NCAA

Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

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Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

Two nights after Georgetown's aircraft carrier game went the no contest route out because of wet conditions, the inexperienced Hoyas officially opened their regular season with a "sloppy," albeit winning performance against Duquesne.

Losing Otto Porter early on with a head injury complicated matters. So did Georgetown's half court offensive struggles and the Dukes feisty resolve.

As it turned out, the Hoyas survived without the heralded forward, downing Duquesne 61-55 victory in the opening round of the Legends Classic on Sunday night at the Verizon Center thanks to freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's splashy shooting debut and Greg Whittington's manly rebounding.

The scoreless Porter left the court wincing in pain with 11:55 remaining, never returning to the bench.

"He's being monitored. He got hit in the head and as a precaution we just said let's not put him back in. It was close," said a John Thompson IIII. The Georgetown coach was unable to report in this postgame press conference whether Porter had suffered a concussion.

The Hoyas (1-0) blew most of an 11-point lead inside the final four minutes before winning their eighth straight season-opener under the ninth-year coach.

Georgetown played Friday against Florida on the U.S.S. Bataan, but the outdoor contest was called at halftime due to a slippery surface, making the home game the actual season opener.

Smith-Rivera sank his first six attempts including four first half bombs from beyond arc and finished with 19 points, missing only his final shot of the game. Whittington grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, none more important than an offensive board snared after Jabril Trawick missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 28 seconds left and Georgetown up 56-53. Fouled by the Dukes, Whittington sank two free throws extending the lead to 58-53.

"I just went up to go get that rebound," Whittington said. "There was nothing to it. I just went up and got it."

Smith-Rivera made three of four free throws over the final 19 seconds to seal the ugly win.

"I think both teams were sloppy," Thompson said. "We definitely were sloppy at both ends of the court. It's early. It definitely felt like the season opener. We have a long way to go."

Mikael Hopkins finished with 13 points and his layup with 3:59 remaining put the Hoyas up 54-43. Over the next three minutes, Georgetown committed two of its 17 turnovers.

Duquesne (0-2) put together a 10-2 run before Whittington's board work and the final free throws iced the game. Sean Johnson led the Dukes with 21 points.

As for his rebounding ace, Thompson said, "I thought that Greg was very, very good today. He got 15 rebounds I believe and most of them are what I call "man rebounds." They aren't just the ones that just fell to him. He went and got them, up and over the rim."

The stocky 6-foot-3 Smith-Rivera, the top-rated among Georgetown's four freshman, entered four minutes into the game. Just 16 seconds later, his first official shot went up. Swish. Four more made 3-pointers in the half followed, though the final attempt was waved off, coming a split-second after the halftime buzzer.

"He can shoot, he can score, and he's a very good passer," Thompson said. "Just so happened tonight he was the recipient and our guys found him and he put the ball in the basket - but we needed that, there is no doubt about it."

The Indianapolis native tacked on another jumper in the first half. The Hoyas needed all of it; while Smith-Rivera went 5 of 5 in the half, his teammates finished 5 of 22. The ball movement was a touch better in the second half, but the Hoyas usual back door looks were non-existent until Nate Lubick hit a cutting Markel Starks for a layup and a 58-53 lead inside the final minute.

"I thought we were forcing too much," Thompson said. "We were hunting too much for our points instead of just making the ball move. That one possession we went through a whole series of things, stayed with it a little longer and we get a layup."

Other times in the closing minutes and throughout the game, the young Hoyas - six of the nine players that saw action are freshman or sophomores - proved impatient.

"We're coming down, it's under three minutes and we don't have a clear advantage and we're still trying to push it up," Thompson said. "I guess that's what this time of year is for, to figure it out."

Jackson, Peoples lead No. 13 Hokies past ODU, 38-0

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Jackson, Peoples lead No. 13 Hokies past ODU, 38-0

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Steven Peoples had scored three career touchdowns for No. 13 Virginia Tech heading into Saturday's game against Old Dominion.

Now he's scored six, including a right-place-at-the-right-time deflection that turned his good day into a career day.

On the play, Peoples ran a wheel route and was a few steps behind Hokies start receiver Cam Phillips. Both were well covered, but quarterback Josh Jackson let fly from near midfield as the four players approached the end zone. The ball went to Phillips, but in the scramble with the defender, it bounced away, right into Peoples' arms for a 43-yard touchdown.

"I sat back and was waiting for Cam to catch it," Peoples said, noting Phillips' reputation for catching the ball in traffic. "As soon as it bounced off him, I caught the ball and I was like, `Man, that was a big-time catch.'"

On the sideline, while teammates celebrated, Jackson got a talking-to from coach Justin Fuente.

"Not for public consumption," Fuente said what asked what he told the redshirt freshman. "Not happy. We got lucky on that one so I made sure he knew about it. He's smart. He's tough. He understands stuff and he's still young."

Said Jackson: "That was the first touchdown I've ever felt bad after throwing."

Jackson threw for two more scores -- a 17-yard screen pass to Peoples and a diving 5-yarder to C.J. Carroll -- as the Hokies (4-0) finished their non-conference schedule unbeaten for the first time since 2011. Peoples also scored on a 1-yard run.

Virginia Tech started slowly for the second consecutive game, leading just 3-0 after the first quarter, but scored on four consecutive drives after getting untracked. The Hokies have scored 95 consecutive points since falling behind 17-7 at East Carolina last week.

The Monarchs (2-2), playing an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent for the second week in a row, fell to 0-9 against Power Five schools.

The game was the first meeting between the schools and featured the first career start for 17-year-old Old Dominion quarterback Steven Williams Jr. He showed a nifty ability to escape the Hokies' pass rush, getting sacked just once, but completed just 8 of 26 for 85 yards. Monarchs receivers didn't help by dropping several balls, including one that Travis Fulgham could have taken 75 yards for a touchdown.

"He didn't get a lot of help out there today," coach Bobby Wilder said after his team barely made it across midfield all game. "There were four of five times where we needed to make a catch, we needed to make a play, and we didn't."

Williams took it in stride.

"It's just part of the game. We know we need to clean that up," he said. "We have to be more aggressive. If we find our run game, we're going to be fine."

Jackson was 20 for 30 for 298 yards and has now thrown for 11 touchdowns. He did throw his first interception of the season against the Monarchs, but the Hokies took the ball away three plays later, leading to their first touchdown midway through the second quarter.

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

The NCAA is a dumb and monumentally stupid organization with rules that often don't make sense for the student-athletes they govern. One of those is paying, or more specifically not paying, athletes.

In an incredible twist of irony, Maryland will give one lucky regular student (that isn't an athlete) $10,000 for something an athlete (not a regular student) could potentially perform on the football field.

This is a highly specific play that will have to happen in order for one lucky student (again, not an athlete) to win the money, but the hypocrisy is incredible and this entire situation is so backward.

A student-athlete could score a touchdown (while not being paid) for the university and while scoring said touchdown will be helping make money for the university (money they will never see a dime from). The university will then turn around and give money to a student who did nothing to earn it, except decide to stay around in the second half for a game that is expected to be lightly attended, thanks to the achievement of a student-athlete who is incapable of receiving said money. 

That makes sense. Totally.

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that Division 1 coaches were "spooked" and against new rules that would allow students who met a minimum GPA to transfer and have immediate eligibility.

This is all totally fine.

Anyway, I can't believe someone didn't see the irony here and think "eh, we just had one of the biggest upsets of the weekend and should have a better way to capitalize on our momentum with something cool to entice people to stick around against Towson?"

I guess not.

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