Georgetown Men's Basketball 77, West Virginia 65 2014 NIT First Round March 18, 2014 McDonough Arena | Washington, D.C.
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In nine seasons as the head coach of the program he has been around since his youth, John Thompson III has made his mark not only on the Georgetown men's basketball program, but in the elite circles of college basketball. Thompson, who has been a collegiate head coach for 13 seasons, has compiled several coaching milestones:
Since his arrival on the Hilltop, the Hoyas have reached the postseason in all nine seasons. Including an appearance in 2013, Georgetown has been selected to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last nine seasons. In five of the team's seven NCAA Tournament appearances, the Blue & Gray have been seeded among the top three teams, earning three No. 2 seeds (2007, 2008, 2013) and two No. 3 seeds (2010, 2012). In the last seven seasons, Georgetown is one of only four schools nationally to have made at least one appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 in seven-straight years. In 2006-07, Thompson led the program to a 30-7 record as the Hoyas won the BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the NCAA East Regional and advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1985. In 2007-08, the Hoyas won back-to-back BIG EAST Regular Season titles (2006-07, 2007-08), posting a two-year record of 28-6 against conference opponents In 2012-13, the Blue & Gray won the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, winning 11-straight games at one point, and Thompson was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year. He has led the Hoyas to three appearances in the BIG EAST Tournament Championship game in nine years. He has twice been named the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year and was named the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year.
Recognized as an outstanding talent evaluator who has been nationally-recognized for his in-game coaching, tremendous vision and character, outstanding recruiting and his ability to connect with players, John Thompson III was introduced as Georgetown University 17th Head Coach on April 20, 2004.
Thompson arrived on the Hilltop in 2004 with a tremendous pedigree. The second Head Coach at Georgetown named John Thompson, he is the child of one Hall of Fame coach and the student of another, having played for the legendary Pete Carril as an undergraduate at Princeton.
Off the court, Thompson has been an active member of Georgetown University and a presence in the Washington, D.C. community. He speaks at a variety of alumni events throughout the year and has annually joined the members of the Georgetown University Wall Street Alliance in New York City each October. Through his work with his self-named foundation, the JTIII Foundation (which was founded in 2007), Thompson and his wife, Monica, have worked to aid community-based charities that serve at-risk children and families.
Thompson also has international experience, serving as an assistant coach on the USA Basketball Men's Under-18 National team that competed in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Argentina.
In nine-plus years at Georgetown, Thompson has guided the Hoyas to a 219-92 overall record (.704 win percentage) and to a 101-57 record in conference play.
Overall in 13 years as a head coach, including four at his alma mater, Princeton, Thompson has compiled a 287-134 (.682) overall record, with a 146-68 record in conference play (BIG EAST and Ivy League combined), won six league championships and guided his teams to 11 postseason appearances
Since arriving on the Hilltop, the Hoyas have advanced to one Final Four (2006-07), won a BIG EAST Tournament title (2006-07), won back-to-back BIG EAST Regular Season titles (2006-07, 2007-08), three league regular season crowns (2006-07, 2007-08, 2012-13), reached the NCAA Tournament seven times (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13), been invited to the National Invitation Tournament twice (2004-05, 2008-09) and played in the BIG EAST Tournament Championship game three times.
During that time, Georgetown has been ranked among the top-25 teams in the country for 38-straight weeks and is among the winningest programs in the BIG EAST. In addition, in a span of four years (2006-07 - 2009-10), more Georgetown players (5) were selected in the NBA Draft than any other school in the BIG EAST Conference. He has coached two BIG EAST Players of the Year, five All-Americans, eight First-Team All-BIG EAST selections and 23 players who have earned All-BIG EAST accolades. Thompson is also a two-time winner of the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year Award and was named the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year.
Georgetown won its third BIG EAST Regular Season title under Thompson during the 2012-13 season, when the team posted a 14-4 conference record to finish atop the league standings. Along the way, the Hoyas won 11-straight games against conference opponents, including regular season sweep of long-time rival Syracuse. The Hoyas were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a 25-7 overall record. Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year and earned First Team All-American honors while also being finalist for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.
One of his best coaching seasons came during the 2011-12 season, when he guided a young Hoya team that was picked to finish in 10th place in the BIG EAST to a tie for fourth place. Georgetown finished the season with a 24-9 record and was seeded No. 3 in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round. Highlight wins included a 91-88 overtime thriller against then-No. 8 Memphis in the Maui Invitational and an impressive road win at then-No. 4 Louisville to start BIG EAST play. Senior guard Jason Clark was a First Team All-BIG EAST selection and received the league's Sportsmanship Award, while senior center Henry Sims was a Third Team All-BIG EAST selection and Hollis Thompson earned honorable mention honors.
Georgetown finished the 2010-11 season with a 21-11 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seven years. The Blue & Gray started the season with eight-straight wins, with victories at Old Dominion, winning the Charleston Classic and beating then-No. 9 Missouri, 111-102 in overtime, in one of the best college basketball games of the season. The Hoyas, who earned a first round bye in the BIG EAST Tournament with a 10-8 regular season record in league play, played against a schedule rated No. 1 in the country and were among the top-20 teams in the RPI Ratings. Senior guard Austin Freeman was a First Team All-BIG EAST selection and earned honorable mention All-American honors, while fellow senior Chris Wright was named Third Team All-BIG EAST.
In 2009-10, the Hoyas finished the season with a 23-11 overall record, made a thrilling run to the Championship Game of the BIG EAST Tournament and were selected as a No.3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Georgetown was the only school in the country to beat last year's NCAA Finalists (Duke and Butler) and was the only school to play three teams that reached the Final Four (Duke, Butler, West Virginia). The team was challenged by a scheduled that ranked No. 1 in the country by strength of schedule for much of the season and responded to that with signature wins, including non-conference wins over Temple during ESPN's "24 Hours of College Basketball," Butler at the Jimmy V Classic, Washington during the John Wooden Classic and Duke, in front of a sold-out crowd wearing gray and an audience that included the President and Vice-President of the United States. The Hoyas, who finished the season No. 2 in strength of schedule and No. 13 in the RPI Ratings, also had impressive conference wins, including a come-from-behind win at home against Connecticut when Austin Freeman scored 28 of his 33 points in the second half and a stirring rout of Villanova in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000 on the day the District of Columbia was hit with more than two feet of snow. Sophomore center Greg Monroe, who declared for the NBA Draft at the conclusion of the season, was named First Team All-BIG EAST, earned Third Team Associated Press All-American honors and was named the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year by the NABC.
In 2008-09, Georgetown made its fifth-straight postseason appearance under Thompson, advancing to the NIT where the team lost to eventual runner-up Baylor in the first round. The Hoyas finished the season with a 16-15 overall record and were 7-11 in the conference, finishing in 12th place in the BIG EAST Conference, which was arguably the toughest in the country that season. Georgetown finished the season ranked No 12 in the country in strength of schedule, posted four wins over top-25 teams, beat two teams that advanced to the Final Four (UConn and Villanova) and two that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (Memphis, Syracuse). Freshman center Greg Monroe was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, becoming the sixth Georgetown player in history to earn the award.
The Hoyas made their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2007-08 season, tabbed as the No. 2 seed before losing in the second round. His team earned a 28-6 (.823%) mark, going 15-3 in BIG EAST play to garner their second consecutive regular season championship, a feat previously unmatched in Hoya history. His team appeared in the national polls all 20 weeks of the season, never dropping lower than 12th and senior Patrick Ewing Jr. earned the inaugural BIG EAST Sixth Man Award.
During Thompson's third season as Georgetown's head coach, in 2006-07, JTIII saw his Hoyas win the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, the BIG EAST Tournament Championship as well as the NCAA East Regional Championship while compiling a 30-7 record. The Hoyas appeared in the national polls 18 times, defeated seven nationally-ranked opponents and compiled a conference record of 13-3. Thompson saw junior Jeff Green named BIG EAST Player of the Year, MVP of the BIG EAST Tournament and MVP of the NCAA East Regional. Green was the fifth player selected in the 2007 NBA Draft.
In his second season at the helm, Thompson's Hoyas made their presence felt with a thrilling run to the Sweet 16. This was his fifth trip to the postseason in six years as a head coach. A first-round victory over Northern Iowa and a second-round defeat of Ohio State advanced Georgetown to its first Regional Semifinal since 2001. The Hoyas, who fell just three points shy of a victory over the eventual national champion Florida Gators, ended the year with a 23-10 overall record, earning Thompson the Black Coaches Association's Fritz Pollard Male Coach of the Year Award.
In his inaugural season as the Hoya's head coach, Thompson's approach took a giant leap when he became one of only three coaches in BIG EAST history to defeat a nationally ranked team in the conference opener. The Hoyas ended up winning 19 games and advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals.
Coached by the legendary Carril as a student at Princeton and then working under him as an assistant coach at his alma mater for five years, Thompson brought a Princeton touch to Georgetown's rich basketball history, creating a new system he describes as the Georgetown Offense:
"The `system' is more about how you see the game than about plays. It's about adjusting and adapting to your own skills and strengths, and the skills and strengths of your opponent. If you look at the Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, Northwestern, Richmond or Princeton, they obviously aren't the exact same style of ball. But the principles they play are the same - movement, reads, sharing patience and precision. You take the skills and personality of your team and tweak the system accordingly."
Prior to coaching at Georgetown, Thompson guided Princeton to three Ivy League Championships, two NCAA tournaments and an NIT appearance over his four years as head coach. He amassed a 68-42 record as Princeton's head coach after serving as an assistant coach at Princeton from 1995- 2000. As assistant coach, he helped lead the team to a Top 10 national ranking and five consecutive post-season appearances.
Princeton not only made the postseason eight of nine years during Thompson's tenure, but he helped recruit and coach three All Americans, three Ivy League Players of the Year, two Ivy League Rookies of the Year and 12 First-Team All-Ivy League players.
Thompson also played basketball as an undergraduate for the Tigers while majoring in politics. As a forward, he ranks third on Princeton's all time assist leader list with 358. Playing for legendary coach Pete Carril, Thompson produced with amazing proficiency with 103 assists and just 34 turnovers as a senior. He was co-captain of the 1988 team and shared the B.F. Bunn trophy that year as one of the Tigers' Most Valuable Players.
Thompson, 43, grew up in Washington, D.C., where he graduated from Gonzaga College High School. As a high school senior he was named first team All-Metro by the Washington Post.
Thompson's wife, Monica, is also a Princeton grad (Class of `89). They have three children: Morgan, age 15; John Wallace, age 12; and Matthew, age 10.