- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Georgetown men’s basketball program announced yesterday that a pair of underclassmen, sophomore guard Ray Reed and freshman forward Cornelio Guibunda, have decided to transfer to other schools.

“Both Ray and Cornelio are fine young men. We support and wish them all the best as they move on,” coach John Thompson III said in a statement released by the university. Explanations and destinations were not shared for either player.

The announcement, however, did answer the primary question hanging over the program for two months: Would Thompson be able to find a scholarship for senior swingman Darrel Owens? A Prop-48 player, Owens graduated yesterday and therefore regained the extra season of eligibility he lost as a freshman.

Owens, a 6-foot-6 gunner from Napoleonville, La., is the best overall athlete on the team and down the stretch last season blossomed into the squad’s most consistent offensive weapon. He averaged 16.2 points in the Hoyas’ five Big East tournament and NIT games, making 22 of 39 attempts from behind the 3-point arc (56.4 percent).

Owens waxed sentimental about his desire to return to the team as a graduate student after scoring 26 points in a 69-66 loss at South Carolina in the NIT quarterfinals in what he assumed was his final college game.

But with the 6-1 Reed and 6-9 Guibunda now erased from the roster, Owens’ return seems a certainty, as does the admission of Indiana transfer Patrick Ewing Jr., a 6-8 sophomore forward and son of the Hilltop legend.

Though Ewing will have to sit out next season as a transfer, the roster shuffle is a net plus for the Hoyas, who finished 19-13 last season in Thompson’s debut. Despite his height and high prep ranking, Guibunda washed out at Georgetown, appearing in only four games and losing playing time to walk-on Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw.

Reed, certainly more of a loss than Guibunda, was the team’s best perimeter penetrator and defender. But Reed’s free-lance drives to the basket were often out of control, and his overall offensive game was pedestrian at best.

He managed just one double-digit performance last season (10 points against San Jose State). And with the anticipated arrival of two top-100 players at point guard next season (Jessie Sapp and Josh Thornton) and a 2006 verbal commitment from top-25 point sensation Jeremiah Rivers, Reed was highly unlikely to see significant future playing time.

The status of forward Brandon Bowman now stands as the only unresolved issue surrounding next season’s Georgetown roster. The 6-9 junior has declared for the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent, is not a projected pick and is expected to announce his return to the Hilltop in the next few days.

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