MEN'S BASKETBALL | Hoyas Announce Home Schedule
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:07
Georgetown’s nonconference home schedule, announced by Head Coach John Thompson III Tuesday afternoon, includes no teams that made the NCAA tournament last season.
After playing Florida in the Navy/Marine Corps Classic in Jacksonville on Nov. 9, the Hoyas will begin a two-game home stand that forms the preliminary rounds of the Legends Classic, the finals of which will be held at the new Barclays Center in New York City on Nov. 19 and 20.
The Blue and Gray will play host to Duquesne in the home opener. The Dukes (16-15, 7-9 Atlantic 10 last season) welcome new Head Coach Jim Ferry, who most recently coached at LIU Brooklyn. The Dukes return two senior starters and seven other players. Ferry also snagged two ESPN two-star recruits, small forward Quevyn Winters and shooting guard Jeremiah Jones.
Liberty (14-18, 9-9 Big South) will visit the nation’s capital for the second game of the preliminaries for the Legends Classic. The Flames finished fifth in the conference last year, but the team lost stars David Minaya and Jesse Sanders to graduation. Although three returnees — junior John Caleb Sanders and seniors Tavares Speaks and Antwan Burrus — made big impacts last season, the team will be relatively inexperienced. Liberty has six newcomers and lacks height, especially compared to Georgetown.
After competing in the Legends Classic, which also includes Georgia, UCLA and potential national No. 1 Indiana, the Hoyas will return to Verizon Center and take on Mount St. Mary’s. While The Mount (8-21, 6-12 Northeast Conference) returns four of their starters — including stellar 6-foot-2 junior guard Julian Norfleet — it’s unlikely that they improve much on last year’s performance given that their four commitments are all unranked by ESPN.
As previously announced, Georgetown will play host to Tennessee on Nov. 30 as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPNU. The Volunteers (19-15, 10-6 SEC) were in the middle of the pack last season, their first under Head Coach Cuonzo Martin. However, Tennessee does not have significant incoming talent, so its prospects for improvement seem mixed.
After facing the Volunteers, the Hoyas will travel back to New York City, where they will play Texas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4.
The Blue and Gray then wedge in four home games before Christmas, beginning with Towson on Dec. 8. The Tigers (1-31, 1-17 CAA) are coming off a rough year. But Head Coach Pat Skerry does have some hope for his second season, mostly due to a recruiting class featuring four ESPN two-star recruits, including No. 31 point guard Jerome Hairston. The game will provide Georgetown fans with their first glimpse at former Hoya Jerelle Benimon since he transferred in the spring of 2011.
Previously independent Longwood, which is entering its first season in the Big South, will come to Verizon on Dec. 10. The Lancers’ (10-21) schedule included some of the weakest teams in the country. Almost all of Longwood’s biggest weapons graduated, however, and the six newcomers are unlikely to elevate the Lancers’ stock.
Western Carolina, whom Georgetown will face on Dec. 15, should be fairly tough. The Catamounts (17-18, 8-10 Southern Conference) closed strongly, almost earning its conference’s automatic NCAA bid before falling in double-overtime to Davidson in the conference final. Western Carolina returns three of last year’s starters and their best bench player. While they also boast three ESPN two-star recruits, the Catamount’s Achilles heel may be their size disparity with the Hoyas.
Georgetown will close the nonconference home schedule in familiar fashion, with a date against American on Dec. 22. This will be the 53rd meeting of the two Northwest D.C. rivals, with the Hoyas holding a 44-8 edge over the Eagles. While American boasted a 20-12 record last season, they were thumped by Georgetown, 81-55. This year’s Eagles are older and more experienced, but two of their best players have graduated, casting doubts on their ability to turn the tables on the Hoyas.
While the Blue and Gray previously announced that they will play conference home games against Marquette, Syracuse, Rutgers, St. John’s, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, DePaul and Providence, the dates for those games have not been set.
Tip times and television arrangements for the games announced on Wednesday will be announced later.