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LINKS: Ewing on BIG EAST Shootaround, Hoyas and Conference News

College basketball starts today, Georgetown prepares for Dartmouth

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 23 Georgetown at Seton Hall Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For some basketball fanatics, it was forever and a day for thought the college basketball season to get started again, but for others it feels like yesterday that fans of the Georgetown Hoyas were watching Patrick Ewing, Dante Harris, Don Carey and the team cut the nets at Madison Square Garden. And while the Hoyas might not have a game on opening night, Patrick Ewing will make an appearance with John Fanta on BIG EAST Shootaround at 3PM.

Of course, there is plenty of other college basketball going on later tonight. The BIG EAST and FS1 are planning to show a sort of whip-around program of seven games tonight—Mount St. Mary’s vs Villanova at 4:30PM, Central Connecticut vs UConn at 6:30PM, IUPUI vs Butler at 6:45PM, Fairfield vs Providence at 7PM, Niagara vs Xavier at 7:30PM, Mississippi Valley State vs St. John’s at 7:45PM, Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs Creighton at 8PM, and SIUE vs Marquette 8:30.

Here are the links:

Georgetown Men’s Basketball Preview: Reloading for another run | WTOP

How should one view Georgetown after its incredible run of four wins in four days to secure their first Big East Tournament championship since 2007, as well as their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2015?

Was it the start of something special that will fortify head coach Patrick Ewing’s program or an isolated incident in a stretch where the Hoyas have been more pretender than contender (six consecutive nonwinning conference seasons)?

Georgetown had been picked to finish 10th in this fall’s Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, but take heart: they were picked 11th last year and went on to cut down the nets in Madison Square Garden.

Ewing even mentioned on Big East Media Day, “I remember talking to (the late) Coach (John) Thompson and he said don’t worry about the preseason poll, they mean nothing. It is what happens at the end of the year that matters,” Ewing said.

A team-by-team look at Big East men’s basketball in 2021-22 | Hartford Courant

8. Georgetown ... Coach: Patrick Ewing (fifth year). Last season: 13-13, 7-10 Big East, tournament champions, lost to Colorado in NCAA Tournament first round. Plays UConn: Jan, 25, Feb. 27.

The skinny: The Hoyas were picked 10th by the coaches, but their run through the conference tournament could be a turn-around point for the program. They have six players back and seven newcomers, including the Big East preseason freshman of the year Aminu Mohammed and transfers Kaiden Rice, a 3-point shooter, and Tre King.

Need to know: Ewing, the legendary Georgetown center, will be coaching the son of another legend, Ryan Mutombo, son of Dikembe. If Ewing can coach his expertise into Mutombo and other young frontcourt players, Georgetown could outperform its preseason rankings.

UConn preview: Big East men’s capsules | Yahoo (Neill Ostrout, Journal Inquirer

GEORGETOWN ... Coach: Patrick Ewing (5th year, 62-59) ... Last year: 13-13 (7-9 Big East); Lost in NCAA first round ... Key players: 6-5 Fr. G Aminu Mohammed, Dante Harris (8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg), 6-7 Gr. F Kaiden Rice (17.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg).

Outlook: Harris was the Big East Tournament’s MVP and his improved play was one of the biggest keys to the Hoyas’ incredible turnaround at the end of last season. The Hoyas return only six players from their roster last season but have some added plenty of good newcomers. Mohammed should make and impact right away and Rice was a star at The Citadel before transferring.

Villanova is class of Big East and a national title contender | NY Post

Georgetown won four straight games last March at Madison Square Garden and surprisingly won the Big East tournament. The Hoyas lost a bunch of talent from last year’s team, but did bring in a highly touted freshman, Aminu Mohammed. Patrick Ewing could be on the hot seat if he has another below-average season.

68 Storylines to Follow in College Basketball This Season | Stadium Basketball (Jeff Goodman)

51. Hoya Paranoia: Patrick Ewing enters Year 5 as the head coach, and fortunately for him, he does so with an NCAA tourney berth on his resume after a surprising Big East tourney title last season. Georgetown’s 26-44 in Big East play with Ewing at the helm, so we’ll see if the Hoyas can build on the tournament appearance or instead return toward the bottom of the league.

St. John’s has the pieces to matter again and reach NCAA Tournament | NY Post (Zach Braziller)

It returns the reigning Big East leading scorer (Julian Champagnie), last season’s conference freshman of the year and co-defensive player of the year (Posh Alexander), and a head coach (Mike Anderson) who has never had a losing season. It upgraded the roster with five experienced transfers who better fit the program’s up-tempo, pressing style.

Anderson’s first two seasons have been successful, consecutive winning seasons that surpassed low expectations. Last year’s team finished with a winning league record for the first time in six seasons and flirted with the NCAA Tournament. But now there is pressure to win from a starved fan base in what is expected to be Champagnie’s final year on campus.

“You want to be playing in March and on into March,” Anderson said. “You want to win conference championships. That’s the [next] step. That’s what I came here for.”

UCONN Men’s Basketball: 2021-22 Preseason Roundtable | A Dime Back

Kevin: Who’s going to make shots on this team? It’s why we lost our two biggest games last year, and it’s the only reason I’m not higher on this team’s ceiling. I’m not sure how much better you can reasonably expect the returning guys to shoot (barring Andre Jackson, who was hurt), so hopefully the freshmen can be a lift. Or we just make it 2009 again and shoot four threes a game and make like 60% of our twos, that works too.

Chris: Three-point shooting. I could also be totally wrong on this if my X-factor prediction comes through, but outside of Cole the team doesn’t have a consistent threat from deep. Polley is definitely the best three-point shooter, but he is so streaky I’m not sure he can carry the group from behind the arc.

Women’s Basketball Opens the 2021-22 Season at Navy | GUHoyas

The game will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network on ESPN+ ... The Hoyas have a solid group of returners losing just two players from last year’s roster.

Returning from the starting line is 2020-21 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection Kelsey Ransom who led the Hoyas a season ago with 10.5 ppg as well as team-bests with 66 assists and 37 steals.

Anita Kelava is back on the Hilltop for her final season with the Hoyas after missing last year. In 2019-20, she led the league in blocks and sits among Georgetown’s career leaders.

The starting lineup is largely intact as Milan Bolden-Morris, Jillian Archer and Graceann Bennett are all back in the Blue & Gray. Bolden-Morris was GU’s second-leading scorer with 9.5 ppg, while Archer pulled down a team-best 7.3 rpg. Bennett rounds out the first five with 7.5 ppg to go along with 6.4 rpg. Yasmin Ott, Shanniah Wright, Jazmyn Harmon and Teaghan Flaherty all saw significant minutes last year and will add depth for the Hoyas.

Head Coach James Howard added a pair of graduate transfers to the roster in Mary Clougherty (Lehigh) and Kaylin West (Coastal Carolina). Additionally, four freshman will play their first minutes for the Blue & Gray this year.

There will be another familiar face on the bench as Georgetown women’s basketball standout Sugar Rodgers will return to the Hilltop as an assistant coach for the Blue & Gray.