NCAA

College hoops in the DMV season preview: George Washington

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College hoops in the DMV season preview: George Washington

We start our look at some of the local area men's college basketball teams in Foggy Bottom where George Washington is coming off a second straight 20-win season and postseason appearance under coach Mike Lonergan. With three seniors headlining the roster, including Atlantic 10 Player of the Year candidate Patricio Garino, there's a good chance the Colonials reach those heights again. Can they get back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years and challenge the likes of Rhode Island and Davidson for conference title are the questions. Either way, this is the last go-round for Lonergan with the senior class that helped turn the program around.

Last season: 22-13 overall, 10-8 Atlantic 10; lost in second round of NIT

Head coach: Mike Lonergan

Key returnees: Senior G Patricio Garino (12.4 ppg, 1.7 steals), senior C Kevin Larsen (10.9 ppg, 7.4 reb), senior Joe McDonald (9.9 ppg, 3.1 ast), sophomore F Yuta Watanabe (7.4 ppg)

Notable losses: G Kethan Savage (transferred to Butler), F John Kopriva

Incoming players: Junior F Tyler Cavanaugh (Wake Forest transfer), G Alex Mitola (Dartmouth graduate transfer), freshman G Jordan Roland, freshman F Collin Goss, junior G Jared Sina (Seton Hall transfer; not eligible this season)

Games to watch:

  • Nov. 16 - Virginia
  • Nov. 27/28 - Tennessee/Cincinnati or Nebraska (Barclays Center Classic, Brooklyn)
  • Dec. 2 - Seton Hall
  • Jan. 22 - Rhode Island
  • Feb. 27 - VCU

CollegeBasketballTalk.com predictions: Fifth in 14-team league

The Wild Card: The 6-foot-9 Larsen has the size, bulk and skills to compete with the top big men in A-10 if not be leader of the pack. The Denmark native can score inside, sink perimeter shots and control the glass. Lonergan calls Larsen his best passer and often uses him as a press breaker. However, getting consistent production and effort from the Montrose Christian product has been a three-year challenge. Keeping Larsen on the court regardless is key considering the truly limited interior options behind him on the roster. Having a true power forward in Cavanaugh and more 3-point shooters on the floor should help open scoring options. If Larsen plays at an All-Conference level, good chance GW returns to the postseason for a third straight season.

Biggest concern: GWs starting lineup hasn't been the issue ever since this current senior class arrived on campus. But when Lonergan turns to the bench, especially because of foul trouble or injuries, the drop off limited the Colonials. Assuming Watanabe starts, sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen is the most proven returning reserve and he only averaged 3.6 points last season. Getting anything out of Cimino and Goss inside would go along way to keeping Larsen fresh. There are high hopes that Roland, a two-time Player of the Year in New York, can help immediately. Same with the 5-foot-11 Mitola, who averaged 12 points an shot 37% from beyond the arc with Dartmouth last season.

NCAA Tournament hopes: Assuming the A-10 maintains their level with 3-5 teams in the March Madness mix, GW won't have an RPI or strength of schedule issue. Several non-conference road games could prove tricky, but matchups with Virginia, Penn State and Seton Hall are at Smith Center. Same goes for the lone matchup with A-10 preseason favorite Rhode Island. In other words, win games and the math should take of itself.

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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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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.

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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.