Charles Nailen/The Hoya Freshman att Causey saw limited action at point guard in the Hoyas’ exhibition against the Israeli All-Stars Saturday afternoon.

Without a certain dominant big man inside, it was difficult to recognize the men’s basketball team that routed the Israeli All-Stars as a Georgetown squad. Instead of pounding the ball down low to the long-lost Mike Sweetney, the Hoyas relied on their guards to run a blazingly quick fast break and sink jump shots. Georgetown won the exhibition match over a severely outmatched Israeli team 101-64 Saturday at McDonough Gymnasium.

This new-look Georgetown team had five players in double figures, suggesting that although no one player can fill Sweetney’s shoes after his departure last year to play for the New York Knicks perhaps a rotating committee will try to make up for his absence in scoring and rebounding. Saturday it was sophomore forward Brandon Bowman who shouldered the rebounding load, grabbing 13, and also provided an offensive spark, scoring 15. Senior guard Gerald Riley led the scoring with 19 points.

Esherick went with one of the most experienced lineups he could have realistically chosen, starting sophomore guard Ashanti Cook, Riley, junior swingman Darrell Owens, Bowman and senior center Courtland Freeman. He has not, however, decided on that lineup yet as the one that will begin the season against Grambling on Nov. 21.

“I like the start that we got in the game. I think there were points in the game where those five guys played well together,” Esherick said. “[But] there are some things we have to improve on with that group for me to really be sold on that group starting.”

Freshman forward Sead Dizdarevic did not dress for the game because he is waiting to be cleared by the NCAA. Esherick said that the clearinghouse process often takes longer with foreign players; Dizdarevic is from Serbia and Montenegro. Esherick did not seem perturbed by the delay. “I don’t think there’s an issue there that any of us have to worry about,” he said.

Esherick anticipates Dizdarevic being allowed to play soon, perhaps in time for the Princeton scrimmage on Nov. 9.

Freshman guards Ray Reed and Matt Causey subbed for Cook at point guard. Causey scored just once, had four assists and three turnovers. Esherick said Causey has not yet fully recovered from the knee surgery he underwent in July.

Reed turned in a strong performance off the bench, scoring 12, grabbing six scrappy boards and leading the team with six assists.

The number of turnovers (19) and the defensive play was generally not up to the level that will be required when the Hoyas start the season against Grambling and go on to play their Big East schedule.

“I’ve only spent a couple days really focusing on defense in practice, and I think it shows,” Esherick said. “I don’t think we played particularly well on defense today, but I think some of that is my fault.”

Rebounding was another question, as the Hoyas are particularly aware of the need to make up for the loss of Sweetney’s rebounding presence. They did outrebound the Israelis, 52-33.

“There were some times when they got some offensive rebounds they shouldn’t have gotten,” Esherick said.

Freeman grabbed just three rebounds, but Reed had six and Riley had seven.

“I’m more worried about bigger guys and our mid-level guys rebounding-wise,” Esherick said. “I think our guards are rebounding the heck out of the ball.”

The Israelis scored the first basket of the game before allowing Georgetown to go on a 19-0 run.

Two fouls each by Causey and Freeman in the span of two minutes let the Israelis start to get back in the game, as they went on a 10-2 run toward the end of the first half.

“It was the only part of the game where we were playing poorly, and I think Ray Reed really gave us a boost,” Esherick said. “He made some layups and got some big offensive rebounds, and I thought he got us going.”

Riley scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half.

“He really took the game to a different level in the second half and basically ended Israel’s chance of getting back in the game,” Esherick said.

The Israelis were led by Shimon Amsalem, who scored 24. The visitors were forced to wear Georgetown away uniforms because of a luggage mix-up, so the court featured two Gerald Rileys, the real one wearing blue, and the Israeli version in white. The court was filled with similar doppelgangers.

The Hoyas’ next preseason game – a scrimmage at Princeton on Nov. 9 – is closed to the public.

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