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LINKS: Ryan Mutombo news? Can Louis Orr Reel-in 5-star Patrick Baldwin, Jr?

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Only a couple Thompson tear-jerker tributes, I promise.

Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament - 1st Round

While we’re all still reeling from the John Thompson news, rumors broke about Ryan Mutombo taking another look at Tennessee and sent shooting pains down my left arm.

Corey Evans still thinks the Georgetown Hoyas are in the lead, and mentions another super-top name as having a close relationship with Georgetown Assistant Coach and 2021-killin’ recruiter, Louis Orr!

Here are the links:

Wednesday’s Mailbag: Is it SEC for Brandon Huntley-Hatfield? | Rivals / Corey Evans

It’s Duke or Milwaukee for Baldwin, right? Maybe not. Georgetown has struggled mightily in the recruitment of five-star prospects, but assistant coach Louie Orr has a great relationship with Baldwin and his family. Don’t bet on the Hoyas, but a shocking commitment is a bit more realistic than many realize.

UNC Basketball: Tar Heels won’t beat Blue Devils for 5-star recruit | Keeping it Heel

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound Baldwin has terrific length and athleticism that allows him to compete at either forward position, and helps him create mismatches on both ends of the court. He can score from all three levels, runs the floor well and isn’t afraid to drive the lane for big finishes above the rim. He’s also got good handles for a big man, and an outstanding basketball I.Q.

Baldwin is ranked No. 1 in the class of 2021 according to the 247Sports Composite, and in the Rivals 150. ESPN, on the other hand, ranks him second in the class to seven-foot center Chet Holmgren.

Knicks: Patrick Ewing had blood clot after testing positive for COVID-19 | Daily Knicks

New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing revealed this week that he had a blood clot after testing positive for COVID-19. He is symptom-free and feeling better now, but the Hall-of-Famer made it clear that he had a difficult battle with the virus that has gripped the country over the past several months.

Appearing on a CNN interview to discuss the passing of his former college coach John Thompson, Ewing said it was “rough” while trying to recover from the virus.

“It was rough,” Ewing said in the interview. “I was in the hospital for five days. Fever. Body ache. I had a blood clot. It not only affects you physically, it also affects you mentally.”

Big East women’s basketball tourney returning to Connecticut | New Haven Register

The Big East Conference is moving its women’s basketball tournament to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

The move, announced Tuesday, follows the return of the University of Connecticut to the Big East from the American Athletic Conference.

The 10,000-seat arena, which also is the home of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, is scheduled to host the Big East women’s tournament for the next three seasons, the conference announced Tuesday.

Arizona’s James Akinjo immediately eligible after receiving waiver | ESPN / AP

Arizona guard James Akinjo has been granted a waiver by the NCAA and will immediately be eligible after transferring from Georgetown.

The decision announced Tuesday gives Akinjo two years of eligibility left.

A 6-foot guard, Akinjo was the Big East freshman of the year in 2018-19 after averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 assists. Akinjo appeared in seven games for the Hoyas last season before opting to transfer.

NCAA grants (potentially meaningless) immediate eligibility waiver to Arizona’s James Akinjo | Tuscon.com

For one, it signals that there are indeed movements behind the scenes to allow Pac-12 teams to play before January. The NCAA’s Dan Gavitt has been looking at start dates in November and December, and there’s no question that Pac-12 coaches won’t want to get left behind if everyone else is playing (Colorado’s Tad Boyle even told the Star that the Pac-12 needs to listen to Gavitt and that he hoped it would consider changing to an earlier date)...

Secondly, the waiver also may indicate that the Georgetown situation Akinjo left was problematic for reasons he did not create. Georgetown said Akinjo was not involved with allegations of burglary and harassment involving other players.

Black America’s team (Part 3 of 4 in “It’s A G Thing” series) | Georgetown Voice

“Going to Georgetown changed my world, man, not just basketball,” Smith asserts. “I wasn’t recruited, though I had one other scholarship offer. And the fact that I was able to make the career I made? That can only happen at Georgetown.”

“I didn’t choose Georgetown to make the NBA,” Williams said. “I chose Georgetown because I knew if I graduated, I would be able to live and take care of my family, and that’s what I’ve been able to do.”

As Mosely put it, “Going to Georgetown was more so like a 40-year plan for me rather than a 4-year plan.”

John Thompson’s Unapologetic Blackness Changed College Basketball | fivethirtyeight

The Georgetown clubs of the 1980s were fiery and intimidating, known primarily for three big men: Ewing (1981-85), Mourning (1988-92) and Mutombo (1988-91). The Ewing-Thompson combo went a combined 121-23 in four years; the broader world took notice, as Georgetown’s applications increased by 45 percent from 1983 to 1986. Mourning and Mutombo comprised a fearsome defensive duo; they blocked so many shots that fans created a “rejection row” for all the opposing attempts they sent into the stands.

Roy Williams, Coach K and others honor Georgetown basketball legend John Thompson | The Island Packet

Legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson visited Chapel Hill back in November 2015 to receive the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s inaugural Dean Smith Award. During his acceptance speech, he joked about this very moment.

“When people pass, you hear more lies about them than anything in their life,” Thompson said. “You go to a funeral, I mean the man is like Satan and they put him at St. Peter’s gate. I go and I listen and you never thought the person committed a sin in his life. I’m sitting there going, ‘Is this the same person that I know that they’re talking about?’”

John Thompson spoke truth to power ‘when it was hard to do’ | Bristol Herald Courier

“See this?” he asked. “I never saw my own father’s palms this … light. Never.

“I remember: He’d come home after work, wash ’em over and over, sit down at the dinner table and they always looked dark as this,” Thompson said, pointing now to the back of his hand. “After a while I figured out the stain of all that hard labor wasn’t ever going to wash away.”

This happened during a conversation about fathers and sons at an NCAA tournament East Regional final in March, 2007.