Retro Rewind | Georgetown 1995-1996
Posted on December 08 2019
I always loved that Jimi Hendrix called his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, not Jimi Hendrix and The Experience. When said together it fits so well. I think the same goes for this team sure it could be Allen Iverson and Teammates. I prefer to think of it as The Georgetown Experience. The uniforms the swagger, Iverson and his story. I ate up every bit of this team and still think it is one of the more unique teams in College Basketball History.
I saw Iverson in person Monday, January 15th in South Bend. He was so fast with the ball it was breathtaking. I'm not sure I could even comprehend it fully from the stands. I'll let Nolan Richardson summarize it for me "Allen Iverson? I ain't never seen anything like that in my life," Richardson said in his postgame press conference. "I've been to three calf shows, nine horse-ropings … I even saw Elvis once. But I ain't never seen anyone do what Iverson does. I've never seen anyone that quick with the basketball."
Before the glory Allen Iverson ever touched an NBA court, his career almost ended. In February 1993, Iverson was allegedly involved in an altercation at a bowling alley in his hometown of Hampton, Virginia. He drew a 15-year sentence with 10 years suspended. Although he was granted clemency after four months in prison by then-Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder (and the Virginia Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 1995),
"Before I got in trouble I had garbage bags full of letters," Afterwards, "Nobody recruited me in the country. Every school stopped recruiting me. Even the Division II schools, Division III, prep schools, everybody."
"My mom went up to Georgetown to talk to Coach [John] Thompson and said, 'I need you to save my kid's life because if he stays down there, he's gonna go to jail forever and he's gonna die,'" Iverson said.
In a candid moment he admitted that it might have been a bit more than just that conversation that convinced him, "Coach Thompsom would tell you that my mom driving up there convinced him but to be honest I know my game had something to do with it (laughs), If I was him I would've did it too."
In two seasons at Georgetown, Iverson played on teams that reached the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight, won a Big East regular-season championship and lost a Big East Tournament title on a spectacular last-second shot by UConn's Ray Allen. He averaged 23 points for his career and 4.6 assists. He was a first-team All-American as a sophomore. And he only was starting to figure out how he could rearrange pretty much every basketball game he played.
The team was good beyond Iverson they were big and physical. They had a freshman point guard not named Iverson who was a major contributor and of course they had an iconoclast for a coach.
Overall: 29-8 .784 W-L% (19th of 305)
Conference: 13-5, 1st in Big East
They lost on a Ray Allen Miracle shot in the Big East Tournament and they bowed out to a team that would eventually have to vacate it's final four appearance because of Calipari's NCAA violations. I would've liked to see this team in the final four that year though I'm not sure anyone was beating that Kentucky team.
Besides Iverson they had several other pro players on the team I most remember Jerome Williams aka The Junkyard Dog. Still one of the best and most befitting nicknames in basketball. Looking at his stat line you could almost see that name in the making 10.3 Pts, 8.8 Reb, 1.4 Ast. Garbage buckets, rebounds, tough-nosed defense.
I also remember Othella Harrington who had come in with Jason Kidd years earlier as what seemed like generational talent. I'm not sure what changed for Harrington who was still a highly effective player on this team but surely he didn't have the kind of confidence he displayed when choosing Georgetown. This quote is incredible. "I just wanted to fulfill my dream. Since all of my other dreams have been fulfilled, why stop now? Go ahead and fulfill this dream." Would've liked to see him in high school 28.9 points, 24.9 rebounds, and 5.8 blocked shots.
The Georgetown Experience didn't just beat opponents they crushed them and changed the way I looked at college basketball. To Quote Sydney Deane from WMCJ, "It's hard work makin' you look so bad." They trounced opponents and looked good doing it in there iconic uniforms and Jordans. With Iverson taking over games and feeding Othella, Jahidi, or Boubacar Aw for monster jams it's a team that you can come back and enjoy no matter even decades later.
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