This is your Morning Commute. Make the jump for additional links.
The Georgetown Hoyas' 64-56 win at Syracuse was significant for so many reasons for this year's team alone. The Hoyas proved they could win in a true hostile environment. They beat a team whose strength is its size, beating down the criticism that they are weak up front. They closed out the game down the stretch, ending it on a 15-3 run to take control.
But the biggest reason the win was significant is because of Georgetown's terrible recent history at the Carrier Dome. This was the first time the Hoyas had won there since 2002, before John Thompson III was their coach. That's nine years of losses, which nags at a program, even if the players are different.
So with that in mind, I figured I'd take a quick look back at the last time Georgetown won at Syracuse.
The date was Feb. 24, 2002. At the time, Syracuse was 20-7, not great, but still within striking distance of the NCAA Tournament despite its typical cupcake schedule. Georgetown, on the other hand, was 15-10, and out of NCAA contention. Still, the Hoyas marched into the Carrier Dome and beat Syracuse 75-69, which began the Orange's tailspin. They lost their next three games and missed the NCAA Tournament, settling instead for an NIT run.
Who were some of the key players on both teams then? Let's take a look:
- Michael Sweetney: Before Sweetney became a punchline for fat jokes, he was one of the Big East's best, most anonymous players. This was his sophomore year, where he averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game. A year later, he was drafted ninth overall by the Knicks, and proceeded to eat his way out of the league.
- Preston Shumpert: One of the forgotten stars of the early part of the decade, Shumpert was busy polishing off his second season of being one of the top scorers in the conference. But there was always a bit of a problem with Shumpert. His quarrels with teammate Deshaun Williams, the second-leading scorer on the roster, helped cause the Orange to fall apart after a fast start. He now plays in Turkey.
- Kevin Braswell: Georgetown fans remember Braswell as the plucky point guard that led the Hoyas to a surprise Sweet 16 berth in 2001. Braswell was in his fourth year as the team's starter, never taking the next step, but still being a solid player. Braswell then took his trade to Italy, Belgium and Poland and came close to the NBA before being waived by the Miami Heat in 2005.
- Keith Duany: Before he emerged as a role player for the Carmelo Anthony-led title team, Duany was a maddening high-flyer that alternated between great players and poor ones. The title improved his reputation, and Duany used that to play professionally. He also played for the Buffalo Silverbacks of the American Basketball Association.
- Craig Esherick: The Georgetown coach who failed massively as John Thompson's successor still exists. He's now an instructor at George Mason, where he teaches sports law, sports management and governance and policy in sports organizations.