NCAA

After historic victory, UMBC retains head coach Ryan Odom

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After historic victory, UMBC retains head coach Ryan Odom

Two weeks following the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history, the UMBC Retrievers still have their head coach Ryan Odom.

Being the leader of the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in college basketball history means that you will have your options as a head coach. Teams reportedly have come knocking, as the next level will likely be on the horizon for the 43-year-old. For now though, Odom chooses to stay with his current team.

On Monday, UMBC announced an agreement in principle to keep the guidance of the program in the hands of Odom. Currently, he just finished his second-year of a seven-year contract that he signed in 2016. This past season, not only did he lead the Retrievers to their monumental upset, but he guided the school to a conference title, a program-record in wins (25), and their second NCAA Tournament berth ever.

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Full terms of the deal have not been released, but it is expected that he will be getting a dramatic yearly increase from his $230,000 base salary.

Retaining Odom appears to have been a tall task for the America-East program. Often coaches quickly take their immediate tournament success to jump to higher programs. This included Andy Enfield (Florida Gulf Coast to USC), John Crose (Ohio to Illinois), Billy Kennedy (Murray State to Texas A&M), and Kevin Keatts (UNC-Wilmington to NC State). But Odom will not join that list this season.

When Odom took over at UMBC in 2016 he inherited a 7-25 team that had not had a winning season since 2008. Prior to coaching in Baltimore County, he was an interim coach at UNC-Charlotte.

Clearly, he is capable of a complete rebuild in a short amount of time.

Teams that were reportedly targeting him include Middle Tennessee State and East Carolina. 

Now his team and his name will forever be etched in the annals of college basketball.

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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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.

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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.