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Hoyas Notebook: Pre Jackson State

Injury News, Future MTE talk, and Styles Surprise!

Georgetown will be back in action on Saturday when they host visiting Jackson State. Coach Ed Cooley and some of the Hoyas were made available to the media on Thanksgiving Eve so here’s the latest on Georgetown.

INJURY UPDATES

First off both Jay Heath (foot) and Ismael Massoud (right hand surgery) participated in most of practice on Wednesday. That should be a good sign for Georgetown followers. Heath (10.2 ppg, 38% 3pt) has played in all five games - starting the last three - but was limited to 16 mins in the last outing against American. Massoud is yet to make his Hoyas debut after coming over from Kansas State.

Cooley on Heath playing against Jackson State - ‘I’m hopeful. We need him. We only have x amount of guys on the roster with that many game experience. Not having his game experience hurts.”

Cooley on Massoud’s Hoyas possible debut - “I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks. He’s in a no contact situation right now. He’s able to catch the ball now, shoot the ball now. You got to try to assimilate him doing a little bit of running and catching so he’ll do that today in practice a little bit.”

From what I saw, Massoud showed no signs of trouble shooting post hand surgery.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS

“This will be their seventh road game – I think their first 13 games are on the road which is a challenge,” Cooley said about the SWAC program’s start to the season.

“They’ve played against high major teams before - obviously coming off of a great road win at Missouri. I think they have one of the best players that we’ve played against who can score it all three levels. Coach [Mo Williams] has done a great job and they have an NBA offensive style.”

The player Cooley is talking about his 6-foot-4 guard Ken Evans. The fourth-year player leads the Tigers in scoring at 18.5 per game and is making 50% (15 of 30) of his three-point shots. Evans has scored at least 20 points in three games this season with a high of 33 at Loyola Marymount.

STAYING IN CONFERENCE

Both Cooley and Williams have coached at multiple schools in their respective conferences. Cooley obviously is in his first season with Georgetown after over a decade at Providence. Williams spent two seasons at Alabama State before moving over to his current position at Jackson State ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. Williams posted his first winning SWAC record in three tries when the Tigers finished 12-6 in the league last season.

CLEANING IT UP

Let’s just say that the room for improvement is there in terms of fixing Georgetown’s miscues. That’s of course to be expected with so many new players on the Hoyas roster to go along with a completely new coaching staff. The Hoyas committed 52 turnovers last week over three games but Cooley says there are other things that don’t show up on the box score that need to be sorted out in order for the team to move forward.

“We’ve got to get rid of our mistakes,” Cooley said.

“And I’ve said this earlier with this portal recruiting, you have so many teams that don’t have any synergy and continuity right now. You have all these, oh my bad moments, oh forgot this....OH. You see the teams that don’t have those, probably some of the better teams in the country because they have carryover chemistry and continuity amongst the players. We’ve made so many mistakes in our first five games that we’ve got to get rid of those moments – a block out here, a missed switch here, transition defense here, missed screen here.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SURPRISE

Dontrez Styles earned a spot on this week’s Big East Honor Roll after averaging 21 points and 8.7 rebounds in leading the Hoyas to a 2-1 record. The UNC transfer has wasted no time in fitting in at his new home. Styles leads the Hoyas in scoring (17 ppg), is second in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and is knocking down 40% of his shots from deep.

So how did he learn out about the award?

“[The Big East] tagged me on the post on Instagram, that’s how I found out,” Styles said before a laugh. “I was like, OK that’s cool.”

Styles is very appreciative of the recognition but was able to keep things in perspective.

“It’s my first award since I’ve been to college. It’s great but I know it’s only the beginning.”

Award or no award, Styles is exactly where he wants to be after spending much of his first two college seasons on the bench his native North Carolina.

“‘I’m where I want to be and it’s great being here,” Styles said about being at Georgetown.

“It’s everything I wanted. It’s going as planned and I can’t really complain. I love it here.”

FUTURE MTE PLANS

When you look around this week there were a lot of Big East schools in high profile events playing high profile opponents. Georgetown of course opted to host locals Mount St. Mary’s and American last weekend in Cooley’s first season.

But will that be the norm?

“We’re definitely going to play in the best MTEs in the country,” Cooley said about the Hoyas future.

“We just got to see where do we fit and where do we have the greatest opportunity.”

Cooley rattled off many areas in the Hoyas organization that needed to be shored up first including building up the fanbase, building a season ticket base, marketing and cooperate sponsors.

“You have to give your guys the best opportunity to succeed early,” Cooley said about this season.

WHATEVER IT TAKES

Illinois transfer and Norfolk, Va. native Jayden Epps started to gain national attention before his first official game for the Hoyas. News was all over social media of his 46 points in a ‘secret’ scrimmage against Wake Forest.

Epps followed that up by scoring five points on four shots in his Georgetown debut while delivering 11 assists. The sophomore guard has scored in double figures the last four games including 31 in the come from behind win over American that included big shot after big shot.

So what does Epps see as his role for Cooley’s Hoyas?

“I just see it as I do whatever I have to do to help the team win,” Epps said.

“Obviously we aren’t going to win them all but I’m going to try every night to do whatever the coach needs me to do, whatever the team needs. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Look out for the Casual Game Thread to come.