Your Georgetown Hoyas will open their season—and begin the “Ed Cooley Era”—on Tuesday night at 7PM (FS2), hosting the Le Moyne Dolphins. In his recent and frequents talks with the media, Cooley has cautioned that “losing is part of growth” but promised that over time, it’s gonna pay off, and the dreams do come true.” While a dominant win would be nice, getting to know Georgetown’s talent and looking for any semblance of a defensive scheme will be the top priorities of most Hoyas fans.
Le Moyne, a Jesuit school from DeWitt, New York has just moved up to Division I basketball and scheduled a handful of high-major programs ahead of its season in the Northeast Conference. The Dolphins were picked to finish last in the NEC coaches poll and are rated 361 (of 362) by Kenpom, at this point.
Apparently DeWitt is adjacent to Syracuse. No one around this lunch blog has heard of these central New York towns, but it sounds pretty miserable and we’re glad they finally have a basketball team to cheer on. The school has been around since 1947, but fortifying the Jesuit influence in the region is probably long overdue.
Here is the Le Moyne Dolphins roster:
- 1 Darrick Jones Jr. Sr. Guard 6-5 200 Richmond, Va. / Oak Hill Academy Towson
- 2 Kaiyem Cleary Gr. Guard 6-6 185 Manchester, England / Redemption Christian Academy (NY) Florida Southern/Florida Southwestern/Ball State
- 3 Mike DePersia Gr. Guard 5-11 175 Cherry Hill, N.J. / Haddonfield Memorial IUPUI
- 4 Mason Landdeck Jr. Guard 6-2 170 Cashmere, Wash. / Desert Hills Eastern Washington/Hawaii Pacific
- 5 Isaiah Salter Gr. Guard 6-0 160 Charlotte, N.C. / Central Cabarrus American International/Adelphi
- 10 Jamel Melvin Jr. Forward 6-11 210 Upper Marlboro, Md. / The Potomac School Northern Colorado
- 11 AJ Dancler Fr. Guard 6-2 160 Indianapolis, Ind. / Southport
- 13 Deng Garang Fr. Guard 6-6 165 Syracuse, N.Y. / Bishop Grimes
- 14 C.J. Moore So. Guard 5-8 160 Lancaster, N.Y. / St. Francis
- 21 Trent Mosquera So. Guard 6-4 215 Brookline, Mass. / Belmont Hill School
- 22 Kaelin Thomas R-Fr. Guard 6-1 160 Binghamton, N.Y. / Seton Catholic
- 23 Luke Sutherland Gr. Forward 6-7 220 Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee Siena/Bryant
- 24 Ocypher Owens Jr. Forward 6-8 200 Orlando, Fla. / Orlando Christian Prep Indian River State
- 25 Nate Fouts R-Fr. Forward 6-7 215 Skaneateles, N.Y. / Skaneateles Kimball Union Academy
- 35 Nate McClure Gr. Guard 6-4 190 Houston, Texas / Concordia Lutheran Texas State/State Fair C.C./IUPUI
Here are the links:
“All I’m asking this community to do is give us an opportunity to grow, develop and trust,” Cooley said at his introductory press conference. “We’re gonna lose some games; it’s okay, losing is part of growth. But over time, it’s gonna pay off, and the dreams do come true” ...
The Dolphins return nine players from last season’s roster, including their two leading scorers in guard Isaiah Salter (11.7 points per game) and forward Luke Sutherland (11.2 points per game).
Fifth-year coach Nate Champion said the team’s mettle and continuity will be keys in helping Le Moyne settle in at the next level.
“We lost a lot of close games and hopefully those close games and experiences will help us as we move forward,” Champion said, per the Pharos-Tribune. “Our schedule is pretty difficult but I think we have the right group of guys to transition into Division I this year.”
The Big East is going to be a BEAR this year. Anything could happen, so we asked our contributors to give us their predictions and takes. Check it out⬇️⬇️https://t.co/aEzeUdARC8— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) November 5, 2023
“The Georgetown brand is truly elite, academically and athletically. The history and tradition of the Hoyas’ basketball program ranks amongst the finest in all of college basketball, and Georgetown’s standing as this country’s oldest Jesuit institution resonates immensely with the entire Le Moyne community. We look forward to traveling to our Nation’s Capital for the Dolphins’ Division I debut in November.”
“This Fall will witness the ascendance of Le Moyne’s athletic programs to Division 1,” said Le Moyne President Linda Le Mura. “Appropriately enough, the new men’s basketball season will be inaugurated by a game against long-time basketball powerhouse Georgetown. This matchup is particularly apropos given the strong tradition of basketball excellence at Catholic colleges and universities in general, and the seasoned veteran vs. new kid on the block nature of this particular pairing; Georgetown is the oldest of the 27 Jesuit schools in the U.S., while Le Moyne is the youngest. While local fans will long remember the intense Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry in the classic Big East days, perhaps this matchup will plant the seeds of a new Jesuit-based rivalry.”
“I am looking forward to playing this game, not only for Le Moyne in its first official Division I men’s basketball game, but also to be opening up against another Jesuit institution like Georgetown is going to be an experience that will be second to none,” said fifth-year head coach Nate Champion ‘14. “Georgetown has a storied program that has established themselves as a top Division I program in the country. With us starting our Division I journey, it will be a lot of fun playing in an atmosphere like that. I know Coach Cooley will have his guys ready to go and so will we, it should be a fun night!”
“A new era under head coach Ed Cooley is underway for Georgetown men’s basketball, and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the 2023-24 season.” Read at the link!— The Georgetown Voice (@GtownVoice) November 4, 2023
Design by Bahar Hassantash/The Georgetown Voicehttps://t.co/blIJGNUH3C
Another new face is graduate forward Ismael Massoud, a transfer from Kansas State. Unfortunately, Massoud broke his hand in a closed scrimmage against Pitt, according to a report from Fanta. The forward will miss between six and eight weeks of the season, a huge blow to the Hoyas who were already struggling with frontcourt depth given how few returning players the team retained from last season...
Georgetown kicks off the regular season with a game against Le Moyne College at Capital One Arena on Nov. 7 in Le Moyne’s first men’s basketball game as a Division I school. They’re ranked second to last out of all D1 teams in KenPom’s rankings, so Georgetown should expect a win, although, as last year’s opener against Coppin State showed, the first game of the season can be hard to predict. Preseason scrimmages provide some insight, although the Hoyas’ performances in their two secret scrimmages sent some mixed signals. According to Fanta, the Hoyas beat Wake Forest 81-77 thanks in large part to Epps’s scoring performance. In another scrimmage, Pitt beat Georgetown 78-64, according to Hilltop Hoops and Pitt Sports Network.
“Do you win first and then be supported, or do you support and then win?” Cooley said. “We’re playing in the No. 1 conference in the country, so it’s going to take us some time... let’s go through this journey together.”https://t.co/ABDZETJBlj— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) November 6, 2023
With so many new players, one of the foremost objectives of the past offseason was to build chemistry before the regular season officially tips off Nov. 7.
The team has organized multiple team bonding events like attending a Drake concert during the summer to strengthen cohesion among the players. In just eight months with the program, Cooley has had a marked impact on his players.
Redshirt first-year guard Rowan Brumbaugh said Cooley was instrumental in establishing a healthy culture in a brand-new locker room.
“Cooley’s a great entertainer,” Brumbaugh, who transferred from the University of Texas, told The Hoya after the scrimmage. “He’s so good at controlling a room, entertaining, getting us to buy into his system and coaching style.”
A native of Logansport, Indiana, Champion returned to the Heights after serving two seasons as an assistant coach at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. In this role, Champion was responsible for recruiting, and player development...
Prior to his time at Florida Southern, he spent one year as a volunteer assistant at NE10-foe Stonehill College. The 2016-17 Skyhawks went 15-12 and featured an NABC all-district and first-team all-conference selection and two all-rookie team members.
Champion got his coaching career started as a graduate assistant coach for the Dolphins in the Fall 2014 semester before embarking on a professional player career with the Ringwood Hawks of the Australia-State League. The Dolphins were 10-3 in the 13 games Champion was on the sideline.