Your Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team will host the inaugural Georgetown Multi-Team Event (MTE) this weekend at Capital One Arena, featuring two local opponents: Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday at noon (99.1 FM; FOX Sports app, hopefully) and American University on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (FS2). This is a great opportunity for the Hoyas to bounce back from their disappointing effort against Rutgers on Wednesday and to build some momentum for the rest of the season.
Ed Cooley focused his energy on young members of the media (presumably Rutgers folks), dropping an “NSFW truth bomb” about asking more questions at press conferences. While not wrong, Cooley’s encouragement to journalists that appeared to only have Ron Bailey from Hoya Report present to cover Georgetown seems a bit emotional. That said, bringing out GU players after a loss is a nice opportunity to hear them and sign of the program generally progressing. We just want more progress on the floor, too.
Many Hoyas fans have some tough questions for Cooley about roster makeup after the Hoyas bench looked even thinner when Jayden Epps limped to the locker room in the first half. The Hoya Faithful has witnessed that relying on two guards, like Epps and Rowan Brumbaugh. to play over 37 minutes each game is just not sustainable. Late game legs have been an issue for Georgetown over the past 60 games.
There is little doubt that the Hoyas are a young team and everyone is adjusting to a new system and coach in Ed Cooley. Georgetown fans understand the long-term plan and appreciate that Cooley is known for his energetic and passionate coaching style, as well as his ability to develop players and create a winning culture. He has already made an impression on his players, who have praised his honesty and accountability. But we need to see articulable progress from game to game in order to keep buying into this rebuild plan.
This Georgetown MTE is a chance for Cooley and his players to show some improvement and progress, as well as to gain some confidence and chemistry. The Hoyas will face two teams that are not expected to pose much of a challenge, but that could still provide some valuable lessons and experience. Mount St. Mary’s and American were not scheduled to be challenges. The Mountaineers are officially 1-1, losing to Maryland 68-53 and beating Coppin State 74-60. They also beat Bucknell 72-67 in a late October exhibition at home. The American Eagles are outfitted at 2-2, with losses at Villanova (90-63) and William & Mary (75-56) to start and wins after hosting Siena (78-58) and NJIT (87-73).
The Hoyas should be able to dominate these games, but they cannot afford to take them lightly or play down to their level. Cooley and the gang need to use these games as an opportunity to work on their offense, defense, and teamwork, and to test different lineup rotations and strategies. Cooley has said he wants his team to play fast, aggressive, and unselfish, and to share the ball and the scoring load. He also wants his team to be tough, physical, and disciplined on defense, and to limit turnovers and fouls. Now is the time to set the baseline on culture and effort for the season.
The Hoyas have shown some flashes of potential and promise in their first three games, but they have also been inconsistent and sloppy at times. They opened the season with a convincing 94-57 win over Le Moyne, but then lost a close game to Holy Cross, 68-67, after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half.
The Hoyas have a lot of room for improvement and growth, and they have a long way to go before they can compete with the best teams in the Big East and the nation. But the jury is still out on their potential. For too many years, Hoyas fans have seen slow or no growth over a season of players individually and as a team. Cooley has a history and reputation of developing players and teams over the course of their season, but fans crave a quantum of improvement demonstrated by the Blue and Gray to sustain them until January.
The Georgetown MTE is a weekend of opportunity for the Hoyas, and they should make the most of it.
Here are the links:
It has been a rough start for new Georgetown basketball head coach Ed Cooley this season. He has been under heavy scrutiny since leaving Providence for an in-conference rival that hasn’t been nationally relevant for almost a decade uninterrupted. Back-to-back losses (Holy Cross pulled off a huge upset last Saturday) are only going to compound the negativity.
But Cooley did not appear to be worried about all of the criticism. In fact, he seemed to ask for it. While addressing the media following Wednesday’s 71-60 road defeat, the 2022 Naismith and Big East Coach of the Year offered some tough (NSFW) but wise advice to the prospective journalists in attendance.
“The only way you’re going to get better is by having the courage to ask a question in these type of situations,” Cooley said, via a quote tweet from ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss (originally TheKnightReport). “So when you guys are sitting there, don’t just sit there like a lump on a log. Have a great question, grow up and learn what it is to ask a tough question. We owe you an answer, or you owe yourself an opportunity to grow. I say that to all you young writers. Don’t just sit in here and be in awe. This s**t is real.”
“These Gavitt Games mean a lot … The BIG EAST was formed by that gentleman, the Dream Team was formed by that gentleman. So before we answer any questions about today’s game, I want to make sure we pay proper respect to Coach (Dave) Gavitt and what his vision was to create a monster - the best conference in all of college basketball. There’s a reason why every time people talk about college basketball, the BIG EAST is at the forefront of everybody’s conversation.” - Head Coach Ed Cooley on the Gavitt Games
“As far as the game today, credit Rutgers, they did a great job. They got 50/50 balls, their press bothered us - indicated by the 20 turnovers. I don’t think we attacked it the way we wanted to. This is our third game with this team and I thought we improved today. We didn’t win the scoreboard today, but I thought we improved as a team. I’m proud of our men, I’m really really proud of our men.” - Cooley on the game
Ed Cooley woke up this morning thinking “Damn, look at where I came from and look at the life I am living. I can’t believe how blessed I am!”— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) November 17, 2023
Ed doesn’t judge life by a scoreboard. That’s why he is where he is—and wants others to experience the same sense of gratitude. https://t.co/U51YuQFcA2
Great story on how Georgetown Associate HC @coachbattle21 and Georgetown HC @HoyaCoachCooley 1st met @GeorgetownHoops @PhillyHoyas @TheBlueAndGray @NABC1927 @BIGEASTMBB— Life on the Road Podcast (@CoachAKSB) November 17, 2023
Full episode here:https://t.co/GfOTIgZZbE pic.twitter.com/W1J0EeIx3M
“Coach (Ed) Cooley is just a cool dude. I mean, he cares a lot about basketball, and he cares a lot about you as a person. He also knows exactly who I am as a player, and he loves my game. He feels I can come in and make an immediate impact there.
“Just talking with him, he cares a lot about who you are as a player, but also as a human and a man. And that means a lot to me. So just talking to Coach Cooley, he’s trying to build his classes and the program. So that’s special.”
This will be the 30th all-time meeting between the Mount and Georgetown with the Hoyas holding a 24-5 lead in the series. The Mount is 0-5 against the Hoyas since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89, and is looking for its first win over Georgetown since a 93-79 victory at home on January 18, 1961. Georgetown rallied from a 19-point second half deficit for an 81-68 victory over the Mount in the last meeting on November 6, 2019.
The Mount’s game vs. Georgetown is part of the Georgetown MTE which also features American. The Mount plays American next on Nov. 22.
The Mountaineers are sixth in the nation in defending the three-point arc this season, holding the opposition to just 7-of-37 (.189) from beyond the arc over the first two games of the year.
Four players scored in double figures to lead a balanced effort as Mount St. Mary’s defeated Coppin State, 74-60, in the home opener at Knott Arena on Saturday afternoon. Dakota Leffew led the way with 14 points while Joshua Reaves added 12, George Tinsley 11 and Xavier Lipscomb 10 in the victory.
The Mount got off to a quick start behind a barrage of three-pointers in the opening minutes. Coppin State’s Justin Winston hit a three-point to give the Eagles their only lead of the game, 3-2, a minute into the contest. The Mount answered by draining four consecutive three-point baskets to sprint out to a 14-to-3 advantage. Lipscomb started the run on a feed from Tinsley, Reaves and Leffew followed with triples of their own, and a Tinsley trifecta on a pass from Lipscomb capped the run for a 14-to-3 lead just four minutes into the game...
Coppin State (0-3) used a late 14-to-2 run to trim the Mount’s lead to seven points (67-60) with 2:50 remaining, but the Eagles run ran out of steam as the Mount held Coppin State off the scoreboard the rest of the way to earn the 74-60 victory.
Mount St. Mary’s is in a state of transition, entering its second year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Sixth-year head coach Dan Engelstad, a Bethesda, Md. native, guided the Mountaineers to success while in the NEC, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021.
They understandably took a slight step back last season, eventually seeing their season end in the conference tournament quarterfinals to top-seeded Iona. However, they won five of their last seven games.
After seeing three of its top four scorers from last season move on in the offseason, Mount St. Mary’s was picked to finish seventh in the MAAC preseason coaches poll.
American is also feeling hopeful with a fresh start. Not only does it have a new coach at the helm, but it returns a majority of its top contributors from last season, while welcoming a couple of transfers and new freshmen.
Although it lost standout rim protector, leading rebounder and stretch big man Johnny O’Neil to the transfer portal, the Eagles return four out of their five top scorers from last season, including 6-foot-9 forward Matt Rogers, who will be at the top of Villanova’s priority list.
Rogers was selected as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, after a breakout junior season where he averaged a team-high 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while shooting an efficient 61.3% overall and 40.8% from long range.
Slasher and pass-first point guard Elijah Stephens is also back in the mix, after averaging 9.8 points, 4.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
Outside of Rogers, American doesn’t have too much overwhelming size. There are two other 6-foot-9 or taller forwards. New Zealand native Mason Whittaker stands in at 6-foot-9 and is back after being sidelined all of last year due to injury. Denmark native Jermaine Ballisager Webb is a towering 7-foot center, but is very raw.
The Eagles were tabbed to finish third in their conference, with many coaches confident in the amount of returners they have.
Behind 28 points and 11 rebounds from senior Matt Rogers, the American University men’s basketball team took a stranglehold on the game late in the first frame and never relinquished control in an 87-73 win over the visiting NJIT Highlanders. The win puts the Eagles back at .500 for the season and gives the team a clean sheet at Bender Arena with a second straight win.
Senior guard Colin Smalls got involved early with eight points in the first half before finishing with 11 total.
Junior guard Elijah Stephens matched Smalls with 11 points while providing a team-high eight assists that also tied his career high.
With eight rebounds, senior guard Lincoln Ball tied his career high from his freshman season with GW, and he dished six assists for a new career high as well.
The Eagles got 10 points each from senior guard Lorenzo Donadio and sophomore guard Geoff Sprouse. Donadio also notched four assists and three boards.
American never surrendered the lead after going up with 5:28 left in the first half. The Eagles led for 28:11 of the 40-minute contest.
AU hit 13 three-pointers in the game, its most since going 14-of-34 against VMI in December of 2022.