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LINKS: Latest Hoyas News After Cooley Speaks with John Fanta

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Big East Basketball Media Day Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

John Fanta—wearing his BIG EAST Media hat, not part of his FOX Sports job—visited Ed Cooley and your Georgetown Hoyas at the Thompson Athletic Center on the final leg of Fanta’s Fantastically Friendly Fall Conference Campus Tour (OK, I made that up).

As mentioned the other day, Fanta believes 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.”

Fanta also speak highly of freshman big Drew Fielder and his smooth shooting form. Cooley and others have mentioned Fielder as a potential all-conference team member in a few years.

Newcomer Impact Rankings: Freshmen, transfers who will lead their teams in 2023-24 | ESPN+

Jayden Epps, Georgetown Hoyas (transfer) ... Epps raised eyebrows when reports emerged in mid-October that he scored 46 points in a scrimmage win over Wake Forest. His bucket-getting ability has never been in doubt, though, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lead Ed Cooley’s team in scoring.

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He says there will be more chances for reporters and others to watch practice. He vows increased media access to first-semester freshmen. He promises better recruiting of players from the District, Maryland and Virginia. “I’m going to live up to MY standard. I’m going to respect OUR tradition at Georgetown. I’m going to respect our legacy,” Cooley said. “I will create a different culture” …

“I tell him all the time: I believe in you, because I’ve seen you do more with less,” said Georgetown assistant LaDontae Henton, who played for Cooley at Providence, then worked for him for two years. “I call it ‘wringing out the towel.’ Like if there’s something good in a player, he’s going to bring it out.”

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I previously mentioned Drew Fielder as one possible X-factor; the other would be North Carolina transfer Dontrez Styles. Styles was a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school, being ranked 62nd in the Class of 2021. However, he played sparingly during his two seasons at Chapel Hill, averaging only 5.9 MPG.

Now at the Hilltop, Styles is expected to step into a much larger role as the team’s starting small forward. From their media day selections, it appears the staff has high hopes for Styles, as they have brought him along with Jayden Epps and Jay Heath to both Big East Media Day and their recent local media day at Capital One Arena. Styles’ potential remains unrealized, but if he can perform like he was projected out of high school, this team’s ceiling could reach another level.

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Head coach Joe Zeglinski will be entering his ninth season. The team returns Georgetown-bound 6-foot-9, 240-pound Thomas Sorber, who’s one of the top centers in the class of 2024, and Florida Gulf Coast University-bound 6-3 senior guard Darren Williams. With those contributors, the Raiders could make a trifecta at a Catholic League, District 12 and PIAA Class 5A state championship run…

“We have Thomas in the middle, who’s a great person and a great teammate. He brings the whole team together. I have to speak up this year. I didn’t do it last year, and I’m very ready for us to get to the PCL, the city, and the state championship.”

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The Red Storm have played in only one of the last seven NCAA Tournaments, and it was in the First Four against Arizona State in 2019. Not to worry, Rick Pitino should change that in 2024. The Hall-of-Fame head coach is determined to make St. John’s a perennial force in March Madness. The Red Storm have not won a game in the NCAA Tournament since 2000, which is the longest active drought among Big East teams.

Meet the new players: Men’s basketball recruits - The Georgetown Voice | GEORGETOWNVOICE

Supreme Cook comes to Georgetown from Fairfield University. A strong rebounder with a low-post presence and high energy that allows him to score and take control of the ball, Cook averaged 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. “He brings an incredible physicality to the game,” junior center Ryan Mutombo said about Cook. “He’s pushed me to get a lot better this summer and be way more physical and vocal.” Cook will hopefully bring valuable experience to Cooley’s roster of new faces…

Dontrez Styles comes to Georgetown from UNC, where he struggled to find a permanent role in the team’s rotation, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game on 41.9 percent shooting from the field in 45 games over two seasons. Styles will look to rewrite his story with Cooley, whom he cited as a major player in his decision to commit to Georgetown. “I’m excited to go out there and have a better opportunity for myself, and for the team. I can’t wait for it,” he told the Voice on BIG EAST Media Day. With his combination of athleticism and physicality, Styles is looking to make his mark on Georgetown basketball.

BIG EAST men’s basketball predictions - The Georgetown Voice | GEORGETOWNVOICE

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how well Georgetown will do this season, but I guarantee that the Hoyas will be better than they were last year. Most of us have seen Cooley and his players around campus or have at least heard of their efforts to reenergize the Hoya fanbase. However, their on-court performance may leave more to be desired. A brand-new roster featuring Texas transfer Rowan Brumbaugh and Jayden Epps from Illinois will make noise, but depth is a major concern for this team with only nine scholarship players on the roster.