Sports editor Chris Almeida and assistant sports editors Joe Pollicino and Brendan Crowley bring you this week’s Voicebox despite the Village A “water crisis.”
They discuss Joshua Smith’s ineligibility due to academics and preview the Creighton and Villanova games. While Pollicino thinks it’s “do or die” for the Hoyas, the other two editors think it’s pretty much just “die” for the rest of the season.
If there were ever two teams whose seasons were on opposite trajectories, they’re Georgetown (11-7, 3-4 Big East) and Creighton (16-3, 6-1 Big East). The Hoyas might be in for it tomorrow night as they travel to Omaha, Nebraska. To take on a group of Bluejays who can’t be caged.
The Blue and Gray are coming off of a demoralizing loss to Marquette (11-8, 3-3 Big East), a game that looked all but won, until a last ditch three pointer from Marquette junior guard Todd Mayo sent the game into overtime. Georgetown fans will want to put the beginning of this week in a hurry.
They might care to neglect its end as well considering Hoya big man and star junior center Josh Smith was recently ruled out of the team for the remainder of the season due to academic problems. Smith’s continued absence comes at a time when the team is hurting for depth. Junior forward Greg Whittington’s transfer to Rutgers University and junior guard Jabril Trawick’s broken jaw have left Head Coach John Thompson III with a dangerously thin bench.
“It’s Georgetown. We have a set of standards here and everyone has a responsibility, above and beyond what goes on (on the court),” said Thompson during the team’s media availability Friday. “He has let his teammates down but the rest of the group will try to regroup here and figure it out.”
Smith has not played since January 8 against Providence, the first game after the beginning of the second semester. Prior to his suspension, Smith averaged 11.5 points per game for a Hoya team that only had two other players, senior guard Markel Starks and sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, averaging double digit scoring. This situation closely reflects that of Greg Whittington, who missed the second half of last season for academic reasons as well.
Smith entered this season with high expectations after transferring from UCLA. In the season-opener against Oregon, Smith scored 25 points and seemed poised to follow in the tradition of other Georgetown frontcourt greats. But for now, those aspirations appear to be on hold.
Anyone who has watched the past few men’s basketball games (or pretty much any of them) probably feels the same way Scott McCallum (MSB ’16) felt in this video. His sadness because of this basketball season, however, has become famous after several fans started tweeting the photo and eventually making memes. Even Casual Hoya has interviewed him (at the same time Vox, did I might add). Vox decided to talk to McCallum about his sad feelings and what it’s like to be a meme, especially one called “sadface.”
What was happening in the game at that moment? And what was running through your mind when that happened?
It was pure disappointment on two fronts. First, there was the game. After leading by 3 with 6 seconds to go, here were the Hoyas down by 7 in OT, another blown lead for Georgetown and another loss to a Big East opponent. To make matters worse, I, and the rest of the student body, had just received a text from Hoya Alert saying that classes weren’t canceled for Tuesday. Talk about pouring salt on an open wound.
Do you go to Georgetown games often?
Yes, I am a season ticket holder.
Was this the most disappointing moment at a game for you? If not, what was?
It definitely was the most disappointing moment for me at a game, but the night of FGCU will always leave a scar on my heart.
Markel Starks’ desperation heave clanked off the rim. The game went to overtime. And the season went to shambles.
With a 72-80 loss to Marquette (11-8, 3-3 Big East), the Hoyas (11-7, 3-4 Big East) lost their third straight game, and their fourth in their last five.
“We are seven games into an 18-game season. There is a lot of season to be played. Are we in a funk right now? Absolutely,” said Head Coach John Thompson III, “We have to make the right plays at the right time, that’s what we have not been doing. We have not been making the right plays at the right time. This group has shown that we can play with everybody.”
The Blue and Gray received huge performances from their backcourt, with senior guard Starks scoring 28 points and sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera adding 24, but saw both play extended minutes, which has become a recent theme. With Starks playing 39 minutes and Smith-Rivera playing 40, it is not a surprise that the team lacked punch in the extra period.
Sports Editor Chris Almeida and assistant sports editors Chris Castano, Brendan Crowley, and Joe Pollicino have their first “panic podcast” this week, declaring a state of emergency for Georgetown men’s basketball after their loss to Seton Hall (which they say is the second worst team in the Big East). Almeida even shaved his head in despair following the loss.
The sports editors also preview the Marquette game, a “must-win,” in their segment “Who’s on the Horizon in the Verizon.”
Time to start worrying. On Saturday at the Verizon Center, the depleted Hoyas (11-6, 3-3 Big East) fell 57-67 to the Seton Hall Pirates (11-7, 2-3) in a fashion that was all too familiar to Georgetown fans.
The Hoyas started the game with a series of strong possessions from junior forward Mikael Hopkins, who scored 11 points and grabbed 15 boards for the first double-double of his career.
“I thought Mikael played with an energy and a passion that I probably have never seen him play with. I told him walking down the hall that we wasted the best game of his career. The kid had 15 rebounds…If he can play with that energy and that passion that’s a step toward what we need to figure out,” said head coach John Thompson III.
For the first time in two weeks, as well as this semester, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (11-5, 3-2 Big East) returns to Verizon Center on Saturday to face Seton Hall (10-7, 1-3 Big East) at 12:00 p.m. The Hoyas will look to rebound from their disappointing 80-67 loss to Xavier this past Wednesday night, in which they surrendered a 17-point second-half lead and allowed the Musketeers to finish the game on a 16-0 run.
“We had the bear in the cage and but couldn’t close the cage door,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III. “[We] have to bounce back. [We] have another tough opponent right in front of [us]. It’s conference play so [we] have to grow, [we] have to learn… but [we] can’t be stuck.”
For the fourth consecutive game, junior center Joshua Smith will be not be available to play due to an ongoing academic issue. Smith, however, is still practicing with the team, according to Thompson. He also asserted that junior guard Jabil Trawick remains out indefinitely with a broken jaw. Trawick will miss his third straight game as a result of the injury.
After a resilient 70-67 overtime victory against Butler, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (11-4, 3-1 Big East) will look to continue their winning ways tonight when they culminate their three-game road-trip at Xavier (13-4, 3-1 Big East), in their toughest conference matchup to date.
Unfortunately for Georgetown, junior center Joshua Smith, with academic issues, and junior guard Jabril Trawick, with a broken jaw, will be unavailable to play. No timetable has been set for their returns.
Due to their absences, some players can expect an increase in their minutes. As evidenced in their prior contest against Butler, senior forward Aaron Bowen, senior guard John Caprio, and freshman guard Reggie Cameron all had a career-high in minutes played.
Sports editor Chris Almeida and assistant sports editors Joe Pollicino, Brendan Crowley, and Chris Castano give shout-outs to their grandmas and sing a bit. Oh, and they review all the men’s basketball games since Kansas. They also preview the Xavier game coming up.
The Georgetown Hoyas, 11-4 (3-1 in Big East) defeated the Butler Bulldogs, 10-6 (0-4 in Big East) in a 70-67 overtime thriller Saturday night.
Despite the fact that Georgetown’s interior defense was plagued by foul trouble, stars D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks came through for the Hoyas, with a little help from role player Aaron Bowen. After the Hoyas blew a commanding second half lead, they found needed a clutch three-pointer from Markel Starks to tie the game and send it to overtime.
From there, despite being forced to play Freshman wing Reggie Cameron as a center, Smith-Rivera and Starks led Georgetown to overtime victory, punctuated by a thunderous dunk from Bowen.