1975–76 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1975-76 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
NCAA Tournament, First Round
Conference Independent
1975-76 record 21–7
Head coach John Thompson, Jr. (4th year)
Assistant coach Bill Stein (4th year)
Assistant coach Dwight Datcher (2nd year)
Captain Jonathan Smith (2nd year)
Captain Merlin Wilson (1st year)
Home arena McDonough Gymnasium
« 1974–75 1976–77 »

The 1975–76 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1975-76 NCAA Division I college basketball season. John Thompson, Jr., coached them in his fourth season as head coach. An independent, Georgetown played its home games at McDonough Gymnasium on the Georgetown campus in Washington, D.C., and finished the season with a record of 21-7. The team won the 1976 ECAC South Region Tournament and appeared in the 1976 NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, losing in the first round to Arizona.

Season recap[edit]

Sophomore center Ed Hopkins had required surgery for a serious leg injury during the summer of 1975, and his recovery hampered him this season, although he appeared in 26 of Georgetown‍ '​s 28 games.[1] With Hopkins limited, and despite suffering from back problems, senior center and team co-captain Merlin Wilson started all 28 games, shot 57 percent from the field, and averaged 11.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He had a 22-point, 20-rebound performance against Upsala in the season opener, the last of eight 20-rebound games during his collegiate career, by far a school record no one has come close to since.[2]

Although he averaged only 13 shots per game, sophomore guard Derrick Jackson became the team's leading scorer this season, the first of three seasons he achieved this. He averaged 17 points per game and scored a career-high 28 points against Penn State. Over the season as a whole, he shot 195-for-399 (48.9%) from the field and scored 406 points; he would post almost identical statistics the following season.[3]

Freshman forward Al Dutch started all 28 games and had a strong season, scoring 20 or more points in six games. He scored 27 points in Georgetown‍ '​s overtime upset of No. 12-ranked St. John's and 28 points against Navy.[4] Freshman guard Steve Martin gave a glimpse of his future potential when he shot 6-for-6 from the field and scored 14 points in a game against Southern Connecticut State.[5] Senior forward Bill Lynn, meanwhile, scored 22 points against Southern Connecticut State and shot 53 percent from the field for the season, specializing in outside jump shots.[6] Junior forward Larry Long missed the first 11 games of the season because of academic issues, but returned to the team to shoot 42% from the field and average 7.4 points per game for the year.[7]

Although retaining its status as an independent, Georgetown was in its second season as a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), a loosely organized sports federation that held four regional post-season Division I basketball tournaments in 1976 for independent Eastern colleges and universities similar to the end-of-season conference tournaments held by conventional college basketball conferences, with each tournament winner receiving an at-large bid to the 1976 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. For the second straight year, the Hoyas competed in the ECAC South Region Tournament, which they had won the previous year. Derrick Jackson scored 22 points[3] as Georgetown defeated Villanova in the semifinal. In the final, the Hoyas faced George Washington, which was on the brink of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1961.[8] George Washington had defeated Georgetown in eight of the last 11 meetings[8] between the schools, but the Hoyas won to take the ECAC South Region championship for the second consecutive season and secure a second-straight NCAA Tournament bid. Senior guard and team co-captain Jonathan Smith, a former team scoring leader whose numbers had declined this season and who had averaged only 5.6 points per game during the regular season, scored 20 points against Villanova and 16 against George Washington during the tournament.[9]

Playing in the NCAA Tournament's West Region, Georgetown lost in the first round to 15th-ranked Arizona. Derrick Jackson again scored 22 points during the game,[3] while Jonathan Smith scored 20.[9]

The team was not ranked in the Top 20 in the Associated Press Poll or Coaches' Poll at any time.[10][11]



Sophomore guard Craig Esherick would later serve as an assistant coach for the Hoyas from 1982 to 1999 and as head coach from 1999 to 2004. Sophomore guard Mike Riley would later serve as a Hoya assistant coach from 1982 to 2004.

# Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
10 Craig Esherick 6'3" N/A G So. Silver Spring, MD, U.S. Springbrook HS
12 Mike Riley 5'8" N/A G So. Washington, DC, U.S. United States Navy
14 Bill Lynn 6'9" 185 F Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. Springarn HS
20 Steve Martin 6'4" 175 F Fr. New Orleans, LA, U.S. St. Augustine HS
22 Derrick Jackson 6'0" 180 G So. Wheaton, IL, U.S. Wheaton Central HS
24 Bill Thomas 6'4" N/A F Sr. Dallas, TX, U.S. Lake Highlands HS
Northampton Community College (Pa.)
25 Al Dutch 6'7" 190 F Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. Archbishop Carroll HS
30 Jonathan Smith 6'1" 185 G Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
32 Larry Long 6'7" 200 F Jr. Washington, DC, U.S. Mackin HS
33 Gary Wilson 6'7" N/A C Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
34 Mike MacDermott 6'4" N/A G Jr. Saratoga Springs, NY, U.S. St. Peter HS
40 Greg Brooks 6'6" N/A G Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
42 Felix Yeoman 6'7" N/A F/C So. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
44 Merlin Wilson 6'9" 215 C Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
50 Mark Gallagher 6'5" N/A F Sr. Lynbrook, NY, U.S. Archbishop Molloy HS
52 Ed Hopkins 6'9" 225 C So. Baltimore, MD, U.S. Edmondson-Westside HS
55 Tom Scates 6'11" N/A C Fr. Alexandria, VA, U.S. St. Anthony's HS, (Washington, DC)

1975–76 schedule and results[edit]


Date Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site
Regular Season
Sat., Nov. 29, 1975 Upsala W 69–50  1-0 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Dec. 3, 1975 Saint Leo W 94–72  2-0 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Dec. 6, 1975 at St. Bonaventure L 59–63 OT 2-1 Reilly Center
Tue., Dec. 9, 1975 Maryland Eastern Shore W 97–67  3-1 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Dec. 20, 1975 Rider W 83–68  4-1 McDonough Gymnasium
Tue., Dec. 23, 1975 Southern Connecticut State W 94–57  5-1 McDonough Gymnasium
Sun., Dec. 28, 1975 vs. Colgate
(Porreco Cup)
W 51–49  6-1 Gannon Auditorium
Mon., Dec. 29, 1975 at Gannon
(Porreco Cup)
L 56–57  6-2 Gannon Auditorium
Sat., Jan. 3, 1976 Stonehill W 117–84  7-2 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Jan. 7, 1976 at St. Joseph's W 72–61  8-2 Palestra
Sat., Jan. 10, 1976 Fairfield W 81–50  9-2 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Jan. 14, 1976 Navy W 73–65  10-2 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 17, 1976 Dickinson W 93–75  11-2 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Jan. 21, 1976 American W 78–69  12-2 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 24, 1976 at Seton Hall L 91–102  12-3 Walsh Gymnasium
Tue., Jan. 27, 1976 Penn State W 71–63  13-3 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Jan. 31, 1976 Holy Cross W 95–74  14-3 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Feb. 4, 1976 #12 St. John's W 74–73 OT 15-3 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Feb. 11, 1976 Fairleigh Dickinson W 60–52  16-3 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Feb. 14, 1976 St. Peter's L 61–63  16-4 McDonough Gymnasium
Wed., Feb. 18, 1976 vs. #7 Maryland L 63–72  16-5 Capital Centre
Sat., Feb. 21, 1976 at Boston College W 70–64  17-5 Roberts Center
Wed., Feb. 25, 1976 George Washington L 79–81 OT 17-6 McDonough Gymnasium
Sat., Feb. 28, 1976 at Fordham W 73–66  18-6 Rose Hill Gymnasium
Tue., Mar. 2, 1976 at Iona W 76–68  19-6 John A. Mulcahy Campus Events Center
ECAC South Region Tournament
Fri., Mar. 5, 1976 vs. Villanova
W 72–59  20-6 WVU Coliseum
Sat., Mar. 6, 1976 vs. George Washington
W 68–63  21-6 WVU Coliseum
NCAA Tournament
Sat., Mar. 13, 1976 vs. #15 Arizona
(West Region First Round)
L 76–83  21-7 Arizona State University Activity Center
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. ( ) Tournament seedings in parentheses.