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Hoyas Notebook: Pre Marquette

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Coach Patrick Ewing and Dante Harris addressed media on New Year’s Day

Rafael Suanes / Georgetown Athletics

Happy New Years!

In the first time in what seems like a long time thanks to a big break in the schedule, there was Georgetown news this morning. Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing and freshman guard Dante Harris spoke with media ahead of Saturday night’s game against Marquette at 7:30 pm on CBSSN. Yes it’s a new year and with that comes the time to meet the freshman!

With all the time off Ewing said they brought in the players families and also gave them the opportunity to come to his house for dinner but mentioned that due to covid there is only so much team bonding that teams can do right now.

Ewing was non committal as to the menu at the dinner he hosted but indicated it was a mix of Jamaican and American cuisine.

OK, now for some basketball talk ahead of Marquette.

Here’s Ewing on Marquette

“Unlike last year, one guy dominated the ball. The scoring it comes from everywhere. They have two talented freshman that can put up big numbers. [Justin] Lewis is a talented player from the area. I know tomorrow, because he’s back home, he’s definitely going to be trying to put big numbers. We need to have individual defense. We have to limit out turnovers and go down and score on the other end.”

On the lessons from Seton Hall:

Ewing mentioned that Seton Hall was different because of the shot blocking potential.

“We are going to have to do a great job of individual defense and also with our team defense. The days of just locking people down isn’t there anymore and I don’t think we have that type of team that can lock a team down that much. So we have to be able to defend and also able to score on the other end.”

LINE-UP CHANGES?

Ewing said he hasn’t considered making any changes with the lineup but then added: “Who knows?”

Ewing did say that some of the players have shown improvement recently and then singled out Malcolm Wilson as a player that’s going to have some more opportunities.

LIMITING TURNOVERS

Ewing spoke about the balance between letting players play and being a bit more conservative in order to make sure the turnovers aren’t the deciding factor between wins and losses. Ewing noted that was just coming out of a film session with five players in which that was the topic.

Here’s what he said:

“You want to give them freedom but with structure. One of the things I talked to them about is you have to know your teammates. If you know he can’t catch the pass you’re throwing, don’t throw it. If you know you can’t dribble the ball down the court, don’t do it. Find someone that can do it better than you.”

JALEN HARRIS UPDATE

“No update as of now,” Ewing said of the grad transfer that has missed the last three games after starting the first five. “He’s at home. We texted over the break. Things are looking up but I’m not sure when or if he’s going to come back.”

DANTE HARRS EVALUATION

“He’s been making freshman mistakes,” Ewing said about Dante’s play after his initial start. “We need him to continue his growth and development and stop thinking like he’s a freshman. We need him to step up and play.”

MEET DANTE HARRIS

Next up was Dante Harris making his first zoom of the year with media. Harris has started the last three games for Georgetown and point guard and earned the Big East Freshman of the Week honors after his 22 point performance in the overtime win over St. John’s.

Harris said Coach Crouch has been helping him with a mindset of moving on to the next play after mistakes. Harris has eight assists and 11 turnovers since becoming a starter.

“I was pretty excited but I didn’t want to let that get to my head because I still have job to do,” Harris said about becoming the starter three games ago.

“It was good,” Harris said about the weekly Big East honor. “I was blessed to do it but I’m just most excited to get the win.”

While an under the radar recruit in Tennessee via the DC area, Harris has college basketball in his blood. Former Tennessee Vols standout Bobby Maze is his cousin and helped in his development to get to this level.

“Bobby Maze has meant a lot,” Harris said. “He put me on a platform where I can showcase my talents. That’s my cousin so I speak highly of him and appreciate everything he does for me.”

So with the step up in competition level, how exactly has Harris been able to adjust? While he respects the players in the Big East, he’s not afraid to compete.

“I feel like they put their shoes on just like I put my shoes on,” Harris said. “We all can go out there and compete no matter what.”

SELF EVALUATION

As far as improvement, Harris said he needs to work on cutting down his turnovers and improve setting up his teammates for better shots. He’s most proud of the energy he brings to the court on defense because defense wins championships.

Well that’s it for New Years Day Hoya updates. 2021 has many Georgetown fans optimistic and it officially starts now!