- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 22, 2001

The "H-Bomb" finally hit the court for Georgetown last night. Unfortunately, he never went off.

After months of wrestling with the NCAA Clearinghouse, coveted recruit Harvey Thomas made his debut, playing a modest role in the 16th-ranked Hoyas' 76-51 victory over Coastal Carolina at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas next face Towson there Saturday night.

"Word [from the NCAA on Thomas] came late this afternoon and, needless to say, I was very happy," said Georgetown coach Craig Esherick after watching Thomas, a top-30 national high school player, contribute four points, four rebounds and three steals to the triumph. "He's not anywhere near in game shape, but I thought he played very well for a guy who hasn't practiced in nearly a month."

Thomas checked into the game for the first time with 10:47 remaining in the first half and was greeted by raucous applause from the crowd of 2,215 who had been eagerly awaiting his arrival since he signed with the Hoyas early last season. The 6-foot-8 forward from Fredericksburg immediately snagged two rebounds and then dropped in his first points as a Hoya on a one-handed, off-balance floater with 7:30 remaining, showcasing his athleticism and putting the Hoyas ahead 35-15.

But if the night was highlighted by Thomas' inauguration, it was defined by big men Mike Sweetney and Wesley Wilson. The pair combined to score 47 points and collect 17 rebounds and five blocks against the hopelessly outsized Chanticleers (0-2), who featured no starter taller than 6-8.

Following the lead of Xavier center David West, who torched Coastal Carolina for 26 points in a victory last week, Georgetown began the game by pounding the ball inside to Sweetney (28 points, 10 rebounds). The 6-8, 260-pound sophomore power forward from Oxon Hill responded with a career-best evening, pacing the Hoyas (2-1) to a 50-20 halftime advantage with 20 first-half points in the paint. Sweetney now leads the Big East in scoring (24.3).

"I thought Mike really got us started tonight," Esherick said. "He set a great tone for us, and I thought in that first half we probably played as well as we have all year."

The Hoyas certainly played better than they did against unranked Georgia, which upset the Hoyas on Monday in Springfield, Mass., by crushing Georgetown on the boards. Once again, the Hoyas experienced a letdown on the glass early in the second half, giving up 21 offensive rebounds to the smaller Chanticleers. But after Coastal Carolina cut the lead to 59-40, mostly due to the outside stroke of sophomore guard Alvin "Flea" Green (14 points), Wilson (19 points, seven rebounds) took over inside. The 6-11 center from Vallejo, Calif., who missed only two of his 11 shots, strapped the Hoyas on his back for an 11-0 run that gave Georgetown a 70-40 lead with 4:36 remaining and basically ended the Coastal Carolina threat.

"If we can ever get those two operating on all cylinders together, we'll really have a strong inside game, because both Mike and Wesley can score and pass," Esherick said.


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