- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2006

JT3 is officially the Baron of the Beltway.

Over the past two weeks, Thompson and the Georgetown men’s hoops program has gone way past nuclear on the local recruiting scene, reaching supernova status Thursday afternoon when junior prep shooting guard Jason Clark (Bishop O’Connell) became the third local and fourth overall player to commit to the Hoyas in less than a fortnight.

“You just can’t say enough about what coach Thompson and his staff are doing at Georgetown,” said PrepStar recruiting guru Rob Harrington. “They’ve made serious statements to the nation both on the court and on the recruiting trail over the last couple of seasons, and I think it’s clear that the Hoyas are back in a big way.”

Forget Adrian Fenty; Thompson already runs DC.

Top prep point man Chris Wright (St. Johns) began the verbal tsunami on Oct. 10 by picking the Hoyas over North Carolina State and Pittsburgh. And good news has flowed toward the Hilltop on a seemingly daily basis ever since.

Wright, who has led the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in scoring each of the last two seasons, joins DeMatha senior sniper Austin Freeman in next year’s freshman class, giving the Hoyas a pair of consensus Top-25 prospects and the top two guards in the Metro area.

And after Patrick Ewing made a rousing appearance at Georgetown’s Midnight Madness (Oct. 13), largely in support of his son (a junior on the squad), Freeman’s coveted junior teammate, power forward Chris Braswell, joined Georgetown’s recruiting rampage. The commitments of Braswell and Clark, who rank No. 23 and No. 87, respectively, in the ‘08-‘09 class according to Scout.com, mean that the Hoyas will have signed the top four players in the prestigious WCAC and four of the top eight committed players from the entire region.

None of the other four will attend the same schools, as well-traveled renegade Michael Beasley will head to Kanas State, power forward Donte Green pledged to Syracuse, guard Nolan Smith verballed to Duke and Braxton Dupree will attend Maryland.

Ah, the Terps. It’s astounding how quickly Maryland’s fortunes have reversed. Dupree (Calvert Hall), an excellent offensive prospect in the pivot who ranks well below Freeman and Wright at No. 52 among his senior prep compatriots, represents Maryland’s lone get among the coveted locals in the next two classes.

People laughed when we claimed the local power pendulum was swinging from College Park to the Hilltop before last season. Well, now the transition is complete, and those folks have several seasons to savor the humble pie. Gary Williams should have spoken with O.J. before he scoured the planet’s golf courses for answers. Conventional wisdom has always held that Williams does more with less. Well, we’re certainly going to find out.

As for Thompson and the Hoyas, the blue and gray is currently the hottest hoops team in the nation. Rappers are reaching for G-Town apparel (see Lil Wayne) and players are willing to walk on simply to be a part of the ride (see Omar Wattad).

Wattad, a senior prep swingman at Science Hill in Johnson City, Tennessee, became the fifth GU commit last week when he pulled a Lee Melchionni (Duke) and saddled up sans schollie.

Thompson’s current charges, who finished 23-10 en route to a Sweet 16 run last season, are a consensus top-10 selection this season. And given the stream of future talent flowing his way, banners and a banner raise could be on the horizon.

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