- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

It was supposed to be a forum for Georgetown to introduce its point guards. Instead, it turned into an ugly massacre in what is called college basketball's exhibition season.
The Hoyas scored 84 points in the first half alone against helpless Latvia Select last night at McDonough Arena. When the end mercifully arrived, the Hoyas had obliterated the Europeans 132-58 before 1,657.
"I don't know what I can say about our team based on that game," Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. "There were some things I thought we did very well, and I don't know how good of a judge this game is going to be in relation to my evaluation of the team."
This was Georgetown's only formal exhibition of the season. Just for the record, Georgetown beat St. Leo by 75 points (126-51) in a real game in 1986.
Next Sunday, things will certainly improve for the Hoyas when they play at Princeton in a controlled scrimmage. The scrimmage will be closed to the public, and no scoreboard will be used.
"That will clearly give us a better indication of how good or bad or whatever we are at this point in the year," Esherick said.
Meanwhile, back to Georgetown's point guards. Freshman Ashanti Cook made a strong case to start. Cook, who led Santa Monica (Calif.) Westchester High School to the state championship last winter, scored 19 points with seven assists in 28 minutes.
Sophomore guard Tony Bethel played some point as well. In fact, it was a Bethel-to-Cook play that was perhaps the best of the many Georgetown highlights.
When it was still a game with 3 minutes expired, Bethel stole the ball from statuesque Latvian guard Svajunas Airosius at midcourt. Bethel charged down court starting a fast break. When Bethel reached the foul line, he dumped a pretty no-look handoff to Cook trailing on the play. The 6-foot-2 Cook elevated from just inside the foul line and threw down an authoritative two-handed dunk. All told, Cook made eight of 13 shots from the field.
"I was very happy with Ashanti Cook," Esherick said. "I thought he played extremely well considering it's his first college game. I thought he did a lot of really good things. I thought he ran the offense well, and he made some pretty nice athletic plays in transition on defense and also on offense."
The only negative during this rout was that swing player RaMell Ross and sophomore point guard Drew Hall could not partake in the slaughter because of injuries. Of the two, Ross' injury is considered the most serious.
He dislocated his right shoulder one week into practice in mid-October and is projected to return at the end of November. If that is indeed the case, Ross will most likely miss home games against Grambling State and James Madison and possibly the Towson game on Nov.30. Hall was held out as a precaution.
Six Hoyas scored in double figures. Mike Sweetney, Georgetown's All-American forward candidate, scored 22 points with eight rebounds and four steals in 17 minutes. Senior forward Courtland Freeman registered a double-double with 14 points and 18 rebounds. Freshman forward Brendon Bowman added 22 points in his first college game.
The Latvians committed 41 turnovers and shot 29 percent from the floor. The Hoyas scored 57 points off Latvian turnovers and outscored Latvia Select 76-15 in the paint. Airosius nearly recorded a double-double with nine points and 10 turnovers for the visitors.
"It will be interesting to see how this team plays against some of the other teams on their schedule," Esherick said of the visitors.

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