Feb. 26, 2012
Double-Byes and Good-Byes!!
Fresh from their blowout, Gray Out victory against Villanova on Saturday, the Hoyas face Notre Dame on Monday at Verizon Center with a great chance to improve their standing in the Big East Tournament double-bye sweepstakes. Notre Dame helped make this possible by their 61-58 loss to
Monday’s game is also Senior Night when we honor senior leaders Jason Clark and Henry Sims. It does not seem possible that Jason and Henry will be playing their last home game for the Hoyas. I still remember Jason, the O’Connell High School star and D.C. Met Player of the Year, sitting behind the Hoya bench for so many games in high school. And I remember Jason, Henry and their fellow class recruit Greg Monroe playing in the Kenner League as incoming freshmen almost four years ago now. Monroe, of course, has gone on to star for the Detroit Pistons, and it is almost frightening to think how good this year’s bunch of overachievers would have been if he had stayed for four years.
Henry Sims arrived on the Hilltop in summer 2008 from
As a freshman, playing behind Monroe and Julian Vaughn, Sims averaged 1.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 9.8 minutes in 28 games. As a sophomore, his numbers actually declined to 1.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 6.8 minutes per game. With
Rededicating himself to basketball, Henry has dramatically picked up his offensive game during his senior season and is now a central wheel in the Hoyas’ offensive game plan. He leads the team in assists with 3.5 per game, most coming on backdoor cut passes he makes from above the free throw line to streaking teammates. He is averaging 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. His offensive arsenal now includes a sweet hook shot, a quick first step blow by to the hoop, a medium range jumper, racing down the floor in transition after snatching a rebound, and a free throw percentage of 71.9%. A consistent double figure scorer, he achieved his career-high point game against Memphis in the Maui Invitational with 24 points. He also notched a career double-double against
While there has been much talk this season about the youth of this year’s team and the development of Sims, there is little doubt that senior Jason Clark is the team’s heart and soul. A three-year starter, Clark, former D.C. Met and Virginia State Player of the Year at O’Connell, has always been willing to step up, both offensively and defensively, when the situation called for it. During the Snowmageddon game against Villanova as a sophomore, he notched 6 of 7 three-pointers in tallying 24 points in the Hoyas’ rout of the Wildcats. As a junior, Jason scored 26 points in the overtime victory against
Jason’s statistics have improved each year that he has been with the Hoyas. As a freshman, he averaged 5.2 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game and 30 steals. As a sophomore, his numbers improved to 10.5 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, and 49 steals. As a junior, his scoring average reached 12.0 points, his rebounds increased to 4.1 and he notched 41 steals. This season, to date, he is scoring at a 14.5 per game clip, rebounding again at a 4.1 carom per game pace, and has already garnered 47 steals. Jason’s 1293 career points ranks him 22d in points and his 177 three-pointers ranks him fourth behind Austin Freeman with 187, Kevin Braswell with 189 and Jonathan Wallace’s 240. His 161 steals is tied for 16th with Anthony Perry. He also has played 3548 minutes, ranking him 15th all time. With lengthy tournament runs, he could end up in the Top 10. More importantly, Jason seems to have that sixth sense to know when his team needs him to step up and hit a big shot. Villanova Coach Jay Wright paid tribute to Jason after Saturday’s rout of the Wildcats: “I think he is one of the best players in the country. If his goal was to get 30 tonight, he could have. He’s just an assassin.”
Thank you Jason and Henry for the enjoyment you have given Hoya fans the past four years. Best wishes for the rest of the season starting with Notre Dame and for your future careers. You have made us proud!!
The Hoyas game against Notre Dame is a must win!! Notre Dame has had an extraordinary Big East season but they are not quite as good away from
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