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1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team

The 1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team represented Georgetown University during the 1938-39 NCAA Division I college basketball season. Elmer Ripley, who had coached Georgetown previously from 1927 to 1929, returned for his second of three stints as head coach; it was his third season overall as the Hoyas' head coach.[2] The team was a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference (EIC) and played its home games at Tech Gymnasium on the campus of McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C.[3] The team finished with a record of 13-9 overall, 6-4 in the EIC, and had no postseason play.

1938–39 Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball
Georgetown Hoyas logo.svg
Eastern Intercollegiate Conference
Regular Season Co-Champions
ConferenceEastern Intercollegiate Conference
1938–39 record13–9 (6-4 EIC)
Head coachElmer Ripley (3rd season)
CaptainJoe Murphy (1st year)
Home arenaTech Gymnasium
1938–39 Eastern Intercollegiate Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Carnegie Mellon 6 4   .600     12 7   .632
Georgetown 6 4   .600     13 9   .591
Penn State 5 5   .500     13 10   .565
Pittsburgh 5 5   .500     10 8   .556
West Virginia 4 6   .400     10 9   .526
Temple 4 6   .400     10 12   .455


Season recapEdit

Senior forward Joe Murphy was the team's star. He scored in double figures in nine games, including 14 points against Syracuse, 11 against Maryland, and 15 against EIC rival Penn State. He finished the season averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game. Over his career, he was the second-highest scoring Georgetown player of the 1930s and fifth-highest in school history at the time. He had scored in double figures in 17 of the 65 games of his three-year college varsity career.[4]

Junior forward John Schmitt scored 12 points in an upset of West Virginia in an EIC game. His season ended when he broke his leg during the game at Yale.[5]

Georgetown finished with an overall record of 13-9, the most wins by a Georgetown team since the 1929-30 season and the best winning percentage since 1928-29. The school had been a founding member of the EIC when the conference began play in the 1932-33 season, and this year's 6-4 conference record gave the school its first and only regular-season EIC championship – Georgetown's first championship of any kind – which it shared with Carnegie Tech.[6] Although the EIC never held a postseason conference tournament, in previous seasons when the regular season had ended in a first-place tie it had held a single postseason playoff game between the two first-place teams to determine the conference championship. This season, however, no such playoff game took place, and Georgetown and Carnegie Tech settled for the only co-championship in EIC history.

Although the Associated Press described the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference as "one of the best in the nation,"[7] its members agreed to disband it at the end of the season because geographical problems had made scheduling difficult.[7] Georgetown's overall conference record during its seven-year membership was 27-39.

At the end of the season, Georgetown thus became an independent again for the first time since the 1931-32 season. In 1939-40, the Hoyas would play their first of 38 seasons as an independent before becoming a founding member of the original Big East Conference in the 1979-1980 season.



Junior guard Francis "Reds" Daly was killed in action in the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 22, 1945, during World War II military service.[10]

# Name Height Weight (lbs.) Position Class Hometown Previous Team(s)
3 Joe Murphy 6'0" N/A F Sr. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
10 Joe McFadden N/A N/A G So. N/A N/A
12 Jim Giebel N/A N/A G So. Bethesda, MD, U.S. St. John's College HS (Washington, DC)
13 George Pajak 6'0" N/A G/F So. Ware, MA, U.S. Ware HS
20 Irv Rizzi N/A N/A G So. West New York, NJ, U.S. Memorial HS
24 Al Matuza 6'2" N/A F So. Shenandoah, PA, U.S. Shenandoah HS
53 Ed Kurtyka N/A N/A G Sr. Washington, DC, U.S. Eastern HS
60 Francis "Reds" Daly 6'3" N/A G Jr. Washington, DC, U.S. McKinley Technical HS
80 John Schmitt 5'11" N/A F Jr. Syracuse, NY, U.S. St. John's Preparatory School (New York, NY)
N/A Harry Leber N/A N/A G Sr. N/A N/A
N/A John McGowan N/A N/A C N/A N/A N/A
N/A John Riches N/A N/A G Sr. N/A N/A

1938–39 schedule and resultsEdit


time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site
city, state
Regular Season
Thu., Dec. 8, 1938*
no, no
Western Maryland W 46–23  1-0
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Tue., Dec. 13, 1938*
no, no
Loyola Maryland W 36–34  2-0
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Thu., Dec. 15, 1938*
no, no
at American W 51–35  3-0
Clendenen Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Wed., Jan. 4, 1939*
no, no
at New York University W 27–25  4-0
Madison Square Garden 
New York, NY
Mon., Jan. 9, 1938
no, no
Temple W 36–28  5-0
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, D.C.
Fri, Jan. 13, 1939
no, no
at Carnegie Tech L 34–37  5-1
Skibo Gymnasium 
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat., Jan. 14, 1938
no, no
at West Virginia W 37–31  6-1
WVU Field House 
Morgantown, WV
Thu., Jan. 19, 1939*
no, no
at Loyola Maryland W 39–30  7-1
Alumni Gymnasium 
Baltimore, MD
Fri., Jan. 27, 1939*
no, no
at New York University L 43–45  7-2
102nd Regiment Armory 
New York, NY
Sat., Jan. 28, 1939*
no, no
at Syracuse L 43–45  7-3
Archbold Gymnasium 
Syracuse, NY
Tue., Jan. 31, 1939*
no, no
at Fordham L 34–43  7-4
Rose Hill Gymnasium 
Bronx, NY
Wed, Feb. 1, 1939*
no, no
at Army L 17–36  7-5
Hayes Gymnasium 
West Point, NY
Mon., Feb. 6, 1939
no, no
West Virginia W 40–32  8-5
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Wed., Feb. 8, 1939*
no, no
at Maryland W 39–25  9-5
Ritchie Coliseum 
College Park, MD
Sat., Feb. 11, 1939
no, no
at Penn State W 32–21  10-5
Recreation Hall 
State College, PA
Mon., Feb. 13, 1939
no, no
at Pittsburgh L 41–43  10-6
Pitt Pavilion 
Pittsburgh, PA
Thu., Feb. 16, 1939
no, no
Carnegie Tech W 45–41 OT 11-6
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Fri., Feb. 24, 1939
no, no
at Temple L 25–32  11-7
Philadelphia Convention Hall 
Philadelphia, PA
Sat., Feb. 25, 1939*
no, no
at Yale W 20–19  12-7
Payne Whitney Gymnasium 
New Haven, CT
Wed., Mar. 1, 1939
no, no
Penn State W 42–29  13-7
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Sat., Mar. 4, 1939
no, no
Pittsburgh L 39–44  13-8
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
Tue., Mar. 7, 1939*
no, no
George Washington L 26–36  13-9
Tech Gymnasium 
Washington, DC
*Non-conference game. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.


  1. ^ 1938-39 Eastern Intercollegiate Conference Season Summary
  2. ^ "The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Head Coaches". Archived from the original on 2017-05-27. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  3. ^ The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Home Courts
  4. ^ a b The Georgetown Basketball History Project: The Top 100: 92. Joe Murphy
  5. ^ "The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Prepared For Life". Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  6. ^ 1938-39 Eastern Intercollegiate Conference Season Summary
  7. ^ a b College Hoopedia: 1938-39
  8. ^ "The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Rosters 1930-31 to 1939-1940". Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  9. ^ The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Player Directory: Jersey Numbers
  10. ^ The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Wartime
  11. ^ The Georgetown Basketball History Project: 1930s Seasons
  12. ^ The Georgetown Basketball History Project: Records vs. All Opponents
  13. ^ 1938-39 Georgetown Hoyas Schedule and Results
  14. ^ 2012-2013 Georgetown Men's Basketball Media Guide, p. 59.