Game 1: University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (0-0) at Georgetown Hoyas (0-0)
When: Tuesday, 830pm
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Hoyas lead 8-0
Last Meeting: Georgetown defeated UMES 83-57 on Nov 18, 2017 in DC
TV: Fox Sports Regional Networks (MASN2 in the DC area)
Announcers: (Dickie Simpkins & Wayne Randazzo)
KenPom: Georgetown 88, UMES 63 (99 percent)
College basketball is finally back as Georgetown hosts UMES in an opening night game on Election Day.
As the second year of the Coach Ewing era begins the team will obviously be more in his mold as just five players remain on the roster that he inherited.
One of those players will be the focal point of a great deal that happens this season as Jessie Govan returns for his senior campaign with a chance to cement his name in the record books but the only thing the Queens Village native was thinking about on media day was team achievements.
“My focus is on trying to make the tournament this year,” said Govan. “The individual awards are nice but I’m focused on team success this year.”
Georgetown had made the NCAA Tournament in eight of the ten seasons prior to Govan’s arrival. In each of Govan’s three seasons the Hoyas haven’t made the NCAAs or even the NIT and it’s something that’s not lost on the 6-10 big man who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds a season ago. It’s a fact he wants to change before hopefully heading off to the NBA.
“The biggest thing is being the one to lead this team back to the NCAA Tournament. We haven’t been since I’ve been in college and that’s a big thing for me. If I can go out on that note, being the leader of this team that goes back to the NCAA Tournament and get Georgetown back on the map. I think that would be great for me.”
The big question every year always seems to be about the starting lineup and this year really isn’t any different, particularly with Marcus Derrickson leaving early for the NBA.
So let’s talk through this one.
As I’ve mentioned on Twitter, Jessie Govan and Jamorko Pickett are absolute locks. Everyone knows this.
Even though his numbers dipped quite a bit in conference play it seems likely that senior Kaleb Johnson keeps his spot in the lineup at least to start of the season.
With two spots left, a freshman guard is likely to get the nod and I’m going with James Akinjo over Mac McClung. I’m also not really considering Jahvon Blair even though he earned All BIG EAST Freshman honors along with Pickett because every bench needs instant offense and the sophomore proved he could exactly that last year.
So to round out my five I’ve got junior Jagan Mosely getting the nod. This lineup could change as the season goes on with ball security playing a large role in playing time.
So to recap I’m going with Akinjo, Mosely, Pickett, Johnson, and Govan.
SCOUTING THE SHORE
Maryland Eastern Shore went 7-25 last season which was enough for the school to decide to make a change at the top. Bobby Collins is out after four years in charge while his former assistant - Clifford Reed - gets the bump up to interim head coach for this season. Reed has plenty of MEAC experience having served as the head man at Bethune-Cookman for 10 seasons, most recently in 2011.
Picked 11th in the MEAC preseason poll, the Hawks will likely rely heavily on juniors Tyler Jones and Ahmad Frost. Reed will also welcome back two seniors who sat out last season due to injuries in Dontae Caldwell and Ryan Andino.
Jones and Frost combined for 26 points in last season’s loss to the Hoyas.
In what cannot be a good sign of things to come, UMES lost an exhibition game to D3 Salisbury State 67-60 last Thursday. AJ Cheeseman led UMES with 17 points while Jones added 15. In a real oddity the Hawks connected on just two 3-pointers – one of their first possession and then on their last possession.
Prediction: Georgetown 91, UMES 66