NCAA

Georgetown freezes late in loss at Connecticut

hoyasuconn.jpg

Georgetown freezes late in loss at Connecticut

Some quick thoughts after watching Georgetown lose 68-62 at Connecticut in standard definition.

* For most of the game against their former Big East rival, the Hoyas (12-8) played with the same level of urgency and smarts offensively that led to Tuesday's win at No. 5 Xavier. Then came the final 4:31 and an avalanche of mistakes with the snowed in D.C. region watching. After D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's jumper gave Georgetown a 62-60, the Hoyas never scored again in their final non-conference game of the regular season.

Connecticut (14-5) labored from the field the entire second half (4 of 21) as Georgetown rallied for a lead after trailing 41-33. The Huskies only survived from the free throw line as they were in the 1-and-1 bonus with 14:22 remaining thanks to the Hoyas' numerous fouls. After two free throws put UConn up 63-62 with 2:44 left, Georgetown's possessions went like this: Turnover, missed 3-pointer, air ball, turnover, charge. These late issues were spread out, each committed by  different player.

* Reggie Cameron finished with 13 points while Smith-Rivera had 12. L.J. Peak also had 12 points before fouling out for the seventh time this season. Tre Campbell, after scoring 21 points on five 3-pointers at Xavier, had seven points.

* Connecticut entered with four players averaging double figure points. That quartet all had at least 11 with guards Rodney Purvis (17) and Sterling Gibbs (15) leading the way. That duo made 16 of 20 free throws and the Huskies finished 29 of 36. The Hoyas went 7 of 8.

* As for the big picture, getting a win over Connecticut would have taken some pressure off Georgetown's Big East record. Instead, the Hoyas (5-2) still probably need around 12 wins barring a string of upsets in their remaining games against the conference powers. Georgetown finished non-conference play 7-6.

* Georgetown's offense maintained the quicker ball movement that keyed its win over Xavier, which led to some open shots early. However, the Hoyas often fell in love with 3-pointers rather than look down low for inside-outside action. More than half of their field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.

Even worse, the shots, even several with a defender in range, weren't falling as Georgetown finished 9 of 31. Cameron and Smith-Rivera each hit 3 of 8 while Peak made both of his attempts. Campbell missed four of five.

Smith-Rivera and Peak sinking back-to-back 3-pointers helped fuel Georgetown's turnaround from down 41-33. Connecticut not making a basket until 12:50 remained in the second half did as well.

* In the first half, the Hoyas only hit 4 of 14 from deep. Centers Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan had the size edge, but took just one shot combined. Cameron hit a few early and finished with 10 points, but the Huskies were content with him shooting rather than Smith-Rivera. The senior guard found more room in the second half, scoring nine points.

*Meanwhile, UConn's guards repeatedly got into the lane for shots at the rim or fouls on the Hoyas. The Huskies sank 50 percent of their first half attempts with Purvis and Gibbs combining for 20 points.

* The modern era of basketball is filled with big men wanting to play small. Not Hayes. It's not just that the 7-footer primarily shoots around the basket, but the type of shots. Twice he hit seldom-used hook shots and both with his left hand.  At least one notable basketball analysts noticed.

* Isaac Copeland started but scored only two points on 1 of 5 shooting while missing all three of his 3-point tries. The sophomore was also missing on the court down the stretch as coach John Thompson III turned elsewhere. Don't forget Copeland went scoreless against Xavier. As for his 3-point shot, he's 3 of 20 (15 percent) over the last six games.

*Next up, a rematch with Creighton Tuesday at Verizon Center. The Hoyas lost 79-66 in Omaha on Jan. 5.

MORE HOYAS: Georgetown departs before snow for reunion tour stop at UConn

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

jessie_govan_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

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.

MORE HOYAS STORIES:

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

omer_yurtseven_usat.jpg
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.