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LINKS: Jon Rothstein Previews, Ranks the BIG EAST

Updated with notes from his interview with Patrick Ewing...

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Rothstein has tweeted his preview of the BIG EAST. He notes there’s only 134 days until the college basketball season begins and that more in-depth discussion (including an interview with Patrick Ewing) will be on his podcast this week.

Despite ranking the Hoyas at #3, Jon Rothstein does not include any Hoyas on his lists of first-team, “breakout,” or “impact freshmen” projections.

Rothstein does, however, include Qudus Wahab on his “under-the-radar freshmen” list, Omer Yurtseven and Terrell Allen on the “impact transfers” list, and Galen Alexander on the UTR transfers list.

It’s likely tough for fans to see a preseason BIG EAST list without the names Mac McClung, James Akinjo, or Josh LeBlanc, but the #3 ranking is undoubtedly due to that core group’s expected improvement.

Big East, Big Ten basketball rankings: Jerry Carino’s 2019-20 forecast | APP

... 4. Georgetown (19-14, 9-9): The trio of James Akinjo, Mac McClung and Josh LeBlanc rightly sent expectations soaring with superb freshmen campaigns. Postman Jessie Govan’s departure leaves a hole but this group will be fun to watch.

With 7 athletes playing for Patrick Ewing for the first time, the newcomers are certainly expected to make an impact.

Perhaps we’ll hear more about that this week from Patrick Ewing, himself...



  • Several second-weekend tournament teams in this conference
  • JR’s sources indicate a UConn addition would lead to 20-game league schedule in 2020 like other leagues; one thing very important to this Big East model is the double-round robin tournament
  • DePaul has a transfer guard from Kansas who may get a waiver...
  • Patrick Ewing: no comment on UConn
  • PE: Yurtseven is different than Govan—Jessie was more of a perimeter, Omer is a post-up who can step out (pronounced more O-mir than O-mare).
  • PE: expecting for James Akinjo, Mac McClung, Josh LeBlanc to make significant maturity growth
  • PE: LeBlanc’s effort and energy may be like Oakley, but Josh is not an enforcer. LeBlanc’s success will be from getting stronger and get in better shape for “scratching and clawing.”
  • PE: Akinjo’s game will have to blend with Yurtseven (especially post and perimeter, pick and roll); whole entire team work together.
  • PE: “Omer is the type of player who only comes around every so often, so you definitely have to use his abilities.”
  • PE: “Galen is another player we’re counting on; Myron Gardner, we’re counting on”
  • PE on Qudus: “we will need him [] to play like an upperclassman” (pronounced more like “kudos” than the “Qa-DUCE” that we’ve previously heard)
  • PE: “We definitely want to improve on what we did last year... get to NCAA Tournament and go as far as we possibly can.. interesting to see how well we blend together”
  • PE key: “playing together, sharing the wealth... with the talent we have returning and the talent that we added, the key will be sharing the wealth.”