It’s October, and There is Only One New York Ballclub Still Playing

Make no mistake about it.  I am writing this column for one reason and one reason alone.  It’s for all of the long suffering Mets fans who wait approximately once per decade for their post-season thrill.  And that includes me.

No Subway Series.  On Tuesday night, New York fans could still harbor romantic thoughts about a Subway (World) Series, much as Nationals and Orioles fans were dreaming about a Beltway Series a few months ago.  That all went kaput, just as the New York Dream ended with the Houston Astros, and Dallas Keuchel’s utter dominance of the Yankee aging bats.  Beltran even managed a hit against the dominant Dallas, but there were no Pin Stripe Heroics, and the players have already traded their pinstripes for fishing gear.

What is that Mets Post Season History?  It is rather short in terms of baseball history.  Brief but exciting.  The excitement may actually stem from the brevity and fleetingness of it.  Just a thought.  In a nutshell, it spans from 1969 to 2006.

1969  In 1969 behind a very fine pitching staff, including future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw, the Mets swept the Braves 3-0 in the NLCS then slammed the Orioles, 4-1, in the World Series.  That was the year when that fledgling ballclub that rose from the ashes of the departed Brooklyn Dodgers (blue) and New York Giants (orange) first made its mark on the baseball world.  Losers no more!  (Featuring Tom, Yogi and Tug)

About Seaver’s National Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 1992, he was inducted by the highest percentage ever recorded (98.84%).

1973 Just 4 short years later, the Mets returned to the Series with a different look but with some of the same great arms, namely Tom Terrific aka The Franchise, and after beating the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati, 3-2, in the NLCS, lost to the curly moustached Fingers, Catfish Huster and Finley-led Oakland Athletics in 7 games, 4-3.  Crushed but not joyless, Mets fans could hold their heads high, relevant and in the Series 2 of 5 seasons in that span.

1986  Then those who were born prior to and alive from 1973-1986 had a very long wait before we could celebrate again in October.  After beating the then National League Houston Astros in the NLCS, 4-2, the hard partying Darlings of Queens beat the Red Sox in seven, and the name Bill Buckner always will be synonymous with the Mets 1986 run.  (Curse of the Bambino?)  Hernandez, Carter, Backman, the Doc, Straw, and future Phillie and con Dykstra, this was one motley but victorious crew.  A Great Read about the season:  th

1988 Back again in 1988, in the Mets first post-season matchup against the Dodgers, the Mets fell 4-3 in the NLCS.

1999 For the next generation of Mets fans who came of age in the 1980s, bring on another long drought until 1999 when baseball post-season had been transformed with expansion teams, Wild Cards and greater opportunities for teams to compete. The Mets locked down the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1, before falling to their nemesis, the Braves, in the NLCS.  Three Brave Hall of Famers say it all:  Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz.  P.S.  The Braves were then thumped by the Yankees, 4-0, in the World Series.

2000  On the backs of catcher Mike Piazza, pitchers Al Leiter and reliever John Franco, the Mets sailed into the first Subway Series in history after taking down the San Francisco Giants, 3-1 then the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1.  All hope and dreams were bashed by the Bronx Bombers in 5 games.   The indelible image:  (Piazza and Clemens at War)th-1

2006 In what is beginning to feel like an eventful 4 decades only by this writing, the Mets returned again with a revamped lineup of some home grown talent (David Wright, namely), stars developed elsewhere (Carlos Beltran) and no-name pitchers who seemed to rise to the occasion (superstitious Oliver Perez).  In what Mets fans hope will be a harbinger of things to come starting tonight in LA, the Mets swept the Dodgers, 3-0 in the NL Division Series but fell in a heartbreaker of a seventh game, losing to the Cardinals and their big bats (Pujols, Rolen) lights out pitching staff (Carpenter and Wainwright) in the NLCS, 4-3.  Here is my personal photo from that game (Beltran at the Bat):IMG_0726

(Photo credit:  Laura Farina, with thanks to a good friend for the invitation!)

What endures to this day, however, is not Beltran’s called strike 3, but Endy Chavez’s spectacular catch to rob Scott Rolen of an HR, converting it into a double play to keep the Mets in the game:  th-2

It’s 2015 and we are back in the post-season another 9 years later.  Many of us have changed jobs, gone gray, had children, even grandchildren, adopted dogs and some may have even lost teeth!  But what we Mets Fans share is another opportunity for a thrill or two or more.  We never should have been here, let’s face it.  However, because of some timely trades at the mid summer trading deadline and the chemistry that ensued, we have a lineup that on the right day could be downright feared!

Why We Can Beat the Dodgers?  Granderson, Wright, Cespedes, and Duda, we have a legitimate lineup of big leaguers now as opposed to the AAA lineup we had prior to the All Star break.  And we have arms that are comparable to some of the best in franchise history.  You say Seaver, I say deGrom, you say Koosman, I say Syndergaard.  When he pitches and shows up to practice, Harvey can be one of the Met all time greats.  The team that was rockin’ and rollin’ from the Flores near trade and Johnson-Uribe-Cespedes pickup in July through the sweep on the Nats in DC, September 7th through September 9th, that Mets team can beat anyone!

Why We Can Lose to LA:  Down the stretch, the big league lineup looked like a AA lineup.  The Mets couldn’t hit the lowly Phillies (swept) and managed to be no hit by Scherzer and without Grandy’s HR in the 8th inning to seal the victory in the final game of the regular season on October 4th, things were looking dire going into the post -season.  The Mets also managed to lose the home-field advantage, which frankly didn’t seem to be ANY advantage in the final homestand.

The other two reasons why the Mets can lose to the Dodgers:  Greinke and Kershaw.

So it’s really very simple:  if the Mets bats produce, the Mets will win in 4.  I could go out on a limb and say sweep but won’t because the Bats are still a ?  The Amazins’  took the season series from the Dodgers and in my opinion, pitching is at least equal.  And Kershaw has been horrible in the post-season so he has something to prove.

Mets Fans, the future can be very bright.  Let’s take it a game at a time.

Go Amazins!  th-3

















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Mets Bats (Come Out Tonight) to the tune of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”

“Mets Bats (Come Out Tonight)” 

Loosely to the tune of and inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Lyrics by Laura Farina 10/4/15

Come out now Mets Bats, Dark Knight, come cut loose Scott Boras’s reins

You know playin’ inning limits is a little baby’s game

You pick up D’Arnaud’s glove dynamite, Mets Fans are lookin’ for fun,

And together we’re gonna go out tonight and make that 7 Line run

You don’t have to do it alone, you have a team of young bats and guns,

The only team we’re ever gonna need is the sweet Orange and Blue from Queens

and Amazins, you’re the One


Captain Wright’s in the belfry playin’ with his bats

Familia’s uptown in front of FAO Schwartz tryin’ out his attitude on all the cats

Conforto’s on the corner waitin’ for the bus

Keith’s up in the box waitin’ for us to show up

The Wilpons will be there in their chairs when they hoist the trophy upstairs `cause you know

We’re all gonna come

We ain’t here on business, baby, we’re only here for fun

Amazins, you’re not done!


Amazins, jump a little lighter, Wilmer Flores come sit by my fire

I just want to be a winner, ain’t no liar, Amazins you’re my stone desire


Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda you know they’re gonna be there

Ah Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson they’ll be comin’ up for New York air

We’re gonna play some ball, round them all, visit the Hall, stay out all night it’s gonna feel alright

Amazins come out tonight, Yo-en-is come out tonight

Days off are for cheaters, no hitters for the poor

Walkoffs are for winners, Amazins hit some more

So use them, ‘Mazins, run up the score!



Cuddyer, hit a little better, Grandy, come ‘n’ start the fire

We all just want to be winners, ain’t no liar, Amazins you’re our Queens desire


I know our fans are worried now `cause you played poorly in our final homestand

And I know Terry’s still messin’ with the lineup but he never did understand

Bartolo lowered the boom showed you to your room

We’re comin’ to lend a hand

We’re comin’ to liberate you, confiscate you we’ll always be your fans

Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny

But don’t be sad it ain’t that bad

Sandy says the days are over that we don’t have any money

The days are over that we don’t have any money

The years are over since Madoff took our money

Tell Fred this is last chance to get his team in a World Series dance

Because Cespedes, Amazins, is expecting a big advance!


Our hearts been bashed and we often crash but the Pope had mercy

The machine was a dud till mid July then the fans returned from the swamps of


Flores cried, help arrived, then we were comin’ on strong

By the time we meet the Dodgers in the West Coast light we will know who has the

better arms

Thor and Jake with their pretty hair will throw Ks in

southern California but what stands in our way

Are the bats that went quiet against the Phils and Nats  all night and day

You can hear Tejada and Lagares in the dugout hummin’

So hold tight Mets fans `cause don’t you know they’re all comin’


Plawecki, hit another homer, Curtis, come ‘n’ start the fire

You’re not a Yankee anymore, ain’t no liar, Amazins you’re our stone desire

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Georgetown Hoyas Defeat #1 UCLA, 3-1, Before Standing Room Only Crowd at Shaw Field


If you are a Hoya fan and/or alum and you haven’t gotten The Memo yet, there is a sport on campus that draws crazed supporters well, like, men’s basketball at its best moments.  This is NOT news for anyone associated with the program over the past few years, as both men’s and women’s soccer on the Hilltop have garnered national attention and success, and are attracting fans in droves among the student body, alumni and the community.

On Labor Day 2015, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (1-2-1), under the leadership of Coach Brian Wiese, demonstrated why the team deserves all of the attention, and then some, in a very impressive and at times even dominating, performance over the nation’s #1 ranked Bruins of UCLA (1-2-0).   Before a sellout crowd on Monday afternoon, the Blue & Gray controlled the ball and pace of play in the first half, and in the second half, played with grit and confidence to hold on for its first victory of the season as well as its first victory over the No. 1 team in the country in program history.

Granted, the Hoyas of Georgetown were ranked pre-season #3, after UCLA and defending national champions UVA.  However, the Hoyas got off to a rocky start on the road, first playing to a 0-0 2OT draw with Florida Gulf Coast University (remember them from another sport & year ?), and then falling to (currently 23rd ranked) South Florida Bulls, 2-0.  The Hoyas handled adversity with injuries and an uncertain schedule due to Florida hurricane season, and were forced to extend their stay to play the match with USF.  However, when the team returned home it faced University of Akron last Friday on Shaw Field and fell, 0-1.

As the fans poured onto Shaw Field on Monday and lined up for tickets and concessions well before the 1pm start time, no one was sure which Hoya team would show up:  the pre-season #3 team, or the team that stumbled a bit in the early going this season.  By the end of 90 minutes, the answer was clear, the nationally ranked Hoyas are back!  Playing without two starters due to injury, including stalwart defender junior All-American defender Joshua Yaro, the Hoyas earned the victory against the talented and speedy Bruins.

For this fan, keys to the game included:

ProminentPlayers of the Game:  Freshman Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, from Alamo, Calif./De La Salle high school.  Marcinkowski played without any visible nerves of a first year goalie, and came up with several huge saves, including in traffic and in  deflecting a sure goal over the crossbar, and showed that he is ready for prime time against the best offenses in the nation.  In another first, it was the freshman’s first W on the Hilltop.

A shout out the inspired Hoya attack, especially junior forward Brett Campbell, who entered the game in the 36th minute and within a few minutes hit another first for the team, scoring the first goal of the season for the Hoyas off of a ball from senior defender Keegan Rosenberry.  Rosenberry’s pass was deflected to the feet of Campbell who hit the left corner of the net to put the Hoyas in front 1-0.

Early on, the Hoyas had the Bruins back on their heels and controlled the ball and pace of play.  At 18 minutes, junior forward Alex Muyl had a breakaway but was taken down just outside the box. In the 29th minute, the Hoyas came up with two big chances off of corner kicks, but couldn’t find the net.

In the second half, the Hoyas soon added to their lead, to 2-0, when sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic scored his first goal of the season off of a Brandon Allen free kick.

With the second Hoya goal, the Bruins seemed to come to life and started to showcase their tremendous speed on the front line.  However, credit Georgetown with frustrating all Bruin efforts to gain any offensive advantage with all that speed.   Nonetheless, UCLA finally managed to get on the board with a goal in the 71st minute as Bruin Jackson Yueill made it 2-1.

While the Bruins wouldn’t fold, Campbell slammed the door shut in the 88th minute with his second goal resulting from a breakaway with Muyl and Allen that was delivered to Campbell on the right side. Campbell beat the UCLA goalkeeper to the left corner to add to the Hoyas advantage, 3-1.

UCLA outshot Georgetown, 14-11, but the Hoyas took five corner kicks to the Bruins’ four. Marcinkowski had six saves on the afternoon, and UCLA’s Juan Cervantes had only two saves in the UCLA loss.

Last but not least, one must credit “The Twelfth Man”, every fan filling every seat at Shaw Field, and surrounding the field on all sides, starting familiar cheers from Hoya-Saxa to “We Are-Georgetown” and teasing the Bruin goalie with some of the “left-right-left” chant well known by hoops fans when an opposing player fouls out and walks to the bench to sit.  Only in this case, the goaltender had no time to sit or relax as the relentless Hoya attack kept coming at him.

So, if you happen to be one of those Hoya hoops fans who are counting the days until Midnight Madness, forget that.  Get on, download the men’s and women’s soccer schedules and get out to a game–pronto.  Link here: Cheer on your Georgetown University Hoyas to a national championship.  (Among the devoted student supporters are several member of the men’s basketball team, who are certainly excitedly awaiting Midnight Madness and enjoying their highly ranked soccer team this fall.)  There is a long way to go but it starts at home with great fan support, get on board!  The Hoyas are back in action at Shaw Field on Saturday, September 12 as the squad hosts Radford University at 1 p.m.

The Hoya women’s team take on George Washington at 4pm on Thursday, September 10th and face Virginia Tech on Sunday, September 13th at 1pm both games at home on Shaw Field.  Schedule link:

On a very different and more somber note, we would like to add to the thousands of prayers being said for Georgetown football player Ty Williams, who was injured in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against St. Francis of Pa.

L.F. a/k/a L.P.P.

IMG_6567 - Version 2



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Women’s World Cup Final: Can the ’15ers find Magic vs Japan?


Once upon a time, there were the ’99ers.  The team that beat China after playing to a 0-0 scoreless tie after 120 minutes.  Not much needs to be recounted here, as this team was seared into our national consciousness.  That special team did more for women’s  and girls’  sports, soccer itself (the game, not simply women’s soccer) and national pride in the sports arena than perhaps any team or individual or law in our history.  The only two comparable names that come to mind are Billie Jean King and Title IX.  This is not to dis- anyone else, but in 1999 the nation was focused on this ‘wholesome’ young team, with a senior or two in terms of the sport (Michelle Akers, Joy Fawcett and Carla Overbeck, the latter two players with young children in tow, the original “soccer moms” only they played the sport at the highest level and had children too!).  The names that resonate are Mia (need not add “Hamm”) and Brandi Chastain, who became more than the others the public face of the team, especially Brandi after the now iconic photograph that is sports history.  If you don’t know it, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.  :-)  Kristine Lilly was the energizer bunny of the team, playing for years beyond ’99, leading the team into the future and tying it to the present time.  Julie Foudy, however, is the player who has become the spokesperson for the ’99ers over time, the analyst, the one who could have become a physician (and chose soccer over medical school), the Stanford alum who became the natural leader and living historian for the team that captured millions of hearts in the Summer of ’99.  (Julie was scratched for Brandi to take the final PK in ’99.)  The FIFA World Cup final between the U.S. and China, July 10th, 1999, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, was the most-attended women’s sports event in history with an official attendance of 90,185.  

Fast forward first to 2011.  Welcome largely a new team, a 21st century team of young women, many who were inspired by the ’99ers (current forward Alex Morgan was 10 years old in ’99).  A team led by perhaps the greatest player in at least U.S. women’s soccer history, Abby Wambach, a 2X Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2012), seeking her first World Cup title ever (before she retires from the game this year) and the first USWNT World Cup title since ’99.  The team fell short against Japan after an exciting 120 minutes leading to penalty kicks.  Unlike the magical victory against China in PKs in 1999 where goalie Brianna Scurry came up with a big save followed by a perfect left footer by Brandi to seal the victory and hoist the Cup,  the Magic was not to be in 2011, and the USA had to accept a second place finish.

Now is the time.  Today is the day.  Four years later a slightly different team, still with a core of players including Wambach, Morgan, Carli Lloyd (arguably the player destined for the Golden Ball should the USA prevail tonight), stalwart and yet embattled off the field goalie Hope Solo, tough as nails, controversial and determined, arguably the most exciting player on the pitch, Megan Rapinoe, as well as a team deep in talent at all positions.  Relative unknowns have come on this year to dazzle us, including defenders Julie Johnston and Meghan Klingenberg, it would take a tome to adequately describe each player’s role and importance to the team.  Needless to say, they appear to be peaking at the right time.  The Cup is not on home turf this time but it is as close as possible, in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada.  The US will have the crowd on its side on Canadian soil.

Coach Jill Ellis has been expert in dealing with a relentless media and criticism from all social media megaphones, including from former superstar Michelle Akers and I wonder why she would strike so hard at the current coach if there weren’t something from the past under her skin.  The US team did not dazzle in Group Play, but exited on top and unscathed and have been improving ever since.  The two games leading to this date, July 5th, 2015, have not been perfect but there has been exceptional play against first China then Germany to advance to the Rematch with Japan.  Carli Lloyd may have emerged as the “star” of this team, scoring when needed and making superb plays to set up key goals;  however, that is only what the fans see at the end of the play.  It takes an entire team moving the ball down the astroturf pitch (for another blog) from Solo to Kelley O’Hara’s beautiful touch.

There is one more match left to play, and I would not be surprised if this match shatters all viewing records.  The difference between ’99 and ’15, however, is that viewers indeed had fewer sports options and consumers had not yet started cutting the cable cord and moved from television to internet viewing.  However measured,  I predict that the nation with be tuned in on the 5th of July, 2015 much as they were on July 10th, 1999.  And,  when the game is over and if (or when?) the USWNT is able to achieve its only goal, a World Cup victory, the next generation of young soccer players, boys and girls, will be speaking about the ’15ers for years to come.

Countdown to Kickoff.




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Playoff Season in the Nation’s Capital: Wizards and Capitals Rising! LJ Peak’s Future with the Hoyas in Question?


Hi Friends,

I have missed you.  It has been a month since Duke beat Wisconsin for the NCAA hoops championship.  I never blogged about that game and all I can remember now is that the Badgers choked as Duke became Duke.  Sadly for Wisconsin, after that huge upset of Kentucky, they could not repeat the heroics in the championship game.  I felt mostly for Bo Ryan, who may never get to another national final game.  Frank Kaminskys don’t come along every season.  On the other hand, Duke won and sent their One and Dones off to the NBA Draft.  Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones, Bye Bye.  Grayson Allen will be back and he was the player who may have been most responsible for the victory.

Since then, Washington D.C. and its sports fans have enjoyed a pro sports resurgence of sorts, with its Wizards and Capitals both in the second round of the NBA and NHL playoffs, respectively.  The Wizards swept the Toronto Raptors in the first series, and after last night’s loss, playing without its floor general, John Wall, are now tied 1-1 with the Atlanta Hawks.  Lottery pick, former Georgetown Hoya Otto Porter is showing his stuff in this post-season, his second in the league.  Because of his injury last season, this is very much like a rookie season and Hoya fans can now recognize the player they came to love as a Hoya.  He is doing it all, scoring with great accuracy, rebounding, assists and steals, loading the stat columns and playing selflessly, perhaps appropriate at this time.

The Capitals beat the Islanders in a hard fought, exciting series and have now moved onto the “other” New York team, the Rangers, leading 2-1 going into tonight’s game, which I will attend and Rock the Red with the greatest hockey fans in the league!  With a chance to go up 3-1 tonight at home, Ted Leonsis cannot possibly be tired from all the travel.  It must be exhilarating!

Last week I attended the Georgetown Hoyas end of season banquet.  It was the first post-season banquet I had attended since the Final Four season of 2007 and couldn’t be happier to have chosen this one.  While the team was no doubt disappointed that it didn’t advance to the Sweet 16 (a #4 seed that it was), clearly these guys are a tight group and I loved speaking with most of the players that evening.  I bid farewell to the seniors, Aaron, Jabril, Tyler and Mikael, while telling everyone else how much I look forward to next season.  DSR seemed very comfortable and happy with his decision to return.  Clearly these young men act like brothers and the speeches of all of the seniors that evening underscored the “family element” of the Hoya team, with JTIII and his staff at the helm.

Regarding the Hoyas, there is a rumor out there about LJ Peak, rising sophomore, and it was first reported on  “May 5, 2015 – Rumors have abounded rising sophomore guard/forward [db]L.J. Peak[/db] is facing something big in his life. Resultantly, his tenure on The Hilltop has been questioned going forward. ”

I have heard some specifics but until it is official, will not report here.

Be back in the morning, after the Caps take a 3-1 lead over the Rangers!


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The 2015 Final Four: A Yawner Followed by a Heavyweight Bout; Duke and Wisconsin to Meet in the Championship Game

Calpostgame-1It hurts.

Twenty years from now the only thing that anyone will remember about this Final Four is that Big Blue Nation went down.  The Dream of 40-0, gone, at the hands of the mighty Wisconsin Badgers, who will only be remembered if they win the national championship against Duke.  That is the harsh reality of sports.  38-1, while impressive, will fade from memory, and all talk of the “Best Team in NCAA Hoops History” is history.  The Wisconsin Badgers, as impressive as its upset of Calipari’s “NBA Light” Kentucky team, will also fade quickly in hoops history if they fail to seal the deal by hoisting the trophy.

The Indiana Hoosiers retain the distinction of being the only undefeated team in college basketball since the 1975-76 season.

With the exception of the first four minutes of the game, the Michigan State-Duke game was a yawner for all fans but Duke fans.  Sparty came out strong, pulling ahead 14-6 just 4 minutes into the game, making 5 of their first 7 shots and the first four they took from beyond the 3-point line. Duke then hit the switch, turned up the heat on D and turned to their POY contender, Jahlil Okafor, and took over.  The Izzone, as passionate as they are, could play no role in this game because Duke took control early in the first half and never looked back.  While Michigan State earned its way into the Final Four with several close games over strong opponents, including Virginia, Oklahoma and Louisville, one longed for a more competitive matchup.  Duke had a breezy time of it sailing into the national championship game, simply overpowering the Spartans, 81-61, and we shall know on Monday night whether that will work to the Blue Devils’ advantage, or not.

The Duke freshmen soon headed to the NBA, Justise Winslow, scored 19 points, had 9 boards and was 5 for 7 from the field.  Fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor added 18 points, 6 boards and was 7 for 11 from the field.  Senior Quinn Cook added 17.  Will Duke add another, 5th title, in the city where it won its first under Coach 1K in 1991?  His 4th was only 5 years ago, in 2010. Expect Duke in the Final Four once every 5 years?  It certainly feels like it.

Michigan State’s guard Denzel Valentine had 9 of his 22 points in the opening run, including three 3-pointers.  Valentine had 11 rebounds for the Spartans, who ended the season 27-12, while his teammate Travis Trice added 16 points.  Sparty didn’t have the personnel to match up with Duke.

On the other hand, the featured Final Four game had just about everything one expects in a great national semifinal game:  two evenly matched teams, lead changes and runs, dominant bigs, talented guards, future pros, and questionable calls. (More about that later)  From the outset, it was clear that Wisconsin was up for the challenge and that Kentucky was vulnerable, particularly after that close call with Notre Dame in the Elite Eight.  In fact, while Kentucky was 38-0 going into last night’s game, that undefeated status was due to one fact:  the Wildcats played in the inferior SEC Conference this season.  In other conferences, that simply would not have been the case.  The Badgers, by contrast, benefited from its competition in the BIG TEN Conference.

The Badgers were led by their POY and future pro Frank Kaminsky 20 points, 11 boards 2 assists and 2 blocks and his teammate,  other future NBAer, Sam Dekker (16 points).  Wisconsin took over in the final minutes and went on the most important run of the game.  Tied at 60, Andrew Harrison missed on Kentucky’s next possession. Then Dekker hit a 3-pointer that gave Wisconsin the lead for good with 1:42 left.  At 64-63 with 24 seconds left, Kaminsky hit two free throws. He and Bronson Koenig went 7 for 8 from the line over the last 24 seconds to finish with the 71-64 victory.

About the officiating, in both games, it was poor to atrocious.  It could not have affected the blowout in the Duke-Michigan State game but at times early on seemed to be leaning Duke’s way.  Money in Vegas affecting these games?  Don’t doubt it, can’t prove it.  However, the poor calls in the Kentucky-Wisconsin game had the opportunity to affect the close game.  While I viewed the poor officiating to overall favor the Big Blue, the most obvious call was actually a 2-point putback late in the game by the Badgers that was “scored” despite a shot clock violation.  On the other hand, a blatant Fragrant 2 faceslap was missed, that would have resulted in 2 free throws and the ball for the Badgers.  What did occur was that it motivated Wisconsin to rev up their game in the final minutes, so in the end, the missed call did not affect the game in Big Blue’s favor.

Poor Losers?  A few Kentucky players left the court without shaking hands with Wisconsin players and Andrew Harrison made an unfortunate comment directed to Kaminsky while he was miked during the press conference. 

Happy 22nd Birthday Present, Frank Kaminsky!

Next Up?  Coach 1K achieves his 5th championship or Bo Ryan achieves his 1st Division I championship (Wisconsin won its last basketball championship in 1941)

Hoya fans, check this out:  One of our favorite Final Four players, Jeff Green, with the NBA play of the night!


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Torn About the Final Four 4/4/15: Rarified Air in Embattled Indiana–Duke vs. Michigan State followed by Wisconsin vs Kentucky

I’m torn about the Final Four for many reasons, including:

1.  The Georgetown Hoyas aren’t playing in Indianapolis.  I know, I know … get over it already.  To add insult to injury, my favorite player is graduating (Aaron Bowen), I will miss Jabril immensely, and DSR declared for the draft.  On the latter point, who can blame him really?  He can go back and get his degree.  He probably feels that he isn’t going to improve so much in another year in school to become a lottery pick–he is too small.  He is pursuing his dream, and like Jeff Green, Greg Monroe, and other players before him, he will be able to return in summers to finish his degree if he so desires.  Hoyas hope so.

2.  Frankly, I don’t love any of the teams in the Final Four and my feelings range from extreme dislike (Kentucky, One and Done U, Slick Calipari) to fondness for Coach Tom Izzo, although the odds are really stacked against #7 Michigan State playing among 3 #1 seeds.  While I do believe that they could knock off Duke, I would have to be delusional to believe they could beat Kentucky.  I reserve that chance for Wisconsin today, IF (a big IF) they play a perfect game and Kaminsky displays his POY chops;  and I do believe that Duke, with its magical sorcerer’s powers and Coach 1K, could in fact take down the Wildcats in the championship game.

3.  While Wisconsin’s chances may be slim, it’s not hard to root for Bo Ryan, who, while so successful in March, has never hoisted that trophy.  Besides, this a special Badgers team.  Whereas those of the past always had Sweet 16 written all over them, this one has Kaminsky, and the school’s first college Player of the Year.  I’d be happy for Bo.

4.  I have consistently said that I will never again root against Tom Izzo in March.  Does that extend to a Final Four matchup against the Duke Blue Devils?  Sure, why not.  This is Tom Izzo.  His Spartan team is probably not as talented as the Blue Devils but a great coach can take a team far.  They are in Indianapolis today, correct?

5.  The Blue Devils, that is a tricky one.  I have blood ties, related to multiple Dukies.  One wants their loved ones to experience the thrill of victory, but haven’t they won enough?  :-)  Never enough, I think.  Of course everyone is expecting and the hoops world/at least the Sports Media wants to see a Duke-Kentucky final.  It is likely.  What is rather unlikely is an All Big Ten final. It would possibly have the worst TV ratings in decades for a championship game.

6.  The Evil Empire:  I cannot, will not root for Kentucky.  It’s everything that is wrong with college basketball.  It’s not pure, it’s NBA light, it’s Calipari–does he even pretend to coach for a team that’s part of an educational institution?  So even if Duke too has become One and Done U, bye bye Jahlil, it is difficult to question some academic integrity there, although Coach 1K doubles as the University President and makes all decisions at Duke, correct?

So, with little to no skin in the game, brackets busted, I have one thing left to root for:  great games.  Let the Games Begin!  And Go Hoyas, 2015-16!!



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Georgetown Hoyas: Wrapping Up 2014-15 Season, 75-64 Loss to Utes in Round of 32 and Looking to the Future

th-3 th-1



I apologize to the LPP Faithful for this delayed blog.  I was traveling abroad during the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 and March Madness means nothing there.  Only rugby and UK and European football raises blood pressure where I was.  A few final words to the Hoya faithful and interested fans on this past season, where Georgetown finished 22-11 overall and 12-6 in the Big East.

I.  Georgetown Hoyas Conclude 2014-15 Campaign with 75-64 Loss to the Utes in Round of 32 :

Perhaps it took me a trip across “the pond” in the middle of the night to write a fitting conclusion to the Hoyas season. This season had a bit of everything: The Promise; The Stumbling; The Resurrection; The Harsh Ending. Thus I conclude this–my first–season of blogging about Georgetown Men’s Basketball. A program that formed in my consciousness in the 1980s and a team that continues to capture my attention and heart in 2015. This may say as much about myself as it does about them.  However, the focus belongs and remains on the team and program.

In prior entries, I have already paid tribute to the team and individuals; the Coach and staff that progressed beyond the double digit seed in the Round of 64 and advanced to contention for a Sweet 16 berth.

So as I write over Newfoundland toward Cape Bonavista, Bonavista Bay and Trinity Bay, I restate first the story that has already been amply covered by the mainstream media and the bloggers: the #4 Hoyas, of the South region, fell in Portland Oregon to the #5 Utah Utes, a team that finished second in the well respected and proven PAC12, along with two other PAC12 teams that remained in the Sweet 16: the UCLA Bruins, who were on the proverbial bubble before the tournament began, and eventually fell to the Zags; and the #2 seed Arizona Wildcats, who eventually fell to #1Wisconsin, in a tight matchup where the Badgers overpowered the Cats in the end.

The Hoyas played with the Utes through many minutes, tied even at the half, 32-32, after the Hoyas came out of the gates with hot shooting they could not sustain in the second half.  Then the team experienced and Hoya fans watched that familiar breakdown in the second half, not completely explicable except to say that it seemed to happen at this time during the season. No one can engage in finger-pointing towards anyone. DSR was shut down by the Utes’ D, and other players much respond. Josh Smith responded in the second half, but it was another case of “too little too late”.  Statistically, the Hoyas did not play their best basketball of the season but credit that in part to the Utes’ D or lack of Hoyas O, and the 2014-15 season was then over.

Perhaps there is little to be gained—now—in analyzing the loss to Utah, except to say that this is the last Hoya fans will be seeing the following players on the Court, and LPP has paid tribute to each played in past blog entries: Jabril Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, Aaron Bowen and Josh Smith. No one senior was able to take control of this game to lead the team onto the Sweet 16, and that was not generally the Seniors’ style or even this team’s style. While DSR at times had propelled his team to victory, DSR does not have the ability of either Jeff Green, or past Hoya greats, to carry the team on his back through several rounds of the tournament, and we can’t forget that Green had both Hibbert and Wallace, and Ewing Jr., to assist him to the heights of a Final Four. In my opinion, DSR should not consider a jump to the NBA–but we shall see what he decides.

In the Final Game, the freshmen played well, LJ Peak leading in scoring with 18 and Isaac Copeland finishing with 14 points.  Georgetown scoring was rounded out by DSR’s 12 points and Trawick’s 10.  While the entire team struggled from the field with the exception of Peak (7 for 8 from the field, 3 for 4 from the arc), DSR really struggled, on 6 for 15 shooting from the field and 0 for 7 from the arc.  The ONLY bench points in the final game were 2 from Hopkins, although he and White saw double digit minutes, and Hayes pulled down 4 boards and had a steal in 8 minutes of playing time.  The Utes shot nearly 60% from both the field and the arc and the Hoyas were sub 50% for the game in both categories (43% and 36%, respectively).  Josh Smith ended his last game as a Hoya with 8 points and 6 boards in 17 minutes, with 4 personal fouls.  That was the “average Josh Smith” game during his Hoya career.  While Hoya fans loved his promise and the breakout games, he was not the reliable center and player that I think Coach JTIII, team and fans expected with the transfer from UCLA.  So likable as a person, but Smith was not able to put together a sting of consistent big games as a Hoya.  In the Round of 32 game against the Utes, the word I have used all season, URGENCY, again seemed to be lacking. I rarely questioned EFFORT; only urgency, and the strategy it takes to win a close game in March.

Aaron Bowen saw 6 minutes in this game, and to me, that is a travesty.  As you know, I have been a great fan of Bowen, and he had a great deal to offer the Hoyas and showed it, when given time.  The best athlete on this team, with the energy to make things happen and play D, I shook my head as he sat on the bench as the Hoyas went down.

II.  The Final Four:  Since then, the Utes lost to Duke in a tight game, 63-57, and the Final Four is set (this is the first time in my life that I was not Stateside for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 so had to follow online in the middle of the night while work faced me in the morning): few surprises, overall #1 seed Kentucky, who escaped by a point at the free throw line to the Notre Dame Irish, not in recent years a scary team by any means; #1 seed Wisconsin, led by big man Frank Kaminsky, whom the Hoyas shut down early in the season in the Bahamas, whose future in the pros seems to me to be a question mark (he will go but will he star?); #1 seed Duke, with its post-season struggles in the past few years, who surprisingly lived up to expectations this year, and have only one chance to win a championship with Jahlil Okofor (he’s soon gone); and last but not least, Mighty Tom Izzo’s #7 seed Spartans of Michigan State (The Outlier among 3 #1 Final Four teams). Believe me, I will never again bet against Tom Izzo in March. There are the Men of March and then there are the Mighty Men of March, among whom Izzo belongs.  I would not be surprised if Sparty surprises but then again, Kentucky now may wake up after the scare by the Irish and that may spell disaster for its next two opponents.

III. The Struggling Big 10? (Really): This can be addressed in 8 words: Wisconsin and Michigan State in the Final Four. So we also have the already Knighted Wildcats of Kentucky of the SEC, until the Irish showed the Cats’ vulnerability and the Blue Devils of the ACC. What happened to the Cavaliers and the Tar Heels? Duke returns to form and in the end, if Duke faces Kentucky, who will you root for? Will you forget that you Hate Christian Laettner (ESPN reminds us), if you are old enough to remember him, and root for Duke, or will you root for anyone who plays Kentucky, as will most who live outside the State? Will you consider that Coach K is another One and Done Coach, as is anyone who wants to win an NCAA championship? If Duke wins, he could lose half his team but like Calipari, he’ll retool his starting lineup and perhaps have a “second string” as good as his first? Is this truly college hoops?  Yes, it is in this Age of the Amateur Sports Multimilliondollar/Billion Dollar business.

IV.  Looking Forward for the Hoyas: Hoya fans look to the SuperFrosh who excited fans this season, namely, Isaac Copeland, LJ Peak, Tre Campbell and Paul White, and those who didn’t have much playing time, including Trey Mourning;  DSR, returning stalwart, pre-season Big East Player of the Year 2014-15; and other players who have shown great promise, especially true center Bradley Hayes (can we bring back Hoya bigs to coach him, imagine Patrick Ewing developing Bradley Hayes this summer!). Add to that already on board Akoy Agau, transfer from Louisville, 4 star recruits Jessie Govan, #10 center in the nation by one source, #27 power forward Marcus Derrickson and #18 small forward Kaleb Johnson,  and what do the Hoyas have to look forward to in 2014-15? I wish I could answer that with certainty, but can say there is great promise.

Frustrated Fans: We understand how you feel. Everyone wants to go to the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, but there are roughly 350 Division I basketball teams in the country and with the exception of Syracuse and a few others, most are eligible to get to that point. The Coach that every team wants, Shaka Smart, went out in the Round of 64?  Yet Shaka may be headed to Austin, Texas.  Does that seem right?  I’ve heard they may even offer school naming rights to Shaka, renaming the venerable Texas university Texas Smart University (:-)))  Fired Coach Rick Barnes is already signed to Tennessee, salivating about beating the school that ousted him, a coach that took his team 16 of 17 times to the Big Dance.  Is there something wrong with this picture?  Top 10 ranked Villanova and Coach Jay Wright laid an egg in the Round of 32. UVA’s Coach Tony Bennett, who has revived the program to the extent of winning the ACC championship, experienced the same fate. Let’s face it—there are only a few elite coaches and 4 of them indeed remain in the tournament. Regardless of how you feel about them: Calipari, Coach 1K, Izzo and Bo Ryan, these are coaches who win championships or regularly take their teams far into March. Four of 300 coaches or at least 60-80 who have a dream of getting the final weekend.  Sean Miller and Shaka are included in those ranks, in the Younger Set.

As a Hoya fan, I will savor the past and hope for the future. We are graduating 4 tremendous seniors, plus one experienced Coach Tyler Adams, and many teams in the tournament cannot boast that accomplishment. I wish the best for All and thank them, again, for the memories. I don’t know their plans, whether it is playing, coaching, business, law, but know they will continue to represent. May all Hoyas support Jabril, Mikael, Aaron, Josh and Tyler as they leave the Hilltop. We will never forget—We Are/You Are Georgetown!

I may be finished with writing about the Hoyas season, but am going to continue to cover the Final Four and other sports … hope that you will continue to follow ProminentPlay!





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#4 Seed Hoyas and # 5 Seed Utes Face Off for Chance to Dance at Sweet Sixteen Party

th Where it all started–Jabril dancing at Midnight Madness

Do you wanna dance?  I want to dance with somebody.  You should be dancing! Just ask Mikael and David!

However you’d like to express it, the Georgetown Hoyas are dancing in the Round of 32 and face the #5 seed Utah Utes of the PAC12 Conference  (7:45 p.m. ET, CBS).  Yes, Fans. today you don’t have to find TruTV.  The Utes finished second in the conference behind the mighty Arizona Wildcats, a #2 seed that could have easily been a #1 seed, and played 4 ranked teams through the regular season.  Of the teams that they played, all 4 of those teams are still dancing as the date and time of publication.  The Utes and Hoyas will meet for the first time in hoops history at the Moda Center this afternoon (4:45 PT).  The Utes advanced with a 57-50 win against the Stephen A. Austin (SFA) Lumberjacks just prior to Georgetown’s game with EWU on Thursday.

Steve Fisher’s San Diego State team is still dancing (Ute loss to then #16 SDSU on 11/18, 53-49), then #8 Wichita State (69-68 Ute OT win at home, 12/3) is still dancing, Oregon (69-58 loss in OR on 2/22) and Arizona (2 losses, 69-51 in Tucson, later 63-57 at home), UCLA (loss 69-59 in LA on 1/29) still dancing as well. The Utes also lost to non-tourney team U. of Washington on March 7th in the PAC12 tournament, 77-68.

With no ugly losses this season, the Utes are a team on the rise with its current coach.  While this is Utah’s first tournament appearance since 2009, and the victory over SFA its first since 2005, Coach K(rystkowiak) is clearly building a program and new tradition that harkens back to its glory days under former coach Rick Majerus, when the Utes advanced to the tourney 11 of 14 seasons, and fell to Kentucky 78-69 in the 1989 title game after defeating defending champ Arizona. Since Krystkowiak arrived at Utah 4 years ago, the Utes have steadily improved every season, from 6 wins in his first season to 21 last year, and 25 so far this season.  Hoyas hope to prevent #26.

The only common opponent of the Hoyas and Utes was Kansas, and those games ended similarly.  After Kansas beat the Hoyas 75-70 at Verizon Center on December 10, the Jayhawks traveled to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to beat the Utes 63-60 on December 13th.

Today Vegas odds has a line in favor of the Utes -4.5.  What do the Hoyas care about Vegas odds when they have Bradley Hayes!  Hayes beat all odds on Thursday night by playing the perfect 10 minutes of basketball to change the course of Hoya hoops history!  Vegas Schmegas!

Unlike the unsportsmanlike trash talking Jim Hayward, Utah Coach Krystkowiak shows respect for the Georgetown Hoyas, and that is reciprocated.   Krystkowiak said that his team’s opponent, Georgetown, is synonymous with basketball:

“It’s not anything you think about with many other sports. If you said name 10 basketball schools to an average fan, I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgetown was one of the teams that they threw out … It’s a heck of an opportunity, but at the same time a heck of a challenge.”

Coach K of Utah, unlike the Coach H of EWU, shows respect for the Hoya program and noted that our legendary alum Patrick Ewing is a buddy. He added, “I’ve got a lot of respect for their program.”

Show Us The Party:  So the guys are going to have to find another way to get fired up for this game and that is easy:  THEY SHOULD BE DANCING, YEA!  Win tonight, and seniors Trawick, Bowen, Hopkins, Smith and Coach Tyler Adams and teammates punch their ticket to the Sweet 16 party in Houston.  And do tell me what Hoyas don’t like a great party?  Whether a Sweet 16 or a Presidential Inauguration or a pitcher of beer at the Tombs, the best college pub in America, Hoyas love parties.  Political, social, and athletic, the Hoyas are also synonymous with parties. And studiousness.  Hoyas know that you get to the party through hard work.  Hopefully Coach JTIII will have his student-athletes as prepared for the Utes as they were for the Eagles.

Utah’s Weapons:   The Utes are best known for a great defense.  They also have senior guard Delon Wright, who leads the Utes with an average of 14.9 points per game, and is the younger brother of Portland Trail Blazer Dorell Wright.  Good bloodline.  While the Hoyas should not pay much attention to this as the Utes beat a strong SFA team on Thursday, senior center Dallin Bachynski tweaked his ankle and sprained it, missing two days of practice and did not play against SFA.  He should be ready for the game with Georgetown, according to Krystkowiak.  Regarding Wright, Krystkowiak said that his leg is a “little sore.” He iced it after the SFA game.  Wright added, “It will be sore, but I’ll be able to play.”

Mutual Respect:  Coach JTIII, on the Utes’ defense:   “They’re big. They’re versatile. They do a good job of just staying in front of you. There’s no easy basket,” he said. “You watch tape after tape after tape. No one gets an easy basket against them. They really make you work every possession to get a decent look at the basket.”



th-2 Coach, want to keep dancing with your team and fans?


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The Hoyas Advance to the Round of 32; Bradley Hayes, “The Perfect Ten Minutes”

th-1 Junior leader DSR and Freshman Tre Campbell showing Hoya Swag against Eastern Washington U. Eagles.

Call it what you will.  Redemption.  Monkey off the back.  Relief.  There are multiple ways to express how Hoya Nation, students, fans, alumni, former student-athletes, Coach and Team, felt about the 74-64 victory over the practically pre-ordained latest double-digit seed to take down the #4 seed Georgetown Hoyas (22-10, 12-6 Big East).  From Portland Oregon at the Moda Center to Washington, D.C., and in cities and towns where Hoya fans reside in the U.S. and globally, the anxiety was palpable. Social media was all atwitter since Selection Sunday with prognosticators, bracketologists, even proctologists,  agnostics, and lawyers who dream of coaching (collectively and loosely, “Fans”) about how the #4 seeded Hoyas would respond to its “Second Round” game with the #13 seed Eastern Washington Eagles (26-8, 14-4 Big Sky).  Of course, the Hoyas would be tested yet again and challenged to erase the recent past string (an NCAA tournament record) of 5 consecutive losses as a single digit seed to a double digit seed.  To further confound fans, EWU featured the highest D-I scorer in the nation, Tyler Harvey, son of an NCAA referee, and whom we were told was a carbon copy of the former college star Stephan Curry at Davidson (2008), when the unfortunate String of Post-Season Defeat began.

th-4 EWU Coach Jim Hayward won’t be talking to Jim Rome anytime again soon, except perhaps to discuss EWU’s loss to the Hoyas.

Add to that Hayward guaranteeing a win against the Hoyas and a 10:52 Eastern time start when East coast fans are normally settling down to a night’s sleep and that creates a great deal of Agita in Hoya Nation.  Connected as we are through Facebook, Twitter and other media channels to some of the most loyal and devoted Hoya fans on this planet, I can guarantee that there would be no relief nor exhaling until the buzzer sounded with a Hoya victory.  In fact, when one former Hoya great posted that he was heading to bed when the Hoyas appeared to have a comfortable lead, several of his friends and followers practically begged him to stay awake.  And guess what? He did!

The Game:  In many respects, it was similar to many Hoya conference and non-conference games this season.  A slow start, Josh Smith getting 2 early fouls, a game of runs,  Mikael Hopkins getting into early foul trouble too, and a game largely controlled by Hoya stalwart guards DSR and Trawick. Then highly touted Tyler Harvey started showing his crazy shooting ability and as a result, EWU quickly opened a 15-10 lead on back-to-back threes by Harvey and senior guard Parker Kelley.

Then the game suddenly looked like nothing Hoya fans had seen this season, from 45 bench points as compared with 39 points from the starters, to the performance of players such as 7 foot true center junior Bradley Hayes, who had played an average of 3.4 minutes and 1.0 points per game this season, and entered the game with nine minutes to go to play “The Perfect Ten Minutes”.  What did B.J. aka Bradley Hayes do in those 10 minutes, after filling in for Smith and Hopkins, characteristically foul-plagued early in the game?  Hayes came off the bench and played the final nine minutes of the first half and scored eight points on perfect 3 for 3 shooting from the field and 2 for 2 from the line, recorded 6 rebounds and 1 assist.  This feat set the Hoya Facebook and Twittersphere into a virtual frenzy, with comments from “Who is this?” (obviously not the most observant fan) to “Where Has Hayes Been All Season?”  The proper response to that is of course, “on the bench”.  Query whether that is where he belongs.  As some suggest, Josh Smith may be the better center against bigger and slower teams but Hayes had what it took against EWU to propel his Hoya team into the future and to erase memories of the String of Post-Season Defeat.

At about the same time that Hayes entered the game, senior Aaron Bowen was called on as well. Bowen added great defense, swarming Harvey as well as contributing 8 points on 3 for 6 shooting from the field, 1 for 1 from the arc and 1 for 5 from the free throw line (he will improve against the Utes). Harvey and the Eagles simultaneously went cold from the field, connecting on only one of their last seven first-half attempts.  The Hoyas led 43-33 at the half, which was ultimately the final differential of the game (10 points).

Despite foul trouble, Mikael Hopkins too played 21 strong minutes and finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and was 8 for 8 from the foul line. The Georgetown defense, which has been among the nation’s best all season, recorded three blocks and was consistently altering shots.

th  Bradley Hayes Manhandling Tyler Harvey 

If Hayes was the Undeniable Hero and ProminentPlayer of the Game, Trawick and DSR must share in that honor. Trawick did everything he could do to carry the Hoyas over the victory line and narrowly escaped a Flagrant 1 call.  Clearly, Harvey’s paternal NCAA referee connections didn’t help him when officials reviewed a Harvey travel followed by some contact with Trawick and a Harvey flop. Trawick finished with 10 points, 3 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals.  DSR scored 25, pulled down 8  rebounds and hit the free throws that sealed the victory.  The only DSR negative was sloppy second half play:  he had 6 turnovers of the Hoya total of 14, to the Eagles’ 9 for the game.  Overall the Hoyas shot 52.1% from the field, 47.8% from the arc and 71.9% from the line, besting the Eagles in all but the latter category (86.7%).

th-3 Trawick Doing What He Does:  Everything

After building a 23-point lead, as the second half progressed, the Hoyas came dangerously close to letting that sizable lead slip away.  In the second half, EWU threw a full court press that shook the Hoyas into turning the ball over leading to EWU conversions.  With 9 minutes remaining in the game, the Hoyas started to both slow down its offense and get sloppy, went cold from the field and EWU pulled within 7.   As the Hoyas stagnated, EWU regained its scoring touch and Harvey, despite good D from Georgetown, finished with 27 points on 9 for 20 shooting, 7 above his season average. Harvey got help from his teammates, especially freshman guard Sir Washington and junior forward Venky Jois (“Funky Joe”?), who fought for their tournament lives and came up short against the determined Hoyas.

Thankfully for Hoya Nation, Georgetown, led by DSR, was able to make enough free throws to preserve the victory (DSR missed 4 free throws that he normally sinks unconsciously).

If there are a few lessons to learn from this game, and a credit to Coach JTIII on the first,

1.  This Hoya Team is deep and talented enough to find different combinations to work against teams they haven’s seen all season and may never play again in our lifetimes.  Peak, a starter, played limited minutes and Tre Campbell played an effective 28 minutes and showed why he is the Hoyas’ current and future point guard.  Bradley Hayes, enough said above. Freshman Paul White also had a nice outing, his best in a while, on 4 for 5 and 2 for 3 shooting finishing with 10 points.

2.  This Hoya Team can and will win without Joshua Smith.  This is a player Hoya fans all root for and at times appears dominant, then disappears.  We should assume that the team cannot rely on Josh for any significant period of any game.  When he is present and his game is on, he can be the most dominant player on the floor. Last night Josh picked up 2 fouls in less than 4 minutes and was gone.  That is the norm.

3.  This Hoya Team cannot win by playing (or holding the ball for 35-second shot clock possessions) to protect large leads.  We have seen it this season and in prior seasons when the Hoyas build big leads and then, to borrow a from a commentator, “take their foot off the pedal.”  They may get away with this against the Eagles of the Big Sky Conference, but won’t against the PAC12’s Utes or, I will save this for next post, any subsequent opponent. Two things generally happen when the Hoyas play tentatively on offense–they fall out of any offensive flow (compare first and second halves last night) and fail to score and commit sloppy turnovers.  Proof:  last night’s game.  This is an easy fix.  Team, keep on playing.  With a 23 point lead, continue to score, and don’t allow the opponent to close the gap!

Next Up:  The Hoyas Face #5 Seed Utah in the Round of 32  (Blog Entry Coming soon)  Utah, who played Stephen F. Austin immediately before the Georgetown-EWU game, survived a second-half run by SFA to prevail 57-50.

th-2 Freshman Paul White blocking EWU #22 shot.


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