The Kenner Summer League started this week, giving me my first look at incoming freshman Hollis Thompson in action. There’s no reason not to be optimistic in the summer, so I will be—when I stopped by the Kenner League this Sunday, he was fine. Almost good even, with a scoreline of six points, six rebounds and a block.
The 6’ 6”, 180-lb. forward from Los Angeles got lost at times under the basket defensively, allowing his man a few easy put-backs and he was also beaten badly at least twice on pick and rolls. These missteps aside, he was solid defensively and very good in the open court—all in all not a bad day, even if his team, We Are One, lost a hard-fought game to Beyond Belief.
If Thompson’s play was optimistic, sophomore guard Jason Clark’s in the following game was just plain exciting. Clark, who led a Georgetown-heavy Clyde’s team that included former Hoyas Jeff Green, Jonathan Wallace and Tyler Crawford as well as current sophomore center Henry Simms, scored a game-high 26 points (21 in the first half) to lead the team to victory over the Bearcats.
Former Hoya Roy Hibbert got off to quite a start in his NBA career, picking up a flagrant foul and ejection from his first preseason game for an errant elbow. But no elbow to the face could ever be as painful as the above video. Skip ahead to 2:56 to see Roy barely edge out a fan in a game of knock-out at the Pacers’ “Fan Jam” earlier this week. Then, if you can stomach it, move along to 3:43 to hear his rendition of the Fresh Prince theme.
Patrick Ewing Jr. made quite a final effort on Friday to salvage his first stint in the NBA. Ewing played nine minutes in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ preseason finale against the Nets and had the entire Garden chanting his name after a three-pointer and two ferocious dunks. But it wasn’t enough:
The Knicks announced today that fan favorite Patrick Ewing Jr. will be the final cut from their roster. Team president Donnie Walsh decided to instead keep shooting guard Anthony Roberson, who signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Knicks during the Las Vegas Summer League in July.
The Knicks lost almost 60 games last season and haven’t made the play-offs since 2004. I’m sure they know exactly what they are doing by cutting a fan-favorite from the bench.
Georgetown held its annual basketball Media Day on yesterday afternoon. Coach John Thompson III, as well as senior guard Jessie Sapp, junior forward DaJuan Summers, and sophomore guards Austin Freeman and Chris Wright talked about the freshmen, last year’s seniors, this season’s schedule, fitness, goals, Jon Wallace’s facial expressions, and more. Below are some highlights:
John Thompson III—
On last year’s seniors (Hibbert, Wallace, Ewing, Crawford):
Everyone who has followed us and been around knows how special that group is to me. But they are gone. So, love them, and I think they love me, but they are gone. We’re not going to dwell on who’s not here, we are going to dwell on the guys who are here. The way this group is going to have success is probably going to be a little different than the way that group had success.
What we’re not going to do, I think what the fans and maybe [the media] tend to do, is say ‘okay, we’re going to take Greg Monroe, Henry Simms, Julian Vaughn, and we are going to put them into Roy’s hole’. I have never done that, the year starts and you start over and those guys make their own holes.
After the jump, just what kind of facial expressions does Jonathan Wallace have?
Due to the outbreak of the norovirus on campus, athletic director Bernard Muir has postponed or cancelled most events scheduled for this weekend, including women’s soccer home games Syracuse and St. John’s, football away at Colgate, and swimming away at American. Muir said games were delayed because of sick players:
“Because several members of the team have been infected and others have been exposed, and because the infection is contagious, after discussion between medical personnel at both universities and with Syracuse’s and St. John’s athletic administration and the BIG EAST, the decision has been made not to play the games. Make-up dates have not been reached at this time.”
It’s hard to fill seats for a Georgetown football game on any Saturday afternoon, let alone during a wash-out like this one caused by Tropical Storm Hanna. With that in mind, both teams have decided to postpone the game until Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. Here’s what Georgetown coach Kevin Kelly had to say:”We’re obviously disappointed to move the game, but we did so with the safety of student-athletes and fans in mind. The weather conditions should be much better on Sunday and we’re looking forward to starting what could be a great college football rivalry for the Nation’s Capital.”
After covering the Georgetown men’s basketball team for the last two years, I’m honestly a little tired of all the father-son parallels that find their way into almost every article written about Hoya basketball. I’m front and center on the Thompsons and Ewing bandwagons, but both are getting stale at this point. They’re probably sick of all the talk, too.
But you can’t avoid the fact that Patrick Ewing Jr. is following in his father’s ample footsteps once again, this time to the New York Knicks. Ewing, who was drafted 43rd overall by the Sacramento Kings and subsequently traded to the Houston Rockets this summer, will head to New York for the draft rights of Frederick Weis, a center from France.
Here’s what Ewing said in a press release:
Coming to the Knicks, and hopefully being able to contribute, means a lot to me. It has always been my dream to play for this team. My goal is to show the coaches that I can play and do all that I can to help the team win some games.
The fledgling Knicks, one of the worst teams in the NBA over the last few years, will need much more than an athletic, archetypal role-player. But who knows, maybe he will help make the Knickerbockers a force to reckon with in once more…like his father did.
The one thing you can always expect from Kenner League games is that something unexpected is going to happen—games aren’t likely to start on time and you have no idea who is going to be playing until you walk into the gym. The championship game between the Hoya-dominated Tombs and the Madness All-Stars was no different.
For one thing, Georgetown’s star freshman Greg Monroe was notably absent from the Tombs squad. Madness, on the other hand, bolstered their roster significantly with Roger Mason Jr. of the San Antonio Spurs. Mason averaged just over nine points a game last season in his final year with the Washington Wizards. Mason was joined by former University of Maryland standout and NBA veteran Lonny Baxter, who currently plays for Panionios BC in Greece.
Despite the uneven rosters, the Tombs dominated the second half en-route to an 81-65 win.
Without Monroe, the pressure was on the slight shoulders of freshman Henry Sims to win the battles in the paint. Add the 270-lb Baxter to the mix and one would think the slender Sims would have a rough time of things. But the freshman had other ideas, dominating the boards and stopping every would-be comeback with an onslaught of tip-ins.
Sims got help from sophomore guard Chris Wright, who was brilliant once again in transition and who effectively shut down Mason in the second half. Wright’s ability to penetrate just about any time he wants to is made all the more dangerous by the presence of sophomore Nikita Mescheriakov, who is all but automatic from three-point range when he is left open.
When I said Georgetown’s two freshmen big men, Greg Monroe and Henry Sims on The Tombs team, would improve throughout Summer League and pre-season play, I meant it. I just didn’t realize they’d improve so fast. The two spearheaded a 79-52 rout against Hoop Magic this afternoon, dominating play at both ends of the court.
Monroe was able to score in every way imaginable on Sunday—soft mid-range jumpers, bruising post moves and rim-shattering dunks in transition. The greatest improvement compared to the last game I watched, however, was his defense. Monroe tallied several blocks throughout the game, and even when he didn’t get his hand on the shots the Hoop Magic players were tentative and sloppy in the paint in his presence.
Sims could still certainly stand to pack some muscle on before the season begins, but he did a better job of holding his own in the paint and was a force on the defensive glass. He, like Monroe, was also very effective running in transition with Chris Wright.
Jeff Green doesn’t live down to his nickname, after the jump
I enjoyed some more Kenner Summer League action today, this time taking in the Tombs, the other Hoya team. A 3:30 match against Hoop Magic seemed to offer the best chance to compare Georgetown’s incoming talent, as I spent last week watching Hoop Magic play Clyde’s. That opportunity was dashed, however, when Hoop Magic’s star player, Donte Greene of the Memphis Grizzlies, did not play.
It’s hard to pass any real judgment based on one summer league game, but The Tombs’ Hoyas put on a lukewarm performance this afternoon, falling to an undermanned, Greene-less Hoop Magic squad, 55-54.
The Tombs team is led by sophomore guard Chris Wright. Wright showed flashes of brilliance, especially in transition. At times, his speed and vision were clearly the best on the court. In the second half, though, Wright seemed to disappear for stretches and was too sloppy with the ball for someone who may well be Georgetown’s chief point guard next year.