Temple 75, Georgetown 57
WASHINGTON (AP)— The fans who stood and cheered for John Thompson III before his Georgetown coaching debut against Temple Monday night had to be hoping for anything close to the success his father had with the once-proud program.
John Thompson Jr. had delivered 596 wins, 20 NCAA tournament appearances and a national title in 27 seasons.
But fans are still waiting for the first win in this Thompson era. The Hoyas couldn’t stop Mardy Collins, who scored 22 points and made five 3-pointers to lead the Owls to a 75-57 win.
However, Hall of Fame Temple coach John Chaney is confident that Thompson can handle the expectations and lead the Hoyas (0-1) back to the success they enjoyed under dad.
“It’s always hard because somebody’s always going to measure you unfairly,” Chaney said of Thompson III, who led Princeton to three Ivy League titles in four seasons. “I think that he’ll achieve his own identity. He’ll forget about ‘Big John’ and think about ‘Little John’ and Friar Tuck and the rest of them.”
The Thompsons are the seventh father and son to have coached at the same Division I college.
Monday’s loss was the first for the Hoyas in a season opener since John Thompson Jr. began his last season at Georgetown with a 65-49 loss to Temple in 1998.
“Not with the way it turned out,” Thompson said when asked if he was relieved to get the first game out of the way. “It’s over. We have to get better, we have to prepare for our next game.”
Monday’s opponent was a far tougher one than the Hoyas have faced in recent years. The Owls (1-1) forced Georgetown into 17 turnovers and made 9 of 15 shots from 3-point range.
Collins, who also had seven assists, started to get hot late midway through the first half when he hit his first 3-pointer, giving Temple the lead for good.
Brandon Bowman and Roy Hibbert led the Hoyas with 12 points each. Wayne Marshall added 16 points for Temple.
The first possession of this Thompson era started well enough as Darell Owens hit a 3-pointer from the corner.
Temple responded with 45 percent shooting and five first-half 3-pointers, including the one Dion Dacons banked in at the halftime buzzer to give the Owls a 38-25 lead.
At one point in the first half, the Hoyas were shooting 56 percent from the floor, but fell well off that pace by hitting just two field goals over the final 8:47 of the half.
The offense never totally resurfaced in the second half for Georgetown, which shot 36 percent from the floor and trailed by as many as 25.