Tyler Adams, Aaron Bowen

Loss to No. 9 Villanova makes Saturday a must-win game for Georgetown

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James Bell scored 16 points to lead the way for No. 9 Villanova as they won a game that would have pleased those folks that are pining for the Old Big East.

The final score was 65-60 in a game that featured 34 turnovers, 39 fouls and just 41 field goals.

It wasn’t one for the highlight reels, but it was the first time in about a month that Georgetown actually showed some life. Markel Starks led the way with 20 points and five assists as the Hoyas jumped out to an 8-0 lead and ensured that this would not be a blowout. And while the Wildcats ended up pulling away down the stretch, this loss will hurt more than normal for the Hoyas because they are already in a tough position when it comes to the NCAA tournament.

They are currently sitting at 11-9 overall and 3-6 in the Big East, having lost their last five games. Those wins over Kansas State and VCU will look good on Selection Sunday, but they certainly aren’t enough to support a resume that includes losses to Northeastern and Seton Hall.

Georgetown will close the season with four games against Xavier, Marquette, Creighton and Villanova, but the most important game of their season could end up being on Saturday. They take on No. 7 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden, a chance to pick up a win over one of the best teams in the country in a game where the Spartans will be short-handed.

That won’t solve their issues completely, but snapping a five-game losing streak and picking up as good of a win as there is available this season is a not a bad way to try to turn the season around.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.