Plenty of promise exists up and down the Maryland and Georgetown's basketball rosters. Few will be stunned if one or both programs ends up ranked at some point this season or at least among the teams receiving some love from those voting coaches. Just not yet.
Neither the Terps or Hoyas picked up any votes in the just released USA Today preseason coaches poll. Hardly a stunner considering the youth on both rosters, though the ACC and Big East schools were picked to finish in the top of half of their respective conferences.
Indiana, led by sophomore sensation Cody Zeller, tops the initial poll, receiving 21 of a possible 31 first place votes. Up next, Bluegrass state stalwarts Louisville and Kentucky, each receiving five first place votes, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke and Florida. Georgetown opens the season against the Gators on an aircraft carrier parked in Jacksonville.
While no DMV program ranked among the top 25, Virginia Commonwealth, gearing up for its first season in the Atlantic 10, finished second among the "others receiving votes" folk. Colonial Athletic Association favorite Drexel received two votes.
The ACC voters slotted Maryland sixth among the 12 conference teams. Georgetown finished fifth within the Big East.
Four ACC programs rank among the top 25, including North Carolina (11) and Florida State (tied for 24). Notre Dame (23) joins Louisville and Syracuse among Big East schools in the top 25.
And no, neither Maryland coach Mark Turgeon or Georgetown's John Thompson III are among the 31 voting coaches. Coppin State's Fang Mitchell is among the group filling out a ballot.
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.