March 15, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's basketball team went through media sessions and an open practice in its final day of preparation before playing an NCAA Tournament Second Round game on Friday, March 16 against Belmont in Columbus, Ohio. The NCAA Midwest Regional contest is scheduled to tip off at approximately 3:10 p.m. (ET) at Nationwide Arena.
The game will be shown live on truTV, with Tim Brando handling the play-the-play, Mike Gminski serving as the color analyst and Otis Livingston on the sidelines. Fans locally can tune in to ESPN 980 AM to hear the radio call of Rich Chvotkin.
The Hoyas arrived in Columbus on Wednesday afternoon and practiced on campus of The Ohio State University Thursday morning before heading over to Nationwide Arena for their practice day obligations.
Senior guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) and senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) were the team's representatives during a 15-minute media session in the interview room, while other media members spoke to the team in the locker room.
Some of the questions involved how the Hoyas, 23-8 overall and the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, exceeded preseason expectations after the team was not ranked in the preseason and picked to finish in 10th place in the league.
"I think we just as a team we didn't pay much attention to that all," Sims said. "We started early in the summer and we knew we had the pieces we had and we all came to work hard every day. And we knew that wasn't our fate. We knew we could do a lot better than people were saying."
The players were also asked about their opponent - Belmont, the No. 14 seed in the Midwest.
"We know that we have to we know it's going to be a game where you play defense all 40 minutes of the game," Clark said. "They run their stuff. Like Henry said, they like to put points on the board. So we have to do a good job defensively."
Thompson was asked about the development of Sims this year, how Clark has been a key ingredient for the team all four years, the team's NCAA Tournament experiences the last two years and the challenges of playing the Bruins, who shoot 48.4 percent from the floor, have won 14-straight games and are among the top-scoring teams in the country at 81.5 points per game.
"No, it's not that simple at all," Thompson said when asked if it all boiled down to was defending the three-pointer. "Coach Byrd would never make it that simple. Obviously they have a terrific shooting team, but at the same time, if you get spaced out, if you start just chasing those shooters, their post players are very good and they're very good at finding and they're a very good passing team. The open man always gets the ball.
"And I think one thing that gets overlooked with them a lot, their transition offense is terrific. They get a lot of points out in transition. If they don't score in transition, they make you guard them. Protecting the 3 point line and stopping the shooters is important, but they're much more complex than that."
Georgetown, 23-8 overall and ranked No. 13 in the country by the Associated Press and No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches' poll, has played 14 games against 11 teams that made the 2012 NCAA Tournament field. The matchup with Belmont is the first between the teams since the NCAA Tournament in 2007, when the Hoyas posted an 80-55 win in the first round in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Should Georgetown prevail in its opening game, the team would play the winner of a game featuring No. 6 San Diego State (26-7) and No. 11 North Carolina State (22-12).
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