Now he has experience and talent — particularly sophomores Mac McClung, James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc — to contend for a Big East title and get the Hoyas back in the tournament. Transfers Omer Yurtseven (North Carolina State) and Terrell Allen (Central Florida) will add even more firepower.
65. James Akinjo, Georgetown: He’s about 10 spots too low for my tastes here, but I’m glad Georgetown’s got a guard back in the mix for one of the best in the Big East. Akinjo (13.4 ppg, 5.2 apg) is not an elite point guard, but it’s his daringness and his unpredictability between shooting and driving that make him an ideally fun college basketball backcourt dynamo. — MN ...
74. Omer Yurtseven, Georgetown: Before transferring to Georgetown, Yurtseven averaged 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game two seasons ago at NC State. He sat out last season per normal NCAA transfer rules but is eligible now and expected to be a key member of a Georgetown team that should make the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Patrick Ewing. — GP
14. Omer Yurtseven, 7-foot junior, Georgetown
After averaging 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore, Yurtseven left N.C. State for the Hoyas, where he sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules. We’re projecting a bit here, but after a year learning the finer points of post-play from Patrick Ewing, Yurtseven could be poised for a breakout.
Arden: I spoke with your teammate and fellow sophomore James Akinjo about playing with you last season and he said you, “took a lot of pressure off of him.” Do you feel the same way about James?
MM: Oh, absolutely. James and I both feel as if we’re the “underdogs” and can relate to various things, especially with trying to help each other out along with our teammates. If we’re playing our best ball together, then we’ll be tough to stop.
Worst Case Scenario The Hoyas’ early season demons are back. After a season-opening victory against Mount St. Mary’s, the Hoyas come out flat against an inferior Central Arkansas team three days later at home, and lose the game behind a turnover-filled performance from the young Hoyas backcourt of Akinjo and McClung. After a closer-than-expected win against Penn State, the Hoyas fall to the Texas Longhorns in the 2K Empire Classic, robbing the young Hoyas of a chance for an early-season litmus test against Duke.
Ewing persevered through rampant racism during his career as well. Fans would often display signs referring to him as an ape, and at one point he even had a banana peel thrown on the court at him. Despite the ridiculousness, he spent four seasons in a Hoya uniform and was a 3x All American, 4x All-Big East selection, 4x Big East Defensive Player of the Year as well as a Rupp Trophy and Naismith Award winner. He averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game on his way to being one of the most decorated players in college basketball history.
Iverson returned for his sophomore season, improving his statistics across the board and providing fans with legendary college matchups against notable stars Stephon Marbury, Kerry Kittles, Miles Simon, Ray Allen, Charles Smith, and Marcus Camby. The Hoyas earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but were again bounced in the sweet 16. Iverson went on to be the #1 pick in the legendary 1996 NBA draft. He went on to be an 11x All-Star, 4x scoring champs and 2x MVP.
URI is likely to use Walker behind Cyril Langevine and Jermaine Harris in the frontcourt. Walker would have two full semesters in residence with the Rams by Christmas and should have no trouble being cleared for Atlantic 10 play at the latest. URI is obviously hoping for a favorable ruling to dress Walker against the likes of Maryland, Providence, Alabama, LSU and more during a challenging nonconference schedule. “I don’t know what the rhyme or reason is for why the waivers are being issued,” Cox said. “It seems rather arbitrary. I probably should say less at this particular point.”
“I think it’s best to have an NBA guy [for Team USA],” Wright said. “You’re coaching NBA guys. I worked with coach (Mike) Krzyzewski on the select team and I had great respect for him. After having done that with an NBA coach, I have even more respect for what he did with the NBA guys. It’s just a totally different game. Just watching how Pop can communicate with them. How quickly he can get things done with them, based on the NBA game. You have a short period of time to get ready and there’s an NBA vernacular with basketball that you can get things across real quick.”