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"Save the Dates"

I'm a rather conservative person when it comes to making pronouncements about upcoming games while they're still upcoming (or even in progress). I was burned once my freshman year when Georgetown took a 45-36 lead over Villanova with about 10 minutes to go in the game, and I loudly suggested (and gestured) to their fans across the tunnel from my seat in the student section (now my seat in Young Alum Section 118) that the game was over. Nova closed the game on a 23-11 run to pull out a 59-56 victory, and I learned to keep my mouth shut (most of the time).

This being said, I don't consider it tempting fate to suggest that the Georgetown Hoyas will hold a significant competitive advantage as they take on the Winston-Salem State Rams this Saturday night at 7:30pm in McDonough Memorial Gymnasium.

The Rams (under first year coach Bobby Collins) are 1-12 in their second season of a five-season transition from Division II to Division I (the Rams will join the MEAC in 2010-2011). Their lone win of the season came on November 14 against Division II Anderson. In two recent games against Big East opponents, the Rams fell to Notre Dame in South Bend (90-45) and at home to South Florida (63-43).

The on-court matchup on Saturday figures to be imposing for the Rams, whose tallest player is seldom-used 6'9" reserve Julian Murphy-Long.

Nonetheless, even if the Rams face a height deficit against the Hoyas, the WSSU program matches up well with Georgetown in two rather interesting areas.

The first is in National Championships. Under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Clarence "Big House" Gaines, Winston-Salem State went 31-1 in 1967 and captured the NCAA College Division (or Division II as we now know it) National Championship. Gaines, who was named the NCAA College Division Coach of the Year in 1967, retired in 1993 with 828 career victories, which currently stands as the 6th most among NCAA men's basketball coaches.

In addition to Hall of Fame Coaches (John Thompson was enshrined in 1999), Georgetown and WSSU also each have an alumnus on the NBA's 1996 50 Greatest Players list. Patrick Ewing's accomplishments are well known to Hoya fans young and old, but NBA fans should also be well-acquainted with Winston-Salem State alum Earl "The Pearl" Monroe , who averaged 41.5 points per game in his senior season for the National Champion Rams in 1967. Drafted 2nd overall by the Baltimore Bullets in the 1967 NBA Draft, The Pearl averaged 24.3 points per game on his way to NBA Rookie of the Year Honors. Monroe was instrumental in the Bullets-Knicks rivalry of the late 60s and early 70s, though it was with the latter that he captured the 1973 NBA Championship. In all, The Pearl tallied 17,454 points, 2.796 rebounds, 3,594 assists, four All-Star Appearances, and a 1969 NBA First Team honor in his illustrious career.

With any luck, Georgetown fans might be seeing the next NBA legend (or coaching legend) in the making at McDonough this Saturday.

Here's how to follow the Hoyas as they take on Winston-Salem State:

IF YOU'RE IN THE AREA: I sent an email to the kind folks in McDonough this week, and they informed me that (as of Wednesday afternoon), tickets are still available for Saturday night's game. So if you're still looking for a hot date for the weekend, Jeff Green is dying to see you at McDonough Arena around 7:30-ish.

Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by calling the McDonough ticket window at (202) 687-2449.

IF YOU (OR YOUR BARTENDER) GET A LOT OF CHANNELS: Former Hoya Mark Tillmon ('90) will be providing color commentary along with Jason Knapp on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) starting at 7:30pm. To find out if your television provider carries MASN, check out this link to MASN on your TV .

(You'll recognize me wearing my good-luck-charm-until-we-lose, a blue and gray striped necktie.)

IF YOU'RE COUNTING YOUR "OH MY!"'s: The Voice of the Hoyas Dr. Rich Chvotkin will be calling his 1,005th Georgetown basketball game live from the McDonough rafters, where his statistician and son Evan dodged a flying size XL last game during the t-shirt toss. You can listen to Dr. Rich (and overhear Evan in the background) on WWRC-1260 AM at the link here.

I caught Dr. Rich's appearance Thursday night on NewsChannel 8's SportsTalk with Glen Harris. Rich spoke with Glen on a wide range of topics including the greatest Hoya games he's broadcast over the years (a question asked by caller/HHC Vice President "Bill from McLean"), Georgetown's upcoming recruiting class, and his experience in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. The broadcast ended with some highlights of Rich's play-by-play call of the Oral Roberts game. It NEVER gets old listening to Dr. Rich call a game.

As we wind down the non-conference portion of our schedule and count down the days remaining in a very successful 2006 campaign for Georgetown menâÂÂÂ?TMs basketball, the Hoya Hoop Club Blog wants to let you in on a few upcoming events and news items for early 2007:

THE SAVE THE DATE TO END ALL SAVE THE DATES: As the song goes, Christmas Comes But Once a Year. What about an event that comes but once every hundred years?

This week, many Hoop Club members should have received a Save the Date announcement in the mail about the 100th Anniversary celebration on February 10, 2007. The celebration includes the 12:00pm game at the Verizon Center against Marquette, followed by the Anniversary Gala Celebration in the evening. A reception will be held at 6:30pm followed by dinner at 7:30pm.

The venue for the Gala Celebration will be the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC on 22nd and M Streets, NW.

Tickets for the Gala are $175 for Hoya Hoop Club members, $225 for non-members. You can make your reservations (and find out more information about sponsorship opportunities) by emailing GUHoyas100@georgetown.edu or by calling Rachael Froelich at 202-393-7060.

If youâÂÂÂ?TMd like to see the full blurb about the Gala, as well as a list of all upcoming Hoyas Unlimited Events, check out the HU Events Page here.

ROAD TRIP!: The Hoya Hoop Club is proud to announce the return of Away Game Bus Trips this season. I was a three-time road-tripper last season (Navy, UConn, and South Florida) and nothing gets me more excited than proudly wearing the blue and (mostly) gray into enemy territory and supporting our teams. This year the Hoop Club is making it even easier for you to support the Hoyas on the road.

Here's the information you need to know about our two road trips:

Seton Hall (Friday, January 19, 2007)
Departs: 1:30pm from the McDonough parking lot
Game Time: 7:30pm at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ

Villanova (Saturday, February 17, 2007)
Departs: 8:00am from the McDonough parking lot
Game Time: 12:00pm at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA

The cost for each roadtrip is $50 per person, which includes a game ticket, bus ride, and snacks.

(NOT INCLUDED: Excuse for why you're taking a half-day from work on Friday the 19th (e-mail the blog and we'll be happy to give you a few suggestions though!)

NEW PRE-GAME VENUE: The Hoop Club will be hosting its first official pre-game event of the season on Monday, January 8th prior to the 8pm tipoff between Georgetown and Villanova.

This season, we'll be making our home-prior-to-home-games at the District Chophouse located at 509 7th Street, NW (about a half block from the Verizon Center). The Hoop Club has reserved the upstairs barÃf¢?"and secured some rather nice drink and appetizer specialsÃf¢?"for our Club members and members of the Hoya family. Hoop Club pre-games were a great success last season, and we hope to make them even better this year, so make sure to stop by before games during Big East season and bring all of your friends.

WE ARE GEORGETOWN SHIRTS: Make sure you order the 2006-2007 version of the "We Are Georgetown" shirt (ordering page is here). They make excellent Christmas gifts (my family is well aware of this) and make the inside of the Verizon Center a heck of a lot grayer.

ANOTHER SAVE THE DATE: Finally, the Hoop Club's annual Open Membership meeting/reception will be held prior to the January 27th home game against Cincinnati (tipoff is at noon). Those expected to be on hand include Director of Athletics Bernard Muir, Director of Hoyas Unlimited Allison Rubin, Hoya Hoop Club President Al Bozzo, many of the Hoop Club Executive Board members, and most of the Hoop Club Blog staff.

I'll be the one wearing the We Are Georgetown shirt with the necktie.

See you tomorrow night!

Hoya Saxa and Long Live Generation Burton!!!

John Hawkes (F'04)

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