NCAA

Georgetown not Dunn with top 10 foes; Providence visits Saturday

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Georgetown not Dunn with top 10 foes; Providence visits Saturday

Georgetown and Providence meet twice every regular season as Big East members. The first such get-together this year comes Saturday night at Verizon Center. The matchup provides the Hoyas, coming off a thrilling comeback win over Creighton, a shot at taking down another top-10 team.

Kris Dunn, the Friars do-everything point guard and national player of the candidate will be there. Based on the trend of NBA Draft prospects heading for the pros ASAP, he shouldn't be.

"If you look at how trends are going and decisions the kids are making, I would say I was very surprised," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said at Friday's practice inside McDonough Arena. "Most people in his position when you know worst-case scenario of first round and possibly as high as the lottery, in this day and age kids are not making that decision more often than not."

Even if the Hoyas (13-8, 6-2) make proper choices Saturday (8:00 p.m., FS1) with how best to deal with Dunn, the Friars' (17-4, 5-3) electric star won't be easily contained.

"He's one of those special players that if you're a coach, you're lucky to get once in a lifetime," said a gushing Thompson.

The athletically potent 6-foot-4 walking triple-double alert may have been a lottery pick if he bolted after his sophomore season. Many NBA hopefuls pass on their remaining college eligibility with far less draft hope. Instead, Dunn came back to Providence for the work-on-game/diploma reasons you might expect. He returned to a team that lost several key pieces off a 22-win NCAA Tournament season.

Those familiar with his skill set aren't stunned by his growth this season or how it's influenced the Friars. Dunn ranks sixth nationally with 7.1 assists and second with 3.2 steals while averaging 16.9 points and 6.3 rebounds. He had 13 points and matched his career-high with 14 assists in Sunday's 82-76 win at Villanova, the Wildcats first Big East loss in over a calendar year. Providence is 5-0 in true road games this season. 

"His passing his special," Thompson said of Dunn, who last season averaged 14 points and nine assist in two wins over the Hoyas. "There are very few people that I've seen who deliver the ball where it should be when it should be to whom it should be every time."

Dunn often looks for 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Ben Bentil, arguably the most improved player in the country. Bentil (20.0) and Dunn are the top two scorers in the Big East followed by Georgetown senior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

What makes Dunn a true danger is his defensive effort in Providence's zone concepts.

"You cannot get careless [with passes] because Kris Dunn covers so much area. Any lazy pass gets stolen or deflected," Thompson said. "The more stagnant you are, the better [Providence's zone] gets."

It's hard quantifying how much better Georgetown is compared to its rough 7-5 start, but its current second place status in the Big East says plenty. Sandwiched between a non-conference loss at Connecticut, the Hoyas upended No. 5 Xavier on the road last week and rallied from 11 down with 2:18 remaining for a 74-73 victory over Creighton Tuesday.

Defeating another highly rated club will help offset some of those early season losses.

"Our guys are pretty excited about that win," center Bradley Hayes said. "When everybody knows that when they focused in, we can get a lot of stuff done. We came back from that deficit. It shows a lot about our team."

It says a lot about Dunn's goals and vision that he returned for another season at the college level. DraftExpress.com projects the playmaker as a top 5 pick in the 2016 Draft.

If Georgetown can knock off Providence, it will be time to truly reassess the Hoyas' level for the remainder of the season and sincerely believe they're in the Big East title race.

MORE HOYAS: Big East issues statement over post-game outburst

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

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Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

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.