Casual Hoya fans will have no problem letting me know who they are.