- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2001

The future of Big Man U. could be going small.
With his team trailing Howard by nine points late in the second half at MCI Center last night, Georgetown coach Craig Esherick sent his freshmen backcourt duo of Drew Hall and Tony Bethel into the game, shifted senior point man Kevin Braswell to the wing and watched the new formula confound the Bison.
Thanks to the new lineup, the 16th-ranked Hoyas closed the half on a 17-2 run and never looked back en route to a 99-80 victory before a reported crowd of 5,089. Georgetown now has two days to prepare for undefeated and fifth-ranked Virginia, which comes to MCI Center Thursday night to face the Hoyas in the John Thompson Classic.
"I thought early on we were taking too many quick shots," said Esherick. "But I thought we showed an awful lot of courage coming back from that deficit. … Drew and Tony definitely played well and gave us some energy. When they were in there we started moving the ball around the perimeter a little better and earning some open shots."
Interestingly, the ultra-quick duo of Bethel and Hall didn't do much scoring when they entered the lineup to spark the Hoyas (9-1). What they did was completely stifle the Howard 3-point attack on the defensive end, not allowing the Bison (5-5) a single field goal over the final five minutes of the first half. And offensively, the Hoyas were a better ball-handling, better passing team without larger swingmen Victor Samnick and 6-foot-5 off-guard Gerald Riley on the court. Plus, without a third forward on the floor, Georgetown's inside combo of 6-11 center Wesley Wilson and 6-8 power forward Mike Sweetney had more room to operate down low.
The result was devastating. The three guards spaced themselves around the perimeter and whipped the ball back and forth, waiting for either an open jumper or a seam to deliver the ball to one of the big men. They found plenty of opportunities to do both.
The freshmen deferred to Sweetney and Wilson, combining to feed seven assists to the monsters inside. Bruised heel and all, Sweetney coasted to his fourth straight double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. And Wilson, who missed only two of his 10 attempts from the field, continued to impress with a 22-point performance.
Unlike his young cohorts, Braswell felt more comfortable slashing and gunning when gaps presented themselves. Flourishing when he wasn't asked to run the offense, Braswell ripped the Bison for 21 points, five assists and five steals, drilling four of six 3-point attempts to lift his average from behind the arc back up above 50 percent.
"I'm blessed to have two guards like Drew and Tony who really know the game and can come in and run the offense for us," said Braswell. "They both really know what they're looking at in terms of defenses, and they can flat-out pass, so the offense looks real good real sharp with the three of us out there. I don't know if we can get away with that against some bigger teams, but it gives us a another facet that's hard to defend."

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