Honored Thompson thanks writers for belittling Hoyas

March 13, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- He would be the first to admit that his relationship with the media in his 20 years as Georgetown basketball coach has been far from harmonious, but yesterday there was John Thompson offering kind words to the hounding (( scribes as he received the Big East Coach of the Year Award.

"You helped me so much, so deeply," said Thompson, addressing the reporters who voted him the award, "by saying how we were going to be so terrible."

Picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll, the Hoyas (19-8) went 12-6 in the league to share the regular-season title with Seton Hall (20-7) and St. John's (18-9). The Hoyas will be the second seed when the Big East tournament gets into full swing this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Georgetown will play tonight against No. 10 Miami (8-23, 2-17), an 83-71 winner against No. 7 Pittsburgh (17-15, 9-10). Top seed Seton Hall (20-7, 12-6) will face Boston College (16-12, 8-11), which defeated Providence, 78-68, in last night's other preliminary.

In the first game today, No. 4 Villanova (14-13, 11-7) will face No. 5 Syracuse (18-9, 10-8), with the action concluding tonight with No. 3 St. John's (18-9, 12-6) taking on No. 6 Connecticut (19-8, 10-8).

With no dominant team, the Big East has been described as having a down season. But the coaches like to think of the physical league battles merely as preparation for the real season, starting with next week's NCAA tournament.

"I think the kind of games we play in this league is the best possible preparation for the NCAAs," said Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo. "I think we're going to have more at-large teams in the tournament than anyone. I think anyone else -- other than Duke -- would be losing a lot of games in our league."

With just one seasoned returning player in center Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown was expected to lose a lot this year. But despite surrounding Mourning -- the Big East Player of the Year -- with a group of sophomores and freshmen, the team has been successful and rewarding for Thompson.

Boston College 78, Providence 68 PROVIDENCE -- Bragg 7-8 1-6 15, Smith 0-6 2-2 2, Simpkins 1-5 2, Forbes 5-12 1-2 12, Phelps 5-12 0-0 13, Floyd 1-4 1-2 3, Alosa 1-3 0-0 2, Brown 3-9 2-2 8, Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Bowman 3-4 2-3 8, McDonald 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 27-69 9-18 68.

BOSTON COLLEGE -- Huckaby 3-6 3-6 10, Jackson 1-4 6-8 8, Curley 7-10 4-6 18, Abram 5-9 10-13 22, Eisley 3-6 11-14 17, Molinsky 1-4 0-0 3, Hinton 0-2 0-0 0, Rountree 0-0 0-0 0, Hrabowski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-41 34-47 78.

Halftime--Boston Col. 27, Providence 22. 3-point goals--Providence 5-21 (Phelps 3-6, Forbes 1-4, McDonald 1-5, Bowman 0-1, Alosa 0-2, Floyd 0-3), Boston Col. 4-7 (Abram 2-4, Huckaby 1-1, Molinsky 1-2). Fouled out--Phelps. Rebounds--Providence 44 (Smith 11), Boston Col. 35 (Eisley 9). Assists--Providence 13 (Bragg, Forbes 3), Boston Col. 15 (Eisley 7). Total fouls--Providence 30, Boston Col. 19. A--18,806.

Miami 83, Pittsburgh 71

MIAMI -- Burton 8-13 9-13 25, Ward 2-2 0-0 4, Popa 1-5 0-0 2, Gardner 1-6 3-4 6, Scott 11-14 4-4 30, A.Lawrence 5-6 3-4 13, P.Lawrence 0-0 1-2 1, Swaby 1-2 0-0 2, Kieserman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-48 20-27 83.

PITTSBURGH -- Antigua 4-8 1-2 11, McNeal 3-8 2-4 8, Morningstar 1-7 3-6 5, Miller 7-20 5-7 24, Shareef 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan 0-6 0-0 0, Gant 1-3 3-6 5, McCullough 0-4 4-4 4, Mobley 6-11 2-3 14, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-69 20-32 71.

Halftime--Pittsburgh 35, Miami 33. 3-point goals--Miami 5-10 (Scott 4-4, Gardner 1-4, A.Lawrence 0-1, Swaby 0-1), Pittsburgh 7-22 (Miller 5-13, Antigua 2-3, Shareef 0-1, Jordan 0-2, McCullough 0-3). Fouled out--Ward, Popa. Rebounds--Miami 34 (Burton 7), Pittsburgh 40 (Morningstar 7). Assists--Miami 15 (Gardner 5), Pittsburgh 15 (Miller 7). Total fouls--Miami 21, Pittsburgh 22. Technical--A.Lawrence. A--18,806.

Big East tournament

Today's games

Noon: Villanova vs. Syracuse

2:30 p.m.: Seton Hall vs.Boston College

7p.m.: Georgetown vs. Miami

9:30 p.m.: St. John's vs. Connecticut

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