Tuesday, January 31, 2006


01/31 - Wash Post Wallace Profile

The Washington Post
January 31, 2006
Hoyas' Wallace Poised at the Point
Camille Powell, Washington Post Staff Writer

There was never any question that Jonathan Wallace had the toughness and the smarts to be the point guard for the Georgetown men's basketball team. But when Wallace joined the Hoyas last season as a freshman walk-on, there was the question of whether he had the athleticism to survive in the Big East.

In this case, an excess of the former qualities have helped make up for any deficiencies in the latter, and Wallace, just as he has since he joined the team, will start at guard tonight for 17th-ranked Georgetown (14-4, 5-2 Big East), which plays at DePaul (8-10, 1-6).

"He's someone who gets, and will continue to get, the most out of his God-given abilities," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson III, who originally recruited Wallace while he was the coach at Princeton. "The beauty of basketball is that it takes more than just athleticism. Your intelligence, your understanding, your desire are a large part of whether you're a good player or not."

Wallace has those three qualities in abundance. At 6 feet 1, he may be the least imposing -- physically speaking, at least -- guard in a conference that is filled with dynamic back-court players. He doesn't have the speed and quickness of Villanova's Kyle Lowry, for instance; he doesn't have the flair of Connecticut's Marcus Williams. But Wallace has a command of the Hoyas' motion offense and is a steady presence on the court.

"He's always calm," said senior Ashanti Cook, Wallace's back-court mate. "I guess for us to be successful the point guard or our guards need to be focused."

It shouldn't be a surprise that the Hoyas have gotten such leadership and composure from Wallace; this, after all, is a guy who was voted student government president and quarterbacked the football team at Sparkman High School in Harvest, Ala.

"I try to be as poised as I can be," said Wallace, who is averaging 3.3 assists and 9.2 points on 49.1 percent shooting. "Being the point guard, the team looks to you, and usually however I act kind of shows how the team is going. In games like the Duke game, it's so high-tempo, you've got to be even-keeled and keep people on task. The game is so long, it's like a process. You can't get overexcited, you can't get down."

That poise comes from his father, a high school vice principal who coached youth basketball for 15 seasons. Manuel Wallace used to unlock his school's gym early in the morning so Wallace could work out, and he constantly offered advice.

"Growing up around that kind of educated me on how to act in games like that," Wallace said. "One thing he told me -- and Coach Thompson tells me the same thing -- was never lose your composure, always depend on your teammates for help. They're going to have your back."

Manuel also is responsible for Wallace's distinctive shot -- the rainbow three-pointer that looks as if it's going to scrape the ceiling. "I was always the smallest one, so I had to shoot extra high," Wallace said.

Some credit for Wallace's shot should also go to his mother, who used to wave a broomstick in his face as he practiced shooting as a way to simulate tall defenders. "Sometimes I'd whack him in the head by mistake," Cynthia Wallace confessed last year with a giggle.

That outside shot has been much more dependable this season. As a freshman, his shooting faded as the games started to add up; he shot only 34.3 percent (23 of 67) from three-point range in conference games. This season, Wallace is shooting 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from beyond the arc in Big East play, which puts him third in the conference behind West Virginia's Mike Gansey and Marquette's Steve Novak.

Wallace is more confident picking his spots to attack the basket, and he is better at handling pressure. In games against West Virginia, Connecticut and Duke -- three teams now ranked in the top 11 nationally -- Wallace shot 52.7 percent and had 15 assists with only three turnovers. His overall assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.07 is fifth best in the Big East.

On one possession late in the first half against U-Conn., Wallace essentially broke the Huskies' press by himself, dribbling from end to end, weaving through defenders and then driving right at 6-8, 260-pound Ed Nelson. Wallace scored and drew the foul. In the first half against Duke, Wallace drove into the lane, spun off his defender and then added an extra little shimmy right before he laid the ball into the basket, a score that ignited a 19-5 Georgetown run.

"He's the type of kid where he gives you everything," Thompson said. "He's an honest player. What he has, he's going to give you, and that's so key. You need guys like that to win."

Sunday, January 29, 2006


1/29 - NY Daily News - "the team that has made the most dramatic strides has been Georgetown"

Apparently, this was run as a wire story and has been picked up by papers all across the country. It has even run internationally.

Dog day afternoon
Upstart Hoyas hound Cincy
New York Daily News
by Dick Weiss

Georgetown's Brandon Bowman puts up shot over Bearcats' Cedric McGowan.
WASHINGTON - In order for the Big East to maximize its clout, it is important for the conference to have representative teams in New York, Philadelphia and this town.

Villanova has resurrected itself the last two years in Philly, becoming a Top 10 team. St. John's is starting to show some signs of life.

But the team that has made the most dramatic strides has been Georgetown. The formerly stagnant Hoyas - who were mired along with the Johnnies at the bottom of the league in 2004 - have been a revelation under second-year coach John Thompson III, who brought along his own version of the Princeton offense when he returned to his hometown from that Ivy League school and has rejuvenated Georgetown a year ahead of schedule.

The Hoyas, who blistered undermanned Cincinnati, 76-57, at the MCI Center yesterday for their fourth consecutive victory, are 14-4 and 4-2 in the league. They are rapidly emerging as the most dangerous team inside the Beltway, ahead of two other NCAA teams - George Washington and Maryland - now that they have grasped the nuances of Thompson's offense and are running it without hesitation. The Hoyas, who had 22 assists on 30 baskets against the Bearcats (14-7, 3-4), lead the country in points per possession.

Georgetown created national ripples here last weekend when it shot 60% in an 87-84 victory over top-ranked Duke, constantly burning the Blue Devils with back-door plays after Duke kept overplaying the ball. The Hoyas had 24 assists on 32 field goals.

It's the type of effort that makes a father proud. "Where are we going to dinner?" asked John Thompson Jr., poking his head into his son's postgame press conference.

Big John won a national championship here with Patrick Ewing back in 1984, suffocating any team that stood in their way with full-court pressure. In many ways, this father and son are opposites when it comes to coaching philosophy. But it is obvious Big John admires what his son has accomplished here in a short time. "With me, it's not so much the system, but who's running it," he said. "There are a lot of guys trying to run that system and it's not working. John's got it working."

John Thompson III felt a little extra pressure heading into this game. Georgetown invited former players back for a reunion. "Since I've been here I've gotten a lot of questions - 'Does your dad stick his head in? How's your dad feel about what you're doing?' I can deal with that. But when you realize Michael Jackson and Gene Smith and Ronnie Highsmith are sitting in the stands, I don't know if it affected our guys, but I was like, I hope we play well today. I don't want to hear from those guys."

Thompson, who arrived in the league at the same time as St.John's Norm Roberts, has the pieces in place to be a national power in the new Big East.

Although senior forward Brandon Bowman leads in scoring at 11.7 points per game, the most critical parts of this team - 6-9 forward Jeff Green, 7-2 center Roy Hibbert and point guard Jonathan Wallace - are only sophomores.

Green, who had 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and no turnovers against the Bearcats, has made an immediate impact in the Big East and should be even better once he moves to small forward next season. Hibbert has been one of the league's most improved low-post players, thanks in large part to the individual instruction he has received from assistant Robert Burke. Wallace has become a heady ball-handler, one who had an 11-1 assist/turnover ratio against UConn and Duke, and has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the system, which spreads the floor and surgically dissects opponents. The Hoyas can put three shooters on the floor - Wallace, senior guard Ashanti Cook and 6-7 senior forward Darrel Owens - who all shoot better than 42% from the three.

The frightening part for Georgetown's opponents is that the best is yet to come. Thompson and assistant Kevin Broadus, who helped Karl Hobbs recruit the nucleus of an A-10 championship team when he first arrived at GW, are starting to lock up the Baltimore-D.C. area again, much like Thompson's father did in the '80s. The Hoyas have signed 6-9 DaJuan Summers from McDonough School, the best prospect in Baltimore, along with Doc Rivers' son, Jeremiah, a skilled guard from Winter Park, Fla., and have reopened the pipeline to the Tidewater area with the signing of 6-10 Vernon Macklin from Hargrave, Va., Military. Thompson also has gotten a commitment from 6-4 junior guard Austin Freeman of DeMatha, the first time the Hoyas have gotten a commitment from a player from that fabled Maryland program in three decades.

Georgetown already is following the road map that St. John's needs to take if it wants to eventually reach the NCAA Tournament.


Saturday, January 28, 2006


San Diego Union Tribune Brandon Bowman Profile

Player profile: Brandon Bowman

January 28, 2006

Georgetown | 6-9 | 223 | Forward

Meet the leading scorer on the team that gave Duke its first loss this season. Meet yet another former standout out of Los Angeles Westchester High.

Bowman is a senior who has suffered through the struggles of Georgetown's once-proud program, through the difficulty of not experiencing an NCAA Tournament berth since arriving on campus.

A third-team All-Big East Conference selection as a junior, Bowman averages 11.7 points this season. He and Hoyas teammate Ashanti Cook led Westchester to a state title in 2002.

The two have played together since meeting on a fifth-grade AAU team.

“As far as basketball players, I think we have matured,” Bowman told reporters in November. “Luckily, I've had someone from back home who understands me better than anyone else.”

Bowman – who tested the NBA draft process following last season before ultimately removing his name and returning to school – had 21 points and eight rebounds against Duke, when the Hoyas' spread offense accounted for several easy baskets on a day Georgetown shot 61 percent.

“You walk around campus and everyone is excited (about basketball),” he said. “We are too.”

Things to know about him:
Find this article at:

Thursday, January 26, 2006


1/26 - Fall Church News - Post Duke Commentary

Falls Church News-Press
Picking Splinters: Taste Should Leave Hoyas Hungry
By Mike Hume

“We Beat Duke!”

The cry is shouted loudly and frequently after the buzzer sounded on last Saturday’s landmark win by Georgetown. So why was the Duke fan next to me smiling?

The Hoyas won. They beat Duke. We won. You lost. So why the heck are you grinning?

As a Georgetown alumnus lucky enough to watch the game in person, I know why I’m happy. In the recent history of the program, there hasn’t been a win like this.

Until Saturday, this tale always ended in heartbreak for Hoya Nation. Since 1999 Hoya Fans have been six-times more likely to see the season end in (or out of) the NIT than the NCAA Tournament. En route to that usually-disappointing end, big wins have been few and far between. The last exciting victory I can recall was a last-second 55-54 win at MCI over Notre Dame last season.

But Notre Dame is not Duke. That is why the key word in that three-word phrase, as Georgetown moves forward, will not be “beat,” but rather the name of their vanquished foe.

Duke is THE program in college basketball. When they lose, it’s shocking. Heck, when they miss a shot, it’s shocking. When they’re ousted in the NCAA Tournament (and it’s always the NCAA Tournament), it’s an upset. That’s why last Saturday’s win was so big.

The win over the Blue Devils isn’t just notable because they were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation. The win over the Blue Devils is notable because Duke is everything you want your program to be.

On Saturday, Georgetown and its fans got a taste. A taste of what it’s like to play the best basketball in the country. A taste of what it’s like to have the best fans in the world. And a taste of the victories programs reap when those two things are combined.

The Hoyas played smart, dragging defenders away from the hoop only to beat them time and again through the back door. They played with poise while staving off a 56-point second-half charge, maintaining their composure even as Duke ratcheted up the press and J.J. Redick poured in bucket after bucket. The Georgetown players exhibited every drop of the talent prognosticators knew each of them possessed when they first came to campus, shooting over 60-percent from the field.

And then there were the fans.

For the first time in six years I can say that Georgetown actually had a home court advantage against a top-tiered foe in MCI Center. The declining GU program led to declining attendance at MCI, where a gagged monk floating through space made more noise than the sub-10,000 person crowds. And usually, the majority of those in attendance cheered for those sporting the away jerseys.

Saturday the stands shook and the rafters rattled not to the cries of “Let’s Go Duke,” “U-C-O-N-N, UConn, UConn, UConn,” or “Here Come the Irish.” Rather they trembled to the timbre of the “Hoya, Hoya Saxa” of the dear old Blue and Gray. And everyone could hear it. On the court and off.

For years I dreamed of cheering in an electric environment like Cameron Indoor, and on Saturday I did, even despite the vacuous cavern that is MCI. A student section that spanned both ends of the court sported uniform gray t-shirts carried their team on an emotional high. A two-page spread reading “Beat Duke” appeared in GU’s campus paper of record, The Hoya, gently taunted their opponents.

But all of this — the effort, the fandemonium, the victory, everything — was just a taste. It was one game. Duke has been doing this for over a decade. And that’s what should drive both Hoya fans and players as this season moves on.

On Saturday, senior Brandon Bowman scored 23 points and limited the miscues to which he has sometimes been prone. On Monday, with a four-point lead, he fouled Notre Dame’s Colin Falls on a three-pointer with less than two seconds left in regulation. It took Georgetown two overtimes to prevail.

Top teams don’t make mistakes like that. And thus, through some transitive property, Georgetown is still not a top team.

But no one claims them to be. Yet.

You don’t just knock of the champs and take the title. This isn’t boxing. You have to labor over the duration of the schedule. It takes multiple games, multiple seasons. But now the groundwork is there for Georgetown.

The Hoyas have already inked prized recruits Dajuan Summers and Vernon Macklin. Patrick Ewing, Jr. transferred to the Hilltop after a stint at Indiana. DeMatha junior Austin Freeman is similarly on board. Now, with the tidal wave of exposure from this landmark win, a swell that started with the hiring of John Thompson III is starting to crest. Georgetown is back in the national eye.

But it’s still just a taste. And tastes don’t satiate the nation’s top programs. It just makes them hungrier.

If the Hoyas keep working to improve, then perhaps someday down the line, when the gray from my t-shirt has seeped into my hairline, maybe, just maybe Hoya fans will reap the reward of hearing an incredible three-word phrase that cements you as a premiere program. And maybe they too will smile when the opposing fan next to them shouts: “We Beat Georgetown!”


WFAN Radio Interview with JT3


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


1/25 - Macklin Dominant at SlamFest Tournament

Thomas, Macklin show no sophomore jitters
Dave Telep

For more in-depth recruiting info from Scout.com, click on the link for the schools mentioned.

Hulk Hogan and Rick Flair couldn't make it, so Lance Thomas and Vernon Macklin picked up the slack at SlamFest in Richmond, Va.

The two-day event featured some of the most prominent players throughout the Mid-Atlantic corridor, yielded a number of top-notch performances and gave observers a chance to see the nation's top two sophomores.

SlamFest, the 4th edition, was the stage as two seniors hoped to solidify their McDonald's All-American status. Each stated his case emphatically.

Vernon Macklin, Hargrave's 6-foot-9 power forward, hit up American Christian for 28 points and 15 boards in a throttling of the kids from Philadelphia. Macklin has long been regarded as an elite athlete and his explosiveness around the basket has never been questioned.

Athletically, Macklin's got some freakish habits when it comes to finishing. On the day when his Georgetown Hoyas took down Duke, Macklin dunked everything thrown to him at the rim. The lone blemish on an otherwise outstanding day came from the free throw line, where he's never settled in on a stroke and is not as proficient as he needs to be.


Hibbert Ready for NBA?

The secret's out, but will Hibbert go?

Gregg Doyel Jan. 25, 2006
By Gregg Doyel
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- An NBA scout warned me not to write this. Another NBA scout gave the same advice. As for Georgetown coach John Thompson III, well, he'd prefer not to see this written either.

Sorry. No can do, gentlemen. This needs to be said, and it needs to be said large -- 7-foot-2, 283-pound large: Georgetown sophomore Roy Hibbert has NBA written all over him.

When it comes to Hibbert and the NBA, it's not if, but when he decides to go. (AP)

He doesn't necessarily have NBA star written all over him, at least not yet. Not if he were to enter the 2006 draft after this season at Georgetown, where he is averaging 11.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 21.8 minutes.

But Hibbert's an NBA player right now. Or at least, he's an NBA Draft pick. He's a spot on an NBA roster. Which means he's a walking millionaire, if he wants to be.

Which he doesn't want. Not yet.

"My parents sent me to Georgetown to make sure I get an education," Hibbert said. "So I'm staying for all four years to get my degree."

Agents will still call. Scouts will still hover, even if the two who spoke to CBS SportsLine.com don't seem enamored with Hibbert's game. Hibbert's gait and reaction time are rough on the eyes, but it's hard not to stare all the same. He looks every bit of his official height and weight, and frankly he looks taller than 7-2. Hibbert spent most of No. 21 Georgetown's 85-82 victory Tuesday night against Notre Dame guarding and being guarded by Torin Francis. He was bigger than Francis by nearly a head. Next to Hibbert, Francis looked like a small forward. And Francis is 6-11, 252 pounds.

There is nobody in college basketball -- and very few in the NBA, or beyond -- as big as Hibbert. That makes him a commodity. J.J. Redick has an NBA jump shot. Rudy Gay has NBA athletic ability. Roy Hibbert? He has NBA size.

And at times, Hibbert shows NBA skills. He might show them more often if he was in a system that showcased a low-post big man. Georgetown's system does not. The Hoyas run the system Thompson learned and coached at Princeton, and while it's pretty to watch -- lots of cutting and passing, not a lot of dribbling -- it's not the ideal system for Hibbert.

Many of Hibbert's possessions were spent at the foul line, where his only job was reversing the ball from one side of the court to the other. Most of the time, Georgetown ran 30 seconds of clock before taking a shot, with Hibbert never getting within 15 feet of the basket. This is not a complaint about the Georgetown offense -- the Hoyas are 13-4, with a win against then-No. 1 Duke -- but it's factual that Hibbert isn't getting many touches in scoring position.

Still, Hibbert had enough touches Tuesday to score 18 points. He grabbed 13 rebounds. He showed NBA flashes. There was his one-dribble move from the foul line, when he picked up the ball and held it high over his head like a steak platter, took one long step and then flicked home a 5-footer. There was his pick-and-roll with Jeff Green, when he slid to the goal, caught the pass, pivoted halfway -- then pivoted the rest of the way -- before dunking.

There were other moments, too. While Hibbert is a terrific shooter from the foul line (78.5 percent) and is hitting 59.2 percent from the floor, his only reliable move from the field is a dunk. In one possession he had his shot blocked by 6-9 Irish forward Rob Kurz, rebounded and missed, then rebounded and missed again before being fouled. Most players would have screamed in frustration or anger or even triumph, but Hibbert averted his eyes, looking embarrassed, as if he knew he should have scored there.

And he's right. An NBA player would have scored there. Like we said, Hibbert's not ready for the NBA. But he'll be in the NBA whenever he wants to go. Note that we didn't say ready to go. Hibbert isn't ready to play in the NBA, but when you're 7-2, 283 pounds, readiness isn't the issue. Upside is the issue, and Hibbert has an enormous upside for three reasons:

He's huge: Hibbert isn't as agile as previous first-round reaches such as Andrew Bynum (taken in the 2005 NBA Draft), Robert Swift (2004), Darko Milicic (2003), Nikoloz Tskitishvili (2002) or DeSagana Diop (2001). But he's bigger than all of them. And he can't be a worse project than all of them. And all of those guys were lottery picks.

He's raw: Hibbert has played little more than three years of organized basketball. His sophomore year of high school was gutted by a broken foot on the first day of practice, and when he broke the foot again the following summer, his junior year was compromised. It wasn't until his senior season at Georgetown Prep, when he averaged 19 points and 17 rebounds, did Hibbert finally get to play unimpeded. The Hoyas had hoped to redshirt Hibbert last season, but it was not to be. He averaged 5.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 15.8 minutes.

He's young: Hibbert is 19, and just barely at that. He won't be 20 until December 2006. How enticing would it be for an NBA team to be able to draft a 7-2, 283-pound center who has played two seasons in the Big East ... and is just 19? Ten teams would pass him up in the first round. Maybe 20. But all 30? No possible way. This is the league that has devoted first-round picks to Ian Mahinmi, Rafael Araujo, Dorell Wright and Sasha Vujacic -- all since last season. Someone would take huge, raw and young Roy Hibbert this year.

But only if huge, raw and young Roy Hibbert wants to be taken.

Copyright © 1995 - 2006 SportsLine.com, Inc. All rights reserved. SportsLine is a registered service mark of SportsLine.com, Inc.
CBS "eye device" is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?