Georgetown’s Greg Monroe had a successful homecoming in the season opener. Now, the rest of the Hoyas hope to experience a happy homecoming of their own.
Monroe leads No. 23 Georgetown into its home opener at the Verizon Center on Tuesday afternoon, when the Hoyas will face two-time defending Atlantic 10 champion Temple.
Monroe, who grew up in the New Orleans area, had 18 points and 11 rebounds Friday to lead Georgetown to a 74-58 season-opening victory at Tulane. Picking up where he left off after a freshman season in which he averaged 12.7 points and had four double-doubles, the 6-foot-11 center thrived in front of his own cheering section behind the visiting bench.
“My main focus coming in was to get the win,” Monroe said, “and me and my teammates accomplished all that we wanted to accomplish. Coming in I knew we would have good fan support. It was everything I expected coming in.”
Austin Freeman scored 16 points, Jason Clark had 13 and Chris Wright added 11 to help the Hoyas win their fifth consecutive season opener.
The last time they lost their season opener was also the last time they faced Temple. The Owls beat Georgetown 75-57 in the nation’s capital Nov. 22, 2004, spoiling John Thompson III’s debut coaching the Hoyas. The victory was Temple’s third straight over Georgetown, and gave the Owls a 21-13 edge in the all-time series.
The Owls are 3-0 all-time at the Verizon Center.
Though Temple is coming off consecutive Atlantic 10 titles and 20-win seasons, the Owls are a team in transition following the graduation of star guard and leading scorer Dionte Christmas. They looked ready to pick up the slack in their season opener Saturday, shooting 50 percent from the field in a 76-56 victory at Delaware.
“No one person can replace Dionte Christmas,” said junior forward Lavoy Allen, a preseason first-team Atlantic 10 selection.”So we all have to contribute.”
Allen contributed nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while senior guard Ryan Brooks appeared ready to assume Christmas’ leading-scorer mantle with a career-high 23 points. Brooks shot 8 of 14 and added nine rebounds.
Sophomore guard Juan Fernandez had 14 points for Temple in his first career start, while senior Luis Guzman and junior Craig Williams scored eight apiece. Williams, who came off the bench in the opener after starting seven games in 2008-09, shot 3 for 3 but sprained his knee on his final field-goal attempt. He’s listed as day to day and is uncertain for this contest.
Temple is seeking its third straight 2-0 start. Georgetown is looking to open with consecutive victories for the fifth straight year.