Five days into the National Letter of Intent signing period, Georgetown Head Men’s Basketball Coach Craig Esherick announced the Hoyas’ first two signings for the class of 2007. Local product Darian Townes, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Carroll High School in Washington D.C. and Matt Causey, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Ga., both committed to attend Georgetown yesterday.

Various recruiting sources have widely reported both signings for some time. Townes reportedly gave a verbal commitment to Esherick last fall. The NCAA, however, prohibits Georgetown from announcing anything officially until a recruit signs a binding letter of intent.

“Darian got my attention when he was in the 10th grade,” Esherick said. “The more I watched him play, the more I wanted him to come here.”

Townes averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds per game in his junior season at Carroll. The strongest aspect of his game, however, is his defense. Last year, he averaged five blocks per game. As a sophomore at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., he blocked 183 shots; breaking former Georgetown and NBA star Alonzo ourning’s (CAS ’92) single-season record for high school players in the state of Va.

“His offensive game still needs some work,” Esherick said. “He’s an exceptional defensive player.”

Signing Townes helps fill a natural hole for the Hoyas fill in the future. Georgetown is well-stocked in the frontcourt now, but its four top frontcourt players, senior center Wesley Wilson, senior forward Victor Samnick, senior forward Courtland Freeman and junior forward Mike Sweetney will all leave in the next two seasons.

The signing of Causey is somewhat more intriguing. Recruiting analyst Dave Telep reported on his Web site last April that Causey had given Esherick a verbal commitment after visiting Georgetown.

“Matt can play both guards and he’s an excellent outside shooter,” Esherick said.

Causey averaged 18 points and nine assists per game last year at two different high schools, Berkmar and East Hall in Gainesville, Ga. He transferred schools in the middle of the year in hopes of gaining more exposure to college coaches and scouts.

“I think he probably wanted to go to a bigger school and a bigger region, one that’s more competitive day-in and day-out,” Berkmar Head Coach David Boyd told the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post in January.

He will face stiff competition for playing time in his initial years as a Hoya. Georgetown has stacked the backcourt with young players, namely sophomore guards Drew Hall and Tony Bethel and freshman guard Ashanti Cook.

Esherick indicated, however, that this competition did not bother Causey.

“It was clear it wasn’t something that was a concern of his,” Esherick said. “If it was, he wouldn’t have come here. He was heavily recruited.”

Causey becomes the second member of the Hoyas from the state of Georgia. He joins junior guard/forward Gerald Riley, who is a graduate of Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, Ga.

“It’s just like the Louisiana connection we had that started with [guard] Steve Martin (COL ’79). We’ve had about 10 kids from there since then.” Esherick said. “When you have kids that enjoy their college experience, they tell other kids.”

Esherick said he was not sure whether the Hoyas would add anyone else to their Class of 2007. He said that if Georgetown were to add another player, it would likely be a frontcourt player, given everyone the Hoyas will lose to graduation in the next two years. any have speculated that this open slot could go to Patrick Ewing Jr., the son of Hoya legend and current Wizards Assistant Coach Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85). Ewing was a teammate of Causey’s on the Georgia Stars AAU team this past summer. Before the start of the school year, he transferred from Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga. to National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md. Ewing Jr. has yet to announce any college plans.

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