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1971–72 Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team

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Jan 13, 2022

The 1971–72 Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1971–72NCAA University Divisioncollege basketball season. John Magee coached them in his sixth and final season as head coach. The team was an independent and played its home games at McDonough Gymnasium on the Georgetown campus in Washington, D.C.. It finished the season with a record of 3-23 and therefore was not ranked in the Top 20 in the Associated Press Poll or Coaches’ Poll at any time[1][2] and had no post-season play.

American college basketball season
1971–72Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball
Conference Independent
1971–72 record 323
Head coach
  • John Magee (6th season)
Assistant coaches
  • Ed MacNamara (1st season)
  • Don Weber (1st season)
Captain Mike Laughna (1st year)
Home arena McDonough Gymnasium
Seasons

1971–72 NCAA University Division men’s basketball independents standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   PCT W   L   PCT
No. 16 Oral Roberts   26 2   .929
No. 7 Marquette   25 4   .862
Hawaii   23 4   .852
No. 12 Marshall   23 4   .852
No. 10 Florida State   28 5   .848
Northern Illinois   21 4   .840
No. 6 South Carolina   24 5   .828
Duquesne   20 5   .800
Syracuse   22 6   .786
Providence   21 6   .778
Detroit   18 6   .750
Houston   20 7   .741
Jacksonville   20 8   .714
No. 15 Villanova   20 8   .714
Pan American   17 7   .708
Niagara   21 9   .700
Penn State   17 8   .680
Fordham   18 9   .667
St. Bonaventure   16 8   .667
Cincinnati   17 9   .654
Georgia Southern   17 9   .654
Colgate   15 8   .652
St. John’s   19 11   .633
Fairleigh Dickinson   15 9   .625
Illinois State   16 10   .615
Virginia Tech   16 10   .615
Canisius   15 11   .577
Creighton   15 11   .577
Holy Cross   15 11   .577
Oklahoma City   16 12   .571
Loyola (LA)   14 11   .560
Rutgers   14 11   .560
West Virginia   13 11   .542
Hardin–Simmons   14 12   .538
DePaul   12 11   .522
Centenary   13 12   .520
Long Island   13 12   .520
Boston College   13 13   .500
Dayton   13 13   .500
Pittsburgh   12 12   .500
Air Force   12 13   .480
Fairfield   12 13   .480
Saint Francis (PA)   12 13   .480
Saint Peter’s   12 13   .480
Indiana State   12 14   .462
St. Francis (NY)   12 14   .462
Utah State   12 14   .462
Xavier   12 14   .462
Army   11 13   .458
Manhattan   11 13   .458
George Washington   11 14   .440
Navy   10 13   .435
Denver   11 15   .423
Portland   10 16   .385
Seton Hall   10 16   .385
Southern Illinois   10 16   .385
Ball State   9 15   .375
Loyola (IL)   8 14   .364
Tulane   8 18   .308
Boston University   7 16   .304
South Alabama   7 17   .292
Iona   6 17   .261
Butler   6 20   .231
Georgia Tech   6 20   .231
Notre Dame   6 20   .231
Stetson   6 20   .231
Georgetown   3 23   .115
Rankings from AP Poll

. . . 1971–72 Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team . . .

Forward Art White, thought at the time to have been the greatest player in Georgetown history, had left the team at the end of the previous season because of academic difficulties, and he sat out this season entirely.[3][4] Magees relationship with his players had begun to unravel the previous year, when the 1970-71 team had followed up the 1969-70 team’s appearance in the 1970 National Invitation Tournament with a disappointing performance that Magee blamed on the players including the once highly regarded White although he reserved praise for then-junior forwardMike Laughna. In all, Georgetown lost all but two of its top nine scorers from the 1970-71 season.[5]

Magees relationship with his players continued to deteriorate this year, but that and the loss of scorers were not the 1971-72 squads only problems. Athletic director Robert Sigholtz had committed the Hoyas to a schedule that included only 10 home games and forced the team to play nine straight road games between December 13, 1971, and January 22, 1972. Magee, working in the last year of his contract with no sign of the university offering an extension, openly feuded with Sigholtz over this schedule and over whether or not Sigholz had provided Magee with an adequate recruiting budget, which totaled only $5,140. After Laughna, now a senior and the teams captain, said in an interview with The Washington Post that Georgetown did not seem to spend very much of the revenue it earned from the basketball team on the basketball program itself, Sigholtz responded with an ineffective late-season news conference that failed to address Laughnas comments and deflected criticism onto Magee, blaming him for the unfavorable schedule and for not using fully the recruiting tools he had available to him. Observers took away little more than the impression that the Georgetown athletic department was deeply troubled.[5]

Under these difficult circumstances, Mike Laughna put in a creditable performance on the court during the otherwise dismal season, with 25 points and 11 rebounds at Texas, 22 points and 12 rebounds three days later at San Francisco, and 24 points and 15 rebounds against George Washington, He passed Jim Barry as the top scorer in Georgetown history on March 4, 1972, during a loss at Boston College in the final game of the season and of his collegiate career, and finished with 1,234 career points. Despite his efforts, the team won only one game each in December, January, and February.[5]

The 1971-72 team’s .115 winning percentage was the worst in Georgetown men’s basketball history and well below the previous worst of .238 set by the 5-16 team of 1930-31. Magee resigned two weeks after Sigholtzs news conference after a six-year tenure as head coach which saw two winning seasons and one post-season tournament appearance. Sigholtz resigned nine days after Magee.[5][6]

Although it was not known at the time, the 1971-72 season brought a 25-year stretch of mostly undistinguished basketball at Georgetown to an end. Although the team had appeared in the National Invitation Tournament in 1953 and 1970, between the 1947-48 season and the end of this season, Georgetown had posted an overall record under .500 and its total of 296 wins during those 25 seasons was the lowest among the 32 Catholic universities playing Division I college basketball in the United States. The team also had had no NCAA Tournament appearances since 1943. The arrival of John Thompson, Jr., as head coach the following season, however, would begin Georgetowns rise to the status of national basketball power.[3]

. . . 1971–72 Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team . . .

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. . . 1971–72 Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team . . .