It was a sad week for Georgetown basketball with the death of Louis Orr, one of the legendary faces of Big East and Georgetown basketball. Additionally, both teams lost conference games, and the men’s team roster lost and gained a familiar face.
Passing of Louis Orr
Louis Orr, one of the legendary faces of Big East and Georgetown basketball, passed away on Dec. 15. His family released a statement the next day:
“On 12/15/2022, Louis Orr was called home to be with the Lord as his battle with cancer has come to an end. He was a dearly loved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He will forever be missed!”
Head Coach Patrick Ewing also released a statement, calling Orr one of his closest friends and someone whose presence will leave a mark on the program. “He was always someone I could talk to – we would talk about life, we would talk about basketball, we would talk about family,” Ewing said. “He will be truly missed and he will forever be part of this Hoya program.”
Orr joined the Hoyas’ coaching staff in 2017 as an assistant coach, a position he served in until this season, when he transitioned to the special assistant to the head coach role. Prior to Georgetown, Orr spent nearly three decades coaching in the NCAA and abroad.
Orr also had a lucrative basketball career himself. He played four years at Syracuse, helping Head Coach Jim Boeheim secure his first 100 wins, followed by an eight-year NBA career. He spent two seasons with the Indiana Pacers and six with the New York Knicks, making four total playoff appearances. He played with Ewing for Ewing’s first three seasons with the Knicks and in the NBA as well.
Orr leaves behind a legacy, and will be dearly missed and always remembered on the Hilltop.
Loss @ DePaul (12/18)
On Dec. 18, the Georgetown Hoyas (7-4, 1-2 Big East) fell 80-71 to the DePaul Blue Demons (9-3, 2-0 Big East). Graduate guard Kristina Moore led the Hoyas in scoring with 16 points, followed by junior guard Kelsey Ransom who contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds. Last year’s Big East Freshman of the Year, Aneesah Morrow, led the Blue Demons with a 28-point, 11-rebound double-double.
A three-pointer from freshman guard Kennedy Fauntleroy and a two-point jumper for Moore gave the Hoyas an early 5-0 lead, but a responding layup and three-pointer from Morrow tied things up. The Hoyas wouldn’t take back the lead for the rest of the quarter, and the Blue Demons closed it out 23-17.
Morrow scored 13 of DePaul’s 17 second quarter points, and the remaining four were all from junior guard Darrione Rogers. Ransom had 8 of the Hoyas’ 18, At the end of the half, it was 40-35, DePaul.
Georgetown continued to hang on through the third quarter, with lots of back-and-forth action. They managed to cut the Blue Demons’ lead to one a couple of times, but couldn’t quite pull ahead. Both teams put in solid defensive efforts and forced turnovers, but also struggled from beyond the arc. The Hoyas shot one-of-four from three in the third quarter, which was shockingly better than the Blue Demons’ one-of-seven. DePaul finished the quarter leading 53-49.
Senior guard Jada Claude made a layup to kick off the fourth quarter, bringing the Hoyas within two points of DePaul. Play was tense, with the Blue Demons just barely managing to hang onto their lead.
It wasn’t until just under five minutes to play that an and-one for DePaul senior guard Anaya Peoples put the Blue Demons up by six, but even then, a three-pointer for Moore cut DePaul’s lead to two with just two minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, they would only score one more point, whereas the Blue Demons made six more free throws and a two-point jumper to win 80-71.
Georgetown’s biggest weaknesses were fouling and three-point shooting. DePaul scored 25 points off of free throws; many of the Hoyas’ fouls weren’t necessary, and their excessive fouling cost them the game. The Hoyas also shot a measly 25 percent from beyond the arc. Both of these are easy fixes, though, so moving forward, Georgetown should have a good shot at pulling out a few more conference wins.
One highlight from Sunday was Fauntleroy, whose 12-point, 8-rebound performance earned her Big East Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season. Fauntleroy is averaging 17 points per game through her first three conference match-ups, and has consistently been a bright spot for the Hoyas this season. It should be exciting to see how she does in conference play moving forward.
The Hoyas will take on Seton Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in South Orange, N.J. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on FloHoops.
Loss vs Xavier (12/16)
On Thursday, the Hoyas (5-7, 0-1 Big East) fell 102-89 to the Xavier Musketeers (9-3, 1-0 Big East) in Capital One Arena. Sophomore guard Primo Spears led the Hoyas with 22 points and graduate guard Souley Boum led the Musketeers with a season-high 28 points on six-of-nine shooting from beyond the arc.
After Xavier’s senior forward Zach Freemantle made a layup to score the first two points of the game, it looked like it was only a matter of time before Xavier started to separate. They maintained their lead through nearly all of the first ten minutes, pulling away by as much as eight points at one point and never letting the Hoyas get closer than two.
But with eleven minutes to play in the half, a pair of dunks from sophomore center Bradley Ezewiro gave Georgetown the lead, 19-17. However, Xavier quickly regained the lead and didn’t lose it for the rest of half, closing things out 43-38.
Aside from their standard defensive woes, the Hoyas’ biggest struggles in the half were three-point shooting and free throws. They shot one-of-seven from three and five-of-twelve at the line. With just a couple more makes in either category, it could have been a more even game going into the second half.
In the second half, the Musketeers’ three-point shooting came alive. Xavier scored 27 points off of threes in the second half alone on 69.23 percent shooting, which shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise given the Hoyas’ tendency to double in the paint and leave a three one pass away wide open. Georgetown cut it to one early in the half, but weren’t able to retake the lead, and eventually, the Musketeers ran away with it, closing out the game 102-89.
In terms of offense, free throws and three-point shooting are easy improvements, and Spears has shown time and time again that he knows how to score the basketball. It was also a solid game for senior center Qudus Wahab, who scored 16 points and grabbed 7 boards in 27 minutes on the night. If he can start to play more minutes, it will mean good things for the Hoyas.
Georgetown will take on the DePaul Blue Demons (12-0, 1-0 Big East) in Chicago, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised live on Fox Sports 2.
Dante Harris Transfer & Malcolm Wilson Roster Addition
On Dec. 18, just a couple of weeks after entering the transfer portal, junior guard Dante Harris announced his commitment to the University of Virginia, where he intends to begin play in the 2023-24 season with three years of eligibility remaining. Harris had yet to play a game in the Blue & Gray this year, leaving the team before the season even started due to personal reasons. Harris was the only starter from last year who didn’t transfer prior to the start of the season.
Since Harris’ departure, senior center Malcolm Wilson, who played his first three years at Georgetown before transitioning to a manager role for the beginning of this season, has rejoined the Hoyas’ roster. Wilson averaged 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 points per game on 64.3 percent shooting, and is perhaps best-known for his one-handed free throw. He, sophomore center Ryan Mutombo, sophomore guard Jordan Riley and junior walk-on Victor Muresan are now the only remaining players from last year’s roster.
For more updates and continued coverage of Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.