Six days left for the Georgetown Hoyas and fans are abuzz about the potential to take the next big step for Patrick Ewing’s third year. That’s less than a week!
If your pulse isn’t still racing after yesterday’s Season Preview, you may need to see a doctor.
Here are the links:
Exciting season for the Hoyas ahead. You heard it here first: Georgetown will be a No. 1 seed ... in the NIT! That’s an improvement on last season’s No. 3. The nonconference schedule is better but will still present some challenges. I promise you the 1-2 attack of Mac McClung and James Akinjo will be irresistible, but Patrick Ewing’s team has more than just those two guys. Unlike the stall at St. John’s under Chris Mullin, I think G’town is going to grow into a good outfit under Ewing. The big year is a year away.
"We have the opportunity to do something really special, and that’s to bring Georgetown back to where it should be."— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) October 31, 2019
The #Hoyas have their minds set on a trip to @MarchMadness for the first time in 5 years. Check out the @GeorgetownHoops Season Preview: https://t.co/JSQ0WJyOSG
So what does Akinjo have up his sleeve for the BIG EAST this season?
“Most of my goals are team-oriented goals,” the 6-0 guard said. “I want to win the BIG EAST regular-season title and then I want to win the BIG EAST Tournament championship and then get far into the NCAA Tournament. As for myself, I just want to keep playing hard and keep getting better, keep growing. I don’t want to say too much. I just want to go out there and show you guys.”
Georgetown added a 2nd verbal in the class of 2020 with PG Dante Harris (TN) so naturally this required a podcast with @CasualHoya.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) October 30, 2019
We go over all things recruiting & welcome @Tnprephoops to get the details on Harris who visited the Hoyas last weekend.https://t.co/T5TDxVfId5
Georgetown will need to make a jump defensively if it hopes to make the Big Dance after ranking 133rd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency last season. The backcourt features a 6-foot-1 Akinjo and 6-foot-2 McClung, so the frontcourt and bigger bodies on the bench will be critical in defending the inside and providing help defense. The Hoyas start with an easy nonconference schedule before the 2K Empire Classic where they will face Texas, and if both Georgetown and Duke wins, the Blue Devils. After finishing up with other “bubble” NCAA teams like Syracuse, SMU and Oklahoma State, Georgetown will move onto conference play where it will look to crack into the top four in the Big East.
[Why don’t the Duke writers have more thoughts on the NC State transfer?]
Is this the year Georgetown gets back to the NCAAs? The jury is out, but having Yurtseven available certainly won’t hurt the Hoyas’ case. Patrick Ewing brings back four starters, with Yurtseven set to slide in for the lone departing one, center Jessie Govan. We last saw the 7-footer on NC State in 2017–18, when he averaged 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds while posting a strong 120.2 offensive rating, per kenpom. Yurtseven even knocked down half of his 44 three-point attempts that year, showing he could bring some of the big man perimeter range that left with Govan. But it was two-point offense that was a weak point for the Hoyas last season, and the area that Yurtseven could help improve most.
Which player is not getting nearly enough respect? ...
[Eamonn Brennan:] Georgetown had one player named to either of the two preseason all-conference teams: sophomore point guard James Akinjo. Fair enough — Akinjo could be in for a breakout sophomore campaign — but you do wonder if forward Omer Yurtseven will be seen as the Hoyas’ most important player. A 7-foot center who can command the low block, face-up from range and provide an interior defensive edge that Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown teams have thus far lacked, Yurtseven flashed legitimate NBA potential as a sophomore at N.C. State. He has spent the last year in transfer limbo, and therefore off of most people’s radars. But he has all the chops be a star.
[Dana O’Neill:] ... McClung didn’t even make it on the honorable mention preseason team. What the what? He averaged 13 points per game last year and helped Georgetown to a 19-14 record. I think people are sleeping on the Hoyas in general, but especially McClung.
6. GEORGETOWN ... Patrick Ewing has the Hoyas progressing under his watch, and they’re ready to take the next step this season. James Akinjo and Mac McClung return in the backcourt, and NC State transfer Omer Yurtseven might immediately be the Big East’s best big man.
[SECOND TEAM] James Akinjo, So., G, Georgetown ... Omer Yurtseven, Jr., C, Georgetown
The Season Preview 1-on-1 with Patrick Ewing is in the books!— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) October 29, 2019
1. Sophomore PG James Akinjo's taken a leap, and Ewing has put leadership on him.
2. Improving defensively has been the unquestionable preseason priority.
3. Transfer Omer Yurtseven is the real deal. pic.twitter.com/XfvDeuQnlR
So, does Patrick Ewing have the Hoyas on the right track, or has he just been treading the same stagnant water JTIII was?
The answer seems to be an emphatic yes. After adding McClung, LeBlanc, and Akinjo last season, Ewing added four star centers Qudus Wahab and Malcolm Wilson to ease the pain of Govan’s departure. Timothy Igohefe, a 6-11 athletic freak of nature (10’11” standing vertical, 8’11” standing reach) from Nigeria joins those two. That all adds up to a respectable recruiting class that is specifically targeted to fill Georgetown’s needs.
But that’s not the sole reason Hoyas fans are excited about the incoming crew. Galen Alexander, a former ESPN top 100 small forward, comes to the DMV out of a stint in junior college.
Some people are stumping for Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas. Omer Yurtseven from NC State could be a huge help for the Hoyas on both ends of the floor and Ewing has gotten some good young talent into the program. It still seems like Georgetown is a year away, especially with some gelling to do.
Lakeway Christian basketball's Dante Harris commits to Georgetown https://t.co/eApuEHVBBI— knoxnews (@knoxnews) October 29, 2019
Patrick Ewing has never been a head coach in the NBA yet he is definitely the richest. Now the head coach at his alma mater in Georgetown, Ewing made it past the ranks of assistant NBA coach, though his name was thrown around as a possibility for head coaching jobs across the NBA for years.
Despite healthy coaching paydays, Ewing’s career earnings have more to do with his NBA career. At his peak, he was one of the most feared big men, and his life since has largely taken place in the coaching circles.