NCAA

Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

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Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

After splitting a pair of games against ranked foes in Brooklyn, the Hoyas (3-1) return to the Verizon Center on Saturday against Mount St. Mary's (Noon). Georgetown downed UCLA in the semifinals of the Legends Classic on Monday before falling 82-72 in overtime to top-ranked Indiana in Tuesday's championship game despite 20 points from Markel Starks and late-game heroics by Otto Porter.

As expected, the Hoyas' performance proved demonstratively better with Porter, the do-everything sophomore forward who missed the bulk of Georgetown's first two games with a concussion suffered in the season opener. The New York eye-opener was the junior Markel Starks, who set his career-high with 23 points against UCLA.

In the previous 20 games, the former Georgetown Prep star had not topped 11 points. His overall game suffered in the scoring wake, his minutes fluctuated over the final weeks last season. The Hoyas need more of the aggressive, confident, 3-point making version going forward in the Big East wars, especially since he's the only upperclassman among the primary backcourt options. The Hoyas' leading scorer with 13.8 points, Starks is shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

As for the versatile Porter, he averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in the New York swing, which included the overtime-forcing layup against Indiana.

Fellow sophomore Mikael Hopkins scored 11 points against the Hoosiers before fouling out. After receiving limited minutes last season, the 6-foot-8 forward and former DeMatha product has reached double figures in scoring in all four games this season, though his apprehensive post-play leaves observers wanting more.

The Mountaineers (1-2), coached by 29-year-old former VCU assistant Jamion Christian, are led in scoring by former George Mason guard Rashad Whack (13.7 ppg). The first meeting between the two programs since 2009, Georgetown leads the all-time series 20-6.

While the Hoyas have the talent edge, the Mountaineers have proved formidable offensively from distance, an inconsistent area defensively for Georgetown to date. Despite the Hoyas' perimeter length, highlighted by Porter and the elastic Greg Whittington, Indiana made 10 of 17 three-pointers in victory. Earlier this month, Liberty sank 10 of 19 from beyond the arc in a 68-59 Georgetown victory. The Mountaineers are shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point territory led by Whack's 9 of 18 from distance.

Barring an upset to Mount St. Mary's or the various voting groups prove unimpressed McKayla Maroney-style by the Brooklyn outings, this should be Georgetown's last game as an unranked squad - for now, anyway. Starting Saturday, the Hoyas play six of their next seven games at home with only the Nov. 30 matchup against Tennessee in the Big East-SEC challenge standing out as a likely roadblock. The one away game comes against skittish Texas on Dec. 4 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

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USA TODAY Sports

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.

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Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."