The Georgetown Hoyas (9-3) will host the Howard Bison (6-7) on Saturday at noon at Capital One Arena in the final game of 2018 and the last warm-up before the Big East conference season begins. That doesn’t mean this game will be any less of a foot race to 80 points than the Hoyas’ prior games.
This contest against Howard is the final tuneup before the REAL regulation season begins and they face a whole new level of competition at home and on the road. I’m very intrigued to see how both freshmen come out vs Howard coming off their huge games. Also would like to see a stronger start on the defensive side of the ball and the never-ending turnover struggles improve. The most important thing is to end the game healthy.
Howard is 6-7 and losers of 4 straight games four players average double figures lead by RJ Cole. Thinking this should be a walk in the park like some thought last week will be a mistake.
Sophomore guard RJ Cole (Union, N.J.) led the way with a team-leading 29 points, six rebounds and six assists while guards Charles Williams (Richmond, Va.) and Raymond Bethea, Jr. (Atlantic City, N.J.) combined for 31 points. Second-year forward Zion Cousins (Upper Marlboro, Md.) played nearly all 40 minutes while grabbing a career-high 13 boards in the loss.
HU (6-7) enters Saturday’s showdown looking to snap its long skid of the year at four games. In the last two games, the squad has been without redshirt guard Chad Lott (Shreveport, La.) and freshman forward Andre Toure (Paris, France).
|5||Raymond Bethea Jr.||13||2||164||25||64||.391||16||41||.390||6||8||.750||14||10||9||2||11||17||72|
“I chose Howard because I felt wanted.” https://t.co/VXLSfzRGqS— Washington City Paper (@wcp) December 27, 2018
“I thought we had one of the best back courts in mid-major basketball last year,” head coach Kevin Nickelberry says, referring to Cole and junior Charles Williams. Coming in as a freshman, Cole had to prove that he could be a scorer as well as a facilitator. He has done both.
“Not a lot of guards can do what he does,” Nickelberry says. “With his instincts and ability to win, I knew the more we put the ball in his hands, the more we put him in situations to make him successful, the winning will come along with that.” Between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Cole needed to work on a few other aspects of his game. This year he’s showing better command of the flow of play and has brought added intensity on the defensive side of the ball.
Freshman of the Year: A.J. Reeves, Providence... Good competition for this one. Villanova’s Saddiq Bey, Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski, Marquette’s Joey Hauser and Georgetown’s frosh duo of Mac McClung and James Akinjo (Georgetown’s at a Big East-best 16.8 assists per game) have all been quality players to this point. It’s a solid sign for the league’s future, as none of those players figure to be one-and-doners. But Providence’s A.J. Reeves has been the best freshmen in the Big East to this point. He is on the mend, though, after suffering a foot injury early in December.
”We gave up 57 points in the second half,” Nickelberry stated. “They were able to hurt us on the glass. [Zion] Cousins got tired and we didn’t have too many options to help him on the glass.” Second-year forward Zion Cousins (Upper Marlboro, Md.) played nearly all 40 minutes while filling in for the reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Rookie of the Week Andre Toure (Paris, France). In his efforts, the Maryland product grabbed a career-high 13 boards in the loss.
Sophomore guard RJ Cole (Union, N.J.) led the way with a team-leading 29 points, six rebounds and six assists. Additionally, the New Jersey native reached the charity stripe 17 times and made 13 free throws. “RJ [Cole] shot 17 free throws and the rest of the team shot only one,” Nickelberry added. “We didn’t get to the line and [we] didn’t rebound the ball.” ...
“We got to find a way to respond,” Nickelberry concluded. “[Chad] Lott and [Andre] Toure are probably not playing anytime soon so we got to find guys who can help us in the toughness department. And I know we got those guys in the locker room.”
Patrick Ewing: "I expect great things out of (Jessie Govan). He's a senior." @BIGEASTMBB— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) December 27, 2018
He and classmate James Akinjo (Oakland, Calif. / Salesian College Preparatory) combined for 63 points with Akinjo adding a career-high 25 points. For the week, McClung averaged 29.5 mpg, 26.0 ppg, 2.0 apg and 1.5 rpg in the two contests. This is the second time this year a Georgetown player has held this honor as Akinjo was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on Nov. 19.
Patrick Ewing on 2 freshman guards: "Some of the things you did in high school you're not going to be able to do in college right away. You have to learn to adjust." @BIGEASTMBB— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) December 27, 2018
Ex-players Ausar Madison and Kai Tease are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which attorney Stuart L. Peacock filed in D.C. Superior Court on Monday. Both former players claim Nickelberry verbally and emotionally abused them, ordered them to practice “in a manner that routinely and methodically exceeds what is allowed under NCAA regulations,” and refused to follow through on promises of athletic scholarships.
He ranked 7th in scoring last season with 23.7 ppg...in the whole nation. What makes it even more impressive? He did that as a freshman. Cole started all 33 games for Howard and made his name known. That’s hard to repeat that for most, but he will most likely do it again. As Howard fights for a better finish in the MEAC this season, Cole will once again dominate.
What’s dangerous about Cole is his three-point shooting. Last season he ranked within the Top 15 in the nation in 3 pointers made. His 109 makes and 304 attempts are absurdly high and dangerous for opposing defenses. His numbers were in the same ballpark as Trae Young last year. Cole took just 15 fewer attempts and trailed by only five makes than Young, who wound up being a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.
After scuffling offensively through the first half, the Bison came out firing after the break. Howard’s guards made the team’s first six shots of the second half, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Chief culprit was sophomore off guard Charles Williams (28 points, 6-9 3FG), who exploited every moment of Hoya inattention to throw more fire at the basket. Georgetown wasn’t without blame defensively, often losing track of Williams and his teammate RJ Cole (17 points), but the Bison guards also were pouring it in from all over the court, hitting shots that ranged from the off-balance to the off-the-dribble to the downright silly.