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Press Conference Takeaways

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NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Georgetown showed no letup after three quality wins in making quick and easy work of UMBC on Tuesday night.

Coach Patrick Ewing stuck with his seven-man rotation in the first half before getting a chance to nearly empty the bench and hand out a few season and career debuts before it was all said and done.

After scoring a season-low 61 points in a loss to UNC Greensboro, the Hoyas have now scored at least 81 points in the four games that followed.

Let’s take a look at the news and best quotes to come out of the post-game press conferences.

PICKETT OK

The biggest news of the night came a few minutes into the post-game when Jamorko Pickett confirmed that his injury was related to a lack of fluids – most likely cramps.

“Pretty good,” Pickett said when asked about his left calf injury that saw him sit for the final 11:52 with the Hoyas comfortably ahead.

“It’s the first time something like this ever happened. I think it’s just that I didn’t drink enough fluids.”

Pickett finished with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and grabbed three rebounds in 27 minutes before watching the rest of the game with an ice bag wrapped around his leg. It’s really important for a thin Georgetown team that Pickett stays healthy as he’s the last remaining scholarship forward on the roster after the recent transfers. The junior was moving around pretty good during timeouts and didn’t show a limp in the handshake lines but it was still nice to see him come to the post game press conference and give his own injury update.

MORE MINUTES

So, when you lose two of your top five players and then another two rotational players all in a two-week span, the positive is that there are plenty of minutes to be spread out among the remaining players.

“They are embracing the opportunity,” Ewing said about his players getting more time.

“That’s one of the things I told them. I said all you guys that were crying about not getting minutes, you’re going to have minutes now. You have to take advantage of it. Jahvon is definitely taking advantage of it.”

Ewing is right as Blair has clearly been the main beneficiary of the additional minutes up for grabs. The uptick in minutes has resulted in a complete 180 for Blair.

Before the transfers, Blair was 3 for 16 from deep - 19 percent. Since the transfers, Blair is 14 for 29 - 48 percent from three-point range.

Last season Blair made 33 3-pointers last season a sophomore in 32 games. He’s already knocked down 17 in 10 games.

Beyond shooting, Blair set a career high with seven rebounds vs UMBC and has become a more reliable defender. Knowing that the minutes will be there has really helped Blair look more like the player that made the league’s all freshmen team in 2018.

UNSUNG HERO

The last remaining scholarship player from the JT3 era is really enjoying a great start to his senior season. Jagan Mosely was possibly a surprise starter when the start began but he’s now looking like the leader of this team in his last chance to make an NCAA Tournament.

“Jagan has been great for us all year,” Ewing said.

“To me he’s the unsung hero. He’s a glue guy, he’s doing everything. He guards the best player on the team. He’s been knocking down his shots. He’s been assisting. He plays one, two, three, four, the only position he hasn’t played yet is five. I think all these guys are doing an outstanding job and they’re making me proud.”

Mosely had just four points in 38 minutes against UMBC but he was again able to control the game by making the right plays. The senior had six assists, six rebounds, two steals and just one turnover and was plus 26 in his time on the court.

DEE-FENCE, DEE-FENCE

Georgetown jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never really looked back. The Hoyas limited UMBC to just 29 percent shooting in the first half and only allowed two double-digit scorers. The Retrievers were limited to 24 percent shooting from deep.

Ewing weighed in on where he thought his team’s defense was as the conference play nears.

“Right now we’re playing as well as we have since I’ve been here,” said Ewing.

“We have to continue to work on our defense every day. I think these guys are buying in. Even Mac who’s not a real good defender, he’s buying in and he’s been playing extremely well for us.”

Afterwards Pickett made it known that the team has been focused on defense.

“Defense has always been the Achilles heel here and we’ve been working on our shell drill a lot since the beginning of the year,” said Pickett.

“That’s really what we’ve been working on the most – defense and getting stops because we know that’s what we’re going to have to do going into the BIG EAST.”

DOUBLE-DOUBLES

Omer Yurtseven posted his fifth double-double of the season but first in nearly a month with 22 points and 13 rebounds in 19 minutes.

Freshman backup Qudus Wahab set career-highs with 10 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing out on his first double-double in 16 minutes. Both Yurtseven and Wahab had three blocks apiece.

Yurtseven had this to say about Wahab’s improvement: “He’s really strong - I think - as a freshman especially. He’s working on jump hooks and turnaround shots every day in the gym. After practice we just get reps up and I think that’s just helped him improve a lot. He’s earned it.”

CHAMPIONSHIP FEVER

“We’ll I’ve been there,” Ewing joked when asked about what it’s like to be on campus when Georgetown wins a national championship.

“It’s great. You have to take your hats off to Georgetown soccer. Coach did an outstanding job. We’re very proud of him, proud of the Hoya family. Hopefully that soccer won’t be the only one that brings one back to campus.”