It’s weird—but very welcome—that members of the Georgetown Hoyas are making appearances before the season as Wayne Bristol, Jr., Jay Heath, and Ryan Mutombo stopped by Hoya Locker Room in the last few weeks to talk with hosts Gene Smith and Markhum Stansbury. Many thanks to Gene and Markhum for continuing Hoya Locker Room and cutting all the red tape to get these returning players to appear on the program. The conversations are very worthwhile and, while they paint a rough picture of last year, they certainly boost optimism for the upcoming season.
Please watch them in their entireties.
Here are some other links and X posts (formerly known as tweets):
Ed Cooley is new to Georgetown, but not the Big East. He made one of the biggest moves of the off-season, leaving Providence for an intra-conference rival. Cooley replaces Georgetown legend (on court only) Patrick Ewing. Ewing went 13-50 (2-37 BE) over the last two seasons, so it won’t take much to move the needle in the right direction.
Cooley’s move is so fascinating because of his ties to the Providence community. It’s not often the hometown hero turns his back on the town he grew up in. Cooley’s admiration for long-time Hoyas head coach John Thompson, Jr. is thought to be the driving force behind the move, though Providence fans have reason to believe otherwise. Regardless of the details, it sets up an unbelievable season-long storyline to keep up with, culminating in Cooley’s eventual return to Providence. It’s very likely the most anticipated game of the season and we don’t even have the date yet. Everything Georgetown does on and off the court will be under the microscope this year.
The Big East is the only power conference without at least one coach on the hot seat heading into 23-24. That doesn't mean there isn't plenty to talk about, though. Storylines abound in the country's most entertaining league.— Trilly Donovan (@trillydonovan) August 21, 2023
STORY: https://t.co/0z6yoJyxbG pic.twitter.com/0NVZs5hTaa
Epps is a fast-starting guard that doesn’t need much space to find his offense... He appeared in 31 games, starting in 11, as a freshman for the Fighting Illini. In his best outing, he knocked down a career-best 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from deep and 8-of-12 shooting from the field off the bench in a victory over Monmouth back on Nov. 14. In his best performance as a starter, he put up 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 shooting from deep across 30 minutes of action.
Georgetown made just one NCAA Tournament across six seasons under head coach Patrick Ewing. Ed Cooley brings a talented guard with a winner’s mentality to kick off his first season as head coach. He’ll have some help with him too, with Dontrez Styles (UNC), Rowan Brumbaugh (Texas) and Ismael Massoud (Kansas State) joining him out of the portal. Look for him to play with a chip on his shoulder this season and silence a lot of doubters in the process.
Cooley’s road trips won’t always be fun this season. His return to Providence, which reportedly will be when students are still on campus and on a weekend, will be the event of the winter in Friartown. And would it surprise anyone if Gampel Pavilion has dollar beer night this season when the Hoyas come to town? While Cooley’s decision to depart PC remains odd, he’s probably the right man to turn the Hoyas around. “Oh, definitely,” Pitino said. “I think Ed’s a terrific recruiter and a very good coach. He wouldn’t have left Providence if he didn’t believe Georgetown could be something special.”
But it certainly won’t happen overnight. He’s brought in some talent via the portal (Illinois’ Jayden Epps) and high school (Drew McKenna), but anything above a ninth-place finish would be a shock. Oh, and apparently he’s lost Akok Akok.
Happy birthday Gene Smith! Captain. National Champion. Podcast host. 1984 Graduate. pic.twitter.com/XwgZFZ0Th4— Georgetown Men's Basketball Alumni (@GMBAHoyas) August 20, 2023
3. Styles. Shooting. Coach will start him for his defense and rebounding, but he could lose his spot if he doesn't hit 3s. 4. Ish. Endurance. He was a super sub last year, but he will need to play 30 minutes per game. 5. Cook. Not fouling. He will also need to play big minutes.— EthicalHoya (@EthicalHoya) August 19, 2023
West Virginia University men’s basketball interim head coach Josh Eilert has announced the signing of Akok Akok to a grant-in-aid for the 2023-24 academic year...
“Akok runs the floor extremely well and adds athleticism to our roster,” Eilert said. “He gives us the ability to stretch the floor with his shot-making skill. Akok will give us a bigger defensive presence with his shot blocking, his ability to alter shots around the rim and the way he can sit down and guard. He really gives us many different attributes that we didn’t have. Akok has played a great deal of Big East basketball and brings more experience to our roster.”
“They should stay in the Big East. Football can never [be consistently successful to the point} where they can compete with huge college-town universities where there is no pro team to root for.”
“They just moved back [to the Big East] and it obviously has been the best thing that has happened to them. Rivalries matter. You’re recruiting at a ridiculously good clip. And I know money is a part of it, [but] I just love the old Big East games and hope they don’t change because it’s fun to have them back in the conference.”
“We have seen this story play out already before. They are back home where they are supposed to be in the Big East and shouldn’t mess with it.”
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Run The Tape show, Denver Nuggets champion Jeff Green spoke about how difficult it was leaving in free agency to sign with the Houston Rockets. Green admitted that he wanted to stay in Denver, but revealed his reason for leaving was simply the nature of the business.
“I wanted to stay [in Denver],” Green said. “But we all know it’s a business first, and when business happens there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Green was mostly vague in his comments, but revealed what most had already speculated, that this was simply a business move for both sides. With Denver limited in what they could offer their own free agents, both Green and Bruce Brown left for more money than they would have received from the Nuggets, which adds more context to Green’s “business” comments.
Never Miss a Monday!! pic.twitter.com/fZSnrqXRxS— Coach Ivan C. Thomas (@coachivanthomas) August 21, 2023
This is pretty great programming by Georgetown trying to rejuvenate interest in going to basketball games. Turn out kids for non-con games against non-brand foes and hope it translates into league play. https://t.co/nI5riKu9JY— Kevin Sweeney (@CBB_Central) August 20, 2023
Williams, who retired after a nine-year NBA career in 2005, thinks back to his playing days about how he could have marketed himself in today’s college basketball world. It’s a world that is now being shaped by an NCAA rules change that followed the passage of state laws permitting student athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness (NIL).
Among many ventures and initiatives, Williams has been an ambassador for the game overseas, a high school basketball coach in Las Vegas and an advocate for the NBA’s retired players in promoting and protecting their legacies. At 50, he is now honing in on the sports-playing kids like he once was through his company, Intellectual Property For Athletes Made By Athletes or IP FAMBA.