1976–77 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1976-77 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
Conference Independent
1976-77 record 19–9
Head coach John Thompson, Jr. (5th year)
Assistant coach Bill Stein (5th year)
Captain Larry Long (1st year)
Captain Mike MacDermott (1st year)
Home arena McDonough Gymnasium
« 1975–76 1977–78 »

The 1976–77 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1976-77 NCAA Division I college basketball season. John Thompson, Jr., coached them in his fifth 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 19-9. Knocked out of the ECAC South Region Tournament for the first time in the semifinals, the team missed an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 1974. The Hoyas instead appeared in the 1977 National Invitation Tournament (NIT), their first NIT appearance since 1970, and lost in the first round to Virginia Tech.

Season recap[edit]

Junior guard and perennial high scorer Derrick Jackson shot 198-for-404 (49.0%) from the field during the season and scored 400 points, virtually duplicating his performance from the previous season, when he had shot 195-for-399 (48.9%) from the field and scored 406 points. This season, he scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games and finished first in five scoring categories for the team.[1]

Promising freshman forward Craig "Big Sky" Shelton missed all but seven games because of a knee injury and would not emerge as one of the team '​s stars until the following season.[2] His high school teammate, freshman guard John Duren, however, became a starter by mid-season and showed his talent as a point guard and shooter. His ability to lead the team as point guard and pass the ball contributed to Georgetown '​s team shooting percentage rising from 46% to 50% during the year. He scored a season-high 19 points against Boston College and averaged 15 points per game after becoming a starter.[3]

With the arrival of Duren, there was little need for sophomore Steve Martin to play as a guard – his position in high school and during his freshman year – so Thompson played him off the bench as a small forward this season. Martin made the most of the transition, scoring 15 against Purdue, 17 against Pennsylvania, and a season-high 20 against Seton Hall. He also came off the bench for an eight-point, six-steal game against Holy Cross.[4]

Although retaining its status as an independent, Georgetown was in its third season as a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), a loosely organized sports federation that held three regional post-season Division I basketball tournaments in 1977 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 1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Hoyas participated in the ECAC South Region Tournament, which they had won in 1975 and 1976, facing Old Dominion in the semifinal. Junior Georgetown center Ed Hopkins, a key defensive presence also making a major offensive contribution by averaging 10.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and leading the team in shooting percentage from the field at 57%, missed the game because of an ankle injury. The Hoyas struggled without Hopkins and lost to Old Dominion 80-58.[5] They therefore missed an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since the 1973-74 season.

Invited to the 1977 National Invitation Tournament instead, the Hoyas faced Virginia Tech in the first round. Sophomore forward Al Dutch, averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the season, had to sit out the game with an ankle injury. Georgetown missed Dutch '​s scoring[6] and lost to the Hokies 83-79 despite Derrick Jackon '​s 28-point performance, which tied his career-high 28 points scored against Penn State during the 1975-76 season.[1] Senior forward Larry Long, often limited by injuries during his four years with the Hoyas, put in an impressive performance in the last two collegiate games of his career with a combined 28 rebounds in the Old Dominion and Virginia Tech games.[7]


Junior 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. Junior 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 Jr. Silver Spring, MD, U.S. Springbrook HS
12 Mike Riley 5'8" N/A G Jr. Washington, DC, U.S. United States Navy
20 Steve Martin 6'4" 175 F So. New Orleans, LA, U.S. St. Augustine HS
22 Derrick Jackson 6'0" 180 G Jr. Wheaton, IL, U.S. Wheaton Central HS
24 Lonnie Duren 6'1" N/A G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. Augusta Military Academy (Fort Defiance, VA)
25 Al Dutch 6'7" 190 F So. Washington, DC, U.S. Archbishop Carroll HS
32 Larry Long 6'7" 200 F Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. Mackin HS
33 Gary Wilson 6'7" N/A C So. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
34 Mike MacDermott 6'4" N/A G Sr. Saratoga Springs, NY, U.S. St. Peter HS
42 Felix Yeoman 6'7" N/A F/C Jr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
44 John Duren 6'3" 150 G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. Dunbar HS
50 Craig "Big Sky" Shelton 6'7" 210 F So. Washington, DC, U.S. Dunbar HS
51 Mike Frazier 6'7" N/A F Fr. Cleveland, OH, U.S. University School
52 Ed Hopkins 6'9" 225 C Jr. Baltimore, MD, U.S. Edmondson-Westside HS
55 Tom Scates 6'11" N/A C So. Alexandria, VA, U.S. St. Anthony's HS, (Washington, DC)



The team was not ranked in the Top 20 of the Associated Press Poll at any time, but it was ranked in the Top 20 in the Coaches' Poll during two weeks. This was only the second national ranking in Georgetown men's basketball history, and the first since the 1952-53 team spent a week at No. 20 in the AP Poll in January 1953.[12]

Ranking Movement
Legend: ██ Improvement in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking. ██ Not ranked the previous week. RV=Others receiving votes.
Poll Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Wk 15 Wk 16 Final
Coaches 17 20

1976–77 schedule and results[edit]


Date Opponent# Rank# Site

Result Record
Regular Season
Tue., Nov. 30, 1976 Upsala McDonough GymnasiumWashington, DC W 66–46  1-0
Sat., Dec. 4, 1976 St. Bonaventure McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 76–60  2-0
Tue., Dec. 7, 1976 North Carolina Central McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 95–69  3-0
Sat., Dec. 18, 1976 Chicago State McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 106–65  4-0
Wed., Dec. 22, 1976 vs. #5 Alabama Carolina ColiseumColumbia, SC
(Carolina Classic)
L 64–66  4-1
Thu., Dec. 23, 1976 vs. Harvard Carolina Coliseum • Columbia, SC
(Carolina Classic)
W 60–40  5-1
Mon., Dec. 27, 1976 vs. Fairfield Madison Square GardenNew York, NY
(ECAC Holiday Festival)
W 79–69  6-1
Tue., Dec. 28, 1976 vs. Purdue Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(ECAC Holiday Festival)
L 65–83  6-2
Thu., Dec. 30, 1976 vs. Pennsylvania Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(ECAC Holiday Festival)
W 66–61  7-2
Tue., Jan. 4, 1977 Boston University McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 53–49  8-2
Sat., Jan. 8, 1977 Stonehill McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 81–57  9-2
Wed., Jan. 12, 1977 at Navy Halsey Field HouseAnnapolis, MD L 55–56  9-3
Sat., Jan. 15, 1977 Iona McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 81–67  10-3
Tue., Jan. 18, 1977 at Holy Cross Hart CenterWorcester, MA W 69–65  11-3
Sat., Jan. 22, 1977 Seton Hall McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC L 82–94  11-4
Wed., Jan. 26, 1977 St. Joseph's McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 76–64  12-4
Sat., Jan. 29, 1977 at American Fort Myer GymnasiumFort Myer, VA W 78–64  13-4
Wed., Feb. 2, 1977 at St. John's Alumni HallQueens, NY L 66–82  13-5
Sat., Feb. 5, 1977 Loyola (Illinois) McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 80–70  14-5
Thu., Feb. 10, 1977 Fordham McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 66–47  15-5
Sat., Feb. 12, 1977 Southern Connecticut State McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 95–65  16-5
Tue., Feb. 15, 1977 at St. Peter's Yanitelli CenterJersey City, NJ W 73–71 OT 17-5
Sat., Feb. 19, 1977 Boston College McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 87–69  18-5
Wed., Feb. 23, 1977 at George Washington Charles E. Smith Athletic Center • Washington, DC L 71–72  18-6
Sat., Feb. 26, 1977 Manhattan McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC W 79–71  19-6
Wed., Mar. 2, 1977 at Saint Francis Physical Education CenterLoretto, PA L 87–94  19-7
ECAC South Region Tournament
Fri., Mar. 4, 1977 Old Dominion McDonough Gymnasium • Washington, DC
L 58–80  19-8
National Invitation Tournament
Fri., Mar. 11, 1977 at Virginia Tech Cassell ColiseumBlacksburg, VA
(First Round)
L 79–83  19-9
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.