The #BIGEASThoops Preseason Freshman of the Year hails from the Hilltop! @GeorgetownHoops five-star rookie Aminu Mohammed takes home the league's top preseason rookie of the year honor. pic.twitter.com/t5mPwEBZqP— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) October 19, 2021
This is another award in a long list of accolades for the 5-star guard, including a nomination to the McDonald’s All-American Team and being named Missouri’s “Gatorade Player of the Year” and “Mr. Basketball.” Georgetown fans cannot wait to see how he is reportedly able to score at all three levels, draw defenders and distribute the ball, and defend at an elite level.
As far as I can tell, Georgetown has not had a preseason Freshman of the Year nominee since Greg Monroe won Co-Rookie of the Year ahead of 2008-09. Of course, former player James Akinjo won the award after his freshman year in 2018-19, but was not the expected winner in preseason.
More news will be coming out of BIG EAST Media Day today, and hopefully we’ll get some quality quotes from Patrick Ewing.
BIG EAST Press Release:
Men’s Basketball 10/19/2021 8:23:00 AM
Villanova’s Gillespie Named BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
-Georgetown’s Aminu Mohammed Selected Preseason Freshman of the Year-
NEW YORK – Villanova guard Collin Gillespie has been chosen 2021-22 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. Georgetown guard Aminu Mohammed has been named BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year. The coaches, who were not permitted to choose their own players, also selected an All-BIG EAST First Team, All-BIG EAST Second Team and All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention.
Gillespie, a 6-3 graduate student from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., is coming off a season when he shared BIG EAST Player of the Year honors with teammate Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Seton Hall’s Sandro Mamukelashvili. In all games, Gillespie averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 assists per game. His assist average ranked third in the BIG EAST and he was first in assist/turnover ratio at 2.9. The Wildcat captain also ranked fifth in free throw shooting, making 83.3 percent. Gillespie is taking advantage of a fifth year of eligibility that was granted by the NCAA due to the effects of the pandemic last season.
Mohammed, considered one of the top prep recruits in the nation, is expected to contribute immediately for Georgetown. The 6-5 guard, who was born in Nigeria, excelled at Greenwood Laboratory School (Mo.) where he won Mr. Show-Me Basketball as a senior. Mohammed earned McDonald’s All-America honors and scored 2,709 career points at Greenwood. He was also a two-time Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year (2020-21, 2018-19).
In addition to Gillespie’s honor, a five-player 2021-22 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team was named. It includes two players from Xavier and one from Providence, St. John’s and Seton Hall. Xavier guard Paul Scruggs is a unanimous choice and is joined by teammate Zach Freemantle. Last season, Scruggs averaged 14.0 points and ranked first in the BIG EAST with a 5.7 assist average. Last year, Freemantle shared the BIG EAST Most Improved Player award with St. John’s Julian Champagnie. Freemantle, a 6-9 forward, emerged as a prime contributor, averaging 16.1 points, which ranked fifth in the league. He led all conference rebounders with an 8.9 mark in all games and had a league-leading 9.5 in BIG EAST play.
Providence’s Nate Watson, like Gillespie and Scruggs, is embarking on a fifth year of play. Last season, the 6-10, 260-pound center was third in scoring with a 16.9 average and ranked second in field goal shooting, making 60.2 percent. Also a unanimous first team selection, Watson ranked 10th in rebounding at 6.7
St. John’s Champagnie led the BIG EAST in scoring with a 19.8 average and was the league scoring champion with a 19.5 mark in conference play. A 6-8 wing, Champagnie also ranked first in free throw shooting, connecting at an 88.7 percent clip. The junior was a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team performer last season.
Seton Hall’s Jared Rhoden emerged as prime contributor last season behind Mamukelashvili. Rhoden ranked ninth in scoring with a 14.9 average and pulled down 6.7 rebounds. An athletic 6-6 senior wing, he was first in free throw shooting in league games, hitting 90.8 percent.
The Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team has two members from Villanova, two from Connecticut and one from St. John’s.
The Villanova standouts are forward Jermaine Samuels and guard Justin Moore. Samuels, a grad student who will be playing his fifth season, is an all-around contributor whose 12.0 scoring average and 6.4 rebounding mark belies his value to the Wildcats. Moore emerged as a threat in the backcourt, averaging 12.9 points and 3.0 assists.
UConn grad student guard R.J. Cole averaged 12.2 points and ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in assists with a 4.3 mark. Senior guard Tyrese Martin helped the Huskies to their NCAA berth last March by averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 7.5 boards.
St. John’s Posh Alexander was the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and shared BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors with UConn’s Isaiah Whaley. Alexander averaged 10.3 points, 4.3 assists and a league-leading 2.6 steals.
A pair of sophomores, Butler guard Chuck Harris and UConn forward Adama Sanogo, were named All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention. Both were BIG EAST All-Freshman Team performers last season.
2021-22 BIG EAST Preseason Honors
BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Collin Gillespie, Villanova, G, Gr., 6-3, 195, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year
Aminu Mohammed, Georgetown, G, Fr., 6-5, 210, Temple Hills, Md.
Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Nate Watson, Providence, C, Gr., 6-10, 260, Portsmouth, Va.*
Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, G-F, Jr., 6-8, 215, Brooklyn, N.Y.*
Jared Rhoden, Seton Hall, G-F, Sr., 6-6, 210, Baldwin, N.Y.
Paul Scruggs, Xavier, G, Sr., 6-4, 196, Indianapolis, Ind.*
Zach Freemantle, Xavier, F, Jr., 6-9, 216, Teaneck, N.J.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
R.J. Cole, Connecticut, F, Gr., 6-1, 185, Union, N.J.
Tyrese Martin, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Allentown, Pa.
Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, So., 6-0, 200, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Justin Moore, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-4, 210, Fort Washington, Md.
Jermaine Samuels, Villanova, F, Gr., 6-7, 230, Franklin, Mass.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Chuck Harris, Butler, G, So., 6-2, 190, Ashburn, Va.
Adama Sanogo, Connecticut, F, So., 6-9, 240, Bamako, Mali
Aminu Mohammed Named BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year https://t.co/1bzN7yvrSX— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) October 19, 2021
GUHoyas Press Release:
Men’s Basketball 10/19/2021 8:25:00 AM
Aminu Mohammed Named BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year
WASHINGTON – Georgetown University’s Aminu Mohammed was named the BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year, as announced by the Conference on its 2021 Men’s Basketball Media Day at Madison Square Garden. The guard is the first BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year of Head Coach Patrick Ewing’s tenure, now in his fifth season. The coaches, who were not permitted to choose their own players, also selected an All-BIG EAST First Team, All-BIG EAST Second Team and All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention.
AMINU MOHAMMED: 2021 BIG EAST PRESEASON FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
- Mohammed, considered one of the top prep recruits in the nation, was named the 2021 Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year. It was the second time in his career he was bestowed the honor, previously earning the accolade in 2018-19.
- The guard averaged 23.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game during his senior season, leading the Blue Jays (20-6) to the Class 3 state quarterfinals. Mohammed also recorded 3.1 assists and 2.7 steals per game while connecting on 51.7 percent of his field-goal attempts.
- The product who grew up claims Temple Hills, Maryland as his hometown was a McDonald’s All-American Game selection and the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Show-Me Basketball winner.
- Mohammed concluded his prep basketball career with 3,219 points and 1,478 rebounds.
2021-22 GEORGETOWN HOYAS
- Georgetown is the reigning BIG EAST Champion, winning a league-leading eighth title last March in unprecedented fashion. It was the first time that a #8 seed won the BIG EAST Tournament and the first time a team picked to finish last in the preseason poll appeared in the championship game.
- The Hoyas were selected 10th of 11 teams with 25 points in this year’s preseason poll, as voted on by the BIG EAST coaches.
- Sophomore guard Dante Harris and graduate student guard Donald Carey are the top returning scorers to this year’s squad, both recording 8.0 ppg while Harris dished out 3.2 apg and Carey handed out 3.0 apg in 2020-21.
- Harris earned the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Tournament, becoming the 10th Hoya to earn the award and first since Jeff Green in 2007.
- The Hoyas welcome a crop of newcomers, including BE Freshman of the Year Mohammed. Additionally, the Blue & Gray welcomes freshmen Tyler Beard, Jalin Billingsley, Ryan Mutombo and Jordan Riley as well as graduate student Kaiden Rice.
- The newcomers bring a wealth of talent while returners Carey, Harris and Timothy Ighoefeadd experience and minutes to the mix.
ALL FANS FREE ON NOV. 13! As a thank you to all Hoyas fans for supporting the team from afar last year and to celebrate having fans back in the arena, all fans will be able to request a free ticket to attend the Georgetown men’s basketball 2021-22 home opener against Dartmouth on Saturday, November 13th. To request your free ticket for the Hoyas’ home opener, fill out the form at wearegeorgetown.com/freehoyasgame. (Season Ticket Holders do not need to fill out this form.)
For more information on purchasing tickets, visit wearegeorgetown.com/mbbtickets.