1972–73 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

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1972-73 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas alternate logo.svg
Conference Independent
1972-73 record 12–14
Head coach John Thompson, Jr. (1st year)
Assistant coach Bill Stein (1st year)
Assistant coach George Leftwich (1st year)
Home arena McDonough Gymnasium
Seasons
« 1971–72 1973–74 »

The 1972–73 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1972-73 NCAA Division I college basketball season. John Thompson, Jr., coached them in his first season as head coach. The team was an independent and played its home games at McDonough Gymnasium on the Georgetown campus in Washington, D.C.. It finished the season with a record of 12-14 – a significant improvement over the previous season‍ '​s record – was not ranked in the Top 20 in the Associated Press Poll or Coaches' Poll at any time,[1][2] and had no post-season play.

John Thompson arrives[edit]

The 29-year-old Thompson was only the third African-American head coach in the history of NCAA Division basketball and was the first to take charge of a major college basketball program. He had been a star player for Washington, D.C.‍ '​s Archbishop Carroll High School and for Providence College, had played for two successful seasons with the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association, and then had returned to Washington, D.C., to coach St. Anthony's High School to a record of 122-28 in six seasons.[3]

At Georgetown, Thompson inherited a team that had gone 3-23 the previous season, the culmination of a 25-year stretch of mostly undistinguished basketball at Georgetown. Although the team had appeared in the National Invitation Tournament in 1953 and 1970, between the 1947-48 season and the end of the previous season Georgetown had posted an overall record under .500 and its total of 296 wins during those 25 seasons was the lowest among the 32 Catholic universities playing Division I college basketball in the United States. The team also had had no NCAA Tournament appearances since 1943.[4]

Thompson‍ '​s arrival heralded the school‍ '​s rise to the status of a national basketball power; the 12-14 record this season was a significant improvement over the 3-23 finish of the previous year, and the 1972-73 squad was the last Georgetown men's basketball team to finish with a losing record until the 1998–99 season. Georgetown had hired Thompson in the hope that he could guide the Hoyas to an "occasional" National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance, but during his 26½ seasons as head coach he would lead the Hoyas to 24 straight post-season tournaments – 19 NCAA Tournaments and five NITs – from the 1974-75 to the 1997-98 seasons, and to the national championship in the 1983-84 season.[3]

Season recap[edit]

Thompson‍ '​s first recruiting class consisted of five players. One of them was center Merlin Wilson, who had played for him at St. Anthony‍ '​s and followed him to Georgetown to play college basketball. Wilson scored 24 points in the season opener against Saint Francis. At Loyola, the Hoyas outrebounded the Greyhounds 65-33, and Wilson pulled down 24 of Georgetown‍ '​s rebounds. By mid-season, Wilson was averaging 12 points and 13 rebounds a game, a level of play unknown at Georgetown for many years, and was among the top ten college players in rebounds; a Tampa Tribune columnist wrote that the Hoyas were "a team destined to be one of the next great powers in college basketball"[5] because of Wilson‍ '​s talent. He scored 25 points and had 17 rebounds and eight blocks against Navy, had a 17-point, 17-rebound performance against Fordham in a big win, and had 15 points and 16 rebounds against St. Mary's in the last home game of the season. He finished the season as the team‍ '​s leader in scoring and rebounds, and was ranked 14th in the United States with 14.1 rebounds per game.[5]

Another major Thompson recruit for his first season as a collegiate head coach was guard Jonathan Smith. Smith, like Wilson, had played for Thompson at St. Anthony‍ '​s and followed him to Georgetown. Although some observers expected Smith to be a reserve, he quickly emerged as a major force for the Hoyas, scoring a career-high 25 points twice during the season, against Penn State and George Washington. Smith finished the season second on the team only to Wilson in scoring.[6]

Roster[edit]

Source[5][6][7][8]

Citing the increasing financial hardship imposed on universities and colleges in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the requirement to maintain separate freshman and varsity teams, and because many member schools believed that they needed to place freshman recruits on their varsity teams without delay in order to be competitive, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled in 1972 that freshman would be eligible to play on varsity teams. Freshmen thus began to play for Georgetown in the 1972-73 season for the first time since the 1946-47 season.[9][10] They have continued to ever since.

# Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
10 Tim Lambour 5'8" N/A G Jr. Altoona, PA, U.S. Bishop Guilfoyle HS
12 Tom Dooley 6'5" N/A F Jr. Rumson, NJ, U.S. Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS
14 Bill Lynn 6'9" 185 F Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. Springarn HS
20 Mike Stokes 6'2" N/A G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. John's College HS
22 Rick Kentz 6'1" N/A G Jr. Summit, NJ, U.S. Delbarton School
24 Vince Fletcher 6'1" N/A G Sr. New York, NY, U.S. DeWitt Clinton HS
30 Jonathan Smith 6'1" 185 G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
32 Ron Lyons 6'8" N/ C Jr. Philadelphia, PA, U.S. Northwest College (Wyoming)
34 Don Willis 6'1" N/A G Jr. Hyattsville, MD, U.S. DeMatha Catholic HS
40 Greg Brooks 6'6" N/A G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
42 Aaron Long 6'2" N/A G Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
44 Merlin Wilson 6'9" 215 C Fr. Washington, DC, U.S. St. Anthony's HS
50 Mark Gallagher 6'5" N/A F So. Lynbrook, NY, U.S. Archbishop Molloy HS
54 Mark Edwards 6'5" N/A F Sr. Hyattsville, MD, U.S. DeMatha Catholic HS

1972–73 schedule and results[edit]

Sources[11][12][13][14]

Date
Time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site
City, State
Regular Season
Mon., Nov. 27, 1972
no, no
Saint Francis W 61–60  1-0
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Nov. 29, 1972
no, no
at Rutgers L 83–98  1-1
College Avenue Gymnasium
New Brunswick, NJ
Sat., Dec. 2, 1972
no, no
Wheeling Jesuit W 58–46  2-1
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Dec. 6, 1972
no, no
St. Bonaventure W 73–70 OT 3-1
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Dec. 9, 1972
no, no
at St. John's L 68–109  3-2
Alumni Hall
Queens, NY
Tue., Dec. 12, 1972
no, no
#2 Maryland L 73–99  3-3
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Dec. 27, 1972
no, no
vs. Virginia
St. Louis Invitational Tournament
L 58–72  3-4
Kiel Auditorium
St. Louis, MO
Fri., Dec. 29, 1972
no, no
vs. Army
St. Louis Invitational Tournament
W 74–70  4-4
Kiel Auditorium
St. Louis, MO
Sat., Jan. 6, 1973
no, no
at South Florida L 66–70  4-5
Curtis Hixon Hall
Tampa, FL
Mon., Jan. 8, 1973
no, no
at #19 Florida State L 70–101  4-6
Tully Gymnasium
Tallahassee, FL
Sat., Jan. 13, 1973
no, no
at Connecticut L 64–78  4-7
University of Connecticut Field House
Storrs, CT
Wed., Jan. 17, 1973
no, no
Randolph–Macon W 57–56  5-7
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Jan. 20, 1973
no, no
at Holy Cross L 100–116  5-8
Worcester Memorial Auditorium
Worcester, MA
Wed., Jan. 24, 1973
no, no
St. Joseph's L 59–70  5-9
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Jan. 27, 1973
no, no
Seton Hall W 80–62  6-9
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Jan. 31, 1973
no, no
at Loyola Maryland W 74–59  7-9
Alumni Gymnasium
Baltimore, MD
Sat., Feb. 3, 1973
no, no
at Penn State L 64–74  7-10
Recreation Hall
State College, PA
Wed., Feb. 7, 1973
no, no
Roanoke L 57–73  7-11
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Feb. 10, 1973
no, no
vs. Dickinson W 66–65  8-11
Alumni Gymnasium
Baltimore, MD
Wed., Feb. 14, 1973
no, no
Navy W 55–52  9-11
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Feb. 17, 1973
no, no
Boston College W 56–55  10-11
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Wed., Feb. 21, 1973
no, no
Fordham W 77–71  11-11
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Feb. 24, 1973
no, no
at American L 68–90  11-12
Fort Myer Gymnasium
Fort Myer, VA
Tue., Feb. 27, 1973
no, no
at George Washington L 78–91  11-13
Fort Myer Gymnasium
Fort Myer, VA
Thu., Mar. 1, 1973
no, no
St. Mary's of Maryland W 54–43  12-13
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
Sat., Mar. 3, 1973
no, no
Manhattan L 64–71  12-14
McDonough Gymnasium
Washington, DC
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.

References[edit]