With an all-too-familiar COVID pause for Patrick Ewing and his squad, it’s a fine time to realize that there are 5+ former Georgetown Hoyas players in the NBA right now—and they are making some news. Recent graduate Jamorko Pickett is adding depth in Detroit, forever Hoyas Omer Yurtseven and Otto Porter Jr. played terrific games over the weekend, and Jeff Green is set to fill a hole in Denver’s lineup. On Monday night, Greg Monroe, on a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, started trending on social media after a well-rounded game against the Celtics.
Seeing Greg Monroe trending is enough to make a grown man cry. pic.twitter.com/iaNYP9MmHi— Charlie (@twolveswave) December 28, 2021
With NBA 75 players in Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson, as well as snubs in Hall-of-Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown’s NBA legacy has never been in doubt.
Now, recently, there are shining examples of Hoyas affecting the game at the highest level. Watching Monroe pass is always a thing of beauty, but hearing Porter being praised for defense and watching Omer out-maneuver opponents in the post feels great. Perhaps Pickett and Green join the major headlines this week as roster holes allow for more minutes. And don’t forget about guys like Chris Wright balling out in Italy and Trey Mourning as a leader in the G-League Players Union. Pro Hoyas are on the rise, again!
Here are the links:
The Seton Hall-Providence and DePaul-Butler games on Wednesday are on. For now. It would be Seton Hall’s first game in 17 days after having had three games canceled or postponed, including league games against St. John’s (Dec. 20) and DePaul (Dec. 23).
All told, 10 Big East games have already been postponed. With both of Tuesday’s games canceled, the league won’t have played any games from Dec. 22-28, a span of seven days.
The league did announce last week it will abandon its forfeiture policy, allowing for canceled games — like St. John’s at Seton Hall — to be made up at a later date, or ruled a “no-contest.” That may be a while, though, as St. John’s has multiple players, including star Julian Champagnie, in COVID protocols and currently can’t field a team.
The BIG EAST Conference has announced that the St. John’s at Georgetown game, which was scheduled for Saturday, January 1, has been canceled due to COVID issues within both programs. Additionally, the Xavier at Georgetown game, which was scheduled for Tuesday, January 4, has been canceled due to COVID issues within the Georgetown program.
Per the BIG EAST game cancellation policy, the Conference office will attempt to reschedule the games in accordance with the parameters of the policy.
Georgetown Season Ticket holders will be issued a refund to their credit card on file for the pro-rated variable ticket cost attributed to these 2 games within the next 5 business days. Mini-plan and single game ticket buyers for these 2 games will be issued a refund within the next 5 business days. Fans who redeemed ticket vouchers for these 2 games, will have those vouchers reinstated within the next 5 business days. Should these games be rescheduled, all ticket holders for these games will have priority access to tickets for the rescheduled dates. All ticket holders should check their email for additional details and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
GU ticket office refunding the two cancelled games this week tells me they ain’t getting rescheduled.— Hoya Realist (@hoyapropaganda) December 27, 2021
On the plus side, good move from the department and appreciate them communicating so quickly.
The NBA and NBPA agreement comes at a time when players are testing positive and heading into quarantine at an unprecedented rate -- 172 have entered Covid protocols in past two weeks, including a single-day high of 27 on Sunday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 27, 2021
The updated report maintains the below language related to isolation, while adding two options to shorten isolation for vaccinated individuals.
Pursuant to CDC guidance, an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 shall be isolated for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms/positive test and at least 1 day (i.e., 24 hours) has passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath). A student-athlete’s medical treatment will be determined by institutional medical staff, and be considered unavailable for training, team/group activities or game play until the student-athlete has both completed necessary isolation and had a medical clearance by team physicians.
A vaccinated individual who tests positive for COVID-19 may complete isolation when one of the following occurs, if permitted by local and state public health officials:
Once asymptomatic, the individual has two negative tests (i.e., molecular PCR or antigen) from specimens that are collected at least 24 hours apart; or
At least seven (7) days have elapsed since the first positive test, the individual’s symptoms are improving, and the individual has one negative test (i.e., molecular PCR or antigen) within 24 hours of being cleared.
Such an individual must be fever-free for at least 24 hours to be cleared under either of the above options.
It will be interesting to see if the Big East amends it's Covid policies again. The ACC already made changes following the CDC's revised guidance earlier today. https://t.co/FN7XedMqBv— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) December 27, 2021
Monroe, who recently signed a 10-day deal with the Timberwolves, played his first NBA game in roughly two-and-a-half years Monday night. The veteran big man, to his credit, didn’t show any signs of rust, as he scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Minnesota’s 108-103 win over the Boston Celtics at Target Center.
Speaking with the media after the game, Monroe was asked point-blank if he knew every player on the T-Wolves’ roster. The 31-year-old didn’t try to pretend that he did.
“Not gonna lie, Jaylen Nowell played awesome tonight, but I had no idea who that was,” Monroe told reporters, per the Pioneer Press’ Jace Frederick.
“People have cast him out the last couple years and he’s come in here and really made an impact and he took over down the stretch in that fourth quarter,” Steph said during his postgame interview with ABC.
“Otto Porter, huge shots, but not only that, Otto all year, has been incredible on the glass and for someone that they said was a lousy defender, he’s been one of the better defenders on our team and you can’t say enough about how that guy is stepping up to the challenge and answering the bell night after night after night,” Draymond said postgame on ESPN radio.
With the Warriors missing Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Moses Moody due to COVID-19, Porter started and played over 29 minutes on Christmas Day. The 28-year-old finished with 19 points and six rebounds on 8-for-13 shooting.
Otto Porter Jr. yesterday— Mitch (@nwstateofmind) December 26, 2021
Porter has served as a capable stretch four whenever the Warriors go small to close out games. With Draymond Green as his frontcourt partner, lineups with Porter at the four are shooting 38.8% on threes, while outscoring opponents by 7.3 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning The Glass.
Porter’s size and versatility as a 6’8” wing-turned-big has allowed him to wear many hats: as a switchable asset on defense; and as a screener and spacer on offense, where the effectiveness of opposing bigs guarding him wanes the farther out they are from the paint.
The Warriors have used Porter as a misdirection tool plenty of times this season — including against the Suns.
The Miami Heat needed their third big to step up on Sunday and he did. Omer Yurtseven had himself a game, filling in when and where they most needed it.
Finishing with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and two assists in 33 minutes of action, he was a much-needed presence on both ends of the floor. He put himself in a position to make the looks easy for his teammates, for which he did a good job of finishing once he received the passes.
He still has work to do on the defensive end but is showing great improvement in his ability to be a great barrier between offensive players and the rim. Needless to say, The Big Yurt was marvelous on Sunday for his coach and team.
By my count, #Pistons will have 9 players available for tonight's game at #Spurs: Saddiq Bey, Hamidou Diallo, Luka Garza, Frank Jackson, Isaiah Livers, Jamorko Pickett, Derrick Walton Jr., Cassius Stanley and Cheick Diallo.— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 26, 2021
Instead of filling minutes with accomplished NBA veterans like Lyles and Joseph, the Pistons this time had to call on four players who last week were playing for the Motor City Cruise. One of them, Derrick Walton Jr. was the only point guard available with Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Saben Lee and Joseph all sidelined. Of their nine players available, only four are playing on standard NBA contracts. A fifth, Jamorko Pickett, is playing the season on a two-way contract. They ended the game with seven players still standing after both Garza and Cheick Diallo fouled out.
According to Cleaning the Glass, with Green, Jokic and Gordon on the court, the Nuggets have outscored opponents by 13.7 points per 100 possessions, better than the best current team differential in the NBA held by the Utah Jazz at plus-11.2. Replace Green with Porter, and that only slightly slips to plus-12.5, which is to say, still dominant, and essentially in the same strata.
The salient point here is that what might have been expected would be a significant dropoff when replacing a rising star, new max contract player with an aging, $5 million per year veteran free agent. But that has not been the case.
Having played alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and other elite NBA stars over his extended career, Jeff Green is no stranger to understanding his role and how to fit in, and that trait is now shining brightly for the Nuggets.
While his base stat line of 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.2 minutes doesn’t exactly fly off the page, Green has proven to be extremely effective as the connective tissue between Jokic and Gordon. Green has an acute recognition of staying in his lane to allow the spacing required for that duo’s blossoming two-man game, often manning the corners from where he’s shooting 39% on 3-pointers. At the same time, he also chooses his moments to opportunistically cut on Jokic dribble handoffs and apply rim pressure on opposing defenses.