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19 Georgetown
Tim Crothers
November 20, 2000
The Hoyas now know that in the end their season had better be spelled NCAA, not NIT
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November 20, 2000

19 Georgetown

The Hoyas now know that in the end their season had better be spelled NCAA, not NIT

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STARTING LINEUP

POS.

PLAYER

HT.

CL.

KEY STAR

SF

Gerald Riley

6'6'

Fr.

28.0 ppr*

PF

Mike Sweetney

6'8'

Fr.

13.0 rpg*

C

Ruben Boumtje Boumtje#

7'0'

Sr.

7.7 rpg

SG

Demetrius Hunter

6'2"

So.

6.0 ppg

PG

Kevin Braswell#

6'2"

Jr.

5.3 apg

1999-2000 record: 19-15

Final rank (coaches' poll): unranked

#Returning starter

*As a high school senior

Much of the optimism at Georgetown this fall can be traced to the eve of the Big East tournament last March, when Hoyas coach Craig Esherick summoned Kevin Braswell to his hotel room to remind him how to play point guard. The pair had previously engaged in similar chats several times during Braswell's two years, with negligible results, but it's amazing how receptive a player can be when his season is one loss away from being over. "Kevin had never really played the point before college, and because he was our best shooter, his first inclination was to shoot," Esherick says. "I told him again how a point guard must make sacrifices to keep his teammates involved, and finally something clicked."

The following night Bras-well produced 19 points and six assists in Georgetown's 70-67 victory over West Virginia, and the Hoyas, error-prone all season, committed just six turnovers. Braswell now admits that the reason he launched 151 more shots than any other Hoya last year was a loss of faith in his teammates. "I got frustrated when I'd make a good pass and somebody missed an open shot, so I started shooting too much," he says. "This season I understand we need better balance to win."

The Hoyas ranked last in the Big East in field goal percentage (39.4%) last season, but Esherick is convinced that the problem is not bad shooters but bad shots. Georgetown also hasn't reached the NCAAs since 1997, and the Hoya seniors face the infamy of becoming the first class since 1974 to not go to the tournament. As a reminder of recent mediocrity, Esherick took the team's banner from the 2000 NIT (they lost in the second round) and, instead of hanging it from the rafters at McDonough Gym, placed it above the urinals in the locker room. "We hate that banner, because it represents the disappointment of a program with such great tradition," center Ruben Boumtje Boumtje says. "We can't wait to earn our way back into the NCAAs and tear that thing down."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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