By: Joe Cardoso
We are about to enter year 2 of the Patrick Ewing era as head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team. Last year was one of learning, rebuilding the Hoya culture and letting players learn his system and experience. With tip-off tonight against Maryland Eastern Shore the season will begin and like every other team across the country hope is all around the program. One of the things critics said about Ewing was, would he be able to recruit players and with the class, he has this season the answer, in my opinion, is YES. But before we dive into this year lets recap last season for a minute.
Many smashed the Hoyas non-conference schedule last season and it was weak but made sense with the team wanting to gel and gain some experience. Turnovers were a HUGE issue and played part in many large leads that were lost and games that got out of hand. Anyone who knows anything about College hoops knows that guard play is a major factor and it showed with the Hoyas. Only 2 wins at home and a 5-13 Big East Conference record overall won’t cut it, and holding court at home is something that is top of mind. Georgetown has one of the best promotional groups in the country to get fans out to games. Losing Marcus Derrickson to the NBA is a big hit and his production must be replaced.
The Hoyas star without question is Jessie Govan who chipped in 18ppg and 10 rebounds while shooting 76% from the line. All-Big East freshmen team member Jamorko Pickett will be looked at to make a leap and be a factor for the squad.
G: Jagan Mosley
G: Jahvon Blair
F: Kaleb Johnson
F: Jamorko Pickett
C: Jessie Govan
When Dickerson and Govan sat out last year it was like pulling teeth to get points and stops. Improving the bench is also on the to-do list. Tons of hype surrounding Mac McClung and he showed out in the Kenner League this summer but this is the Big East. I expect him to be a spark plug off the bench and have us all online looking for his latest highlight. My personal favorite new Hoya is James Akinjo this kid has star written all over him. Coach Ewing will try to bring him along slowly but I expect him to be the starting point guard by midseason if not sooner. Two more players from the bench to keep an eye on are William & Mary transfer Greg Malinowski who brings a nice 3-point touch and freshman Josh LeBlanc at 6’7 and a go and get it attitude he reminds me of a player from years past, one who called the junkyard home. If this group can prove all these things right it would be a blessing for the team and just what the doctor ordered.
You can’t make the same non-conference jokes you did last year. The trip against Syracuse and the Jamaican classic along with the Illinois game these will be legit tests. My prediction is that Govan takes this team far if he can stay out of foul trouble and they can turn the close losses into wins. The Hoyas have depth, athletes and experience which sets them up for a good season. At the end of February, this team should be in the conversation if the freshman come through a return to some sort of postseason is right there.
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