- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2002

Georgetown's biggest question heading into this season was left unanswered in the Hoyas' season opener: Who is going to play point guard?
Four-year starter Kevin Braswell is gone and no clear successor has emerged. If last night was any indication, the position will be handled by committee a three-headed monster of Tony Bethel, sophomore Drew Hall and freshman Ashanti Cook.
Maybe the opponent's talent level had something to do with coach Craig Esherick's decision to not worry about running the offense last night and let his players freelance all over the floor. The Hoyas' mascot, Jack the Bulldog, could have played point guard and it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
Georgetown forward Mike Sweetney recorded his 23rd career double-double with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, as the Hoyas crushed Grambling State 99-46 before 8,204 at MCI Center.
After the game, Esherick was happy for the most part about his team's point guard play. Bethel, a 6-foot-2 sophomore from Fort Washington, opened the season as the starter and registered three assists in 19 minutes. However, Bethel nailed four of five 3-pointers and perhaps proved he's more valuable as a shooter.
Asked if playing the point detracts from his scoring ability, Bethel replied, "I don't think it does. If I have an open shot, I'm going to shoot it. When I'm at the point, I look to get others involved. We won that's all I can say."
Sweetney, a consensus first-team All-American, used his considerable 6-8, 260-pound frame to push around the smaller and weaker Tigers (0-1). Sweetney owned the paint against the Louisiana school. Sweetney did all his damage in just 18 minutes of playing time.
Georgetown's competition will significantly improve next week when the Hoyas play a pair of Colonial Athletic Association opponents. Georgetown plays host to James Madison on Monday and Towson on Saturday at MCI.
Esherick went big with his opening lineup, using Sweetney, 6-11 center Wesley Wilson, 6-8 freshman Brandon Bowman, 6-6 Gerald Riley and Bethel. Esherick opened the second half with Bethel, the 6-2 Hall, 6-2 Ashanti Cook, Sweetney and Wilson. Hall led all the point guards with six assists.
"I thought point guard play was good," Esherick said of his team's 24 assists, including 10 from his point men. "I thought Tony gave us something. I thought Drew came in and gave us something. I started Drew in the second half because he got six rebounds in the first half, and I wanted to reward him for that."
Seconds after the game's opening tip, one could sense this game was quickly on its way to being over. Wilson won the tip and tapped the ball to Sweetney near the midcourt circle. Sweetney then fired the ball to the streaking Bowman, who finished with a two-handed dunk. Just four seconds elapsed off the game clock and the Hoyas had already thrown down the first of many dunks.
"It's a good way to start off a game, but I can't say that it's over at that point," Sweetney said. "The game is over when the horn sounds."
Led by Sweetney, five Hoyas scored in double figures. Bethel finished with 16 points. In his first college game, Bowman scored 12 points with seven rebounds and three assists. Riley scored 14 points on six of eight shooting and Cook added 13 points, including two of two from behind the 3-point arc.
"I've been fiddling around with lineups since Oct.12," Esherick said. "I would say on Monday, Brandon will be in the starting lineup with the other four."


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