Georgetown University, still reeling from the shock of losing forward Craig (Big Sky) Shelton to a broken wrist, limps into the unfriendly confines of St. Bonaventure's Reilly Center to take on the 1976 NIT champions tonight at 8.
The Bonnies, led by former St. Anthony's High School forward Greg Sanders, will have in mind a 76-60 defeat at the hands of the Hoyas at McDonough Gym last year. It was the Bonnies' worst, loss during a 24-6 season.
Prior to last year's victory, Georgetown had been beaten twice by St. Bonaventure since the arrival of Hoya coach John Thompson five years ago.
The Hoyas (2-1), expected to be one of the better teams in the East, already have been hurt by injuries. Aside from Shelton, whose wrist, will keep him out of action for three weeks, only 7-foot Mike Frazier and 6-11 Tom Scates have been hobbled with foot injuries and have played sparingly.
The Hoyas are coming off a lackluster 50-33 win over deliberate Dickson College and Thompson was hard put to pick out some bright spots in the victory.
"We would like to have blown them out but it's hard to do when the team you're playing is going to pass the ball the entire game," said Thompson. "But a win like this is good before you go on the road because it was a different pace than one we're used to. We would prefer to run.
"I'm hoping Tommy and Mike will be able to play more against St. Bonaventure because we've got a good front line," said Thompson. "But without Craig, we don't have that much of an inside game."
Hoya guards John Duren and Derrick Jackson will surely be told to take more 15-20 footers than normal in an effort to offset the running Bonnies.
The NIT champions got off to a good start, whipping Scranton 84-74, in their opener earlier this week. Sanders, who averaged 21.2 points last year, will get help from guard Glen Hagen (13.7) and 6-9 center Tim Waterman (4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game).
In other involving area schools, George Washington hosts Massachusetts; Howard entertains Hampton Institute; Virginia travels to Old Dominion; Navy, coming off a stunning 60-57 upset of Princeton, takes on another well-disciplined team in the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Maryland journeys to Anaheim, Calif., to play Athletes in Action in an exhibition game.
Also on tonight's schedule, Virginia Tech plays at Richmond, American is in the Madison Invitational in Harrisonburg, St. Francis (Pa.) plays at Catholic, Southeastern travels to Delaware State, Bowie State hosts Gallaudget and Montgomery-Rockville visits Howard CC.