Almost not enough for Hoyas against Terps


Almost not enough for Hoyas against Terps

COLLEGE PARK -- So close.

Despite foul trouble, despite playing its first road game and doing so before a raucous crowd, despite the enormity of a rivalry renewed against No. 3 Maryland, Georgetown nearly did it. The Hoyas almost pulled off the perceived upset and simultaneously erase the nasty taste of the season opening loss to Radford.

Ultimately, almost wasn't good enough.

All five Georgetown starters scored in double figures, but Maryland All-American Melo Trimble had 24 points and the Terps overcame a late seven-point deficit to down the Hoyas 75-71 in the first scheduled game between the local programs since 1993.

The Hoyas fell to 0-2 for the first time since the 1998-99 season, which was the last with John Thompson Jr. on the bench. With games later this week in New York against Wisconsin and possibly Duke, starting the season with four straight losses is in play.

"There are a lot of things we know we have to go back and work on,"Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "It's a long road."

Bradley Hayes had 16 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 14 for Georgetown. The Hoyas finished with more rebounds (36-28) than the Terps. They shot 42.1 percent (8 of 19) on 3-pointers and committed a survivable 12 turnovers.

They were also walloped at the free throw line. Maryland sank 23 of 32 compared to Georgetown's 9 of 12. 

Trimble made more free throws (13) than Georgetown attempted including four straight in the final 12 seconds to seal the win after Rasheed Sulimon's 3-pointer broke a 68-68 tie with 1:12 remaining.

"I just think coming down towards the end there, they hit some big threes," Thompson said, though he later added, "The free throw shooting was the difference."

Isaac Copeland and Marcus Derrickson each scored 13 points and Peak had 12 for the Hoyas. Jake Layman had 15 for the Terps (2-0), Robert Carter 12 and Sulaimon finished with 10 points.

Georgetown entered its highly anticipated matchup at Maryland nine point underdog according to the Vegas oddsmakers. Most in the DMV projected much worse for the Hoyas. The basic logic? The Big East school lost its season opener at home to Big South program Radford. Maryland, the Big Ten favorites, are NCAA Tournament title contenders. 

That story-line never played out. Instead, the Hoyas showed grit even when Smith-Rivera picked up his fourth foul with 14:06 remaining. His fellow senior Hayes picked up the scoring slack until he picked up his fourth foul. 

Combined with guard Tre Campbell unable to play in the second half with an undisclosed illness and Paul White (hip) missing his second straight game, Thompson used numerous unconventional lineups for chunks of the final 20 minutes. Often only one guard was on the court with L.J Peak serving as the de facto point guard.

"We didn't have a choice," the coach explained. 

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon did and yet bizarrely passed on pressuring Georgetown.

Using a big lineup by default, the still Hoyas found success inside. Despite those absences, the Hoyas pulled ahead 61-54 on Isaac Copeland's jumper with 5:48 remaining. Smith-Rivera and Hayes soon returned, but so did Maryland's offense. Trimble's 3-pointer with 3:55 remaining tied the game.

Then came the haymakers and counter punches with the sellout crowd oohing and aahing with each turn.

Hayes hook. Jared Nickens floater.

Layman 3-pointer. Smith-Rivera matches.

Carter drives. Derrickson free throws. Sulaimon splashes from beyond the arc.

That 3-pointer wasn't a knockout blow, but Georgetown didn't recover. Hayes' hook on the next possession rimmed out. Then came the final Trimble free throws, though the small guard put himself in position to get fouled by coming up with an offensive rebound off his own miss.

"We have to figure out how to stop people and finish out the game," Copeland said.

Thompson had not interest in discussing moral victories, but in some ways Georgetown can feel optimistic compared to the 82-80 loss in double overtime to Radford.

The Hoyas avoided another lethargic start by scoring the opening nine points starting with a Smith-Rivera 3-pointer. The lead didn't last long, but a field goal drought did. Georgetown went eight minutes and five seconds without a basket until Smith-Rivera's 3-pointer tied the game 14-14 with 9:45 remaining. Another seven-point advantage soon followed as did a Maryland rally before the teams left the court tied at 33-33.

Every coach will tell you rebounding is about desire.  The Hoyas showed little against the smaller Highlanders. There were no signs of passivity against Maryland's big frontline of Robert Carter and freshman Diamond Stone. The Hoyas outrebounded Maryland 21-13 in the second half.

During one stretch in the second half, Copeland saved a loose ball with a head first slide. On the next defensive possession, Smith-Rivera took a charge from the power-packed Carter. Moments later, Copeland blocked Stone at the rim and then raced back for a putback dunk. Hayes soon added his own stuff for a 43-37 lead. 

Derrickson offered little help against Radford, but he found his range at Xfinity Center. The stretch-4 made three 3-pointers. 

With so many missing pieces, Thompson went deep into his bench when he turned to seldom-used forward Trey Mourning and walk-on Riyan Williams. Even with such randomness, the Hoyas nearly defied the naysayers, until they didn't.

Now Georgetown faces Wisconsin on Friday followed by either Duke or VCU.

"We have an unforgiving schedule coming up," Thompson said. "It doesn't get any easier. 

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

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Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

A bombshell article published Friday morning by Pat Forde and Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports details potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players.

Several of the biggest names and programs in college basketball were referenced in the Yahoo! report, including former Maryland Terrapin, Diamond Stone.

According to documents and bank records that are part of an FBI investigation, Stone received $14,303 while a freshman at Maryland, a clear violation of NCAA rules. 

Former NBA agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports was the primary handler dishing out incentives, which included cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other players referenced in the documents include Dennis Smith who played at North Carolina State, Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall, DeMatha star Markelle Fultz who played at Washington and Edrice "Bam" Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

Player's and their families from Duke, Michigan State, USC, North Carolina, Texas and Alabama were also included.

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season before declaring for the 2016 NBA Draft. He was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 


Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon postponed Friday morning's media availability, but he did release the following statement through the school.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone did end up signing with a different agency.

While this is still under investigation, large consequences for the NCAA can be expected.

The NCAA also released a statement following the news. 

These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.

2018 Bubble Watch: Teams are lining up on the edge of the bubble

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2018 Bubble Watch: Teams are lining up on the edge of the bubble

The 2018 bubble watch has been relatively subdued with the plethora of upsets throughout the latter half of the college basketball season. At the same time, teams that are providing these upsets have slowly worked themselves from being a question mark at the bubble to now solidly in the tournament (ie. Virginia Tech).

Of the major conferences, the Big Ten is up in the air on how the end of February/ beginning of March will play out. Remember, to host their tournament in Madison Square Garden, the conference elected to move it a week earlier than the rest of the power leagues. Will it affect how many teams they have in the big dance? Right now they have four teams in but two more are hovering at the bubble.


Aside from the Big Ten, several other teams are striding the line. Many of which have done so all season long. 

Of the teams listed, they are battling for roughly 10 spots in the field of 68.

All rankings and records are as of Thursday, Feb. 22 at 12:00 pm

Oklahoma (16-11, 6-9 Big 12)
RPI: 32     BPI: 43      KenPom: 43    SOS: 12
Could Trae Young’s Oklahoma actually miss the NCAA Tournament? Yes. The Sooners have dropped six straight games and nine of their last 11. Yes, they have racked up the most high-quality wins in the country, but they are in a tailspin. They have beaten Kansas, TCU twice, Texas Tech, and Wichita State, but some of their losses are bad and they are piling up. Of their final three regular season games, two are against bubble teams that are desperate for a respectable win. If they lose out and then don’t make it past the first round of the Big 12 tournament, they are 16-15 (6-12).

St. Mary’s (CA) (25-4, 14-2 WCC)
RPI: 29     BPI: 20      KenPom: 22     SOS: 137
Early season losses to Georgia and Washington State are not as okay as they appeared back in non-conference play. Added to it was their surprising loss to San Francisco has now put the Gaels falling down the slide. Its hard to imagine though a 25-4 team not making the tournament.

Kansas State (20-8, 9-6 Big 12)
RPI: 55      BPI: 47     KenPom: 46     SOS: 73
The Kansas State Wildcats are your typical bubble team. They have beaten everyone in the Big 12 aside from the ranked teams.  They have some good wins but lack a high quality or ‘Quadrant 1’ victory. Their win over Texas on Feb. 21 give them a head-to-head over another team attempting to steal a bubble spot.

Providence (17-11, 8-7 Big East)
RPI: 37     BPI: 72      KenPom: 69     SOS: 20
Being in the Big East will always give a team a strong SOS, but the Providence Friars have lost to teams they should not have. While they have impressive wins over Xavier and Villanova at home, they have a DePaul loss at home that counters one of those wins. Their looming contest against Xavier has now developed into a must-win on Feb. 28.

NC State (19-9, 9-6 ACC)
RPI: 57     BPI: 51      KenPom: 50     SOS: 61
A team that has benefited from a strong conference has been the Wolfpack from NC State. Out of the ACC, NC State had a horrid schedule and even dropped games against Northern Iowa and UNC Greensboro.  However, they have made up for that with some of the most impressive wins in the ACC. They beat Duke, Clemson, and North Carolina on the road to climb back to the bubble watch.

Baylor (17-11, 7-8 Big 12)
RPI: 59     BPI: 37      KenPom: 36     SOS: 23
Beating Kansas and Texas Tech at home are really the only reasons the Baylor Bears are in consideration at the bubble. But, they are in the deepest conference in college basketball this season, which gives them a ton of decent wins that they can add to their resume. The Bears realistically have to win out to get into the dance.

St. Bonaventure (21-6, 11-4 A10)
RPI: 25     BPI:  58     KenPom: 68     SOS: 91
As a borderline bubble team, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies have followed that with a nine-game winning streak and a crucial victory over Rhode Island. As long as the Bonnies take care of their own business and make no worse than the semis in the A10 Tournament, they should be good. Guards Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley are overdue for a tournament berth.


Syracuse (18-10, 7-8 ACC)
RPI: 46     BPI: 52      KenPom: 51     SOS: 22
A month and a half ago, the Syracuse Orange had no business being in the bubble conversation. Still, their four best wins are over Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, and then Buffalo. They have some work to do in their final three weeks.

Louisville (18-10, 8-7 ACC)
RPI: 52     BPI: 35      KenPom: 37     SOS: 29
The Louisville Cardinals are in a worse spot than Syracuse, they only have one would be ‘Quadrant 1’ win at Florida State from nearly two months ago. With all the drama surrounding this program through the entire 2017-18 season, you have to give it to David Padgett for keeping them in the race.

USC (20-9, 11-5 Pac-12)
RPI: 36     BPI: 50      KenPom: 52     SOS: 49
The Pac-12 could be in extreme trouble. If USC does not make the push into the NCAA Tournament, there will only be two teams from that conference dancing. With an interesting resume, there is not much that jumps off the Trojans record. Then again, there isn’t much that takes away from it either.

UCLA (19-8, 10-5 Pac-12)
RPI: 47     BPI: 60      KenPom: 54     SOS: 66
Their win over Arizona solidified their claim to the bubble. Win-out situation upcoming for the Bruins who have been hurt by a weak Pac-12.

Texas (16-12, 6-9 Big 12)
RPI: 54     BPI:  39     KenPom: 41     SOS: 16
The Longhorns have such a good schedule. They’ve played all of their games close, but few close games against high-quality teams have translated to wins.

Marquette (16-11, 7-8 Big East)
RPI: 58     BPI: 45      KenPom: 48     SOS: 18
The Golden Eagles were sitting pretty until a four-game losing streak and a loss to St. John’s took them out of the conference race. Not much room for error with Marquette as they move closer to Selection Sunday.

Nebraska (21-9, 12-5 Big Ten)
RPI: 60     BPI: 61      KenPom: 57     SOS: 101
A win against Michigan and a six-game winning streak in the Big Ten has the Cornhuskers alive despite a sub-.500 SOS. They still need a Big Ten tournament upset to get in.

Washington  (18-9, 8-6 Pac-12)
RPI: 48     BPI: 109   KenPom: 95     SOS: 37
The only reason the Washington Huskies are in this conversation is because they beat Arizona and Arizona State back-to-back.

Utah (17-9. 9-6 Pac-12)
RPI: 49     BPI: 70      KenPom: 60     SOS: 65
Another bubble team that hasn’t done much. They’ve won the games they should have and only have snagged an upset on Arizona State.

Other teams:

Florida (17-11, 8-7 SEC)
RPI: 64     BPI: 34      KenPom: 29     SOS: 39

Georgia (15-12, 6-9 SEC)
RPI: 70     BPI: 84      KenPom: 71     SOS: 48

LSU (16-11, 7-8 SEC)
RPI: 74     BPI: 64      KenPom: 63     SOS: 47

Temple (15-12, 7-8 AAC)
RPI: 44     BPI: 83      KenPom: 85     SOS: 9


Games to Watch This Week:

UCLA at Utah 2/22 – 9:00 pm (ESPN)

Baylor at TCU 2/24 – 12:00 pm (ESPN2)

LSU at Georgia 2/24 – 2:00 pm (ESPNU)

Louisville at Virginia Tech 2/24 pm – 1:00 pm (CBS)

Syracuse at Duke 2/24 – 6:00 pm (ESPN)

Kansas State at Oklahoma 2/24 – 6:00 pm (ESPN2)

No. 12 Auburn vs. Florida 2/24 – 8:30 pm (SECN)

Penn State at Nebraska 2/25 – 5:15 pm (BTN)

NC State at Florida State 2/25 – 6:00 pm (ESPNU)

Oklahoma at Baylor 2/27 – 9:00 pm (ESPN2)

Davidson at St. Bonaventure 2/27 – 9:00 pm (CBSSN)

Providence at No. 4 Xavier 2/28 – 6:30 pm (FS1)