1940–41 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1940–41 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
Conference Independent
1940–41 record 16–4
Head coach Elmer Ripley (5th year)
Captain Irv Rizzi (1st year)
Home arena Riverside Stadium
« 1939–40 1941–42 »

The 1940–41 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1940-41 NCAA Division I college basketball season. Elmer Ripley coached it in his fifth of ten seasons as head coach; it was also the third season of his second of three stints at the helm. For the first time, the team played its home games at Riverside Stadium in Washington, D.C.[1] It finished the season with a record of 16-4 and had no postseason play.

Season recap[edit]

In its previous ten seasons, Georgetown had a combined record of 32 games under .500, and going into this season the Georgetown student yearbook, Ye Domesday Book, opined that the school would deemphasize or eliminate basketball by 1942 if the team's performance did not see significant improvement. The 1940-41 team rose to the yearbook‍ '​s challenge, achieving the highest win total in history for a Georgetown men's basketball team.[2]

Junior guard Buddy O'Grady returned for his second varsity season and led the team. He scored a season-high 14 points against Army.[3]

Also starring for the team was sophomore center Bill Bornheimer. The tallest player in Georgetown history at the time at 6 feet 5 inches (196 cm), he had been the starting center of the freshman team the previous season and joined the varsity this year. A strong defender, rebounder, and inside shooter, he led the team in scoring, averaging 8.4 points per game. Before 7,000 fans at Riverside Stadium – a record home crowd for a Georgetown basketball game – he had a season-high 15 points as the Hoyas upset Temple 57-49 on February 10, 1941.[2]

Following a season-opening loss, the Hoyas won 11 games in a row and then five of their last eight, finishing with a record of 16-4. They narrowly missed invitations to the NCAA Tournament and National Invitation Tournament and had no postseason play.[3]



Two future Georgetown head coaches played on the team. Sophomore forward Ken Engles would leave school for World War II military service after the 1941-42 season, but would return to play for the 1945-46 team and also served as its head coach that season, the only player-coach in Georgetown men's basketball history. Junior guard Buddy O'Grady would coach the Hoyas from 1949 to 1952.[6]

Guard Don Martin would one day become head coach at Boston College.[7]

# Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
3 Jim Kiernan 6'0" N/A F Jr. New York, NY, U.S. Saint Simon HS
5 Charles Schmidli 6'4" N/A F Jr. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
7 Don Martin 5'8" N/A G Jr. Newport, RI, U.S. La Salle Academy
8 Francis "Buddy" O'Grady N/A 160 G Jr. New York, NY, U.S. St. Peter's Boys HS
11 Russ Miller N/A N/A F/C Jr. Passaic, NJ, U.S. Passaic HS
12 Jim Giebel N/A N/A G Sr. Bethesda, MD, U.S. St. John's College HS (Washington, DC)
13 George Pajak 6'0" N/A G/F Sr. Ware, MA, U.S. Ware HS
17 Ken Engles 6'2" N/A F Jr. Staten Island, NY, U.S. Port Richmond HS
18 Bill Bornheimer 6'5" 200 C So. New Brunswick, NJ, U.S. St. Peter's Preparatory School
20 Irv Rizzi N/A N/A G Sr. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
24 Al Matuza 6'2" N/A F Sr. Shenandoah, PA, U.S. Shenandoah HS

1940–41 schedule and results[edit]


Date Opponent Result Record Site (Attendance)
Regular Season
Thu., Dec. 5, 1940 at Loyola Maryland L 32–36  0-1 Alumni Gymnasium (N/A)
Tue., Dec. 10, 1940 Western Maryland W 41–29  1-1 Riverside Stadium (N/A)
Thu., Dec. 12, 1940 at American W 41–35  2-1 Clendenen Gymnasium (N/A)
Mon., Dec. 16, 1940 George Washington W 50–42  3-1 Riverside Stadium (N/A)
Wed., Dec. 18, 1940 at Loyola Chicago W 38–35  4-1 Chicago Stadium (N/A)
Wed, Jan. 8, 1941 at Canisius W 53–35  5-1 Buffalo Memorial Auditorium (N/A)
Fri., Jan. 10, 1941 at Temple W 46–45  6-1 Philadelphia Convention Hall (N/A)
Wed., Jan 15, 1941 at Army W 40–28  7-1 Hayes Gymnasium (N/A)
Thu., Jan. 16, 1941 New York University W 36–27  8-1 Riverside Stadium (N/A)
Fri., Jan. 17, 1941 at Maryland W 51–34  9-1 Ritchie Coliseum (N/A)
Wed., Jan. 22, 1941 at Navy W 38–18  10-1 Dahlgren Hall (N/A)
Wed, Jan. 29, 1941 Penn State W 28–24 OT 11-1 Riverside Stadium (N/A)
Wed., Feb. 5, 1941 at Syracuse L 43–49  11-2 Archbold Gymnasium (N/A)
Thu., Feb. 6, 1941 at Colgate W 39–36  12-2 Huntington Gymnasium (N/A)
Fri., Feb. 7, 1941 at Yale W 41–39  13-2 Payne Whitney Gymnasium (N/A)
Mon, Feb. 10, 1941 Temple W 57–49  14-2 Riverside Stadium (7,000[2])
Wed., Feb. 19, 1941 at Penn State L 38–45  14-3 Recreation Hall (N/A)
Thu., Feb. 20, 1941 at Scranton W 51–40  15-3 Watres Armory (N/A)
Fri., Feb. 28, 1941 at Fordham L 42–52  15-4 Madison Square Garden (N/A)
Thu., Mar. 6, 1941 at George Washington W 41–34  16-4 Riverside Stadium (N/A)
*Non-conference game. ( ) Tournament seedings in parentheses.