Basketball Wiki
Georgetown Hoyas
Georgetown Hoyas
School Name: Georgetown University
Location: Washington, DC
Arena: Capital One Arena
Capacity: 20,173
Conference: Big East
Head coach: John Thompson III

The Georgetown University men's basketball team, which, like all sports teams at Georgetown University, is named the Georgetown Hoyas, is a basketball program in the NCAA Division I Big East Conference. Georgetown's first intercollegiate men's basketball team was formed in 1907. John Thompson III, son of the accomplished former coach John Thompson, is the current head coach. The Hoyas historically have been well regarded not only for their team success, but also for generating players that succeed after graduation both on the court, such as Patrick Ewing and Dikembe Mutombo, and off, such as Henry Hyde and General James L. Jones.

The team won the National Championship in 1984 and has reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four on five occasions. Their most recent trip to the Final Four was in 2007. They have also won the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament seven times, and has also won or shared the Big East regular season title seven times. They have been invited to the NCAA Tournament twenty-six times and the National Invitation Tournament an additional eleven times.

The Hoyas currently employ a variant of the Princeton offense, a style of play that emphasizes ball movement. The hallmark of the offense is the "backdoor" pass, where a player on the wing suddenly moves towards the basket, receives a bounce pass from a guard on the perimeter, and ideally finds himself with no defenders between him and a layup. Coach Thompson learned the style while serving under then-Coach Pete Carril of the Princeton University Tigers. Using this system, Georgetown has been lauded for excelling by emphasizing offensive efficiency rather than speed of play.[1]


Early years[]

The Georgetown men's basketball team played its first game February 9, 1907, defeating the University of Virginia by a score of 22–11. In its first 60-some years, the program displayed only sporadic success.[2] Until McDonough Gymnasium opened on campus for the 1950–51 season, the team moved its home court frequently, playing in McKinley Tech High School, Ryan Gymnasium, Uline Arena, and the National Guard Armory.[2]

The team recruited its first All-American, Ed Hargaden, in 1931–32.[2] From 1932 till 1939, the Hoyas played in the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference, earning a share of the conference title in 1939.[3] In 1942, a Hoya went pro for the first time, when three seniors, Al Lujack, Buddy O'Grady, and Don Martin were drafted professionally upon graduation.[2] The next year the team, led by future congressman Henry Hyde, reached new heights by going all the way to the 1943 NCAA championship game. The team's coach, Elmer Ripley, would be inducted into the basketball hall of fame 30 years later.[2]

World War II suspended the program, however, and it was rarely successful over the next three decades, with only two postseason appearances (1952–53 and 1969–70).[2] Top players from that period include Tom O'Keefe, the first Hoya to reach 1,000 career points in 1949–50, and future NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who would graduate #2 in Hoya career rebounds in 1962.[2]

First Thompson era[]

Georgetown Patrick Ewing jersey

Patrick Ewing's 1985 jersey on display at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Inheriting a Georgetown team which had been just 3–23 the year before, Thompson quickly and dramatically improved the team, making the NCAA tournament within three seasons. Over the following 27 years, Thompson's Hoyas went an impressive 596–239 (.714), running off a streak of 24 postseason appearances – 20 in the NCAA tournament, four in the NIT – including a 14-year streak of NCAA appearances from 1979–1992 that saw three Final Four appearances in 1982, 1984 and 1985.

In the 1982 NCAA Tournament, the Hoyas reached the finals. In one of the great championship games ever played, the Hoyas nearly won were it not for an errant pass by Fred Brown to Tar Heels forward James Worthy handed UNC the title. Two years later, the Hoyas finally won a National Championship in 1984. Then in 1985, they were one of three Big East teams in the Final Four and narrowly missed a repeat championship by losing to underdog Villanova. Thompson retired abruptly on January 8, 1999, citing marriage problems, and was replaced by his assistant Craig Esherick.

Thompson coached many notable players, including Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson. Under Thompson, 26 players were chosen in the NBA Draft, eight in the first round including two players selected first overall, Ewing by the New York Knicks in 1985 and Iverson by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996.

Esherick years[]

Craig Esherick coached the Georgetown Hoyas basketball squad from 1999 to 2004. Esherick was a four year player for the men's basketball team from 1974–78 and then the lead assistant coach under John Thompson Jr. from 1981–99. He was named head coach after Thompson abruptly resigned in 1999. The team finished with a 15–15 record in his first season before losing to Princeton in the first round of the NIT tournament. They improved in 2000 going 19–15 and advanced to the second round of the NIT tournament. After winning the first round game in quadruple overtime over the University of Virginia, the Hoyas lost in the second round game to the University of California.[citation needed]

In 2001, led by future top 10 NBA Draft pick Michael Sweetney, they made the NCAA tournament after finishing 23–7 in the regular season. In the opening round of the NCAA tournament the 7th seeded Hoyas advanced past the 10 seed Arkansas on a game winning shot at the buzzer by Nat Burton. The Hoyas subsequently beat Hampton University, and then lost to the third seeded Maryland in the Sweet Sixteen.[citation needed]

In 2002, the Hoyas went 19–11, barely missing a NCAA tournament bid. The team rejected a NIT bid because of travel arrangement issues associated with the players' ability to attend classes.[4] In 2003, the Hoyas finished the regular season with a 19–15 record, and accepted a bid to the NIT, where they made it to the finals but lost to Big East rival St. John's. Sweetney was named a second team All American and was drafted with the number 9 pick in the NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.[citation needed]

In Esherick's final season, the 2003–04 season, the Hoyas struggled to a 13–15 overall record and a dismal 4–12 Big East record. The 13 wins was the team's fewest since the 1973–74 season and Esherick was fired 5 days after an opening round Big East Tournament loss to Boston College. Georgetown began a national search for a new coach after Esherick's firing that resulted in the hiring of John Thompson III.[citation needed]

Second Thompson era[]

File:JTIII campout.jpg

John Thompson III took over coaching duties in April 2004.

On April 21, 2004, John Thompson III was selected as the head coach of the Hoyas. The son of the legendary Hoyas coach took over the position after over a decade at Princeton University. Thompson III was a player for the Tigers from 1984–88, was an assistant coach at Princeton from 1995–2004 and took over as head coach until his move to the Hoyas. Thompson's head coaching stint at Princeton was marked with success as he led the Tigers to three Ivy League Titles, two NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT appearance.[5]

Thompson III brought with him an adaptation of the Princeton offense as an offensive philosophy to Georgetown. He had learned it under the tutelage of legendary coach Pete Carril at Princeton and began to adjust the strategy to the more athletic players he would be coaching at Georgetown. Thompson III also immediately brought two new assistant coaches to Georgetown in Robert Burke and Kevin Broadus.[citation needed]

Recent seasons[]

The first season for Coach Thompson was characterized by low expectations. The Hoyas had been picked to finish 11th in the Big East at Big East Media Day and the stability of the program had been hurt by the coaching and player turnover of the previous year. Thompson did inherit three players that Esherick had recruited in Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, and Tyler Crawford. He also brought with him a former Princeton recruit, Jonathan Wallace and saw the return of two major contributors from the previous Georgetown team in Brandon Bowman and Ashanti Cook.

File:Hoya basketball.jpg

Jeff Green attempts to pass during the 2007 Big East Championship game against the University of Pittsburgh.

Behind the play of returnees like Bowman, Cook and Darrel Owens and contributions from Green, Wallace and Hibbert the Hoyas jumped out to a surprising 16–6 start in the regular season. However, after a 1–6 finish down the stretch the Hoyas ended the regular season with a 17–12 record. Still, the Hoyas had exceeded expectations with their 8th place Big East finish and accepted an invitation to the NIT. In the NIT, the Hoyas blew out their first two opponents, Boston University and Cal State Fullerton, but eventually went down in the Quarterfinals to the eventual Champion South Carolina Gamecocks.

The Hoyas ended the season with a 19–13 record and with high expectations for the next year. The optimism was a mainly because Bowman and Owens were to remain at Georgetown for the following year along with return of the teams' now rising sophomores, led by Big East co-Rookie of the Year, Jeff Green. The teams' improvement also translated to their recruiting as the Hoyas secured the commitment of two highly touted players in DaJuan Summers and McDonald's All American Vernon Macklin.

The 2005–06 Hoyas were picked to finish 6th in the Big East at the conference media day. The team raced out to an 11–4 record including an 8–2 mark in out of conference play. John Thompson III's first notable win with the team took place on January 21, 2006 in the 16th game of the season when unranked Georgetown upset No. 1 Duke University. This was Georgetown's first win over a No. 1 ranked team in 21 years.[6] The team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, where they came the closest out of any team to beating the eventual champion Florida Gators.

The 2006–07 season marked the centennial of Hoya hoops, which was celebrated by honoring some of the team's most famous alumni at the Georgetown-Marquette game on February 10, 2007. The team's freshmen were DaJuan Summers, Vernon Macklin, and Jeremiah Rivers. Besides juniors Green, Hibbert, and Wallace, other regular players are Tyler Crawford, Jessie Sapp, and Patrick Ewing, Jr. The Hoyas won their first regular-season Big East Championship since 1992 and defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers to win their first Big East Tournament Championship since 1989. Jeff Green was named the Big East Player of the year and the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

File:2007 Georgetown Hoyas NCAA East Regional Champions.jpg

The team being presented with the trophy for East Regional Champions in the NCAA Tournament

In the NCAA tournament's first weekend, the Hoyas defeated Belmont and Boston College. The Hoyas' games in the second weekend were some of the closest and most-watched contests of the tournament. The Hoyas defeated Vanderbilt on a last-second bank shot by Jeff Green, then beat North Carolina in the Regional Final when their defense caused North Carolina to suffer an improbable collapse in which UNC missed 22 of their final 23 field goal attempts.[7] The Hoyas then advanced to the 2007 Final Four where they fell to an Ohio State team led by Greg Oden.

The 2007–08 Hoyas finished with a regular season record of 27–5, and again won the conference regular season title on March 8, 2008.[8] They lost to the University of Pittsburgh in the conference championship game. This placed them as a number two seed in the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, where they lost their second round game. After the season, Roy Hibbert, Jonathan Wallace, and Patrick Ewing, Jr. all graduated, while Vernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers both transferred from the school.[9]

The Hoyas began their 2008 season ranked #22 AP/#18 ESPN, based equally on the reputations of their two upperclassmen, DaJuan Summers and Jessie Sapp, and their recruiting class, led by Greg Monroe.[10] The Hoyas were highly successful in non-conference games (9–2) and saw their ranking rise as high as #9. However, college basketball's toughest strength of schedule eventually wore down a team that was also one of the youngest.[11] The Hoyas were 7–11 in Big East play for a 12th-place finish, followed by a first-round loss in the Big East tournament, the worst record in Thomson's five years at the helm.

In 2009–10, the team finished the season 23–11, and 10–8 in Big East play. They advanced to the championship game of the 2010 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament before losing to West Virginia. They received an at–large bid to the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, earning a 3 seed in the Midwest Region, where they were upset by 14 seed Ohio in the first round. Greg Monroe entered the NBA Draft as a sophomore and was selected by the Detroit Pistons.



Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Georgetown Hoyas (Big East Conference) (2004–present)
2004–2005 John Thompson III 19–13 8–8 T-7th NIT Quarterfinals
2005–2006 John Thompson III 23–10 10–6 T-4th NCAA Sweet 16
2006–2007 John Thompson III 30–7 13–3 1st NCAA Final Four
2007–2008 John Thompson III 28–6 15–3 1st NCAA 2nd Round
2008–2009 John Thompson III 16–15 7–11 11th NIT 1st Round
2009–2010 John Thompson III 23–10 10–8 7th NCAA 1st Round
Under John Thompson III: 138–59 62–40
Total: 1538-922
      Big East Regular Season Champion         Big East Regular Season & Big East Tournament Champion


Current roster[]

2010–11 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year High School/Junior College Home town
F 1 Thompson, HollisHollis Thompson 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 205 lb (93 kg) So Loyola High School Concord, California
G 4 Wright, ChrisChris Wright Injured 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 208 lb (94 kg) Sr St. John's College High School Bowie, Maryland
G 5 Starks, MarkelMarkel Starks 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Fr Georgetown Preparatory School Accokeek, Maryland
G 11 Sanford, VeeVee Sanford 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) So Lexington Catholic High School Lexington, Kentucky
G 12 Dougherty, RyanRyan Dougherty 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Sr St. Albans School Kensington, Maryland
C 14 Sims, HenryHenry Sims 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 226 lb (103 kg) Jr Mount Saint Joseph College Baltimore, Maryland
G 15 Freeman, AustinAustin Freeman 6 ft 3.5 in (1.92 m) 227 lb (103 kg) Sr DeMatha Catholic High School Mitchellville, Maryland
F 20 Benimon, JerrelleJerrelle Benimon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 242 lb (110 kg) So Fauquier High School Warrenton, Virginia
G 21 Clark, JasonJason Clark 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Jr Bishop O'Connell High School Arlington, Virginia
F 22 Vaughn, JulianJulian Vaughn 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Sr Oak Hill Academy Mouth of Wilson, Virginia
F 23 Bowen, AaronAaron Bowen Injured 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Fr Samuel W. Wolfson High School Jacksonville, Florida
G 25 Caprio, JohnJohn Caprio 6 ft 5.5 in (1.97 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Fr Seton Hall Preparatory School North Caldwell, New Jersey
C 32 Ayegba, MosesMoses Ayegba 6 ft 8.5 in (2.04 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Fr Progressive Christian Academy Kano, Nigeria
F 34 Lubick, NateNate Lubick 6 ft 8.5 in (2.04 m) 238 lb (108 kg) Fr St. Mark's School Southborough, Massachusetts
Head coach

John Thompson III

Assistant coach(es)

Kenya Hunter
Mike Brennan
Robert Kirby

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible

Last update: December 6, 2010


Three class of 2011 players have Signed Letters of Intent with Georgetown:[12]

  • Tyler Adams
  • Mikael Hopkins
  • Jabril Trawick

The following have made verbal commitments to Georgetown:

  • Greg Whttington


In the NBA[]

The Hoyas have an excellent history of preparing players for the NBA. Two Hoyas were the NBA first overall draft picks: Patrick Ewing in 1985 and Allen Iverson in 1996. Alonzo Mourning was the second overall pick in the 1992 draft.[13]

Year Round Pick Name Team
2010 1 7 Monroe, GregGreg Monroe Detroit Pistons
2009 2 35 Summers, DaJuanDaJuan Summers Detroit Pistons
2008 1 17 Hibbert, RoyRoy Hibbert Indiana Pacers
2008 2 42 Ewing, Patrick 2Patrick Ewing, Jr. Sacramento Kings
2007 1 5 Green, JeffJeff Green Boston Celtics
2003 1 9 Sweetney, MikeMike Sweetney New York Knicks
2001 2 21 Boumtje-Boumtje, RubenRuben Boumtje-Boumtje Portland Trail Blazers
1998 2 14 White, JahidiJahidi White Washington Wizards
1996 1 1 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers
1996 1 26 Williams, JeromeJerome Williams Detroit Pistons
1996 2 1 Harrington, OthellaOthella Harrington Houston Rockets
1995 2 29 Reid, DonDon Reid Detroit Pistons
1992 1 2 Mourning, AlonzoAlonzo Mourning Charlotte Hornets
1991 1 4 Mutombo, DikembeDikembe Mutombo Denver Nuggets
1987 1 4 William, ReggieReggie Williams Los Angeles Clippers
1986 2 20 Wingate, DavidDavid Wingate Philadelphia 76ers
1986 2 23 Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson New York Knicks
1986 4 6 Graham, MichaelMichael Graham Seattle SuperSonics
1986 7 3 Dalton, RalphRalph Dalton Cleveland Cavaliers
1985 1 1 Ewing, Patrick 1Patrick Ewing New York Knicks
1985 2 2 Martin, BillBill Martin Indiana Pacers
1984 5 1 Smith, GeneGene Smith Indiana Pacers
1984 9 11 Brown, FredFred Brown Atlanta Hawks
1982 1 13 Floyd, EricSleepy Floyd New Jersey Nets
1982 4 10 Smith, EricEric Smith Portland Trail Blazers
1982 8 23 Spriggs, EdEd Spriggs Boston Celtics
1981 10 6 Frazier, MikeMike Frazier Atlanta Hawks
1980 1 19 Duren, JohnJohn Duren Utah Jazz
1980 2 5 Shelton, CraigCraig Shelton Atlanta Hawks
1980 8 16 Dutch, AlAl Dutch Seattle SuperSonics
1979 10 18 Martin, SteveSteve Martin Washington Bullets
1978 4 11 Jackson, DerrickDerrick Jackson Golden State Warriors
1978 7 14 Hopkins, EdEd Hopkins Washington Bullets
1976 8 15 Wilson, MerlinMerlin Wilson Washington Bullets
1972 4 16 White, ArtArt White Milwaukee Bucks
1970 16 3 Favorite, PaulPaul Favorite Cincinnati Royals
1969 11 8 Supple, JimJim Supple Cincinnati Royals
1967 2 2 Sullivan, SteveSteve Sullivan Detroit Pistons
1967 8 7 Holloendoner, FrankFrank Holloendoner Cincinnati Royals
1964 10 1 Christie, JimJim Christie New York Knicks
1962 7 5 Sharpenter, BobBob Sharpenter Syracuse Nationals
1961 2 60 Mulligan, MatthewMatthew Mulligan Cincinnati Royals
      Active players         Top overall pick

In other professions[]

Several Hoya basketball players are famous purely for their off-court accomplishments:

  • Brendan Gaughan, who walked onto the basketball squad, is a driver in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series and also raced one season in the Nextel Cup series.
  • General James L. Jones (SFS 1966), USMC, is the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, former Special Liaison to the Mideast peace talks and President Obama's National Security Advisor.
  • Paul Tagliabue (C 1962), who played for the Hoyas in the early 1960s and was one of the leading rebounders in school history,[14] was Commissioner of the National Football League from 1989–2006.
  • Henry Hyde – (C 1943), Member of Congress from Illinois, former Chairman of House Judiciary Committee. Recipient of U.S. Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor granted by the U.S. Government.
  • Barry SullivanTemplate:Dn – 1952 transferred to Columbia-President, First Chicago Corporation.
  • William Shea – (C1929), (L1931) – New York Attorney, brought New York Mets to city. Shea Stadium named in his honor.

Notes and references[]

  1. "Princeton Offense Keeps Hoyas on the Move". The Washington Post. March 23, 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "A Century of Georgetown Basketball". Washington Post. 2007-02-10. 
  3. Gunlocke, Howard W. (March 2007). "Georgetown Men's Basketball, 1906–1907 to 2006–2007: A Spotlight on Ten Coaches, Ten Players, and Ten Decades of Hoops". Georgetown University Special Collections. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  4. "Hoyas Refuse N.I.T. Bid As Atlantic 10 Gets Five". The New York Times. March 11, 2002. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  5. Williams, Lena (April 21, 2004). "Familiar Name Back With Hoyas". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  6. Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2006, Page E-1, "Hoyas KO the Big 1"
  7. "Hoyas climb out of hole, hammer Heels in OT". ESPN. Associated Press. March 25, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  8. "Georgetown Claims Regular-Season Crown". Big East Conference. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2007-07-20.  Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.[dead link]
  9. Powell, Camille (May 8, 2008). "Georgetown's Rivers to Transfer". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  10. "2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings (Nov. 10)". 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  11. Heaps, Bailey (February 28, 2009). "Harassing Georgetown Defense Propels Hoyas to Ugly Win". The Hoya. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  12. Daniels, Evan (March 13, 2011). "Whittington makes his choice". Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  13. "Hoyas in the Pros". Georgetown Hoyas. 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  14. Basketball Record Book, Georgetown University Official Athletic Site