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LINKS: Cooley Wants ‘Build’ at Georgetown, Not ‘Rebuild’

Some good news on Jay Heath’s progress to return; Fanta visits the Hilltop

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Big East Media Day Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Your Georgetown Hoyas are starting the season in less than a week and Ed Cooley and the Hoyas held a media day and open practice at Capital One Arena. While we await a few articles from the press conference, a few clips have been shared of Cooley reframing the “rebuild” of the once-illustrious program as a “build.”

Cooley—in full campaign mode—is very confident in building the program back to align with Georgetown’s still-strong brand. Other good news includes that Jay Heath is cleared for (some) practice after a reported foot injury.

John Fanta, with BIG EAST Media, visited the Thompson Athletic Center and spoke with Cooley, Jay Heath, and Jayden Epps.

Fanta notes that because Georgetown is smaller (e.g., especially without Ismael Massoud to start the season), the will likely “try to space the floor more and get bigs to guard them on the perimeter.”

Fanta also noted that the Hoyas have mnay guard options and the players have all praised Rowan Brumbaugh’s unselfishness and ability to make plays, but that “It’s pretty apparent at Georgetown that this team is going to go as far as Jayden Epps and Jay Heath take them” and “Jayden Epps + Jay Heath have chemistry.”

Here are the links:

Ranking Every Men’s College Basketball Team, From No. 1 Kansas to No. 362 VMI | SI

Georgetown (No. 124) will also be worth watching as it restarts after the disastrous Patrick Ewing era with a proven winner in Ed Cooley. Patience will be necessary early, but Illinois transfer Jayden Epps should be in for a big year.

Big East basketball preview: Elevated expectations for Marquette and Creighton | The Athletic

Cooley is not shy about his first-year task on the Hilltop. “This is not,’’ he says, “the year to be taking a new job in this league.’’ The Hoyas dug into the portal for immediate help — Dontrez Styles (North Carolina), Jayden Epps (Illinois) and Ish Massoud (Kansas State, though he’s out for a month with a broken hand) — so there’s reason to expect a boost from the dregs of the last two years. But progress will be incremental, not immediate.

2023-24 Big East men’s basketball preview: The bottom | The UConn Blog

Cooley’s Hoyas were picked eighth in the Big East by the coaches, but are last in the league according to KenPom and the only sub-150 school. There are only two true freshmen on the roster, headlined by four-star Drew Fielder, who Cooley brought with him from Providence. He also has redshirt freshman Rowan Brumbaugh, who was at Texas last year and was a consensus top-100 recruit in high school. Of the 15 players on the roster, 11 are transfers.

Jay Heath is the only significant player that remains from last year’s roster, as he started 18 games and averaged 12.3 points per game, which was third on the team. Wayne Bristol (3.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG) is the only other player of the nine players to appear in the starting lineup that is still at Georgetown, with only three total players sticking around for the Cooley era. There will be a lot of new pieces, which could mean a learning curve for the Hoyas in 2023-24.

College basketball predictions: Grant McCasland, Kim English will excel in Year 1 | The Athletic

Providence fans aren’t happy that Cooley bailed for Georgetown, and the move is a bit curious given his success level at home and the Hoyas’ declining profile over the past decade. But the guy can recruit and the guy can coach. He can get a fan base excited about a program. It says here he will tap into that history and bring Georgetown back to consistent winning, if not quite back to what it was at the peak of the John Thompson III era, 15 years ago. Cooley, 54, averaged 22 wins a year in the past decade — taking out the COVID-19 season of 2020-21 — and only missed the NCAA Tournament once in that span...

Big East 2023-24 Season Preview | Hilltop Hoops

Luckily for Providence, Kim English managed to convince the foundation of this Providence program, Bryce Hopkins and Devin Carter, to stick around Friartown for at least one more season (we’ll see if they stay for another year after that…), and keeping those two guys on the team means the floor for the Friars is already decently high.

The Friars lose three starters from last year’s team in point guard Jared Bynum, center Ed Croswell, and guard Noah Locke, but replace them with Josh Oduro (center), Ticket Gaines (guard), and Garwey Dual (guard). Hoya fans will know Dual as the highly-regarded high school guard from California who originally committed to Providence when Ed Cooley was in charge.

Dual has drawn rave reviews so far this summer, and looks poised to have a breakout season as a freshman. Because of his length (he is 6-foot-5), he has a body made for the NBA. If he has a strong freshman season at Providence, he could be a one-and-done candidate.

Player Preview: Drew Fielder | Thompson’s Towel

Fielder was impressive at the Blue Grey Scrimmage last Friday. From the looks of it, he’s been in the weight room, which allows him to hold his own in the paint. In addition, he delivered some high-flying two-handed dunks in warmups, and he looked comfortable from beyond the arc during the three point competition. During the scrimmage, Fielder exploited the much smaller Donovan Grant with some nice buckets. He also displayed solid court vision, catching the ball at the high post and delivering a beautiful pass for a Supreme Cook dunk. He did seem a little frustrated with his lack of touches, which led to some forced shots.

With Ish Massoud out for the foreseeable future, Fielder will play a ton of minutes in the non conference schedule. It’s worth noting that Fielder was the only true freshman from any team at Big East Media Day, perhaps a sign of Cooley’s trust in him this year. Fielder could potentially start at the four unless coach Cooley decides to go with a smaller lineup. Besides the injured Massoud, Georgetown has no one else at Fielder’s size who can stretch the floor and create from the perimeter. That said, he will experience growing pains as he makes the jump from high school to high major basketball.

Player Preview: Rowan Brumbaugh | Thompson’s Towel

The 6’4 point guard originally committed to Northwestern in 2021, but later reopened his recruitment and opted to join Chris Beard’s Texas Longhorns. However, he would end up redshirting during the 2022-2023 season and announced his departure from the program after the season following Beard’s dismissal. He committed to come home and play for Ed Cooley and the Hoyas on April 7th.

Although Brumbaugh has not played in a college basketball game to this point, his performance in high school indicates his promise as a player at the collegiate level. Brumbaugh attended Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and was recruited as the 89th prospect in the nation according to 247’s Composite Rankings, one spot above former Hoya Denver Anglin. As far as what we can expect to see from the newcomer, Brumbaugh plays with a great feel for the game from the point guard position. He is primarily a pass first player and has the potential to further develop his production beyond the arc and even in the midrange game.