Joined: 16 Nov 16
|Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:01 am Post subject: Strong opponents
|For the rivalry’s sake and the prospects for its continuance, a split would’ve been much better. Instead, the reward for Georgetown coach John Thompson III agreeing to renew the intra-DMV clash with Maryland is two losses by a combined five points.
Here’s hoping he isn’t dissuaded from doing his part to make Hoyas-Terrapins an annual affair.
Tuesday’s game perfectly demonstrated one reason Thompson might be averse. Georgetown was the home team, but Maryland’s fans were louder by the end of the game. With a student body twice as large — and an alumni base that’s presumably just as disproportionate — Maryland is unlike typical visitors the Hoyas host in downtown D.C.
While Verizon Center doesn’t become a hostile environment for Georgetown when Maryland is in the building, it’s not much better than a neutral site, either. Verizon clearly doesn’t give the Hoyas the kind of home court advatage the Terps’ enjoy when they host their cross-town rivals at Xfinity Center on the College Park campus.
With so many Maryland fans in the building, the Hoyas could’ve been on the road Tuesday as they blew a nine-point lead in the final 2:21. In a real home atmosphere, half the crowd (or more) wouldn’t be cheering wildly if Georgetown melted down against an out-of-town, non-conference foe early in the season. But that’s what happened as Maryland cut into the margin and eventually went ahead on Melo Trimble’s free throws with seven seconds remaining.
This is the second consecutive “Maryland at Georgetown” contest that ended with a one-point victory in a building the Washington Wizards call home. Granted, the last one was in 1993, when the Terps won on Duane Simpkins’ last-second shot in overtime at the USAir Arena. But 2016 might have the same effect on JT3’s taste for the rivalry as 1993 had on his father, Big John, who never scheduled Maryland again.
“I loved the arena at the end,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon told reporters Tuesday night. “‘Let’s go Maryland, let’s go Georgetown’ — I thought that was really cool.”
Already hesitant to put the rivalry on par with the annual Crosstown Shootout between Cincinnati and Xavier, schools just three miles apart, Thompson could be less eager now. Especially since it likely costs Georgetown a less-challenging home game.
“I told you, a couple of weeks ago, that in a perfect world we wouldn’t have this game right here this early in the year,” he told reporters after the 76-75 defeat.