Georgetown: Five things to know after upsetting loss


Georgetown: Five things to know after upsetting loss

WASHINGTON -- Five takeaways following Georgetown's shocking 82-80 double overtime loss to Radford Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.

Inexperience: Nine players took the court for the Hoyas, including All-Big East guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Of the nine, six are underclassmen, including three freshman. That doesn't count senior center Bradley Hayes, who scored 19 of his 49 career points Saturday, and junior forward Reggie Cameron, both back benchers for most of last season. At times, primarily in the first half, the lineup included just freshmen and sophomores. This isn't uncommon for this era of college basketball, but it's new for the Hoyas under coach John Thompson III, who leaned on his experienced options late. Smith-Rivera played 29 of the possible 30 minutes after halftime. Talent is one thing and the Hoyas have plenty. Harnessing it is another. By the way, Radford started four seniors, including hero Rashun Davis, who hit the game-winning 3-pointers and finished with 28 points. That helped the Highlanders whenever the Hoyas appeared ready for a game-deciding push.

Looking ahead: Cannot answer this with any certainty either way, but perhaps all that youth led to some looking ahead and past Radford. Tuesday's upcoming game against Maryland dominated local conversation or months. From there, Georgetown plays Wisconsin and either Duke or VCU. No offense to Radford, but those programs are national headliners. Asked about the look ahead possibility, Thompson said, "I don’t think so. They just outplayed us. Who knows what’s in these kids minds, but we were focused. ...We’ll go back and we’ll talk about it, but I told this group every single game on this schedule is tough. There is nothing easy. You play against team like that that has gone to the postseason, has won 22-23 games last couple of years, has all those seniors on the team. They know how to win, they know what it takes and they are coming here to win. I don’t think we were looking ahead, I think they just beat us."

Oh, Thompson is right. Radford's play won the game, though Georgetown certainly helped. 

Hoya Hustle Hurting: "Significantly," was Thompson's answer to a question about how much rebounding woes and energy plays by Radford contributed to the loss. The Big South program doesn't start anything close to a big lineup. Brandon Holcomb, a 6-foot-8, 215-pounder, doubles as the Highlanders' tallest and beefiest player. Even after losing big men Josh Smith and Mikael Hopkins to graduation, even without injured forward Paul White, Georgetown used five players 6-foot-7 or taller. Yet Radford finished with a 43-37 advantage on the glass including 15 offensive rebounds. It wasn't the board work that hurt the Hoyas, but also numerous 50-50 balls the Highlanders tracked down. Other than a brief spurt in the second half and those frantic finishes at the end of regulation, the Hoyas lacked a spark, a spark often provided last season by Aaron Bowen, another player lost to graduation.

Leadership: Let's not let the main man and senior guard off the hook. Smith-Rivera scored all 15 of his points after halftime. That included Georgetown's final two baskets with his second layup giving the Hoyas an 80-79 lead with one minute left. You want your big time players stepping up late, but you also want them setting the tone. Smith-Rivera went scoreless in the first half and committed two of their seven turnovers. During that time, Radford's confidence grew and never wavered. 

“I just think, in the first half, I started off flat and it carried over to the rest of the team," Smith-Rivera stated. "For the most part, I take the blame for how we started the game off and, coming down the stretch, we just needed to make plays we felt like we usually make and we got a lot of open shots that we just didn’t make.”

The senior isn't a fiery leader type, but rather a lead-by-example player. Considering the roster's youth, Thompson needs DSR's energy and smarts on point from the jump.

Ball movement is back -- For all the Princeton talk always associated with a JT3 offense, the Hoyas went away from that scheme much of the last two seasons. Having Josh Smith hunkered down on the low post took away potential cut/driving lanes. With this group, one with versatile bigs and forward, Georgetown reverted back to more of the motion offense look. Granted the efficiency lacked in the opener.

The Hoyas had 17 turnovers -- to 14 assists -- and the Highlanders turned the miscues into 20 points.

Georgetown was also outscored in the paint 36-34 despite Hayes' production. In time, the ability to spread the court and open the interior for back door looks puts the offense in Thompson's desired comfort zone.

The ball movement played a factor in the Hoyas taking 20 free throws in the first half. After making their first 18, Georgetown missed nine of 14.

Five players made at least one 3-pointer including freshman center Jessie Govan. Georgetown made 7 of 12 3-pointers in the second half, but went 0 for 10 during all other periods. Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak missed open shots with a chance to seal with the win.

Thompson said he wasn't sure if there were any positives from the loss. Perhaps he'll find some comfort in the general offensive flow upon further film review. Maybe not.

MORE HOYAS: 3 Terp opponents suffer mid-major losses in season's first 24 hours

Virginia Tech tumbles out of AP top 25 after shocking loss to Old Dominion


Virginia Tech tumbles out of AP top 25 after shocking loss to Old Dominion

After a season-high seven ranked teams lost, the back half of the AP college football poll got a makeover on Sunday. Five teams entered the Top 25, including No. 17 Kentucky for the first time since 2007 and No. 22 Duke.

At the top it was mostly status quo, with Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State staying Nos. 1-4. LSU moved up to No. 5, swapping places with Oklahoma after the Sooners needed overtime to get by Army. Alabama received a season-high 60 first-place votes. Clemson had one.

Kentucky is unbeaten and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time since 1977. The last time the Wildcats were ranked was Nov. 11, 2007. Kentucky reached No. 8 under coach Rich Brooks that season and upset No. 1 and eventual national champion LSU, but finished unranked.

Duke is ranked for the first time since October 2015, giving the football poll a basketball feel. The Wildcats and Blue Devils were last ranked at the same in September 1957.


1. Alabama 4-0 (60 votes, no change from last week)

2. Georgia 4-0 (No change from last week)

3. Clemson 4-0 (1 vote, no change from last week)

4. Ohio State 4-0 (No change from last week)

5. LSU 4-0 (No. 6 last week)

6. Oklahoma 4-0 (No. 5 last week)

7. Stanford 4-0 (No change from last week)

8. Notre Dame 4-0 (No change from last week)

9. Penn State 4-0 (T-No. 10 last week)

10. Auburn 3-1 (No. 9 last week)

11. Washington 3-1 (T-No. 10 last week)

12. West Virginia 3-0 (No change from last week)

13. UCF 3-0 (No. 16 last week)

14. Michigan 3-1 (No. 19 last week)

15. Wisconsin 3-1 (No. 18 last week)

16. Miami 3-1 (No. 21 last week)

17. Kentucky 4-0 (Not ranked last week)

18. Texas 3-1 (Not ranked last week)

19. Oregon 3-1 (No. 20 last week)

20. BYU 3-1 (No. 25 last week)

21. Michigan State 2-1 (No. 24 last week)

22. Duke 4-0 (Not ranked last week)

23. Mississippi State 3-1 (No. 14 last week)

24. California 3-0 (Not ranked last week)

25. Texas Tech 3-1 (Not ranked last week)


The Atlantic Coast Conference has three ranked teams in the Top 25 for the third time in four regular-season polls. No. 3 Clemson has played mostly as advertised and No. 16 Miami is slowly creeping back up the rankings after a lopsided opening loss to LSU sent the Hurricanes tumbling out of the top 10.

Florida State lasted one week in the rankings and now Virginia Tech is out after maybe the most stunning result of the season so far. The Hokies lost 49-35 at previously winless Old Dominion. Boston College seemed to be emerging as a possible dark horse, but the Eagles also lasted only week. BC lost 30-13 at Purdue on Saturday after being No. 23 last week.

Unbeaten Duke moving in kept the ACC from becoming the first Power Five conference to have a week this season with only two ranked teams.

Two seasons removed from Clemson winning a national title, Louisville's Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy -- with Clemson's Deshaun Watson as runner-up -- and the ACC finishing with a 9-3 record in bowl games, the conference could use a team or two to separate from the mediocrity. North Carolina State (3-0) and Syracuse (4-0) are the only other unbeaten teams in the ACC, along with Clemson.


Joining Kentucky and Duke, ranked for the first time since October 2015, were two newcomers to this season's rankings and one returner.

-- No. 18 Texas, which started the season ranked No. 23 but lost its opener to Maryland, has its first three-game winning streak in four years.

-- No. 24 California slipped into the rankings for the first time since October 2015 during an off week. The Bears have wins against BYU and North Carolina.

-- No. 25 Texas Tech is in after a convincing victory at Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders were ranked briefly last season.


Exiting the rankings along with Virginia Tech and Boston College were two Big 12 teams and one from the SEC.

-- Oklahoma State, a week after impressing at home, is out.

-- TCU followed up its loss to Ohio State by falling at Texas.

-- No. 22 Texas A&M played Alabama closer than any team so far this season, but it was not good enough to stay ranked.


SEC -- 6 teams (Nos. 1, 2, 5, 10, 17, 23).

Big Ten -- 5 (Nos. 4, 9, 14, 15, 21).

Big 12 -- 4 (Nos. 6, 12, 18, 25).

Pac-12 -- 4 (Nos. 7, 11, 19, 24).

ACC -- 3 (Nos. 3, 16, 22).

Independent -- 2 (Nos. 8, 20).

American -- 1 (13).


No. 4 Ohio State at No. 9 Penn State. The two highest scoring teams in the country.

No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame. First top-10 matchup between Cardinal and Fighting Irish.

No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington. The Cougars try to knock off another highly ranked UW on the road after getting Wisconsin.

No. 12 West Virginia at No. 25 Texas Tech. No. 3 in passing yards per game (WVU) against No. 1 (Tech).

No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 Cal. Last time the Ducks and Bears played with both ranked was 2007.

No. 13 Virginia Tech upset by winless Old Dominion, backup QB

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No. 13 Virginia Tech upset by winless Old Dominion, backup QB

NORFOLK, Va. -- This was supposed to be a relatively easy road trip for Virginia Tech. Cross the state, connect with some its fans and maybe a few recruits there, and pick up a routine victory against Old Dominion.

The Monarchs and their backup quarterback turned the Hokies first visit to their stadium into maybe the most notable victory in school history -- in any sport.

Blake LaRussa came off the bench to throw for 495 yards and four touchdowns to lead Old Dominion to a 49-35 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech on Saturday in the Hokies' first game at the cross-state school that restarted its football program in 2009.

LaRussa, who entered the game on ODU's second series, completed 30 of 49 and rushed for a touchdown to lead the 28-point underdog Monarchs (1-3) to a stunning win over the Hokies (2-1) from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech started the season with a decisive victory as an underdog against Florida State and now the Hokies are on the receiving end of what will likely be one of the biggest upsets of the season.

"I told them, `I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible,'" Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said about his team. "When everybody told you you didn't have any chance in that first game, and all you did was work your tails off.' And then now we get all feeling good about ourselves and we got brought back down to earth. We got what we deserved."

Jeremy Cox's 40-yard touchdown run with 1:34 remaining sealed the stunner. After the game, the ODU faithful stormed the field.

Longtime ODU coach Bobby Wilder called it "one of the biggest moments in Hampton Roads sports history."

Virginia Tech beat ODU 38-0 in Blacksburg last year. This was the second meeting of a scheduled 13 over 14 seasons, including six in Norfolk.

The Hokies led 28-21 after a 72-yard touchdown pass from Josh Jackson to Damon Hazelton with 32 seconds left in the third quarter, but ODU scored on its next two possessions, taking a 35-28 lead on a 15-yard touchdown run by Cox with 9:57 to go - the Monarchs' first lead of the game.

Things got worse for Virginia Tech, as Jackson went down with a lower leg injury on the first play of the ensuing drive. Backup quarterback Ryan Willis led the Hokies on a 75-yard march that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cunningham with 7:15 remaining, tying the game at 35.

But the Hokies simply had no answer for ODU. LaRussa polished off a 75-yard drive with a beautiful 29-yard fade pattern to Jonathan Duhart for a touchdown with 5:11 left that put ODU ahead to stay.

"At night when you dream about this game, this is what you picture," Monarchs wide receiver Travis Fulgham said.

Led by LaRussa and Cox, ODU finished with 632 yards against a Virginia Tech team that has prided itself on defense for decades under coordinator Bud Foster. Cox rushed for 130 yards.

"Very disappointed in how we competed," Foster said. "I just didn't think we competed for balls. We played just poor technique. We weren't ready to play is the bottom line and I take full responsibility for that."

Steven Peoples paced the Hokies with a career-high 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jackson threw two touchdown passes before leaving with the injury. Fuente did not have an immediate update on Jackson's condition.


Virginia Tech: The Hokies looked flat coming off an unscheduled open week courtesy of Hurricane Florence, which forced last Saturday's cancellation of Virginia Tech's game against East Carolina. The Hokies' defense looked nothing like the unit that had given up just 20 points combined in the first two games.

Foster will have to shore up a banged-up secondary as Tech heads into ACC play.

ODU: The Monarch appear to have found a leader in LaRussa, who came into the game with 183 yards passing as a reserve, but surpassed that in the first half. The 5-foot-11 LaRussa showed uncanny accuracy against Virginia Tech's man coverage, taking advantage of the 6-foot-3 Duhart and 6-3 Travis Fulgham (188 yards). He may just be the spark the Monarchs needed after getting off to a dismal 0-3 start that included losses to Liberty, FIU and Charlotte.


Frustrations boiled over at several points throughout the second half for the Hokies, who ended up being penalized seven times for 95 yards. The cluster of penalties included four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which drew the ire of Fuente.

"It's inexcusable," Fuente said. "What happened was we got in the middle of a real game - a real competitive game and things weren't going our way, and that's how we responded. And that's inexcusable.


Virginia Tech could very likely be unranked on Sunday when the new AP poll is released.


Virginia Tech: The Hokies open ACC play next Saturday when they take on Duke in Durham, North Carolina.

ODU: The Monarchs travel to East Carolina.


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