WASHINGTON — Aminu Mohammed, the biggest recruiting win in coach Patrick Ewing’s tenure, went out and showed everyone why he was a 5-star recruit by notching his first career double-double in his second game with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
What he did a few minutes after Georgetown’s 79-57 victory over American on Tuesday night was actually more impressive and made him a part of modern Hoyas history.
Georgetown, since the days under legendary late coach John Thompson Jr, has had a longstanding media policy reserved for freshman during the first semester that has gone a little something like this: Freshman don’t speak until the second semester. No ifs, ands or buts.
If you ever listen to Kente Korner - and why wouldn’t you? - you may have heard this rule mentioned a few times. As you obviously know we aren’t exactly big fans of what was probably once a good policy.
As times have changed and media has gone from print to blogs to even TikTok, the Hoyas first semester rule has remained the same.
That is, until now, which is great timing because the college landscape has changed so much in just the last few months. Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rules have given college athletes the ability to profit off their brand. In order to maximize that new right, particularly with possible one and dones, being able to talk from Day 1 is nothing but a positive.
And, so, just like that, Ewing surprised everyone by showing up with his prized pupil to the post game presser.
“I just like him,” Ewing said when asked about Mohammed’s double-double before going into greater detail.
So after a few minutes of Ewing giving us his latest thoughts, the big moment came with a freshman taking questions in November. Since this was a monumental occasion, let’s try and get every word said into this post.
“I feel like I’m adjusting pretty good,” Mohammed said when asked about his first two games at the college level.
“Tonight like coach said I was going too deep and making some bad decisions which is some stuff I’ve got to correct – make the right play by going downhill. So far, so good. I’m just trying to game by game and bringing my confidence up. In due time I’m going to be good to go. Right now I’m just getting that feel of what college basketball is like.”
Ewing cut in to say he has nothing but confidence in him before trailing off with a laugh.
As for how the last few days went, Mohammed offered up the mood before the opener.
“Prior to that game [Dartmouth] coach he’s been talking about our defensive mindset and how we need to prepare coming into that game” Mohammed said about the buildup before the season opening defeat.
“We knew the team was capable of hitting those 3 point shots and we still pretty much allowed them to. We should have been more aggressive getting out there to the shooters and make it more intense and run them off every time. We didn’t do a good job in that game and the cost of it was the loss. We lost the game.
Mohammed is also happy to be spending so much time on the court with his highly touted classmates.
“I’ve got a great group of guys around me,” Mohammed said.
“Nobody is telling to say it got to me. We all like each other. We all encourage each other and that’s what do – push each other in practice. The goal is all about the time. Whoever it is we have to do a better job. If your number you got to step up.”
With young guards from his class as well as sophomore Dante Harris there is likely to be a lot of competition at practice, a fact confirmed.
“In practice we got hard but we don’t go hard enough for coach,” Mohammed said which drew another post game chuckle.
“Coach wants it all the way. We go hard. We push each other in practice and we’re just going to continue doing that as we play these games. It’s good to get a win. It helps the team’s confidence and stuff like that. We have to go back in the gym and get prepared again and push each other for the next games and we are just going to keep going like that until we win a championship at the end of the day.”
Another rarity was the relaxed dress code. The Hoyas were show on Instagram as arriving at Capital One Arena in warmups and Mohammed joined Ewing at the podium in his jersey.
Normally the players arrive in suits and come out to post game press conferences in those same suits, The only time you see Georgetown players at a podium in their uniforms is in tournament settings when everything is run by outsiders. If this new routine sticks it should help everyone be prepare for March, one game at a time.
After the press conference was over - which includes both in person and zoom participants - Ewing joked to those in the room as he made his way out: “Hey, we brought a freshman in!”.
A quick follow-up question was asked if this was a change in policy going forward to which Ewing replied: “For now,”.
So for now Georgetown got back in the win column both on and off the court.