Saturday , Nov , 11 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Georgetown opens season at home against Hartford

Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas welcome
the Hartford Hawks to Washington, D.C., for the season opener for both teams.

Hartford competes in the America East Conference, and the squad posted a 9-7
league mark in 2005-06 after going 4-14 in 2004-05. It is hard to expect a
victory today, however, as the Hawks are just 6-16 in their last 22 season
openers, including 2-14 in openers away from home.

As for Georgetown, it has been picked to finish second in the Big East
Conference, which proved to be the nation’s best league last year. Three
starters are back in place for the Hoyas, and John Thompson III, who is
42-23 in two seasons at the helm of the program.

Georgetown won the only previous meeting between these two teams, a 91-62
thrashing of Hartford during the 1998-99 campaign.

Expectations are not high this season for a Hartford team with just one
returning starter. That lone individual, guard Rich Baker, averaged a lowly
4.7 ppg a year ago. Maybe the best player for the club is swingman Bo Taylor,
who averaged a modest 6.1 ppg in 2005-06 while playing in only eight contests.

First-year head coach Dan Leibovitz clearly has his work cut out with this
group, as Hartford has been picked to finish near the bottom of the America
East standings. The Hawks are inexperienced at the forward position and are
facing a Georgetown squad that has a big and talented frontcourt. Hartford’s
five returning players accounted for only 17 percent of the team’s offense
last year, a concerning stat to say the least.

Last season, Georgetown finished 234th in the nation in scoring with 66.0 ppg,
but the fact that the club was 12th defensively (58.9 ppg allowed) made up for
the lack of offensive punch.

Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert are back in place among others, one of the
reasons the Hoyas have such a high ranking entering the new campaign. Green
posted 11.9 ppg a year ago, while Hibbert checked in with 11.6 ppg. The 7-2
Hibbert appears to be the latest in a long line of great Georgetown centers,
and he should be able to improve on his 6.9 rpg and 54 blocked shots of a
season ago. As for Green, he is a versatile forward who dished out 108 assists
while also helping on the boards. Jonathan Wallace can shoot the three-pointer
effectively and handles the ball with few turnovers, a key to this team’s
success.

Don’t expect this game to be close, as Georgetown figures to be comfortably
ahead by intermission. The Hoyas have to be considered legitimate national
championship contenders, especially because of the tremendous frontcourt.

HARTFORD