Instant Analysis: Hoyas win! Hoyas win!


Instant Analysis: Hoyas win! Hoyas win!

In the history of Georgetown men's basketball program, the Hoyas never started a season with three straight losses. They still haven't.

Thought shorthanded and facing last season's national runner-up, Georgetown largely controlled Wisconsin throughout thanks to numerous contributions including the latest surprise performance from a previous backbencher for a 71-61 win in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden. Isaac Copeland paced four double-digit scorers with 15 points and added eight rebounds.

Georgetown plays No. 5 Duke Sunday at 1:00 p.m. 

Yes, everyone from head coach John Thompson III to the players to the fans can breathe a bit easier now that the Hoyas (1-2) are in the win column following a season-opening upset loss to Radford and Tuesday's 75-71 setback at Maryland.

No setbacks this time. Holding the Badgers (2-2) to 33.3 percent shooting overall and without a point for the first 6:28 helped. After Wisconsin pulled close at 11-10 with 9:57 remaining in the first half, Georgetown sank three straight 3-pointers including two from Cameron, who sank his first four from beyond the arc and scored all 14 of his points in the first half. The Hoyas kept the lead from there and entered halftime up 27-22.

Last season the Hoyas lost 68-65 to the Frank Kaminsky-led Badgers in the semifinals of the Battle for Atlantis after leading by nine points in the second half. Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes had the decisive putback in that game and led all scorers with 22 points this time. 

After Zac Showalter's 3-pointer cut Georgetown's lead to 36-34 with over 14 minutes remaining, Hoyas' guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera countered with his 3-pointer on the next possession, starting a 7-0 run. The lead never dipped below seven points again. Yes, a win and with minimal drama. Who knew that was an option.

Freshman center Jessie Govan scored 13 points. Smith-Rivera missed seven of nine field goal attempts, but finished with 12 points and four assists. Sophomore guard L.J. Peak added nine points, but his primary contribution came defensively against Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig. The Badgers' top scorer on the season had nine points -- 10 below his average -- on 2 of 12 shooting. 

Bombs away: The Hoyas made 3's and this time, they prevented the other team from doing the same. Georgetown made 9 of 18 while holding Wisconsin to 5 of 19. Cameron finished 4 of 6 while Copeland made three of his four attempts. 

Cameron Crazy: We've already had the story of senior center Bradley Hayes essentially matching his career totals in the opening two games. This time it was the 6-foot-7 junior forward generating rare production. Part of the rotation during his freshman season, Cameron received minimal playing time during his sophomore year as the incoming freshman supplanted him on the depth chart He finished the year with 27 points and five 3-pointers. That's why his lights out shooting in the first half qualified as more than a mere surprise. Granted, way back when he entered college with a shooter's reputation, but he was hitting only 29.5% (31 of 105) entering Friday. Not only did Cameron sink shots, he adeptly filled in at guard due to injuries and foul trouble. 

Big change: Joshua Smith and Mikael Hopkins formed the center combination last season, giving the Hoyas interior scoring (Smith) and energy (Hopkins),  but also no offensive flow. With Hayes and Govan, Georgetown's attack looks much more versatile this season. The freshman's ability to shoot from distance, but also pass from the high post allows Thompson to use portions of the playbook kept dormant in recent seasons. Govan showed his range with his second 3-pointer on the season and his vision when deftly feeding a cutting Copeland for a second half layup. Hayes only had four points and two rebounds in 14 minutes, but has scored more this season (39) than his previous three seasons (35) combined.

Missing: Cameron once again filled in with Paul White (hip) unable to play. Thompson hoped the sophomore would go in each of his last two games, but no luck. Backup point guard Tre Campbell did not make the trip due to an undisclosed illness, leaving the Hoyas light in the backcourt. Walk-on Riyan WIlliams played for the second straight game and freshman Kaleb Johnson played 25 minutes.

Here comes Duke: Grayson Allen scored a career-high 30 points as the Blue Devils (2-1) turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 79-71 over VCU in the nightcap of the 2K Classic. Duke won despite missing 15 free throws, but they made more (19) than the Rams attempted (13).

This will mark the first meeting between Georgetown and Duke since Jan. 31, 2010 when the Hoyas shot 71.7 percent from the field in front of President Barack Obama for an 89-77 victory.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


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.


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


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.


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."