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LINKS: Commentary on Hoyas Ahead of SMU

News on the Big East, Recruits, and Ewing’s coaching...

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some tweets and links for this week between the Georgetown Hoyas’ loss to the Syracuse Orange and the game against Southern Methodist University Mustangs:

It’s Time to Start Josh LeBlanc | HOYA247

Per HoopsLens (H/T @NationWideNolan for highlighting this), this is the difference between lineups with LeBlanc on the floor, and lineups without him... [see tweet below] That is a stark difference, and clearly illustrates how much better the lanky freshman makes this team.

Trey Mourning will continue to be an important player to this team, with its weak frontcourt depth, but he is a minus defensively, and does not provide enough offense to warrant more minutes than LeBlanc. Currently, LeBlanc averages 21 minutes per game, compared to Mourning’s 24.6 minutes per game. Going forward, LeBlanc should be in the 25-27 minute range.

UConn switching to Big East rumors percolating once again | The Bristol Press

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman ... suggested the 10-team, basketball-centric Big East could expand by one, giving the league the ability to adopt a 20-game conference schedule that other major conferences have or are considering. Ackerman tried to walk her comment back a bit on Sunday, saying “there is nothing cooking on that,” although the recent history of conference realignment belies that assertion...

Sports Business Daily injected more ripples on Monday when it reported American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco wants AAC schools to agree to remain in the conference long-term (officially, signing on to what is called a Grant of Rights) with the lure being a TV contract worth as much as four times the league’s current 7-year, $126 million deal, a pittance compared to the Power 5 leagues. The AAC TV contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Such a deal could earn schools $10 million-$15 million a year, still far behind the annual takes of Power 5 schools.

NB: Big East’s deal with Fox Sports was expected to be $500MM over 12 years (c. 2013) and up to $600MM if the conference went to 12 teams...

UConn men’s basketball team awaits decision from recruit Qudus Wahab | Hartford Courant

UConn has also had visits from front court prospects Tre Mitchell of Woodstock Academy and Kofi Cockburn, a New York kid who transferred to Oak Hill in Virginia.

Wahab’s coach, Rico Reed, expected him to be deliberate with his process and he has been, visiting all five schools and taking time to think it over, in no rush to sign a Letter of Intent during the November signing period. He hasn’t indicated he is leaning in any direction, though he did tell Rivals his relationship with Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams “is much different than with the other coaches recruiting me.”

UConn has signed letters from guard James Bouknight and Jalen Gaffney, and Akok, who withdrew from Putnam Science Academy, intends to enroll at UConn in January for the spring semester. Once UConn has its big man, it would have one scholarship left open for next season, assuming no one transfers.

Qudus Wahab discusses Pitt recruitment | Cardiac Hill | SB Nation

To Wahab’s point, Capel and three assistants traveled to see him play last week, and those following the center’s recruitment are well aware that Pitt has been present every step of the way, especially over the past few weeks. However, Wahab is not a lock, as several analysts have predicted he will head to Georgetown, which is situated fewer than 20 miles away from his current school.

There, he would also have the benefit of learning under former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing, and he talked about that possibility in his conversation with Evans.

“[Georgetown] is really close, which is one advantage,” Wahab said during his interview with Evans. “Coach Ewing has said he is going to get me right, and with him being a big man, too, I am going to get the ball. He talks about Jessie Govan a lot and how I am going to be able to do the same stuff as him.”

In addition to Pitt and Georgetown, Syracuse, UConn and Virginia Tech are also in the mix for the center’s services.

Former Arizona commit Jahvon Quinerly disgruntled at Villanova? | Arizona Desert Storm | SB Nation

After Arizona was implicated in the probe, the former five-star recruit — who may or may not have been a key figure in the investigation himself — decommitted from the UA and eventually pledged to the Villanova Wildcats, who had been tracking him throughout the recruiting process.

Well, that does not appear to be a happy marriage.

The freshman point guard has only played 70 minutes all season, and after playing one minute in a stunning loss to Penn on Tuesday, Quinerly apparently wrote “was my 2nd choice for a reason” on Instagram before quickly deleting the post...

Mustangs Travel To D.C. For Saturday Matchup With Georgetown | SMU Mustangs

Seniors Jarrey Foster and Jahmal McMurray were named to the preseason All-American Athletic Conference second team. McMurray and Whitt have each earned an AAC Weekly Honor Roll nod this season.

Preseason All-AAC selection Jahmal McMurray is leading SMU in scoring (18.7, 3rd AAC) and is hitting 41.6 percent from 3-point range (4th AAC). His 3.7 threes made per game are second in the AAC and rank 15th nationally. Sophomore Ethan Chargois is averaging 13.8 points (17th AAC), 7.2 rebounds (5th AAC) and 1.0 blocked shots (12th AAC). Jimmy Whitt Jr. is third on the team at 11.8 points (24th AAC) and 6.3 rebounds (13th AAC) with a team-high 4.1 assists (9th AAC) and a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio (4th AAC) while shooting 49.5 percent. Nat Dixon is adding 6.6 points and hitting 38.9 percent from three.

Allen | The Players’ Tribune

2. I remember the night that I found out Coach Thompson was no one to mess with.

We were playing Villanova at their place — had to have been the middle of my freshman year. Big rivalry game, plus a little something extra with both of us being ranked that season.

We come out of the tunnel and get in our warmups. All good — we’re ready. There’s some real energy in the building. But then suddenly one of our guys, he notices something…. and he points up to the crowd.

And I’ll never forget it...