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Ten Years Later: A Look At The Georgetown Program After January 21, 2006

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washingtonpost.com

Today is January 21, 2016, the 10 year anniversary of Georgetown's program defining win over a then undefeated Duke team.  The win, widely regarded as one of the greatest in program history, ushered in a new era of Hoyas hoops under John Thompson III and signaled to the rest of the country that Georgetown basketball was back after years of despair.  Now, ten years later, we thought it would be neat to check in with some of your favorite GLOBAL PHENOMENON contributors as to their recollections of that specific day and their views on the current state of the Georgetown basketball program.  Enjoy!

duke poster


Where were you the day of that Duke game in 2006? What was your expectation for that season before the game? What about after?


JGD:
That was actually the first game I ever attended as a Georgetown student. As you might imagine, it was a pretty pretty good start. My friends and I had awesome seats - we were in the 3rd or 4th row - and were right in the middle of the court storming. As a kid, I always thought being part of a court storming would be bucket list worthy. It turned out to be amongst the most harrowing experiences of my life as someone who is easily claustrophobic. Regardless, it ranks 4th all time for me of games I've seen live behind the Elite 8 win vs UNC, Sweet 16 win vs Vanderbilt and the 2013 home win against Syracuse.

Before the game, I thought we were pretty talented but likely a year away, assuming Green and Hibbert would really make a leap in their junior years along with Vernon "Big Ticket" Maclin coming into the fold. After that game, I thought we could play with anyone, which ended up being the case despite a pretty volatile rest of the regular season. Looking back, I feel like that 2005-2006 season gets lost amongst the hoopla of the following two years, but man would I take that result right now? Dangerous 7 seed that plays the NCAA champion to last possession in the Sweet 16? That'd be a dream.


Hire Esherick
:
FULLY DOCUMENTED HERE: http://www.casualhoya.com/2010/1/28/1271193/january-21-2006-the-rebirth-of-the


NYHoya:
I was in Tel Aviv, participating in a birthright trip to Israel during my last semester of law school. I tickets to the game, but a couple of months before January 21st, I had to make a decision. I chose Judaism. While in Israel, my cell phone didn't work. I was staying at some hotel in Tel Aviv and decided to get updates from one of two computers in the business lounge. After the game, I hugged the computer and took a picture. All of a sudden, my phone started working, as friends and other random idiots called and texted from the court. Not sure why my phone worked. Didn't consider long distance fees. Everything was awesome that night. My phone stopped working the next morning.


alleninxis:
I have to be honest about this, I don't really know. Probably in my dorm room at school (not alumni if anyone was wondering - but my college years coincided with the Jeff/Roy/Jon/Pat class, so that was cool). I also don't feel I hold the '06 Duke game in the same manner as other fans - perhaps because I wasn't in Verizon or on the campus afterwards. But after living through the tail end of JT JR and the Esherick years - III was such a breath of fresh air and the momentum was over-spilling to the point you knew this kind of statement would be made soon enough. It was just a part of the process at this point to me of rebuilding a power, which unfortunately is now a bit off-track.


OverTheHilltop:
I was on a treadmill. Like, for the entire game. Stupid and so lame, I know. The back story is that I was (1) in Chicago in January, freezing my ass off; (2) supposedly training for a marathon that spring; (3) intrigued enough by Georgetown to want to watch the Hoyas play Duke; and (4) still beaten down enough from my Esherick-era college days that I was sure that any fun times during the game wouldn't last and so I shouldn't waste the whole afternoon watching the damn game. I had been drawn back into the program the year before, during JT3's first year, when it became clear than Georgetown had been revived from the comatose Esherick era. But living far away in a city without many fellow Georgetown basketball nuts in the pre-live streaming (and pre-GLOBAL PHENOMENON) days meant that I mostly kept up with the team through box scores and recaps. Starting with Duke, I sought out broadcasts of the games wherever and whenever I could find them. This included, for example, watching the Elite Eight win over North Carolina over the Internet in a lobby of a Brezhnev-era hotel in Kiev that didn't bother to splurge for wifi that went all the way up to the rooms.


SwordofBrunner
:
I was 4 rows off the floor at the MCI Center, just behind where player's check in. I have been fortunate enough to go to a ton of sporting events in my lifetime. This game still sits at or near the top of the list.  As far as expectations go, in 2005 we had come an Ashanti Cook jumper away from taking UConn to OT in the Big East Tournament [a wide open Jeff Green could have won the game but Ashanti took the shot]...a win there would have probably gotten us an at large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

So I probably expected us to get into the tournament in 2006 entering the season. Anything after that would be gravy.

After the win, I thought we were worldbeaters. I fully expected us to make a deep run in the tournament. Maybe even win the whole thing, I thought, as the delusion train left the station.

I'll always wonder how things would have played out if Darrell Owens buries that 3 vs Florida.


BenStandig:
Not going to lie. I had a good seat. Center court. Helped cover the game for the AP. My primary task when the game ended: Run for my life - and to the press conference area - before the fans stormed the court. Barely got out alive. Fun though. Electric scene. Beat Duke, Coach K and J.J. Redick, pretty, pretty, pretty good (Larry David voice)


HoyaSaxual:
I was on campus, having given my ticket to my roommate's sister (you're welcome, Sarah!) because I had to work. As soon as it ended we ran outside and ended up hugging, toasting with, and being gleefully accosted by fellow students that I may or may not have known. When those who attended the game returned to campus, it was mayhem. Bedtime was around 5:30am and that remains the only time I have been drunk and hungover three separate times within a single day - my parents would be proud.

The win turned making the NCAA tournament from a hope into an expectation, despite the fact that the Hoyas had lost to a couple of ranked Big East teams already (and it was only January). Suddenly everyone you talked to was brimming with a) basketball knowledge and b) school spirit. Both were occasionally misguided...but it's the thought that counts.

The bookstore even made cringe-inducing victory celebration shirts. I own one; it has never been worn.

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BobbyBancroft:
I had the distinct pleasure of watching the rebirth of Georgetown basketball from my season tickets in section 111. Before that season I was expecting a return to the NCAA Tournament and JT3 delivered. Now that being said, I remember in the days leading up to the game expecting the absolute worst. In the midweek tune-up for the Blue Devils, the Hoyas had to hold on for dear life in order to beat a bad South Florida team in a low scoring affair.

duke hoya front page




10 years later - how do you feel about the program? What about JT3?


JGD:
I don't know. My feelings change pretty much game by game. We're coming off a tremendous win over Xavier in a really dire time, so I feel better than I did yesterday. I think we've had a few inflection points over the past decade plus where I thought we would become a perennial top 10 program. First was obviously post the Sweet 16 / Final Four run where we got Summers / Maclin, Wright / Freeman and Monroe / Sims / Clark in consecutive years. The second was the 2011 class with Porter / Adams / Whittington / Hopkins / Trawick and the third is the 2014 class with Copeland / White / Peak / Campbell / Mourning.

A combination of transfers, injuries and tournament struggles didn't allow us to capitalize in 2010 and 2013, jury is still out on what happens with the 2014 class, but I am not holding my breath given how their sophomore years have started. I think it's fair to give JT3 the full run with the 2014 class before making any rash decisions, but if a third haul of talented top 50 classes come through without a 2nd weekend appearance, I am not sure what else is left to do.

The other scary thing to me is what the recruiting pipeline looks like for next few years - I don't stay up on it as much as others, but it sure feels bleak right now, particularly at the guard position going forward. The fact that JT3 hasn't put a guard in the NBA, combined with the evolution towards small ball, has to be terrifying for the staff as they try to recruit.

As I was watching the NFL games this weekend, I realized he's closest to Andy Reid for me. Consistently does well in the regular season, likeable guy who develops talent, but has these infuriating flaws that never seem to change regardless of the player group or season.

Hire Esherick:
I AM A SAD PANDA


NYHoya:
I feel very good about the program. As a Georgetown fan, all I want each year is a sense of hope and cautious optimism. With the exception of this year, JTIII has provided that sense of hope every single season. Our string of appearances in the top ten and our run of success during the regular season has energized this program and raised expectations considerably. Although JTIII hasn't had as much success in the postseason, or in taking the next step of making us a truly "elite" program (whatever that means), I still appreciate what he's done and where we are. As painful as the March flameouts have been, we've taken for granted how fun it has been to root for this team in meaningful games from November thru February. Having experienced the Esherick era, I feel like I appreciate the good times more than most. The sense of entitlement that is felt by post-Esherick grads is understandable (we should want and expect more), but I'm inclined to take any of JTIII's hiccups with a grain of salt. He's still done wonders for the program. To be sure, this has been his worst season to date; how he responds and adjusts will go a long way in determining his legacy. But for now, I'll just shrug my shoulders and wait for the next game. The season ain't over.



alleninxis
:
A National Championship was always a bit of a dream - requires talent generally resigned to the blue bloods of Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UNC - or just catching lighting in a bottle and getting really, really lucky. But I often thought we could get close - just enough talent and just enough breaks - and we could at least find our way to a Final 4 once every 5,6 years. Hasn't happened and with the conference realignment (New Big East has done well, but it's a step down), and continued drought of tournament wins it feels that it's starting to slip away. Recruiting has slipped gradually - we still have landed good players - but no blue chippers. We're much more in the range of fighting for kids in the 50-70, Top 100 than we had been 5-10 years ago. Once in a while you strike gold with an Otto Porter but to get back to where this program was going in 2006-2008 you need the Summers/Monroe/Wright/Freeman's who even if they don't max out their potential they'll be very, very good players. You need players more than anything.

The program is on solid footing still. We're not going to become DePaul any time soon. There's talent in the program and the IAC is a major step forward after being behind the times (and will be again shortly, nature of the business). JT3 is an above average, not just someone who has a job due to his father. But he's not great, probably far from it, I think there's enough evidence to say that. He doesn't need to reinvent the wheel but some progression schematically would help and as he ages - his recruiting can not get stale.

I've always felt you can tell when someone became a Georgetown fan/student by how they feel towards III -

Pre 1980 - along for the ride, they've seen it all. Could be a lot better, could be a lot worse.
Hoya Paranoia - Generally find his teams soft, passive. Would welcome, some even celebrate change. Dying group of fans (a lot of non-alumni) which is unfortunate.
Esherick - Had been so beaten down that III is still their man for saving the program. Have taken longer to see flaws.
2006-Now - Expect more, want more instant success. Why haven't we been back? Other schools we compet(ed) with are still elite. Not as passionate as the older group, not sure they really care all that much.

I fall somewhere between the tail end of Paranoia (Iverson) and full blown Esherick. I kinda, sorta know what it used to be like and I'd love to have Michael Graham teach a rebounding drill or two to some of the guys. I also experienced 6 men on the court, paying the way to DC for officials and banners over urinals. I'm just caught in between. I like III, once loved him, but we were so close to being GEORGETOWN again and it just hasn't quite materialized. So I really don't know at this point.

In the end, I think you have to let him see the FR/SO group through before anything. Imagine a Peak/Copeland/White/Govan/Derrickson core in 2017-2018? It's a long shot but things can change in a hurry in this sport. I'd just let him see that group through. If it nothing comes of that group, it'll be time.


OverTheHilltop:

Long exhale. This season more than most I feel like I'm running on memories, sometimes even other people's memories, of better days. Nostalgia obviously figures prominently for a lot of fans of college sports. That's probably more the case for Georgetown fans, whose team peaked over 30 years ago and probably won't reach similar heights again. Living a little bit in the past seemed okay as long as we got some success in the present. For a while there, it seemed like the JT3 era would be the JT2 era without the culture-defining apex: perennial success of one sort or another, with occasional deep tournament runs. Even after 2007 started recede into memory, Georgetown was still good enough, and the in-season highs were high enough, that there seemed to be a good balance of nostalgia and present-day fun.

But the one-two punch of the Florida Gulf Coast loss and Big East reformation has been tough. Conference play sometimes feels more like the basketball equivalent of the same high school reunion, year after year, with the same anecdotes, jokes, etc. Georgetown's middling play the last three seasons obviously is a main reason that it hasn't been fun. (The broadcasts, with their septuagenerian announcers and constant references to the Old Big East, also don't help, nor do the steady stream of half-empty arenas.)

On the other hand, the program is in many ways in good shape. The university has committed to actually paying for a top-flight basketball program, at least subject to the Thompson family's continued influence, and the IAC is a huge step out of the stone age. The players still come, even if not consistently at the 5-star level.

On balance, JT3 probably is still a plus. He's a huge asset to the program, not just as An Ambassador of the University and Molder of Young Men, but as a dude who can get stuff done. The IAC, top-flight schedules despite a changing conference lineup, and paying for real assistant coaches certainly don't happen on their own.

As far as on-the-floor coaching, he's not a travesty, but he's repeated the same mistakes year after year. Granted, new sets, let alone systems, can take years to implement. But why have we had to sit through four straight years of centers who lack ball-handling, passing, and jump-shooting skill nevertheless handling the ball 18 feet from the basket? How many years of constipated half-court offense and porous perimeter defense does he need to watch before deciding it might be a good idea to take flier on a quick guard with a strong handle, even if he lacks ideal size or a knock-down jumper? How many walk-on guards (non Jon Wallace edition) get to play meaningful minutes before he acknowledges roster imbalance and takes the same flier I just mentioned? How many years into the freedom-of-movement rule changes will it be before Georgetown ranks better than 300th nationally in foul rate?

I am not in favor of firing JT3 at this point, but I'm closer than I've ever been, even closer than in the moments after any of the horrible postseason losses we've had to endure. Individual disappointments come and go in a couple of hours. The grind of watching the same mistakes year after year is far more trying.


SwordofBrunner:
I've followed Georgetown since I was 9 or 10 years old, mainly because Patrick Ewing was my favorite NBA player and I wanted to be him. I enrolled as a freshman in 1998, and fully expected us to be the Georgetown I grew up with.


WELP.

With that as my reference point, I feel pretty good about the program and JT3. There have been cries of nepotism being the reason he is still our coach, and I think that's crazy. He's not perfect, but he's a really good coach whose success since arriving has made us nationally relevant on an annual basis, and has given momentum to a program that was on life support when he inherited it He's earned the right to try to figure things out. I hope he does.


HoyaSaxual:
This season is the basketball equivalent of really, really liking somebody and then discovering the sex is unsatisfying. WHY CAN'T THIS BE AS GOOD AS I WANT IT TO BE, DAMN IT? Yeah, I'm frustrated.

Regarding the program as a whole, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all if Georgetown had beaten NC State (or Utah) and gotten back to a Sweet Sixteen. All of the quality wins and overall successful performances are undervalued without tournament progress to satisfy the angry masses. From a strategic perspective, this season might be JTIII's worst. The defense is frighteningly porous and the offense can't effectively adapt to different opponents' look. However, given the lineup flexibility we've seen, it is unclear how much that's an issue with problematic coaching vs. failure at the level of player execution. I think JTIII should be asking a variety of questions about this season, but whether he should remain employed by the university is not among them.


BobbyBancroft:

The program is still in a good place - far better than the period of time that included the end of JT2 and Esherick era. The practice facility should help lift the program and give the staff something to show recruits besides the Verizon Center. It would be better if conference realignment didn't happen but the Hoyas are in the best situation possible given the fact that they don't support college football at the highest level. It would be great if UConn decided that they wanted to join the party but now I'm rambling.

As far as JT3 goes, I think he's a good coach that is able to get good kids that do well on and off the court. I think he's capable of getting the program back to challenging for top seeds in the NCAA Tournament even though this particular season has been below most expectations so far. What I will say is that at times JT3 the GM doesn't always help out JT3 the coach. Sometimes it's hard to figure out why he gets certain players given the general way he wants to play. That being said, recruiting misses happen everywhere so that's not just a problem specific to Georgetown. He's been to the NCAA Tournament in eight of his eleven seasons and even in the NIT years he finds a way to beat good teams.



Beyond the Final Four run in 2007, what has been the highlight of your Georgetown fandom since the Duke game?

JGD:
That 2013 season was a joy. Otto Porter's season remains the single best I've seen in my time as a fan, and it was the first year where I felt like we were going to maximize our potential because we played great defense and had the best player on the court every time we played. The run of wins in the Big East over Louisville, @ Syracuse, @ UConn and Syracuse at home were so much fun, culminating in winning the "Old Big East" in its last year. The losses to Syracuse in the BET and FGCU soon thereafter were not as fun.


Hire Esherick:
OTTO PORTER DOMINATING CUSE AT THE DOME AND AT VERIZON IN 2013


NYHoya:
I'd say it's a tie between traveling with the team to China and attending Syracuse's farewell game on March 9, 2013. The China trip was surreal. Sitting next to Otto Porter on the bus (during his first trip out of the country); doing some Seinfeld trivia with Nate Lubick; and being there for the Great Brawl of China were all pretty unforgettable. But that Cuse game was pretty special too. We remember the dates for the biggest of games; the only two I usually remember are January 21, 2006 and March 9, 2013. Because I didn't attend the Duke game, the most electricity I felt at the Verizon Center was for that Cuse finale. We led from start to finish in epic fashion and it was one of the best feelings I can remember as a fan. As painful as the following two weeks may have been, I'll never forget how awesome it felt to be a Georgetown fan on that day.


alleninxis:
Otto in the Carrier Dome. Runner up: DaJuan's shot to win the BE in 2008 vs L'Ville.


OverTheHilltop:
I went to the home win over Pitt in 2007 that helped seal the regular season Big East championship. I drove up with my then-girlfriend (now Mrs. OTH) from UVA, where she was in law school. We had lunch and beers with my college roommate (who helped land JT3 that Dove commercial) and his girlfriend-now-wife at some awful place in Chinatown. (Side note: Mrs. OTH made her case early and strong, buying tickets without me knowing about it and committing to the round-trip drive in a day, even though she and her law school friends had scheduled a bar crawl back in Charlottesville that evening, and chaperoning the whole time to abet my euphoric consumption of beer.) The game itself was amazing. Georgetown trailed for most of the second half but then just locked down Pitt defensively. The snail's pace that I would later come to despise worked well in such a tense game, as each possession took on huge significance. The Hoyas ended up winning their 11th straight and moved into sole possession of the conference lead. Pitt was a much of a gold standard as existed in the Big East at that time, and knocking them off was validation of Georgetown's return to the top of the conference, both literally and symbolically. The Phone Booth was packed, and the faithful were as fired up as I've ever seen them. Now we know it was a prelude to 7 straight postseason wins that are probably the main reason we're all on this email chain.


SwordofBrunner
:
Otto at the Carrier Dome warms my heart. I'm smiling thinking about it now.

Honorable mention to the Big East Tournament revenge tour of 2010.


HoyaSaxual:
Drinks flying everywhere in my living room, running to the White House and shutting down M Street/Pennsylvania Ave. (then making it back in time for mass with Fr. King) is going to reign supreme forever...and is far more memorable than almost anything from senior spring. If I MUST choose something else, it would be the final Big East win against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Sure, holding them to 39 points at Verizon was amazing, but Otto's total domination of their team in upstate NY was a thing of beauty. Traitors.


BobbyBancroft:

Well other than 2007 Final Four run, the highlight of the Georgetown program is that Big East Tournament Title of the same season. Friday night in the Garden was electric as Jeff Green led the comeback against ND and then the following night the Hoyas blew out Pitt. If that counts as part of the FF run and I have to pick something different, I'd go with closing out Syracuse home and away in 2013. Honorable mention includes signing Greg Monroe who had spent time as the number one recruit in the country, that second Duke win in front of Obama, the run to the 2010 BET Final - mainly beating No. 3 Syracuse in the quarters, beating No. 2 Villanova in the Blizzard of 2010, signing two McDonald's All Americans in the same class - Freeman and Wright.




What has been the most painful loss for you over the past 10 years?

JGD:
Speaking of which! The loss to FGCU remains the most painful one for me because somehow I was blindsided by it. The 2013 team was the only one I can remember that didn't get caught flat footed and take terrible losses. They handily beat teams they were better than and I just couldn't envision anything less than a Sweet 16 run that year. It legitimately took me a month to get over that loss. It was very, very dark.

My wife and I went to dinner with her mom and stepdad that Saturday night, a few days after her stepdad's father had passed away. Somehow, her stepdad didn't cancel on us and conducted himself with such grace despite his massive loss. Despite all of that, we got into a cab after dinner and first thing I said to my wife was "Wow, I thought I really held it together in there given the circumstances." It was at that point that I wasn't sure how much longer she'd wait before putting me in a facility. So yeah, it was very, very dark after the FGCU loss.

Hire Esherick:
FGCU


NYHoya:
Probably the Ohio loss. The Davidson loss and the Florida Gulf Coast loss were both horrific, but the Ohio loss was just on another level. That Ohio team was the only double digit squad to upset the Hoyas and NOT advance to the Sweet 16. And who was even on that team? Armon Bassett and a bunch of chuckers. Not to mention the fact that our Hoyas that year were really talented and fun to watch. The combination of Greg, Austin and Chris was a joy to watch and we kept improving as the season advanced. The revenge tour in the Big East Tourney that year was special and we came so damn close to knocking off West Virginia. It was the year of Diabetic Austin and we just kept pushing through adversity. We were a potential Final Four team. It just made that loss to Ohio that much more crushing. One of the only times I have ever left a bar before watching the end of the game. Greg's decision to go pro the following month just added to the agony.


alleninxis:
Davidson. I'll never get over it. I've been numb to mostly everything since then. (Ohio stung, but by the time VCU and FGCU rolled around I felt nothing)


OverTheHilltop:
Florida-Gulf Coast, without question. The main candidates seem to be the post-season losses. Davidson is worthy, but it all happened so quickly, and the memory of 2007 was still so fresh, that I was disappointed but not crushed. Ohio was bad from the start, and never got better. That 2010 Hoya team was so schizophrenic that it somehow wasn't that surprising. VCU seemed preordained, as Georgetown never really got its act back together after Chris Wright's injury.

FGCU bears particular responsibility for the current wounded state of my fandom. In retrospect, it seems silly. That Georgetown team was Otto Porter, a bit of Markel Starks, defense, some duct tape, and twine. The 11-game winning streak was an amazing accomplishment precisely because of the team's lack of depth, positional weirdness, and obvious shortcomings. (It's strange to think, looking back, that we already were in Year Two of the Great Guard Drought.) That amazing over achievement also set them up for an upset. We all knew this at the time. And yet, we believed. That was the year that felt different. That year was going to be a repayment of all the bad karma from the previous post-season losses. Of course, it wasn't. It was the same old bullshit, different March.

SwordofBrunner:
Ohio in 2010.

I honestly thought that 2010 team was good enough to go to the Final Four. We played so well in the Big East Tournament, and looked to be peaking at the right time despite coming up short against West Virginia in a classic BET final. We got beat by a bunch of nobodies who had the shooting night of their lives, who turned around and got beat by a mediocre Tennessee squad.

We ended up having beaten both teams that played in the NCAA Final that season [Butler and Duke].

What might have been...

[Honorable mention goes to the aforementioned West Virginia game. I flew back from a work trip on a 7am from LAX to JFK flight to make it to the game, weather diverted my flight to Albany, I trained it down to make it, and...fart noises. ]

The Syracuse 2013 game BET semifinal was also terrible.

Man, despite the pain, I miss the old BET.


BenStandig:
Another game I covered. Went up to Philly. Otto and the miracles against some beach bums. Ha, not so much. The plan involved my covering the first two rounds. Talked/conned my boss into splurging for a hotel room. Then Dunk City happened. I got nervous before the first alley-oop when Otto missed a bunny layup. That's odd, I thought to myself from a seat just off the court behind the Hoyas bench. Then came that 21-2 run in the second half. The Hoyas locker room postgame epitomized somber. JTIII couldn't have looked sadder, but he stood tall and answered questions. I went back to write about the game, then back to the hotel for drinks with colleagues as we all pondered how this could happen again. Oh, I also made sure the hotel was cool with me checking out a day early.


HoyaSaxual:
FGCU. I was there. I hate Philadelphia sports fans. I'm not going into further detail. It's still too soon.


BobbyBancroft:

I've been at all of the disappointing losses in the NCAA Tournament - Davidson, Ohio, VCU, and FGCU - as either a spectator or working media and for me, it's Ohio. I really thought those Hoyas could get to the Final Four and then they went out and gave up 97 points to the Bobcats. People like to complain about the offense and generally use the term Princeton offense to describe everything that goes wrong but it was the defense that day. Georgetown scored 83 points and lost by 14! Just to make matters worse the Hoyas beat both of the teams in the National Championship game by double-digits.



Who has surprised you most to the upside of Georgetown players over the past 10 years? Who has been most disappointing?

JGD:
I think from the upside perspective, it was probably Jabril Trawick. JT3 was getting all sorts of pushback on message boards when Jabril committed because he wasn't highly touted coming out of high school and wasn't known as a shooter in an offense that demands quality shooting from pretty much everyone. He left Georgetown as one of my favorite players of all time, a 3 year starter, and the heart and soul of a few really, really good teams. I loved watching him compete, and I loved how different he was from every other player JT3 has recruited from an outward toughness perspective.

Most disappointing for me is Nate Lubick. He was universally viewed as a top 50 recruit out of high school and I assumed he'd be a guy that averaged 15 and 10 sooner rather than later, running our offense through him to great success. He started all 4 years, but never really got any better in any facet of the game. I think the highlight of his career was the dunk against Syracuse at home his freshman year when we were struggling post Chris Wright's injury. One thing JT3 has absolutely done well is develop players - whether it is Hibbert, Green, Wallace, Summers, Monroe, Freeman, Sims, Wright, Porter, Hollis Thompson, Starks, Brad Hayes, Julian Vaughn, Otto, Trawick, Hopkins - I think you could make the argument that all got markedly better as the years went on. That didn't happen with Lubick, so he disappointed me the most. Obviously, Greg Whittington was disappointing as well, but that one doesn't seem like anyone's fault but his own.


Hire Esherick
:
JONATHAN WALLACE WAS MOST SURPRISING. FROM WALK ON THAT WASNT SUPPOSED TO PLAY TO STARTING THE MOST GAMES IN A GTOWN UNIFORM. MOST DISAPPOINTING WITH DAJUAN SUMMERS. 2009 SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIS YEAR TO BREAK OUT.


NYHoya:
Regarding the players that have surprised us (in a positive way), it has to be Henry Sims, right? Or Roy Hibbert? JTIII doesn't receive enough credit for developing players, particularly big men. I actually can't think of a single post player who did not improve during his years under JTIII. Henry's development was the most shocking because it was the most sudden. He went from a bench player who rebounded and defended well to a legitimate post presence whose passing and shooting improved exponentially IN A SINGLE OFFSEASON. The dude even played in the NBA for a few years. And, to be fair to JTIII, some of our guards have also improved tremendously under his watch. Look at the development of Jonathan Wallace, Jason Clark and Jabril Trawick. Steady progress over four years -- we should do a better job of pitching that to recruits. Biggest disappointment? It's tough to say. If we include guys who transferred or quit the program, I'll go with Stephen Domingo (whose tremendous promise never materialized) or Greg Whittington (who had so much promise and talent, but just couldn't keep his head on straight). Or Vee Sanford (he was talented, but we just couldn't find a consistent role for him).


alleninxis:

I'm going to use the same man for both - Henry Sims. Had Henry had his stuff together early on, who knows what the potential of the 2009-2010 had? Instead Benimon was fumbling about and the year was a roller coaster that eventually crashed. The top of that roster (Wright, Freeman, Clark, Monroe) was Final 4 good in a year where we blasted the eventual champs and soundly beat the runner up. Conversely, the 2012 Hoyas were at a bit of a crossroads post Freeman-Wright and had a lot of question marks. Hank stepped up and was perhaps the most pivotal part of a 12-6 Big East team that had a really solid year and even won a game in the NCAA Tournament! Had you told me after the Uconn defeat in the BET in 2011 that Henry Sims would actually return for his SR year, I'd have been mildly surprised. To turn that SR year into a terrific season and more than a cup of coffee in the NBA - I'd have said no chance. But the 2010 team that was just in need of one more quality player will forever haunt me.


OverTheHilltop:
It's hard to reconstruct my memory in this way but I'm pretty sure that I was most surprised by Otto Porter. We all knew he was going to be good, and probably really good. But I couldn't have projected his upside from grainy highlight videos backed by SE Missouri Van Halen imitators. I did not foresee him almost immediately becoming one of the core pieces of the 2012 team, let alone becoming a team-carrying star his sophomore year. That guy was and is a basketball savant. He was skilled and cold-blooded and played with maximum effort at all times. He is easily my favorite player of the JT3 era, and I would not have seen that coming from day one.

Most disappointing, probably JT3, since you didn't limit your question to players. And that's not to say he's been the worst of the last 10 years. But he set expectations over his first three-plus seasons and largely has not met them since. He's been the one constant throughout that era.

The most disappointing player probably was Greg Whittington. He was so good, and could have been so much better. That 2013 team would still have been really good, and probably better in the post-season, if he could have attended that damn flashdance final or whatever it was. That 2014 squad might not have gone through such a swoon because of a lack of talent if he didn't have the misfortune to tear up his knee and if he hadn't [REDACTED] in Puerto Rico. And holy shit was he fun to watch.


SwordofBrunner:

Most surprising upside:

Roy Hibbert. If you watched him during his freshman year, he was bambi on ice. Terrible footwork. Labored up and down the floor. He was just a tall, gangly kid that looked like a stiff breeze might blow him over. I remember he had a fadeaway hook shot that defied logic and possibly physics as a go-to post move.

If you would have told me, during that season, that he would be remembered fondly as an example of Georgetown's tradition of great big men, would be a first round pick in a league not located un Uzbekistan, and that he'd have a 10+ year NBA career, I'd have punched you in the mouth.

Jon Wallace probably deserves a mention here, too.

Most disappointing:

If Greg Whittington counts, then it's him. I thought he had NBA potential.

Otherwise, I'm going to say DaJuan Summers. I guess I always wanted him to grow into the Jeff Green/point forward role, and never did. He didn't seem to add many wrinkles as a player from freshman year through junior year. Don't get me wrong, he was a hell of a player, and he went to the NBA, and his dunk against UNC in the 2007 Elite 8 is one of the greatest things ever.Inline image 1

I just don't think he ever hit his ceiling.

Honorable mention to Jerelle Benimon and Vee Sanford, who were excellent players elsewhere.


BenStandig:
For the upside, how about Markel Starks. Seems to me like he exceeded expectations and did so, particularly in his senior season, without much help. The current Georgetown could use some of his over-the-top self-confidence right now. As for disappointing, I'm debating between Greg Whittington and Nate Lubick. If Whittington doesn't lose eligibility for the second semester of the 2012-13 season, the Hoyas might have gone very, very deep in the NCAA's instead of one-and-done. JT2 of all people said Whittington had the potential to be the best defender in program history. Think about that mind blowing comment. As for Lubick, I think JT3 hoped what Jessie Govan is now: A big man with range who can make passes from the hgh post. We all thought that was Lubick's path after a promising start. Alas, not so much.


HoyaSaxual:
Senior year Henry Sims takes the cake for biggest, most unexpected transition. However, I reserve the right to replace Hank with Reggie Cameron depending on how the rest of this season plays out. As for most disappointing, I'm going to have to go with Greg Whittington, because his ceiling was SO high. Show up for your damn finals, kids. Especially when somebody else is paying your tuition.


BobbyBancroft:
Can I list Henry Sims for both? I guess we can give him a pass on his freshmen season but he could have been the missing piece in both his sophomore and junior seasons. That being said, after being such a disappointment for three seasons Sims had an incredible senior season on a team that just came up short in getting back to the Sweet 16. That 2011-12 team is probably the best Georgetown team of this decade. I know the following year the Hoyas earned a 2 seed and all but that was on the back of a great coaching job and Otto Porter's historic season. The 11-12 team was better especially once Whittington became ineligible.




If you could rewrite history and change one moment over the past 10 years, what would it be?

JGD:
The loss to Ohio in 2010. The 2010 team had the highest ceiling of any JT3 team since the Hibbert / Green days, throttling both championship game participants that year (Duke and Butler) along with great wins over Villanova, Syracuse, Marquette and Louisville, and the amazing run through the BET to get to the championship game against WVU (which ultimately went to the Final Four).

That team also had the maddening inability to get up for lesser opponents - losses to Rutgers and South Florida come to mind. And Ohio was surely the same story. If that game goes differently, I think we could have made a deep run, just a few years after the 2007 Final Four. The whole trajectory / story line of the program is different and we are potentially catapulted to that top echelon of programs that we seem to be slipping further away from by the year.


Hire Esherick:

SHOULDNT HAVE ORDERED A DRINK WITH ICE AT THE WEDDING I WENT TO IN MEXICO.

NYHoya:
This is a no-brainer. That loss to Syracuse in the 2013 BET. As painful a loss as I can remember. I want that game back so badly. Go back and watch it again. We had them right where we wanted them in overtime until that bullshit fifth foul on Markel and an out-of-bounds call that went the wrong way. We should've ended the rivalry in style. I'm tired of watching clips of that C.J. Fair dunk over Otto.

alleninxis:
DJ Owens (one of the more unappreciated Hoyas) knocking down that open jump-shot against Florida. Why? Next up would have been a Villanova team that at the time we matched up fairly well - almost certainly a close game. From there? A national semi-final with George Mason. It was likely a group that was a year early regardless, but hey, who knows.

OverTheHilltop:
Tough question. I have so many regrets. Oh, wait, you mean in Georgetown basketball?

I would think the answer has to be reversing one of the postseason losses. Nolan's Florida call is a good one, maybe the best one. That team was farther along than the Georgetown teams that made disappointing early exits, and the other teams felt flawed in some way that would have caught up with them eventually. The 2013 team was paper thin, the 2011 team was walking wounded, the 2010 team was so inconsistent and couldn't guard anyone, and the 2008 team often would struggle to score.


SwordofBrunner:

Armon Bassett and his Ohio teammates don't shoot 57% from 3, and we see how far Greg Monroe can take us in a Georgetown uniform.

Honorable mention to Darrell Owens' three. That goes down and we face Nova in the Elite 8, with a chance of meeting George Mason in the FF.

Damn.


BenStandig:
Have somebody walk Greg Whittington to class.


HoyaSaxual:
That moment in 2011 against Cincinnati when Cashmere Wright broke Chris Wright's hand. There have been tougher losses and more painful seasons, but the fault (and mental pain) for those can be evenly distributed amongst the team. Having his senior season effectively ended on such sad note was incredibly unfair.


BobbyBancroft:
Jeff Green taking more than 5 shots against Ohio State in the Final Four. Honorable Mention - Darrel Owens making that final three against Florida, Chris Wright not breaking his wrist in late Feb, Greg Whittington focusing just a bit more on academics.



Give us your starting 5 of the JT3 era along with your 6th man.

JGD:
PG - Chris Wright
SG - Otto Porter
SF - Jeff Green
PF - Greg Monroe
C - Roy Hibbert

Sixth Man: Austin Freeman


Hire Esherick:
JONATHAN WALLACE, OTTO PORTER, JEFF GREEN, GREG MONROE, ROY HIBBERT

NYHoya:
I've had this conversation at least ten times. I prefer to give a full twelve-man roster, but whatever. Starting five: Markel, Austin, Otto, Jeff, Monroe. Sixth man: Chris Wright or Roy or Patrick.


alleninxis:

Wallace
Freeman
Porter
Green
Hibbert

Sixth Man: Monroe


OverTheHilltop:
I think there is a clear top 7. Honorable mention to Austin Freeman.

Wallace
Wright
Porter
Green
Hibbert
6th Man: Monroe

SwordofBrunner:
Wright
Freeman
Porter
Green
Monroe

6th man: Hibbert


BenStandig:
PF Jeff Green. SF Otto Porter. C Roy Hibbert barely over Henry Sims. SG Austin Freeman. PG Jonathan Wallace. 6th Man, the most underutilized player in the JT3 era...Hollis Thompson.


HoyaSaxual:
1 - Jon Wallace
2 - Austin Freeman
3 - Brandon Bowman*
4 - Jeff Green
5 - Roy Hibbert
6th Man - Jabril Trawick
(* It was a close call to not have Otto at the three in a list based on college performance. He doesn't earn the spot by realizing his potential in the NBA - even though it's awesome that he has!)

BobbyBancroft:
Wallace, Freeman, Green, Otto, Hibbert with DSR coming off the bench. I think you can make a case for so many other players to make the top six. I also considered Sapp, Summers, Ewing JR, Hollis, Starks, Clark, Sims, Cook, Bowman, Wright and Monroe. I went with DSR off the bench because that makes it a squad of three backcourt players and three frontcourt players but you really can't go wrong with many of those choices.



If I told you that the iPhone hadn't been released the last time Georgetown advanced to the 2nd weekend of the tournament, how would that make you feel?


JGD:
Not good. On a personal level, I've graduated college, gotten married and had a kid since the last time we got to the 2nd weekend of the tournament. My life has changed dramatically, JT3's schemes have not.

Hire Esherick:
I MISS MY BLACKBERRY

NYHoya:
Happy. The iPhone is the worst. It makes us boring, impatient, lazy, spoiled and terrible. Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually watch basketball games without answering calls, texting, tweeting, instagramming and being awful human beings?

alleninxis:
Damn it.

OverTheHilltop:
Roughly JT2 old.

SwordofBrunner:
I clung to my Blackberry as long as I could, so I have no frame of reference here.

BenStandig:
I have an Android phone so, whatever.

HoyaSaxual:
Eh. My own smartphone is approaching its 5th birthday. Such comparisons really aren't going to make a dent.

BobbyBancroft:
I've never been an Apple so I'd say - meh. Seriously though, what kind of phone did I have driving down to Atlanta in 2007? Did I print out directions from Mapquest?



We've seen the full gamut from the 2015-2016 team already - playing Duke and Maryland to the wire, throttling Syracuse and losing to Radford. What are your expectations for the rest of the season?


JGD:
We could rip off a 2013-like streak as this team develops confidence that they can close big games, catalyzed by the win over Xavier.

Or the win over Xavier could be a blip like the 2009 victory at or the 2014 win over Michigan State at MSG - a light in an otherwise forgettable, NIT bound season.

I tend to think it will be somewhere in between, where we're close to the bubble going into Selection Sunday, get in based on strength of schedule and potentially make some noise as a 8 through 11 seed.


Hire Esherick:
NIT


NYHoya:
Muddling through. Hopefully finding the right combination of dudes and squeezing into the top four or five of the conference. I'm still holding out hope for the NCAA Tourney, but it's becoming more and more unlikely. Remember when some of us said that as long as we beat Syracuse this year, everything else is gravy? Well.....


alleninxis:
I expect a decent finish. But I think this hinges on Jessie Govan playing starters minutes and also playing the level that he has in the first four conference games. Hayes been a nice story - he's put in the work, stayed in the program, etc etc. But I think we see what he is. Can he make a basket on the block 1 on 1? Yep. Grab a few defensive boards with his size? Sure. Beyond that? He's a negative and Govan offers up so much more potential and range on both ends. As it stands before the SJU game they sit at 3-1. I'll go with a 10-8 conference finish and needing to win at least 1, probably 2 games in the BET to get in the dance. Just get to that point and I can be somewhat content. Like most, I think I overshot the actual talent on this team..but that doesn't excuse what I've found to be piss poor coaching from time to time.


OverTheHilltop:
Probably the NIT. I very much would like to be wrong but haven't seen enough to suggest that I will be.


SwordofBrunner:
I think we can score with anyone, but I don't think this team is good enough defensively to win enough games to get an at large bid to the Big Dance. We're NIT bound, I'm afraid, which is a shame given preseason expectations.


BenStandig:
Well, that Xavier win changes a few things, now doesn't it. There's never been an issue with this team in terms of talent, potential. It's been a matter of when/if the light will click for the players and coaches on how to make it all work. There's not a single five-man unit I can suggest will work with any certainty. That could change if the sophomores find consistency; Tre Campbell starting showing signs of life recently before exploding in Cincinnati. Isaac Copeland remains a mystery. Guessing it will take 12-13 Big East wins (depending on UConn result) for an at-large bid. Downing the No. 5 team works. We'll see if this group consistently turns potential into reality -- and quick.

HoyaSaxual:
A whiplash-inducing emotional rollercoaster that sees us on the bubble in early March. A trip to the finals of the BET. I'm not a bracketologist and I refuse to jinx the team further by saying anything else.

BobbyBancroft:
A serious fight to stay above .500/make the NIT. This team had good pieces but they don't fit together very well.




If you ran the Georgetown program, what piece of advice would you give to JT3?


JGD:
Evolve into a 21st century program - on offense, on staffing, on interactions with the media, on everything.

Hire Esherick:
JT3? ITS OKAY TO SAY WE SUCK AND YOUR GAME PLAN SUCKED.

NYHoya:
Don't read HoyaTalk or Casual Hoya. Be true to yourself, but be open to adjusting and adapting your system, while ignoring the noise.

alleninxis:
Get players. Be adaptable. Get Players.

OverTheHilltop:
Learn from your mistakes.

SwordofBrunner:



BenStandig:
Let's avoid the term advice. I'll just go with quick observations based on the current team. ...There are lots of talented players in America. They don't all fit in the system he runs. Sometimes a 2-star recruit who can do specific things might make more sense than a 4-star with potential. ...I understand the idea of positionless basketball. Makes sense. You still need players who can dribble, create. Those players tend to be guards. For DSR's entire four years, they've been light on guards. Campbell rocked Tuesday. That's great. On those other nights he didn't produce, Plan B meant using a wing or forward...Thompson signed some players with real fire in their belly. Jabril Trawick and Chris Wright come to mind. That aspect, from the outside, is lacking at times, though Campbell and Peak have bulldog potential. Speaking of bulldogs . ...During the game, take a moment and watch Jack skateboard. Glorious.


HoyaSaxual:
Don't be afraid to recruit below the top tier. Those are the guys who'll have something to prove. That track record of developing young players who want to come here into reliable veterans over 4 years didn't come from nowhere.


BobbyBancroft:
The recent rule changes are favoring guard play so it makes sense to have more guards on your roster. In most of the NCAA Tournament losses to mid majors, it's been death by small guards. For as much as we here that they will call the fouls off the ball on cutters to the hoop, it's guards that drive that are drawing the fouls.

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Photo Gallery:

Hoyas Upset #1 Duke

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