One of the best ways to turn the page on a heavy defeat is to look ahead at the next game and we were able to do just that as Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing and sophomore forward Collin Holloway spoke to the media before practice this morning ahead of traveling to Butler.
The big news item was actually released Thursday night when Georgetown made it official with the addition of No. 31 Wayne Bristol Jr to the roster.
Bristol, a 6-6 guard from Upper Marlboro, was the MEAC Freshman of the Year in the 2019-20 season but didn’t play in any of Howard’s five-game COVID-19 shortened season last year. He started 28 off 33 games as a freshman and was the second leading scorer for the Bison at 12.6ppg. He also proved to be a good 3-point shooter by knocking down 50 of 125 attempts - 40%. Bristol last played in a collegiate game on March 11, 2020 in a loss to North Carolina A&T in the conference tournament.
Ewing confirmed that Bristol, listed online as a junior, has three years of eligibility remaining and also that, as of today, he can’t play in games. It sounds like an administrative issue with the NCAA that is out of the Hoyas hands.
“His status is still on going, we’re not sure,” explained Ewing.
“He can’t play right now. We have to go through the process.”
All that being said, Georgetown could certainly use Bristol on the court sooner rather than later. The good news for Hoya fans is that Bristol has been practicing with his new teammates and he’s already made quite the impression on one of Georgetown’s starters.
“He’s a great shooter,” Holloway said when asked what the rest of us should expect when we actually get to see Bristol on the court.
“He’s probably a better defender than what we have right. He’s been playing good defense in practice. Just someone that’s ready to work and play hard.”
Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for the Hoyas.
The second news item is that freshman forward Jalin Billingsley - who sat out the second half of the loss at UConn - is ‘fine’ and was able to practice yesterday according to Ewing. Billingsley has played in 16 games this season, averaging 2.4 points in 12.4 minutes while showing flashes of potential and athleticism.
SOPH ON THE RISE
Even though Holloway seemed to find his way into games towards the end of last season, he faced a logjam at his position and finished his freshman campaign with just 44 total minutes spread out across 10 games. He averaged 1.5 ppg and attempted only one 3-pointer, a miss against Creighton in the BET Championship.
Well fast forward to now - basically the midpoint of his sophomore season - and pretty much everything has changed.
Despite a slow beginning that can be blamed mostly on offseason surgery, Holloway has started seven of the last eight games and is now the fifth Hoya averaging double figures this season at 10.5 ppg.
“I had surgery in the offseason so I had a lot of time off working on my jump shot in the gym,” Holloway said about the area where he’s improved the most.
“I knew I had to step up in my role so that’s played a big part.”
Holloway has definitely stepped up in terms of his shooting. He’s hitting just over 50% from the field and has drilled 13 of 26 3-pointers - good for 50 % - and is one of three Hoyas shooting better than 80% from the line. His coming out party came in his third appearance of the season with 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench against Longwood on Nov. 30. This month he shook off a tough outing at Providence on Jan. 20 and responded with a career-high 25 points two days later against Villanova.
It turns out playing behind Georgetown’s forwards last season was a great learning experience.
“Playing against Jamorko [Pickett] and Chudi [Bile] who were more athletic and a lot longer than me,” Holloway said when asked how he was able to improve himself offensively in an offseason.
“That gave me the ability to use my pump fake and being smart on the offense end. There are a lot of bigger dudes out here who are longer and athletic than me. So learning how to get around and out think them is the most I’ve learned since I’ve come here.”
During the UConn telecast, CBSSN put up a graphic of all of the great coaches Ewing has been associated with during his time in the NBA. It’s a nice list.
With Georgetown struggling to find a win right now, I wanted to know if he talks to any of his former coaches or bosses to try and get a perspective from outside the program. He said he talks to some of the guys on a regular basis but didn’t get into any specifics.
“I talk Jeff Van Gundy, Stan Van Gundy, Steve Clifford,” Ewing said.
“All of us have gone through losing streaks. It’s all about getting that first one. Getting that first one .....and just take it from there. Every time we step on the floor I believe that we have an opportunity to win. Right now it hasn’t [happened] but we still have to continue to believe in ourselves. We still have to continue to do the things that are going to help us to be the team that we can be.”
Check out the game thread for a preview and more quotes having to deal with Saturday’s game at Butler!