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Georgetown's Thompson adapts to new world of 'free agency'

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Georgetown's Thompson adapts to new world of 'free agency'

Like it or not, free agency has come to college basketball. Coaches like Georgetown's John Thompson III must alter their usual recruiting plans accordingly.

There's the traditional recruiting of high school players. That includes members of the 2015 class with the Hoyas' one current available scholarship in mind or prospects for future seasons. Then there are transfers. Some are eligible immediately under the graduate transfer rule while others must sit out a full season. Either way, this burgeoning secondary market of talent has exploded in recent seasons. 

By one count, over 700 players have or are in the midst of transferring. That's a staggering amount of bodies changing programs during a single off-season. The reasons for seeking a new home range from lack of playing time to coaching changes to being over-recruited to simply wanting a change. 

Whatever the reason, quality help is out there for teams needing talent, depth or a specific skill set.

"The way the last couple of years (have gone) and definitely this year, you have to make sure in the fall you don't use all your scholarships so you have some when free agency opens up," Thompson said during an recent interview with CSNwashington.com. "That's what it feels like, free agency."

The Hoyas have filled 12 of their 13 scholarships for the upcoming season. That includes three incoming freshmen and former Louisville transfer Akoy Agau, who announced in January he would be joining Georgetown. The 6-foot-8 forward becomes eligible after the first semester of the 2015-16 season. 

Several transfers have been linked to the Hoyas since the season ended, but none has yet to commit. Two notable remaining options include guard Eli Carter (Florida/Rutgers) and forward Johnathan Williams III (Missouri).

Carter, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, is immediately eligible. He recently told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that the Hoyas remain on his short list

The Hoyas only have two true ball handlers on next season's roster -- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Tre Campbell -- which makes adding a backcourt depth imperative. Thompson indicated he is pursuing guard help for next season, though not solely targeting that area with the one available scholarship.

Thompson would not confirm to CSN whether Georgetown was or was not pursuing Carter. "We're still involved with a few people," the coach said. "We'll see how it shakes out."

The 6-foot-9 Williams led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding last season as a sophomore. Kansas, Michigan State and Gonzaga are among the other schools reportedly in the mix. 

Power forward Noah Dickerson, a top-60 prospect in the 2015 class, recently received a release from Florida after coach Billy Donovan bolted for the NBA. Dickerson initially committed to Georgetown before spurning the Hoyas for the Gators. Though back on the market, don't expect him to wind up on the Hilltop. The roster is deep at the 4-5 positions with rising sophomores Isaac Copeland and Paul White plus incoming freshmen Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson. Senior center Bradley Hayes shined in the NCAA Tournament win over Eastern Washington.

Smith-Rivera and Hayes are entering their senior seasons, meaning 2-3 scholarships are available for 2016 depending on whether Thompson uses his remaining spot this season. Even as the coach pursues prep players for the future, there is a good bet he keeps at least one scholarship available for free agency.

 

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.