1928–29 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1928–29 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
Conference Independent
1928–29 record 12–5
Head coach Elmer Ripley (2nd year)
Captain Fred Mesmer (1st year)
Home arena Clendenen Gymnasium
« 1927–28 1929–30 »

The 1928–29 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1928-29 NCAA Division I college basketball season. Elmer Ripley coached it in his second season as head coach.[1] Georgetown was an independent and played its home games to Clendenen Gymnasium on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C., this season, the only Georgetown team to use Clendenen Gymnasium as its home court,[2] although Georgetown played a handful of games there early the next season. It finished the season with a record of 12-5.

Season recap[edit]

Junior guard and team captain Fred Mesmer had become a starter and team leader in his first varsity season the previous year. He was an important defensive presence for the team during the season and an excellent passer. He led the Hoyas in scoring, averaging 8.5 points per game.[3]

Junior center Don Dutton, who had emerged as a standout the previous season, moved to forward in a notable 33-17 Georgetown victory at Yale on January 2, 1929, in the opening game of the Yale Quadrangular Invitational Tournament. Ten days later, he played a key role in what at the time was perhaps the greatest comeback in Georgetown men's basketball history, scoring 15 of the Hoyas‍ '​ last 17 points as Georgetown came back from a 13-point deficit against Penn State with five minutes left in the game to win 42-40. Like Mesmer, Dutton finished the year averaging 8.5 points per game.[4]

Ironically, Ripley‍ '​s display of his coaching abilities in the big win at Yale so impressed Yale that Yale hired Ripley away from Georgetown;[4] after two very successful seasons as the Hoyas‍ '​ head coach in which he had an overall record of 24-6, Ripley left Georgetown at the end of the season to take the head coaching position at Yale. Destined to become a legend in college basketball, he would return to coach Georgetown two more times over a total of eight more seasons, from 1938 to 1943 – leading the Hoyas to the final game of the 1943 NCAA Tournament in the latter season – and again from 1946 to 1949. Meanwhile, Georgetown hired his assistant Bill Dudack to coach the team the following season.[1]



Georgetown players did not wear numbers on their jerseys this season. The first numbered jerseys in Georgetown men‍ '​s basketball history would not appear until the 1933-34 season.[5]

Junior guard Fred Mesmer would become Georgetown‍ '​s head coach for the 1931-32 season and coach the Hoyas for seven seasons.[1]

Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
Johnny Byrnes N/A N/A G Sr. Short Hills, NJ, U.S. Xavier HS
Paul Dillon N/A N/A F So. N/A N/A
Johnny Dunn N/A N/A G Jr. Milwaukee, WI, U.S. Marquette University HS
Don Dutton 6'2" N/A C Jr. Syracuse, NY, U.S. Christian Brothers Academy
Jim Leavey N/A N/A C So. N/A N/A
Maurice McCarthy N/A N/A G Jr. Stamford, CT, U.S. N/A
Harold "Reds" Meenan N/A N/A F Jr. New York, NY, U.S. Loyola School
Fred Mesmer 5'8" N/A G Jr. Syracuse, NY, U.S. Christian Brothers Academy
Walter Morris N/A N/A C So. N/A N/A
John Scalzi 5'7" N/A G So. Stamford, CT, U.S. N/A
Bill Shea N/A N/A F So. New York, NY, U.S. New York University

1928–29 schedule and results[edit]


It was common practice at this time for colleges and universities to include non-collegiate opponents in their schedules, with the games recognized as part of their official record for the season, and the games played against the Crescent Athletic Club and the New York Athletic Club therefore counted as part of Georgetown‍ '​s won-loss record for 1928-29. It was not until 1952, after the completion of the 1951-52 season, that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled that colleges and universities could no longer count games played against non-collegiate opponents in their annual won-loss records.[11]

Date Opponent Result Record Site
Regular Season
Sat., Dec. 8, 1928 Baltimore W 38–26  1-0 Clendenen Gymnasium
Tue., Dec. 11, 1928 Western Maryland W 38–23  2-0 Clendenen Gymnasium
Sat., Dec. 15, 1928 Lafayette W 47–24  3-0 Clendenen Gymnasium
Thu., Dec. 27, 1928 at Brooklyn Knights of Columbus  cancelled  N/A
Sat., Dec. 29, 1928 at Crescent Athletic Club L 29–47  3-1 Crescent Gymnasium
Wed., Jan. 2, 1929 at Yale
(Yale Quadrangular Invitational Tournament)
W 33–17  4-1 Yale Armory
Thu., Jan. 3, 1929 vs. New York University
(Yale Quadrangular Invitational Tournament)
L 24–32  4-2 Yale Armory
Fri., Jan. 4, 1929 at New York Athletic Club W 28–20  5-2 New York Athletic Club Gymnasium
Tue., Jan. 8, 1929 Duke W 48-33  6-2 Clendenen Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 12, 1929 Penn State W 42–40  7-2 Clendenen Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 19, 1929 Johns Hopkins W 58–20  8-2 Clendenen Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 26, 1929 Mount St. Mary's W 33–19  9-2 Clendenen Gymnasium
Fri., Feb. 8, 1929 at New York Athletic Club W 27–26  10-2 New York Athletic Club Gymnasium
Sat., Feb. 9, 1929 at New York University L 30-32 OT 10-3 University Heights Gymnasium
Tue., Feb. 12, 1929 at Johns Hopkins W 38-35 OT 11-3 N/A
Sat., Feb. 16, 1929 West Virginia L 44–49  11-4 Clendenen Gymnasium
Wed., Feb. 20, 1929 at Navy W 29–21  12-4 Dahlgren Hall
Sat., Feb. 23, 1929 at Temple L 24–27  12-5 Mitten Hall
*Non-conference game. ( ) Tournament seedings in parentheses.