No. 15 Georgetown 81, W. Carolina 68

During halftime of No. 15 Georgetown’s 81-68 win over Western

Carolina, Hoyas athletic director Lee Reed sat next to Hall of Fame

coach John Thompson and typed away on a smartphone, quickly

covering the screen when a reporter approached.

This was a day when the routine action on the court – an easy

home win over an overmatched nonconference opponent – was

overshadowed by the behind-the-scenes moves to break up one of

college basketball’s most storied leagues.

After the game, Reed broke his silence, confirming that the

seven Big East schools without major football programs were

breaking away to form their own ”basketball-centric” group,

reviving the concept that created the conference with Georgetown as

a founding member in 1979.

”In terms of our model for intercollegiate athletics, our broad

base model that’s basketball-centric, that’s something that’s

important to us,” Reed said. ”That has defined us for well over a

generation. We’re committed to doing that. We’re committed to

pursuing that and think this new structure provides the best

opportunity right now moving forward to do that.”

Known first and foremost as a basketball school – Georgetown’s

football team plays before small crowds on its Hilltop campus and

will remain in the Patriot League – the Hoyas were anxious to

separate themselves from a conference that gone to geographic

extremes to attract schools such as Boise State and San Diego State

to stay relevant in big-time gridiron.

Saturday, therefore, no time to be emotional about breaking

long-established ties, although Reed did not rule out the

possibility that the splinter schools would try to keep the Big

East name.

”Georgetown was an outstanding program before the Big East.

We’ve been an outstanding program during our time in the Big East.

And we’re going to be an outstanding program with whatever tomorrow

holds,” Thompson III said. ”The stability is up on the Hilltop,

the stability is within our institution, and whoever wants to be

with us can be with us.”

Seven Catholic schools make up the breakaway group, but Thompson

III said that’s not the unifying factor.

”The common philosophical link is not religion,” the coach

said. ”It’s basketball.”

Many details are still to be worked out in a process that will

play out over months, if not years. In the meantime, Georgetown

(9-1) has a team that’s won sixth straight and has rediscovered its

scoring punch.

Greg Whittington scored a career-high 25 points against Western

Carolina, Jabril Trawick added a career-high 14, and Otto Porter

had 12 for the Hoyas, who took control with a 13-3 run at the end

of the first half against a school that fell to 0-38 against teams

ranked in the AP poll.

Georgetown recently played a pair of home-court clunkers against

Tennessee and Towson, winning both despite scoring a combined 83

points, but the Hoyas scored 89 against Longwood on Monday and shot

49 percent on Saturday.

Tom Tankelewicz made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24

points to lead the Catamounts (4-7). Coach Larry Hunter sat two

regular contributors – Trey Sumler and Brandon Boggs – for the

first half for missing a video session Friday night.

The Catamounts played Top 25 Illinois tough this month before

falling 72-64, part of a difficult road nonconference schedule

necessitated by finances.

”I’ve got to bring in a pretty good hunk of change every

year,” Hunter said, ”to help our entire program.”

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