Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Not a Classic without the Hoyas

Competively speaking, the Hoyas were quiet this weekend, but their home court wasn’t. While Georgetown practices in preparation for its second “big” non-conference game of the season, MCI Center was rocking as Princeton, Connecticut, aryland and George Washington took part in the seventh annual BB&T Classic.

The tournament this year featured two local teams this year, but not Georgetown. The tournament featured a Big East team, but not Georgetown. The tournament featured an academically prestigious school, but not Georgetown. Maybe it’s just me, but I consider our absence from the tournament a blatant slap in the face to the program.

And why aren’t we in this tournament? Because Maryland is in it. Funny, I see that as the primary reason we should be in it.

A long time ago, Georgetown used to play Maryland, but that series ended for financial reasons; one school felt like they were getting the short end of the money-making stick (a very potent weapon in these days of money-motivated matchups). After their final meeting in the ’93-’94 season, the rivals never met again until last season in the Sweet 16.

But, apparently Georgetown is still not interested in playing (or invited to play) in the BB&T. And here I think the Hoyas are missing a huge opportunity. The D.C. area has several very high caliber basketball teams that Georgetown simply does not put on its schedule. The only D.C. team that the Hoyas routinely schedule today is Howard, who Georgetown has always beaten by at least 33 points.

Meanwhile, 79th RPI-ranked George Washington is sitting downtown waiting for Kevin Braswell and the boys to show them what Washington basketball is really about. The potential for an inter-city matchup is huge on a fan level, and that’s just against GW. Imagine annual contests against UVA (finally on the schedule this year), or Maryland. Georgetown played the Terps every year from 1946 to 1972 and then eight more times from 1973 to 1980, why not bring this blockbuster matchup back as an annual grudge match?

As it is, Georgetown plays little in the way of early season competition and the nation knows it. Every season the Hoyas pad their win total with what The Washington Post dubbed in their last article to be a “patsy parade.” Pushovers like Grambling, Bethune-Cookman and Towson do nothing to improve the team’s national standing. Georgetown does not gain the experience of playing against stiff competition, nor do the wins help particularly much either.

What Georgetown needs to find is quality mid-level competition to take the place of these “patsies.” Add to these teams Duke and UCLA, who are already scheduled for next season, and you have a respectable schedule.

The RPI ranks the Hoyas 163rd in the nation for strength of schedule. As it stands now, Centenary, Montana State, Middle Tennessee State, Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, Army, Towson, IUPUI, Furman, Radford, Princeton, Penn and Brown all have stronger schedules than Georgetown.

During Big East Media Day, Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun was asked extensively about how he selected his team’s very tough 2001-02 schedule. He responded by saying that he looked at teams that would get UConn onto national television. So, the Huskies face Arizona, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Maryland and Massachusetts in addition to their Big East slate of games.

Meanwhile, the Hoyas will square off against perennial powerhouses like Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State and Bethune-Cookman. While UConn gets time in the national spotlight, Georgetown spends its time playing no-name MEAC teams until it comes time for its big games agaist UVA and UCLA. Now who do you think the top recruits in the nation would rather play for, a team on ESPN or CBS every other week (UConn), or a team that doesn’t even have a local television provider (Georgetown)?

Now don’t get me wrong, what has and is continuing to happen with the scheduling of games against UCLA and Duke is a great thing, but I think the program can do without what amounts to 10 guaranteed wins against no-name teams. Cut that number to four or five, pen in some more mid-level teams like GW and then the program will really get somewhere.

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