What's back: No seniors, but the rising sophomore class led by the all-everything Otto Porter picked up plenty of experience during last season's 24-win campaign which ended after one victory in the NCAA Tournament. The soft-spoken Porter has a subtle style, but the versatile 6-foot-8 forward is poised for a very loud and monster of a season, which is why he's receiving plenty of preseason hype in the Big East, nationally and the highest levels of the sport. Stats alone do not define his varied skill set or impressive first season on the Hilltop, though he led the Hoyas in rebounding (6.8) and field goal percentage (52.5) while averaging 9.7 points and 1.1 steals. Except more scoring now that last year's top three scorers - Jason Clark, Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson - have moved on. Fellow sophomore Greg Whittington adds go-go-gadget arms and a confident 3-point shot to the frontcourt mix while former DeMatha star Mikael Hopkins takes over in the middle. Bouts of inconsistency have plagued power forward Nate Lubick and point guard Markel Starks, but the juniors should gain confidence as the team's elder statesmen.
What's new: On the heels of last season's five-player recruiting class, the Hoyas added four more newbies, headlined by flashy guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. The 6-foot-3 scoring threat averaged 22 points as a High School senior and is the one freshman ready to crack Georgetown coach John Thompson III's rotation. Agile 7-footer Bradley Hayes brings even more length to the frontcourt while sweet shooting wing Stephen Domingo skipped his senior season to join Georgetown for this campaign.
What's key: JTIII will need to have his young roster grow up quick with a challenging regular season slate that starts Friday on an Aircraft carrier against Florida and ends with the last scheduled game against its fiercest rival, Syracuse. Freshman needing to gain familiarity is nothing new, but the Hoyas also lack a proven high-post passer for their own offensive designs and Starks is the lone returning guard with starting experience. Georgetown's size - especially if the team starts four forwards - will limit opposing scoring and allow Thompson to use Porter and Whittington all over the court to cover up any weaknesses.
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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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.