Five takeaways following Georgetown's win over DePaul


Five takeaways following Georgetown's win over DePaul

Postgame thoughts following Georgetown's 74-63 win over DePaul Saturday. The Hoyas (10-6) improved to 3-1 in Big East play.

• Trailing 30-28 at halftime, Hoyas coach started swingman L.J. Peak and freshman center Jessie Govan over Tre Campbell and Bradley Hayes respectively. "They were playing well," Thompson explained. "Nothing other than that."

While accurate, it's a bit more big picture with the center exchange. The 7-foot Hayes, in the midst of a breakout senior season, is more of a classic, low post big man. Nothing wrong with that, though foul trouble limited him to eight minutes against the Blue Demons. Yet when Hayes handles the ball away from the basket, something Thompson tasks his centers with doing, he limits the offense.

That's no knock on Hayes. That's been the undesired norm for several seasons regardless of which bigs Thompson deployed. That's why Govan is a game-changer and a playbook opener.  He sank his lone 3-point attempt against DePaul, improving to 8 of 13 (61.5%) on the season. Though only credited with one assist, Govan again showed a deft touch with passing to cutters from the high post.

Thompson discussed this with over the summer and again after Georgetown's second win over DePaul since Dec. 30.

"It means a lot," he said of Govan's diversified skill set. "There's a whole plethora of sets and reads the last couple of years we've just abandoned because we don't have the big that can make that shot. ...It opens things up. His man just can't sit under the basket because he can make that shot. So all of a sudden the cutting and passing is open or they're going to give him those shots."

As for whether the 6-foot-10 freshman might start Wednesday at St. John's, Thompson wouldn't say, but he didn't dismiss the idea either.

"If you're asking me who is going to start the next game," Thompson said, "we'll see how practice goes."

• Peak coming off the bench remains good for the Hoyas because of his energy and penchant for foul trouble, though he only received one Saturday. He scored 11 points late in the first half when DePaul threatened to open a sizeable lead and finished with 17.

• D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera isn't a point guard, but a basketball player. That's a point Thompson emphasized when a reporter tried labeling the senior with a specific position. It's also true. "DSR" certainly isn't a natural floor general. He entered college with a scorer's mentality, one he's maintained during his four seasons.

However, Smith-Rivera's game has undergone an evolution in part because 6-foot-3 guard rarely play off the ball on the pro level, but also because that's what the Hoyas need. Against DePaul, the senior matched his career-high with eight assists without committing a turnover and while matching Peak with 17 points. Over his last four games, he has 25 assists.

"I haven't really looked at what his scoring is, but I think D'Vauntes is playing at a high level right now," Thompson said. "He's getting his own as well s getting other people a lot of shots. Pretty soon ...he's coming along, to get other people shots. "

• Isaac Copeland led the Hoyas in scoring earlier this season. Based on his impressive freshman season, this didn't come as a shock even with Smith-Rivera around. The 6-foot-9 forward has the size for interior combat and the feathery touch to thrive beyond the 3-point arc.

None of that is happening now. The sophomore missed all six of his first half attempts and went 2 of 10 against DePaul. After hitting a jumper with 6:50 left in the first half against Marquette, he went 94 minutes before his next basket, a 3-pointer one minute into the second half Saturday. Copeland matched Marcus Derrickson with a team-high seven rebounds.

• Georgetown attempted a season-high 31 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, the sixth most in program history. That's clearly a lot and probably too many, but at least the Hoyas sank 11 and still managed consistent trips to the free throw line. After taking seven in Tuesday's loss at Creighton, Georgetown made 23 of 32. 

"Particularly in the second half we wanted to make a conscious effort to get into the paint," Thompson said. "For the whole game I think 31 threes were too many, but with that being said their defensive strategy is really pack it in the paint. With all penetration they were just clogging it in there, so the kick outs were open." 

Other than Peak (3 of 4), Georgetown's shooters struggled from distance, including Copeland (1 of 6), Smith-Rivera (2 of 8), Cameron (2 of 7) and Derrickson (1 of 3). Waiting for a perfect look hurt at times and led to shots late in the shot clock. 

• Thompson said the plan involved using 1-2-2 zone looks mixed in with some 3/4 court traps. DePaul shot under 31 percent (8 of 26) in the second half and 35.7 percent overall. "I think we did pretty good," Govan said. "I think we were really focused on our coverages with their screens and I think we did well today."

MORE HOYAS: Second half runs lead Georgetown over DePaul

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

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

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

Among some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball includes 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 and his former associate, Christian Dawkins of ASM Sports were dishing out the incentives. Included were cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other player's included 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 Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

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

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

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 released this 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)