New Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing has been very active on the recruiting trail in his first month on the job, and this upcoming weekend will be arguably his most important yet. Ewing and his still-unannounced staff will host four prospects for visits — two grad transfer guards in Wright State’s Mark Alstork and South Dakota’s Trey Dickerson, and two high school prospects in wing Nahziah Carter and center Chris Sodom.
Ewing has had to scramble to fill out his roster in the late recruiting periods, and graduate transfers are a good way to fill short-term holes in the roster. In addition, the market for de-committed prospects is generally active during late recruiting periods, and Carter and Sodom fit that profile.
Georgetown currently has four open scholarships for next season, and Ewing could definitely benefit from bringing one or two of these kids in. Let’s take a deeper look at what they bring to the table.
Mark Alstork, 6’5” redshirt junior guard, Wright State University
Alstork was a three-star prospect in the class of 2013, coming out of Thurgood Marshall High School in Dayton, Oh. He committed to Ball State, where he played one relatively nondescript season, averaging 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 31.3% shooting from the field.
He then transferred to Wright State in his hometown, where he has been much more productive. After sitting out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Alstork returned to produce 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game on 43.2 percent shooting from the field, including 37.8 percent from three-point range.
As a junior, Alstork made some more improvements, increasing his scoring average to 19.0 points per game and adding 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Alstork shot 40 percent from the field, including 38.7 percent from three-point range on a high volume of attempts. His assist total was nearly double his 2015-16 total, indicating more ball-handling responsibilities. He also improved his free throw percentage from 69.4 percent to 84.6 percent from his sophomore to junior seasons.
On-court, Alstork fills some of Georgetown’s biggest needs. After losing Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak, the roster desperately needs a wing who can fill it up, and Alstork fits that profile. In addition, the Hoyas are fairly lacking in three-point shooting, and Alstork brings that in spades. He has a quick release and deep range, and while he is particularly effective in catch-and-shoot situations, he can also do some damage off the dribble and off the pick-and-roll.
Alstork isn’t a spectacular athlete, but he knows how to use his size and strength to put himself in favorable positions. Wright State gave him more responsibility as a ball-handler this season, and his handles and passing skills are good enough for him to function as a secondary playmaker in the Big East. He can finish with either hand around the rim and even showed the ability to post up smaller guards down low. On the negative side, he did turn the ball over 4.3 times per game last season, albeit with a high usage rate.
Defensively, Alstork is a tough kid with good size and strength for his position. His lateral quickness is unspectacular, which might pose a difficulty against some of the Big East’s top wings, but he will compete against almost anyone. He also somehow led Wright State with 0.6 blocks per game last season.
In terms of recruitment, Alstork will visit Georgetown this weekend and seems to be impressed with the idea of playing for Patrick Ewing. Georgetown is one of Alstork’s final six schools along with Pittsburgh, Illinois, South Carolina, LSU, and Louisville.
"It was remarkable,” Alstork said on Dayton radio. “It just, explains how God works, you know, it was out of nowhere. He called me, hello this is Patrick Ewing. This is who? Patrick Ewing. This is who? This is Patrick Ewing. I’m like whoa, Patrick Ewing is really on the phone with me. So, I mean, I just thank God for the opportunities that I’m getting, and this is going to be probably the toughest decision of my life so far. But you know, I appreciate just having the opportunity of having a tough decision and having decisions to make, so it’s just remarkable how things are working and the people who are coming into my life just because of the game of basketball."
Alstork would start immediately at Georgetown, and I would expect him to play more than 30 minutes per game next season. Needless to say, he would be a huge addition to next season’s roster.
Trey Dickerson, 6’1” redshirt junior guard, South Dakota
Dickerson’s college basketball career has been a long, winding road. Originally from Queens, N.Y., he played high school basketball at Price High School in Los Angeles before taking an extra prep year at God’s Academy in Texas. After high school, Dickerson played a season at Williston State, a junior college in North Dakota. He posted 19.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game at Williston State before transferring to Iowa.
In his sophomore season in 2014-15, Dickerson received limited playing time at Iowa, averaging just 9.7 minutes per game in 15 appearances. He averaged 2.7 points, 1.2 assists, and 0.5 rebounds per game before transferring again, this time to South Dakota. After sitting out a year, Dickerson started all 34 of South Dakota’s games, recording 10.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. He shot 40.4 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from three-point range.
Dickerson makes some sense for a Hoyas team that could use some point guard depth. At 6-foot-1, he has solid quickness and speed. When he gets a head of steam, he can be effective finishing around the rim, although he is very right-hand heavy in that area.
Shooting wise, Dickerson is unspectacular, but he is solid enough off the catch where defenses will need to respect his jumper. He has a slight hitch in his shooting form, but he converted 34 threes last year, more than any Hoya other than Pryor. Defensively, Dickerson’s slight frame might give him trouble against bigger guards in the Big East, but the Hoyas have had trouble defending small point guards in recent years, and Dickerson might be better suited to fill that role.
Reports have indicated that Seton Hall, Memphis, and DePaul are among the schools involved with Dickerson’s recruitment, along with Georgetown. Especially with Tre Campbell’s rumored knee injury and Tremont Waters’ decommitment (how many Tre/Treys can we get on this team?), Dickerson makes sense as a one-year stopgap, particularly when there are not many Class of 2017 point guard prospects remaining.
Nahziah Carter, 6’6” Class of 2017 wing, Bishop Kearney HS (Rochester, N.Y.)
First of all, we might as well get this out of the way: Carter is indeed Jay-Z’s nephew. Basketball wise, Carter de-committed from Dayton after Archie Miller left for Indiana, and there has been some confusion as to Carter’s classification. Originally a Class of 2017 recruit, he has considered taking an extra year at a prep school before heading to college. Still, it appears that if he decides to attend college next year, he would be academically qualified.
Carter is regarded as a three-star recruit by most major recruiting outlets. He’s a lean wing prospect with great athleticism and easy bounce off the floor. Carter is not much of a shooter at this stage, but his size and athleticism indicate solid potential. In eight games on the Nike EYBL circuit in the past few weeks, he has posted solid stats, averaging 12.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in just 20 minutes per game, playing alongside fellow Hoyas target Isaiah Stewart. Carter has been efficient, shooting 57.5 percent from the field, but making just four of his 15 three-point attempts and 15 of his 27 free throw attempts.
Although he was scheduled to visit both St. John’s and Georgetown this weekend, Carter cancelled his St. John’s visit, which can only be interpreted as a positive sign. Hitting the de-commit market is a smart strategy for Patrick Ewing, and Carter seems like a solid long-term prospect to add to the roster.
Chris Sodom, 7’3” Class of 2017 center, Tennessee Prep (Memphis, Tenn.)
Sodom, originally from Nigeria, lived in the Houston area before moving to Tennessee Prep this season. He originally committed to New Mexico, but de-committed after former Head Coach Craig Neal was fired. ESPN rates Sodom as a four-star recruit while 247Sports and Rivals rank him in the three-star category.
At 7-foot-3 with long arms, Sodom is fairly mobile for his size. He runs the floor well and seems like a fluid athlete. Unsurprisingly, he has a limited offensive game at this stage, but he shows decent hands and the ability to catch and finish around the rim. Defensively, it’s easy to imagine Sodom growing into a difference maker down the road with his size and athleticism, particularly if he is able to put a few more pounds on his frame.
According to his high school, Sodom has cut his list down to Missouri, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, and Georgetown. On a Georgetown roster largely bereft of rim protection, Sodom makes sense. He could contribute in a bench role immediately before taking on larger responsibilities as he matures.