NCAA

JT3 identifies Georgetown's breakout star for 2015-16

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JT3 identifies Georgetown's breakout star for 2015-16

The return of guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera for his senior season ensured Georgetown of a leading man for the 2015-16 campaign.

The forecast for Isaac Copeland suggests the rising sophomore is next in line.

Such a declaration isn't a major surprise. Copeland joined the program as a five-star recruit, according to ESPN. The 6-foot-9 forward took control at times during his first season on the Hilltop. Copeland, part of a strong five-player recruiting class, received All-Big East rookie honors along with teammate L.J. Peak. More opportunity exists as the Hoyas lost four key pieces from their rotation, including second-leading scorer Joshua Smith, starter Jabril Trawick and key big man reserve Mikael Hopkins.

During a recent interview with CSNwashington.com, coach John Thompson III was asked which of his players might take the "leap" next season. 

"I think Isaac will," Thompson stated without hesitation while adding "others have the potential to."

Copeland's final stats - 6.8 points, 3.8 rebounds - won't wow a casual observer. After a slow start, the North Carolina's native athleticism, poise and all-court game did just that.

During a three-game stretch in January, he sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the left corner to beat Butler and then scored 17 points in consecutive wins over No. 4 Villanova and at Marquette.

Over his final 17 games, Copeland ranked third on the Hoyas with 9.4 points, second in rebounds (5.7), blocks (0.7) and 3-point shooting percentage (41.0).

That impressive streak caught the attention of national observers as well. NBC Sports put Copeland on a short-list of potential breakout stars for 2015-16. With another level of assertiveness, added strength and continued improvement across the board, no reason to think such predictions won't come true.

When it comes to upside, Copeland isn't alone. A starter throughout the season, the electric Peak explodes at the basket and is already savvy enough to live at the free throw line. If he improves an awkward, rotation-less shot, Peak could skyrocket as a sophomore. Point guard Tre Campbell played with confidence and effectively ran the attack when given minutes as a rookie. Forward Paul White, another rising sophomore, might be the most versatile of the bunch, as evidenced by a lineup suggestion from Smith-Rivera.

Three incoming freshmen - center Jessie Govan, forward Marcus Derrickson and wing option Kaleb Johnson, are four-star recruits per ESPN. Frontcourt returnees Bradley Hayes, Reggie Cameron and Trey Mourning could also be in the mix for minutes.

"It's going to be a competition," Thompson said of next season's lineup. "That's the good thing about next year's team. I think we're going to have competition at every spot."

Just not at one of the forward spots. In that area, Copeland is the leading man.

Ranked and red hot, Terrapins crush Buckeyes in Columbus to extend winning run to seven

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Associated Press

Ranked and red hot, Terrapins crush Buckeyes in Columbus to extend winning run to seven

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 20 points, and No. 19 Maryland won its seventh straight game, 75-61 over Ohio State on Friday night.

Bruno Fernando added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and had 15 rebounds for the Terrapins (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten), who shot 58.1 percent from the field. Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell each scored 11, and Jalen Smith had 10. Maryland went 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) from 3-point range.

C.J. Jackson scored 15 points for the Buckeyes (12-5, 2-4), who lost their fourth straight. Duane Washington Jr. scored 14 and Kaleb Wesson had 11.

Fernando continued his strong play after being named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week. He averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds in victories over Minnesota and then-No. 22 Indiana. The 6-foot-10 sophomore from Angola has 10 double-doubles this season.

Ohio State kept it close through most of the first half before Maryland went on an 8-0 run, including a three-point play by Fernando, to move ahead 38-30. The Buckeyes got within one early in the second half before Maryland responded with a 13-2 burst, including five points from Fernando. Ohio State got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins have been one of the surprise teams of the Big Ten thus far, but their schedule won't get any easier, with a road matchup looming at No. 6 Michigan State and two games against second-ranked Michigan.

Ohio State: Foul trouble and the Terps' hot shooting doomed any chance of an end to the Buckeyes' skid.

UP NEXT

Maryland visits No. 6 Michigan State on Monday night.

Ohio State hosts Purdue on Wednesday.

Towson at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Towson at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Towson has lost six consecutive games and will be looking to get back to winning ways when it visits Delaware.

The Blue Hens, meanwhile, have won five of their first seven conference games and will be looking to keep pace in the competitive CAA when they host the Tigers at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Towson at Delaware How to Watch

What: Towson Tigers at Delaware Blue Hens
Where: Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Del. 
When: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Towson at Delaware Preview

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Record: Towson (5-14, 1-5)  Delaware (13-7, 5-2)
Last Game: 72-66 loss at Drexel, 1/17 (Towson),  76-69 win vs. James Madison, 1/17 (Delaware)
Leading Scorers: Brian Fobbs, 16.1 ppg (Towson), Eric Carter, 17.7 ppg (Delaware)