Men's Basketball

Georgetown basketball preview: Tigers sticking with winning formula

White Team member Tony Kimbro drives to the basket in the second half. Kimbro's father, also named Tony, played for UofL from 1985-1990. The 2011 Derby Festival Basketball Classic was played in the Yum Center Friday, April 22, 2011. The Gold team defeated the White 126-122 Photo by Jonathan Palmer
White Team member Tony Kimbro drives to the basket in the second half. Kimbro's father, also named Tony, played for UofL from 1985-1990. The 2011 Derby Festival Basketball Classic was played in the Yum Center Friday, April 22, 2011. The Gold team defeated the White 126-122 Photo by Jonathan Palmer

When basketball season rolls around at Georgetown College, the Tigers don't rebuild. They reload.

Georgetown tips off its season Monday, playing host to Miami-Middletown, and expectations are high. Higher than last year's trip to the NAIA quarterfinals.

"That's the basic dream and goal, is to be national champions," 6-foot-3 junior guard Noah Cottrill said. "... But right now we're just taking it game-to-game."

Chris Briggs, in his fourth season as coach, has lots of tools with which he can tinker.

"We'll play big, we'll play small," Briggs said. "So we'll be able to put in a lineup that's 6-8, 6-8, 6-7 and maybe even a 6-5 two-guard. And then we'll be able to put in a small lineup and play three point guards at a time with a two-guard and one post, and press more.

"So we'll be versatile with the way we play and obviously we might get up and down the floor and score points and play fast, because that's what the guys want to do. That's why they come here. That's a strength of ours is our speed, quickness, athleticism, so we recruit to that."

Cottrill is part of a core group of five returnees. The others are 6-8 junior Deondre McWhorter, 6-8 senior Corey Washburn, 5-11 junior D.J. Townsend and 6-1 sophomore Bopper Stenzel.

Add to that group seven newcomers, at least two of whom figure to crack the starting lineup.

Briggs said his first five Monday likely will be Cottrill, McWhorter, Gerard Coleman, Tony Kimbro and either Washburn or Taran Buie.

Coleman is a 6-5 senior wing who previously played for Providence and Gonzaga.

"I'm really excited about him on the perimeter," Briggs said. "Can score, likes to slash to the basket, a really good shot-blocker. Had some great blocks in practice where you think a guy has a breakaway layup off a steal, and all of a sudden here comes Gerard flying out of nowhere and blocking a shot."

Kimbro, son of the former University of Louisville player of the same name, is a 6-6 junior-college transfer.

"He's been great since he got here," Briggs said. "He's working hard, being positive, growing up, maturing and just a really versatile, athletic player. Can play point guard if we need him to. He can play power forward if we go small. We can put him at the 1-2-3-4 — any of those positions. Really versatile."

Buie is a 6-2 junior transfer from Hofstra.

"More of a combo guard; a point, two-guard," Briggs said. "Can really score, can shoot. He can really get hot and drive, finish in the lane, shoot the three and has a lot of potential at the two-guard spot."

Briggs says he'll play eight or nine deep. As usual, the Tigers will run and press.

"We run the floor really well," Cottrill said. "Hopefully we stick to our defensive principles and everything the coaches teach us, we'll be pretty solid on all ends of the floor. ... Defense wins championships."

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