1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
Eastern Intercollegiate Conference
Regular Season Co-Champions
Conference Eastern Intercollegiate Conference
1938–39 record 13–9 (6-4 EIC)
Head coach Elmer Ripley (3rd year)
Captain Joe Murphy (1st year)
Home arena Tech Gymnasium
« 1937–38 1939–40 »
1938–39 Eastern Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Carnegie Mellon 6 4   .600     12 7   .632
Georgetown 6 4   .600     13 9   .591
Penn State 5 5   .500     13 10   .565
Pittsburgh 5 5   .500     10 8   .556
West Virginia 4 6   .400     10 9   .526
Temple 4 6   .400     10 12   .455

The 1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1938-39 NCAA Division I college basketball season. Elmer Ripley, who had coached Georgetown previously from 1927 to 1929, returned for his second of three stints as head coach; it was his third season overall as the Hoyas‍ '​ head coach.[2] The team was a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference (EIC) and played its home games at Tech Gymnasium on the campus of McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C.[3] The team finished with a record of 13-9 overall, 6-4 in the EIC, and had no postseason play.

Season recap[edit]

Senior forward Joe Murphy was the team‍ '​s star. He scored in double figures in nine games, including 14 points against Syracuse, 11 against Maryland, and 15 against EIC rival Penn State. He finished the season averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game. Over his career, he was the second-highest scoring Georgetown player of the 1930s and fifth-highest in school history at the time. He had scored in double figures in 17 of the 65 games of his three-year college varsity career.[4]

Junior forward John Schmitt scored 12 points in an upset of West Virginia in an EIC game. His season ended when he broke his leg during the game at Yale.[5]

Georgetown finished with an overall record of 13-9, the most wins by a Georgetown team since the 1929-30 season and the best winning percentage since 1928-29. The school had been a founding member of the EIC when the conference began play in the 1932-33 season, and this year‍ '​s 6-4 conference record gave the school its first and only regular-season EIC championship – Georgetown‍ '​s first championship of any kind – which it shared with Carnegie Tech.[6] Although the EIC never held a postseason conference tournament, in previous seasons when the regular season had ended in a first-place tie it had held a single postseason playoff game between the two first-place teams to determine the conference championship. This season, however, no such playoff game took place, and Georgetown and Carnegie Tech settled for the only co-championship in EIC history.

Although the Associated Press described the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference as "one of the best in the nation,"[7] its members agreed to disband it at the end of the season because geographical problems had made scheduling difficult.[7] Georgetown‍ '​s overall conference record during its seven-year membership was 27-39.

At the end of the season, Georgetown thus became an independent again for the first time since the 1931-32 season. In 1939-40, the Hoyas would play their first of 38 seasons as an independent before becoming a founding member of the original Big East Conference in the 1979-1980 season.



Junior guard Francis "Reds" Daly was killed in action in the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 22, 1945, during World War II military service.[10]

# Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
3 Joe Murphy 6'0" N/A F Sr. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
10 Joe McFadden N/A N/A G So. N/A N/A
12 Jim Giebel N/A N/A G So. Bethesda, MD, U.S. St. John's College HS (Washington, DC)
13 George Pajak 6'0" N/A G/F So. Ware, MA, U.S. Ware HS
20 Irv Rizzi N/A N/A G So. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
24 Al Matuza 6'2" N/A F So. Shenandoah, PA, U.S. Shenandoah HS
53 Ed Kurtyka N/A N/A G Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. Eastern HS
60 Francis "Reds" Daly 6'3" N/A G Jr. Washington, DC, U.S. McKinley Technical HS
80 John Schmitt 5'11" N/A F Jr. Syracuse, NY, U.S. St. John's Preparatory School (New York, NY)
N/A Harry Leber N/A N/A G Sr. N/A N/A
N/A John McGowan N/A N/A C N/A N/A N/A
N/A John Riches N/A N/A G Sr. N/A N/A

1938–39 schedule and results[edit]


Time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site
City, State
Regular Season
Thu., Dec. 8, 1938*
no, no
Western Maryland W 46–23  1-0
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Tue., Dec. 13, 1938*
no, no
Loyola Maryland W 36–34  2-0
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Thu., Dec. 15, 1938*
no, no
at American W 51–35  3-0
Clendenen Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Jan. 4, 1939*
no, no
at New York University W 27–25  4-0
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
Mon., Jan. 9, 1938
no, no
Temple W 36–28  5-0
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, D.C.
Fri, Jan. 13, 1939
no, no
at Carnegie Tech L 34–37  5-1
Skibo Gymnasium
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat., Jan. 14, 1938
no, no
at West Virginia W 37–31  6-1
WVU Field House
Morgantown, WV
Thu., Jan. 19, 1939*
no, no
at Loyola Maryland W 39–30  7-1
Alumni Gymnasium
Baltimore, MD
Fri., Jan. 27, 1939*
no, no
at New York University L 43–45  7-2
102nd Regiment Armory
New York, NY
Sat., Jan. 28, 1939*
no, no
at Syracuse L 43–45  7-3
Archbold Gymnasium
Syracuse, NY
Tue., Jan. 31, 1939*
no, no
at Fordham L 34–43  7-4
Rose Hill Gymnasium
Bronx, NY
Wed, Feb. 1, 1939*
no, no
at Army L 17–36  7-5
Hayes Gymnasium
West Point, NY
Mon., Feb. 6, 1939
no, no
West Virginia W 40–32  8-5
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Feb. 8, 1939*
no, no
at Maryland W 39–25  9-5
Ritchie Coliseum
College Park, MD
Sat., Feb. 11, 1939
no, no
at Penn State W 32–21  10-5
Recreation Hall
State College, PA
Mon., Feb. 13, 1939
no, no
at Pittsburgh L 41–43  10-6
Pitt Pavilion
Pittsburgh, PA
Thu., Feb. 16, 1939
no, no
Carnegie Tech W 45–41 OT 11-6
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Fri., Feb. 24, 1939
no, no
at Temple L 25–32  11-7
Philadelphia Convention Hall
Philadelphia, PA
Sat., Feb. 25, 1939*
no, no
at Yale W 20–19  12-7
Payne Whitney Gymnasium
New Haven, CT
Wed., Mar. 1, 1939
no, no
Penn State W 42–29  13-7
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Mar. 4, 1939
no, no
Pittsburgh L 39–44  13-8
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Tue., Mar. 7, 1939*
no, no
George Washington L 26–36  13-9
Tech Gymnasium
Washington, DC
*Non-conference game. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.