March 18, 2010
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The Georgetown University men's basketball team arrived in Providence for the 2010 NCAA Tournament on Tuesday afternoon and spent most of the day on Wednesday, March 17 visiting with the media in attendance for this weekend's first and second rounds to be played at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Hoyas, seeded No. 3 in the Midwest Region, will play No. 14 seed Ohio University, the winners of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, on Thursday, March 18. Tipoff is slated for 7:25 p.m. The game will be shown live on CBS, with Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery calling all of the action. The game can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM, with Rich Chvotkin providing the call.
Georgetown held a practice locally in Providence early in the day on Wednesday before heading over to the Dunkin' Donuts Center to meet the media and participate in a practice open to the public.
Junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha), who leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game and was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, leads the team, junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]) and sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) represented the team on the podium during the interview period, followed by Head Coach John Thompson III.
During their time on the podium, the players were asked a range of questions. Each of the players was asked what was clicking with the team now, after advancing to the championship game of the BIG EAST Tournament.
"I just think we're really playing together," Wright said. "I think we're executing and getting defensive stops. I think our defense is keying on our offense. We're doing what we have to do at the right time. We all believe in each other. I think that's one of our strongest points is our chemistry. I think we're really honing in on what we have to do and the details we have to make to win games."
Monroe, playing in his first NCAA Tournament, was asked about his feelings heading into another postseason tournament.
"I don't have any impressions," he said. "This is my first, you know, NCAA function, as far as coming here. So, I mean, this is the first thing, but I'm still very excited to be a part of this. Me and my teammates are very excited and anxious to play. From a personal standpoint I don't have any first impressions yet. It's still basketball, that's how I look at it."
The Hoyas have played for years in the Dunkin' Donuts Center, most recently last month when the Hoyas beat Providence College, 79-70.
"I don't think it necessarily gives us an advantage," Wright said. "We're familiar with the surroundings and everything, but you've still got to go out there and play. It's just a matter of us executing and doing what we have to do. Providence, obviously plays here, but I don't think that plays a major role. I still think we've still got to go out and execute and focus on Ohio and what they do well."
With the first round game against Ohio looming one day away, Thompson was asked about his impressions on the Bobcats.
"I heard Greg say, and he's right, once you get to this time of year every time that's in this tournament is good," Thompson said. "And Ohio falls into that category. Every team is well coached, and they fall into that category. Every team has good players. They're playing very well right now.
"They accomplished something we couldn't accomplish, winning four games in four days in their conference. Their back court is talented. Their coach has coached against us twice in the postseason when he was an assistant at Ohio State. So what we do and how we do it is not necessarily going to be a surprise to them or to him. They're a good team. You don't come out of that conference, you don't win that conference tournament without being very, very good.:
After the media session, the Hoyas went through an open practice from 4:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. Coach Thompson took some time afterward to do live interviews with Washington Post Live on Comcast Sports Net and with Lindsay Czarniak from Channel 4 in Washington.