Georgetown’s Bubble Bursts as DePaul Pulls Off Big East Tournament Shocker

Billy GarrettBy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK - Georgetown came to Madison Square Garden this week for the Big East Tournament in need of two things, wins and help from across the country, in an effort to find its way into the NCAA Tournament.

The Hoyas didn’t even get the chance to see if it could get some help. On Wednesday night in the first-round, their bubble burst.

Winless in the Big East Tournament since 2009, Billy Garrett Jr. and DePaul took out Georgetown, 60-56, in the first-round nightcap. The newly-minted Big East Rookie of the Year finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line. Garrett Jr. iced the win by going for 4-for-4 from the charity stripe over the final 22 seconds.

“In shootaround and practice, coach (Oliver Purnell) preached free throws,” Garrett Jr. said. “He said every one counts and it was going to come down to free throws, and it did. We listened to that, we paid attention in practice and we worked on them. When it came down the stretch and it came down to free throws and we were able to knock them down.”

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Georgetown Latest to Offer Govan

Georgetown is the latest school to offer 2015 Wings Academy big man Jessie Govan.

“They told my coach after [today's] game that they would like to offer me and my coach told me,” Govan told “I might take a trip down there soon.”

Georgetown, of course, has a long tradition of big men, including Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. To read more of this story, click here

Izzo: Georgetown ‘Manhandled’ Michigan State


Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK -- After a five-game losing skid, a game against a top-10 opponent in Michigan State turned out to be just what Georgetown needed to try and right the ship.

In a stunning effort, the Hoyas defeated the No. 7 Spartans, 64-60, at Madison Square Garden, but Tom Izzo was not surprised by the result.

“I give [Hoyas coach] John [Thompson III] a lot of credit; he took his team, an 11-9 team that lost a lot of tough games, hopefully [this win] will get him going,” Izzo said. “I have a lot of respect for him and his program. I thought they manhandled us.”  To read more of this story, click here

Georgetown’s Josh Smith Academically Ineligible

The Josh Smith experiment at Georgetown is over.

Hoyas coach John Thompson III said the 6-foot-10 UCLA transfer was declared academically ineligible for the remainder of the season.

“Josh Smith is ineligible for the remainder of the year because of academics,” he said.  “It’s disappointing.  A lot of what we did was geared toward his presence.

“This is Georgetown and we have a set of standards and everyone has a responsibility above and beyond what goes on outside of those doors (to McDonough Arena).”

Smith averaged 11.5 points and 3.4 rebounds for the Hoyas. They are 10-3 with him and 1-4 without him.

After leaving UCLA in November of 2012 after just a half dozen games, Smith was somehow cleared immediately to play at Georgetown in October.

Georgetown plays at Big East leader Creighton on Saturday.


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Georgetown’s Trawick Sidelined

Georgetown announced today that junior forward Jabril Trawick of Philadelphia will be sidelined indefinitely after breaking his jaw in Wednesday’s game against Providence.

“It’s a tough blow for our team because of the presence that Jabril provides for us,”head coach John Thompson III said.  “We’re hoping to have him back on the court as soon as he is cleared to play and in the meantime, some of our guys will have to step up in his place.”

Trawick is fourth on the team in scoring with 7.1 points per game and is averaging 2.5 rebounds.  He has started all 14 games for the Hoyas this season.

Georgetown (10-4, 2-1 BIG EAST) plays at Butler (10-5, 0-3 BIG EAST) tonight at 7 p.m.

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Georgetown-bound White and Duke-bound Okafor Lead Whitney Young Over Prime Prep

Saturday was a big day for Georgetown and its future players.

Not only did the Hoyas beat St. John’s, 77-60, in Big East play, but Georgetown pledge Paul White went off for 29 points while Duke signee Jahlil Okafor had 24 points and nine rebounds as Whitney Young (IL) beat Prime Prep (TX), 72-69, at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W.V.

White and Okafor were named co-MVPs of the game after combining for 53 points.

Okafor, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015, was named the tournament MVP. To read more of this story, click here

Georgetown’s Caprio Goes from Walk-on to Scholarship

Georgetown senior John Caprio had every walk-on’s dream come true just before the 2013-14 school year started.

Caprio, a 6-foot-6 North Caldwell, N.J., native who attended Seton Hall Prep, was in the car with his mother, Margaret, driving down the New Jersey Turnpike for his final year of school when his phone buzzed.  It was a text from his head coach, John Thompson III.

The text message from Thompson informed Caprio that he was no longer a walk-on and that he was being awarded a scholarship for this, his senior year.

“I think it was more exciting for my mom,” Caprio said.  “We were driving back to campus when I got the text and she was just so excited that I had to remind her we were still driving.” To read more of this story, click here

Josh Smith Cleared Immediately at Georgetown

Say this for the NCAA: they work in mysterious ways.

After leaving UCLA last November after just a half dozen games, Josh Smith has been cleared immediately to play at Georgetown, beginning with the Hoyas season opener on Nov. 8 against Oregon in the Armed Forces Classic at Camp Humphreys in Seoul, South Korea, the school announced

Smith was also granted a Seasons of Competition waiver for the 2012-13 season in which he participated in six games at UCLA, which gives him two seasons of eligibility remaining (2013-14 and 2014-15).

“We are excited that the NCAA has approved the waiver for Joshua,” Head Coach John Thompson III said. “Now, he has to maintain a high level of commitment on and off the court. He will provide a significant low-post presence for this team.” To read more of this story, click here

Paul White to Georgetown

Paul White, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Chicago Whitney Young, committed to Georgetown Sunday morning.

White had visited Miami and was also considering UConn, Minnesota and DePaul.

“While on my visit here it made me realize this is the place for me,” White told the Chicago Sun Times. “I felt that comfort level I was looking for with the coaching staff, the players and the environment here. It’s a wonderful school with a great basketball tradition and atmosphere. This was the place I could easily see myself going to school and playing.” To read more of this story, click here

Georgetown Has Early In With 2015 Forward Burns

BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. — Elijah Burns left La Salle Institute in Troy, N.Y., for Blair Academy after last year in order to play basketball at a higher level and enroll in one of the top prep schools in New Jersey.

After reclassifying to the Class of 2015 from 2014, the move already seems to be paying dividends.

Coaches are filing into Blair to watch the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Burns, as well as teammate Marial Shayok and other players on coach Joe Mantegna’s squad.

Burns, who averaged 17.8 points and 10 rebounds a game last season at Troy, told Georgetown, Temple, Siena and Holy Cross are working on him the hardest right now. But that list figures to grow and morph in the coming year. To read more of this story, click here