Voicebox: The basketball season’s not quite over yet

Sports editor Chris Almeida and assistant sports editors Brendan Crowley and Joe Pollicino discuss the disappointment and general sadness surrounding this year’s basketball season, specifically the DePaul game that eliminated the Hoyas’ hopes of competing in the NCAA tournament.

On the bright side, however, this means that the Hoyas will compete in the National Invitational Tournament. The sports editors will also preview tonight’s NIT game against West Virginia, which will take place in McDonough.

 

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Hoyas earn spot in NIT, will play rare home game at McDonough

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (17-14, 8-10 Big East) may have disappointed many on the Hilltop this season by failing to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign. If Hoya fans can take any solace from this disheartening year, however, it’s in their team’s selection to the less prestigious post-season tournament, the National Invitation Tournament.

The most satisfying part of this otherwise inferior tournament is the opportunity for the Hoyas to play a home game at the on-campus McDonough Arena for the first time in nearly five years. The last time the Hoyas took the floor in McDonough was on December 19, 2009 when they faced Old Dominion. The Hoyas lost 57-61.

Since the Hoyas earned a No. 4 seed, they will have the chance to make that Blue and Gray fantasy of victory a reality. They will face off against No. 5 seed and former Big East rival West Virginia (17-15, 9-9 Big 12) on Tuesday night at McDonough.

Tickets are free for Georgetown students with a valid GOCard and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to McDonough will open at 5:30p.m. for all students hoping to seek admission. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Photo: Lucia He/Georgetown Voice

Postgame Roundup: Blue Demons dash Hoyas’ NCAA Tournament aspirations

BIG EAST TOURNEY '14

NEW YORK—Entering their first round matchup with DePaul (12-20, 3-15 Big East), the Georgetown men’s basketball team (17-14, 8-10 Big East) had defeated the Blue Demons in 14 consecutive meetings, including twice this season, dating all the way back to 1994. Apparently, DePaul was due for a win in the worst possible way, yet at the worst possible time for the Hoyas, as the Blue Demons grinded out a 60-56 win in a traditional Big East slugfest late Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The loss by Georgetown all but eliminates their chances for a NCAA Tournament at-large bid on Selection Sunday.

“Tonight’s loss is disappointing,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said following the devastating defeat.

Having entered the game needing a win in order to maintain their bubble status, the Hoyas came out rolling from the opening tip to a 17-9 lead, their largest of the game, midway through the first half. The Blue Demons then scored 11 unanswered points, holding Georgetown scoreless for a duration of 6:31. Both teams then alternated leads for the rest of the half with the Hoyas entering halftime with a rocky 25-23 lead.

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Vox’s Super Duper Big East Tournament Preview

With the end of the Big East regular-season comes the commencement of the Big East Tournament. And with the Hoyas fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives, Georgetown fans certainly will have their eyes fixated more than usual on New York’s Madison Square Garden starting this Wednesday night. Don’t worry or feel overwhelmed, though, because Vox has you covered. We take to you team-by-team with what’s at stake, who’s worth watching, and our predictions. When you’re done reading this, Vox expects you will be a Big East savant.

Rankings are in accordance with tournament seeding.

10. DePaul (11-20, 3-15 Big East)

RPI: 157

First Game: #7 Georgetown, Wednesday at 9:30p.m.

Record In Last 12 Games: 1-11

What They’re Playing For: Having played themselves out of any postseason tournament consideration, DePaul will look to win its first Big East Tournament game since 2009.

Most Impressive Thing They Did This Year: Umm…

Blue Demon to Watch: Senior guard Brandon Young (16.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.6 APG)

For the consistently awful Blue Demons, Young has played consistently well since the abrupt dismissal of then-leading scorer Cleveland Melvin from the team on Feb. 10. A shoot-first point guard, Young has scored 23 or more points in three of his last four games, including 29 against Marquette on Feb. 22.

Chances of Winning Big East: .00000000000000000000000000000000000001%

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Postgame Roundup: Super ‘Nova Pops Hoyas’ NCAA Bubble

PHILADELPHIA—The NCAA Tournament bubble might have just burst for the Georgetown men’s basketball team (17-13, 8-10 Big East) in their regular season finale, as they let a prime résumé-building opportunity go to waste against No. 6 Villanova (28-3, 16-2 Big East) in a 77-59 loss on Saturday afternoon.

“We have to play better than we did today,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said following the loss.

The Hoyas encountered difficulties right from the opening tip, with five turnovers in the opening five minutes of the game. As a result, the Wildcats jumped out to a 14-7 lead, from which they never looked back.

“We have a small margin of error. We came out early and had unnecessary, unforced turnovers,” Thompson said. “[Our] turnovers led to transition baskets for them, which … got them going. We tried to claw back and had some missed opportunities.”

For the game, the Blue and Gray had 18 total turnovers, which the Wildcats converted into 22 points. Georgetown sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who finished with 14 points and a team-high five rebounds, believes that the Blue and Gray were overzealous on the offensive end compared to their last three games, where they only had 17 turnovers combined.

“We were just trying to make home-run plays instead of being simple, playing how we usually play,” Smith-Rivera said. “We just forced a lot of things that we shouldn’t have. They came up with steals and got a lot of transition baskets.” Read More

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Postgame Roundup: Hoyas fly past Bluejays on senior night

Propelled by the strong backcourt play of senior guard Markel Starks and sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, the Georgetown men’s basketball team will live to fight another day in their quest for an NCAA Tournament berth, as they defeated No. 13 Creighton (23-6, 13-4 Big East) 75-63 on Senior Night at Verizon Center.

On a night where five seniors were honored for their contributions to the program over the past four years, the Hoyas came out with urgency and energy right from the opening tip, as they shot 62 percent from the field in the opening half to give them a 42-28 lead they never looked back from.

“I’m so glad that we came out with the victory, it was a much needed victory on many different levels,” said Starks.

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You’ve Been a Bad, Bad Hoya: Sochi Edition

Bad, Bad Hoya

Jamaica may have a bobsled team, but its Caribbean neighbor Dominica fielded not one, but two cross-country ski competitors in the Sochi Olympic Games, which concluded a few short days ago.

Dominica, a tiny island nation of around 72,000 people, doesn’t really have any native skiers, or even snow to ski on. What Dominica does have, however, is a path to citizenship, and, by extension, the Olympics, for the low, low price of $178,530.

That was the path taken–or, so says Deadspin’s Dave McKenna–by one Gary di Silvestri (COL ’89), a New York native, and his Italian-born wife, Angelica Morrone di Silvestri.

Having made “a financial contribution to the country that went to different projects” after a visit to Dominica “years ago” (di Silvestri’s own words), the couple became dual citizens. Around 2012 – though the exact details are hazy –, the di Silvestris created the Dominica Ski Federation, and subsequently began to hop the globe, from one cross-country skiing event to another, in an attempt to qualify for Sochi in 2014.

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Postgame Roundup: Hoyas take Musketeers down

Only 36 hours removed from their disheartening road loss Thursday night to Seton Hall, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (16-11, 7-8 Big East) regained their form Saturday at Verizon Center, as they cruised to a 74-52 blowout win over Xavier (18-9, 8-6 Big East). The win snaps the Hoyas’ two-game losing streak and avenges their earlier defeat this season to the Musketeers, who came back from a 17-point deficit en route to an 80-67 win on Jan. 15.

“It feels good because they beat us the first time and you’re able to get them back,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said following the game.

In their past two contests against St. John’s and Seton Hall, lackluster starts to the game doomed the Hoyas’ prospects for success. In an effort to reverse this alarming trend, Thompson inserted junior forward Jabril Trawick into the starting lineup to replace freshman forward Reggie Cameron. The tinkering surely paid dividends for the Blue and Gray, as they jumped out to a 42-26 halftime lead which they never looked back from. As a result, Thompson anticipates starting Trawick in the future.

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Georgetown in the Olympics: Hoyas who are more athletic than Vox could ever hope to be

Over the years, Georgetown has sent quite a few athletes to go for the gold and represent the good ol’ USA in the Olympics. Here’s a brief look at a few of these Hoyas.

Check out a more in-depth look at some Georgetown Olympians in this week’s feature in the Voice tomorrow.

Aimee Mullins (SFS ’98): Track and Field, 1996 Paralympics

An amazingly inspirational story, Mullins was the first double amputee to compete in NCAA Division 1 track and field during her time at Georgetown, double majoring in history and diplomacy. She then went on to compete in the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, shocking the world with her record-breaking times.

Missy Schwen Ryan (COL ’94): Rowing, 1996 and 2000 Olympics

Ryan won a silver medal in rowing in the 1996 Olympics. After recovering from a kidney donation to her brother months after the ’96 games, Ryan came back to win a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics. In 2010 she was inducted into the rowing National Hall of Fame.

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Rob Sgarlata (C’94) hired as new football head coach

Georgetown Athletic Director Lee Reed announced today that Rob Sgarlata (C’94) has been named the new head coach of the Georgetown football program. Sgarlata has been a member of the Georgetown coaching staff for the past 18 seasons, including the last eight as Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator. He replaces Kevin Kelly, who resigned to become the defensive coordinator at Ball State. Since Kelly’s departure on Jan. 30, Sgarlata served as interim head coach of the program.

“Rob Sgarlata brings a wealth of relevant experience to his new leadership role in our football program,” Reed said. “As a coach and an educator, he has shown his commitment to the holistic development of student-athletes as well as his passion for the game of football. I look forward to working with Rob to ensure that Georgetown football is a quality experience for his players.”

With the hire, the Georgetown football program now has a leader who has lived and breathed Georgetown football for over two decades. Sgarlata, four-year letterman at running back from 1990-1993, is eighth all-time in career rushing attempts for Georgetown. Following his graduation from the College in 1994, where he majored in government and international relations, Sgarlata coached the defensive line from 1995-1996 as well as from 2002-2004. He also served as wide receivers and tight ends coach from 1996-2000 and offensive line coach during the 2001 campaign. In 2005, Sgarlata assumed his defensive coordinator position, where he worked the past eight seasons.

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