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George Washington Basketball Under Investigation
Officials at George Washington University announced a Title IX review of its' men's basketball program following an article in Thursday's Washington Post accusing head coach Mike Lonergan of verbal abuse of his players.
"As reported today by the Washington Post, the George Washington University is undertaking a Title IX review of allegations against men's basketball coach Mike Lonergan," a GWU spokesman told the GW Hatchet. "Some of the reported allegations go beyond the scope of Title IX, and the university is bringing in outside counsel to assist in its investigation. The university expects full cooperation and will not tolerate retaliation during the course of the investigation. We will also continue to inform the student-athletes on our men's basketball team of the university's support and of the resources available to them."
The program has lost 13 transfers in the past five seasons, some of which cited Lonergan as the reason.
"I will not respond to anonymous, unfounded allegations," Lonergan said in a media statement. "These types of accusations have already been investigated by the University and found to be groundless."
Lonergan, who turned down an offer earlier this year to coach at Rutgers, is 97-70 in five seasons at Foggy Bottom, including a 28-10 season in 2015-16 that earned the Colonials the NIT championship.
Optimism For Georgetown's 2016-17 Offense
Assistant coach Anthony Solomon may be adding some more velocity to the Georgetown offense, per an article at Casual Hoya.
"Solomon comes from Notre Dame and Mike Brey's spread attack which for the past several years has produced great guards - most recently NBA draft pick Demetrius Jackson, who Solomon recruited - and highly efficient offense. While Mike Brey has slowed the pace over the last handful of years the offensive system he has built is centered around motion, ball screens leading to guards attacking off the dribble and spreading the floor with shooters. Perhaps no high-major team in college basketball short of Duke spaces the floor as well."
Big 12 Expansion Introduces Big East Scenario
University of Connecticut officials have not commented publicly on reports that it would consider moving basketball and other sports to the Big East Conference if it received a football-only invitation to the Big 12 Conference, as a wave of realignment talk rolled across major college football Wednesday in the wake of the decision of the Big 12 to pursue expansion as early as 2017.
The decision by the Big 12 comes after a review of its TV contracts and the decision of the Atlantic Coast Conference to pursue a cable TV network by 2019 along the lines of the Big Ten and SEC. Expanding to 12 or 14 to accommodate a football playoff game could generate as much as $7 million in additional revenue per current Big 12 school and ease fears that some Big 12 schools might look to leave for comparable revenues elsewhere.
"I would call it a seller's market," said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said to the Dallas Morning News. "We're the sellers and there are a lot of eager buyers."
The issue took off when ESPN basketball writer Andy Katz wrote at ESPN.com that "If UConn found a home for football, the Big East would seriously consider the Huskies for all other sports, according to a source with knowledge. The Big East would be a natural fit. So far the 10-team Big East only has all sports members, but doesn't offer Division I (FBS) football. UConn is in all sports in the AAC. If given the choice, the Huskies would want to be in the Big 12 in all sports. But the chances that offer ever comes is still too hard to predict now."
"UConn officials have privately said everything is under consideration, although the school hasn't been in contact with the Big East," wrote the Hartford Courant, but asked "Why would the Big 12 add UConn for football, which is perceived to be the school's biggest weakness? UConn's athletic selling points are marquee basketball programs that add real value to a league. The Big 12 would seemingly want basketball if it wants UConn - wouldn't a January UConn-Kansas men's basketball game get TV ratings for the conference?"
At issue is Brigham Young University, whose football team plays as an independent but its other sports are found in the West Coast Conference, which abides by BYU's institutional decision not to play games on Sundays. If the Big 12 opted for BYU as football-only, it may well consider another football-only as part of a two or four team expansion in football. Of the various schools in popular discussion (among them Cincinnati, Memphis, Houston, Colorado State, Central Florida, and South Florida), UConn is the most geographically distant from the Big 12 and one where an alternate conference (on this case, the Big East) would be more well received by fans.
"How much does basketball matter in this decision? Does a foothold in New England or New York move the needle for a Texas-based league?" asks USA Today. "If you thought [traveling to] Morgantown was a pain, sending non-revenue sports from Texas to Storrs is even less ideal."
The Big 12 is no stranger itself to the realignment derby, having been founded when the Big 8 picked up four of the nine members of the Southwest Conference in 1996, mortally wounding that conference. It later lost Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri, and added Texas Christian and West Virginia to get back to 10 schools. As a geographical outlier, West Virginia plays heavily into the hopes that an eastern team would be in consideration, despite the sheer distance to such places as Lubbock, TX or Ames, IA for non-revenue sports.
The issue, is, of course, money. The Huskies' current arrangement with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) pays the school about $1.9 million annually, less than half of the per school payouts that the Fox Sports agreement provides with the Big East, but a Big 12 seat could provide as much as $30 million annually over time. A football-only member would receive a share of that amount, but not a full amount.
"Football is an issue, especially the low attendance figure from the past few years," wrote the Courant, where the Huskies averaged just 28,224 last season, less than half of the Big 12's average of 57,347.
There's no loyalty in the AAC, as nearly the entire conference are willing suitors for a bid given the TV payouts and the perceived value of joining one of the five major conferences. Even a school like Tulane, which has wandered in the major college wilderness since leaving the SEC in 1966 and once considered dropping football in the 2000's, would like to be considered. "Tulane's greatest assets in this regard include our academic reputation, our standing among the nation's top research institutions as a member of the AAU and our location in the one of the premier cities in the country, New Orleans," said in a university statement. "We have made over $120 million in capital investments to our athletics facilities over the last several years and we have a veteran group of coaches on staff who have experienced competitive success at all levels." Tulane is not seen as a major player given the state of its football program, however.
Expansion candidates would need votes from eight of the ten schools for an invitation, with two schools, Texas and Oklahoma, expected to exert considerable influence in the decision, expected over the next year.
Hoop Club Picnic At Kenner League
With the closing of Michael Graham's barbecue restaurant earlier this year, this summer's Hoya Hoop Club picnic during the Kenner League will instead be catered by Red Hot & Blue. The event will be held on Saturday, July 23 from 1-3 pm. Registration is closed, with limited walk-up registration available.
Schedule Update: Maui Invitational
The brackets have been set for the Maui Invitational, with Georgetown facing Oregon (31-7 in 2015-16) in its opening round game on Nov. 21. Additional details follow in this link to CSN Mid-Atlantic.com.
Schedule Update: Connecticut
The home game versus Connecticut previously reported for Jan. 21 has been moved to Jan. 14, according to the Hartford Courant.
The game will be during the school year as classes will re-open on Jan. 11.
Schedule Update: Howard
As announced on its web site, Howard University has announced a Nov. 26 game at Georgetown. The Bison were 12-20 last season with an RPI of 328.
The schools have met seven times, most recently in 2010. Georgetown owns a 7-0 advantage in the series.
CBS Sports: Georgetown 5th In Summer Big East View
"Are the Hoyas the Big East's forgotten team?"
So asks CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, placing Georgetown fifth in his ten team summer outlook on the upcoming Big East season.
"Will Thompson extend his bench and play faster to get more players on the floor? Will someone redshirt since there's so many capable bodies with minimal separation? Those questions will be answered in the fall during what should be an extremely competitive preseason considering the amount of playing time that's currently up for grabs in the Hoyas' program."
Here's the review of his 1-10 list, via Twitter:
Big East Preseason Power Rankings: Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall, Georgetown, St. John's, Butler, Marquette, Providence, DePaul.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 11, 2016
Also from Rothstein:
John Thompson III told @CBSSports that Georgetown will consider using Marcus Derrickson at center at times next season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 11, 2016
Georgetown's NBA Pipeline
While Georgetown has not had any NBA draft picks over the last three seasons, its NBA pipeline is still favorably regarded, per an article at Today's U.com.
"Otto Porter, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green and Mike Sweetney were all not only first rounders, but four of them were lottery picks," writes Chris Novak. "Roy Hibbert was the lone player not to be picked in the lottery and he was still a Top 20 pick and finds himself in the league eight years later. Green, too, is still hanging around while Porter has become a pretty good role player for the Wizards."
"The Hoyas may not have had as much success as they would have liked to the last few years. The numbers, though, would indicate that they're still achieving in one very important category."
Sweetney Hosts Basketball Fundraiser
Friday's charity event hosted by former All-American Mike Sweetney (ex '04) caries with it the deep personal story of Sweetney's battles with depression through an abbreviated NBA career.
"A lot of people when they get depressed, they can go to anger. Some people go to drugs; some people go to alcohol," Sweetney told the Washington Post, where his weight approached 400 pounds. "For me, food was my drug. That was my cure. Anything that's not good for your body, I was eating it, whatever I could find."
"I was so bad and so deep, man; I needed professional help," he said. "I felt like I didn't want to be around nobody. I just felt bad. I felt like I failed the media; I felt like I failed myself, my family. It just took me to a bad place." As a result of that help, Sweetney has rededicated himself to speak out and work with umttr, a local group raising awareness of warning signs regarding teen suicide.
"A lot of people suffer in silence, which I did, for years. I just try to build awareness and say hey, talk, get that help, see that psychiatrist or get that medication. Don't suffer in silence. Because it's never going to end well."
NBA Free Agency
A flurry of high money NBA free agent signings took the sports world over the weekend, with many former Georgetown players in the news:
Jeff Green (C'12) signed a one year, $15 million offer from the Orlando Magic, his fifth different team over nine NBA seasons.
Roy Hibbert (C'08), following a rough season with the Los Angeles Lakers, signed a one year, $5 million offer with the Charlotte Hornets. According to the Charlotte Observer, the team owns an option year at $7.2 million if they choose to exercise this for 2017-18.
Greg Monroe (ex '12) was in the midst of trade talks by Milwaukee, who would have to move Monroe's $17.1 million contract to sign Dwayne Wade. In the end, Wade signed with Chicago.
The Philadelphia 76ers exercised a one year, $1.01 million option on forward Hollis Thompson (ex'13).
The New Jersey Nets did not offer center Henry Sims (C'12) a contract but have invited him to its summer league team in hopes of making the team in the fall. Sims played 14 games for the Nets in 2015-16.
The only former player that was not in the off-season signings was Otto Porter (ex'15), whose contract runs through 2017.
2016-17 Roster Announced
The basketball office released its roster and jersey numbers Thursday, a full two months earlier than last year. New numbers to the lineup include:
In addition, senior Reggie Cameron has added a suffix to his name, and is listed as Reggie Cameron II.
A historical list of jersey numbers can be found at the Georgetown Basketball History Project.
2017 Recruit Decommits
Georgetown's addition of three guards for the upcoming season has taken its toll on early 2017 recruiting, as guard Tyler Foster dropped his verbal commitment to the Hoyas, according to reports.
Four-star 2017 shooting guard Tyler Foster is decommitting from Georgetown, sources told ESPN.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 30, 2016
Foster, a 6-5 guard from the Gilman School in Baltimore, committed to the Hoyas in June 2015 over interest from VCU, Maryland, Dayton, and Southern Miss.
Georgetown has two open scholarships for the high school class of 2017.
Stories You Missed
Here's a link to prior coverage from the web site...all the way back to 1997.
Verizon Court Design
An alumnus from the class of 2006 has won a Georgetown contest for designing the Hoyas' home court at Verizon Center. Read more here.
The Class of 2018
There's something special about this year's sophomore class. Read more here.
Follow the construction of the John Thompson Center from a 24-hour on-site camera.