Saturday, January 3, 2009

PG Pride

So much for Gtown's prowess. Pittsburgh whupped the Hoyas today and greatly impressed. While there was much about the second half performance from Gtown that led to some frustration from our vantage point, the Panthers were simply a better team and absolutely decimated the Hoyas' young squad. Georgetown has two days to lick their wounds before having to take on a humiliated Notre Dame team in South Bend.

DeJuan Blair was the story of the game for Pitt (17 rebounds, 20 points), but I was once again impressed by the play of Sam Young. Since he began playing regularly as a freshman, I've paid attention to Young because, in every Pitt game I've caught, he has been the solid, steady contributor that ends up being the catalyst for much of the team's success. But, for whatever reason, until looking up his statistics today, I failed to realize that he calls Prince George's County home.

Basketball in this county is taken pretty seriously. ESPN's magazine recently had a great short piece on PG County basketball (which, had I read more closely, should have informed me of Sam Young's roots). Starting with a vignette starring Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant, Chris Palmer goes on to note:

Actually, the two most recent No. 2 picks in the NBA draft are just the lead curl in an unprecedented wave of talent that hails from Prince George's County, a predominantly African-American area of 841,315 that shares a border with DC. Nine players with roots in Prince George's (PG to insiders) have played in the league in the previous five years, and though only six are currently on rosters, that number should soon crack double digits. Fifteen locals suit up for BCS conference schools, including UNC's Ty Lawson, Duke's Nolan Smith, Pitt's Sam Young and Georgetown's Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. In the past three years, the county has produced six McDonald's All-Americans—more than any state except California, which has 43 residents for every one of PG's. "This place is unique because of the level of talent and commitment to the game," says Hoyas coach John Thompson III. "People here are highly knowledgeable about basketball, and kids start learning at a very young age."

The full scope of PG County's contribution to Division I basketball today is, I think, even more impressive. In addition to Lawson, Smith, Young, Freeman, and Wright, there are (by my likely inaccurate count) 54 players from the county currently on Division I rosters across the country. There are players from PG County on teams in 18 of the 31 conferences that comprise Division I. There is even a player from Landover on the roster of a D-I independent (Cal State Bakersfield). These players include Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck (Capitol Heights); the same Kenny Hasbrouck that scored 30 points last year in the opening round of the NCAA tournament when Siena upset a ranked Vanderbilt team by 19 points. And another player who was instrumental in Georgetown's only other loss this season, Tennessee's junior guard Bobby Maze (Suitland). And George Washington's leading scorer Rob Diggs (Brandywine), along with fellow A-10 standout Rob Lowery (Forestville) who scored 21 for Dayton in their upset win over Marquette earlier this season. And Iowa's Jeff Peterson (Hyattsville), as well as Nebraska's leading scorer Steve Harley (Temple Hills). And Darryl Proctor (District Heights), the leading scorer for the UMBC Retrievers who beat Nebraska this season and were dispatched from the NCAA tournament last year by Georgetown. And Sam Houston State's Corey Allmond (Oxon Hill), the team's leading scorer this season as a true freshman.

By my accounting (which is more likely than not wrong), here is the full list:

Big East (6):
Austin Freeman, Georgetown, Mitchellville, Maryland (Sophomore)
Chris Wright, Georgetown, Bowie, Maryland (Sophomore)
Sam Young, Pitt, Clinton, Maryland (Senior)
Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse, Lanham, Maryland (Junior)
Augustus Gilchrist, USF, Clinton, Maryland (Freshman)
Maurice Sutton, Villanova, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Freshman)

ACC (4):
Ty Lawson, North Carolina, Clinton, Maryland (Junior)
Nolan Smith, Duke, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Sophomore)
Adrian Bowie, Maryland, Greenbelt, Maryland (Sophomore)
Jerai Grant, Clemson, Bowie, Maryland (Sophomore)

SEC (1):
Bobby Maze, Tennessee, Suitland, Maryland (Junior)

Big 12 (2):
Steve Harley, Nebraska, Temple Hills, Maryland (Senior)
Ron Anderson, Kansas State, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Sophomore)

Big 10 (1):
Jeff Peterson, Iowa, Hyattsville, Maryland (Sophomore)

Pac 10 (1):
Calvin Hampton, Oregon State, Fort Washington, Maryland (Junior)

Atlantic 10 (4):
Rob Diggs, George Washington, Brandywine, Maryland (Senior)
Rob Lowery, Dayton, Forestville, Maryland (Junior)
Jacob Green, Fordham, Clinton, Maryland (Junior)
Rafael DeLeon, Temple, District Heights, Maryland (Senior)

Colonial (8):
John Vaughan, George Mason, Laurel, Maryland (Senior)
Jay Gavin, Virginia Commonwealth, Seat Pleasant, Maryland (Sophomore)
Abdulai Jalloh, James Madison, District Heights, Maryland (Senior)
Kevon Moore, UNC Wilmington, Bowie, Maryland (Freshman)
Isaiah Tate, George Mason, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Sophomore)
Robert Nwankwo, Towson, Hyattsville, Maryland (Sophomore)
Alvin Brown, James Madison, Fort Washington, Maryland (Freshman)
Tony Durant, Towson, Suitland, Maryland (Senior)

Patriot (2):
Justin Castleberry, Bucknell, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Senior)
Jordan Nichols, American, Glenn Dale, Maryland (Senior)

A-Sun (1):
Will Alston, Jacksonville, Laurel, Maryland (Freshman)

NEC (5):
Danny Thompson, Mt. St. Mary’s (MD), Springdale, Maryland (Freshman)
Harold Washington, Quinnipiac, Brandywine, Maryland (Freshman)
Mezie Nwigwe, Robert Morris, Hyattsville, Maryland (Junior)
Jason Burns, Robert Morris, Clinton, Maryland (Freshman)
Nigel Lee, St. Francis (NY), Glenn Dale, Maryland (Junior)

American East (2):
Darryl Proctor, UMBC, District Heights, Maryland (Senior)
Desmond Adedeji, Stony Brook, Landover Hills, Maryland (Junior)

Ohio Valley (1):
Mike Lewis, Eastern Kentucky, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Freshman)

Big South (4):
Jourdan Morris, High Point, Bowie, Maryland (Sophomore)
Martell McDuffy, Radford, Laurel, Maryland (Senior)
Ron Burks, Virginia Military Institute, Mitchellville, Maryland (Freshman)
Raymond Davis, Winthrop, College Park, Maryland (Junior)

MEAC (8):
Brian Chesnut, Coppin State, Clinton, Maryland (Senior)
Neal Pitt, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Fort Washington, Maryland (Junior)
Jordan Brooks, Hampton, Mitchellville, Maryland (Sophomore)
Christopher Tolson, Hampton, Laurel, Maryland (Freshman)
John Ntoko, Hampton, Greenbelt, Maryland (Junior)
Milade Lola-Charles, Hampton, Laurel, Maryland (Freshman)
Sean Thomas, Morgan State, Clinton, Maryland (Freshman)
Marc Hill, North Carolina A&T, Bowie, Maryland (Freshman)

MAAC (1):
Kenny Hasbrouck, Siena, Capitol Heights, Maryland (Senior)

Southland (1):
Corey Allmond, Sam Houston State, Oxon Hill, Maryland (Freshman)

Summit League (1):
Tim Morton, Oral Roberts, Greenbelt, Maryland (Freshman)

Independents (1):
Santwon Latunde, Cal State Bakersfield, Landover, Maryland (Junior)

No players from PG County:
Conference USA; Missouri Valley; West Coast; Big Sky; Horizon; WAC; Sun Belt; Mid-American; Mountain West; Ivy; Southern; Big West; and SWAC.

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