In his debut, freshman Greg Monroe looked fully capable of adding to the lineage of storied centers from Georgetown.
Monroe and the 22nd-ranked Hoyas try to extend their home winning streak to 23 games on Saturday when they host Drexel at the Verizon Center.
A 6-foot-11 center, Monroe knows all about the success of previous pivotmen for the Hoyas, who have had standouts such as Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and most recently, Roy Hibbert. Monroe had 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and three blocks as Georgetown opened the season with a 71-62 victory over Jacksonville—its first game since Hibbert’s graduation.
“He has to touch the ball,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of Monroe. “Good things will happen for our team when he touches the ball.”
The New Orleans-native anchored a defense that forced Jacksonville into missing its first eight shots. The Hoyas, who led the nation in field goal defense at 36.6 percent last season, limited the Dolphins to 28 percent shooting in the first half and 35.4 percent overall.
“(Greg is) talented, and we’re going to need him to produce,” Georgetown sophomore Chris Wright said. “I mean, Greg has a lot on his shoulders.”
So does Wright. After playing only 16 games last season due to a broken right foot, Wright took over at guard for Jonathan Wallace, who started all 34 games in helping the Hoyas go 28-6 and reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.
In his first career start on Monday, Wright led the Hoyas with 16 points— going 3-for-5 from 3-point range—and added five rebounds and four assists. Georgetown, though, went only 5-for-23 from beyond the arc.
“It’s kind of expected for us to have those type of woes in the first game, shooting so poorly from the 3,” said DaJuan Summers, who missed his only 3-point attempt and had 13 points and four rebounds.
Georgetown—sixth in the nation in shooting last season at 49.0 percent— made just 40.4 percent (21-for-52) against the Dolphins.
Drexel is trying to build off a season-opening, 66-64 win over Penn on Tuesday morning.
“People were really pumped for it,” Drexel junior Jared Lucchesi said of the 10 a.m. opening tip. “It was kind of tough to get up for it, but everyone found it pretty exciting.”
Senior guard Tramayne Hawthorne had 13 points, six rebounds and two steals off the bench as the Dragons (1-0) won their fifth consecutive home opener.
Drexel, which has a two-game winning streak against Big East opponents, goes for its first victory over a top 25 team on Saturday since defeating then-No. 23 Syracuse 84-79 on Dec. 19, 2006. Hawthorne had seven points, four assists and four steals in that game.
Senior guard Scott Rodgers scored 13 points and had five rebounds, while freshman forward Samme Givens added seven points and pulled down 10 rebounds in 18 minutes against the Quakers.