NCAA

Mason faces road test at Bucknell

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Mason faces road test at Bucknell

George Mason opened the season with a thrilling home court over a power conference program.

The Patriots next opponent, Bucknell, can make the same claim though with an on the road distinction.

On the same night Bryon Allen scored five points in the final minute to spur George Mason to a 63-59 over Virginia, the Bison pulled a 70-65 stunner at Purdue on Friday. Now the two mid-major schools square off Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) on the Bucknell campus in Lewisburg, Pa.

George Mason leads the all-time series 7-3, including a 61-57 win at the Patriot Center last season on the strength of a dominant edge at the free throw line. The Patriots powered their way to 25 attempts, making 19. The Bison finished 8 of 12.

Allen, named the co-CAA Player of the Week for his late-game heroics and scoring 13 points against the Cavaliers, stuffed the stat sheet against the Bison with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists - all without a turnover. Sherrod Wright scored 14 points.

Bucknell returns the core from last season's 25-win team that won the Patriot League regular season crown and reached the second round of the NIT. Senior center Mike Muscala, the 2010-11 Patriot League Player of the Year, pounded Purdue for 14 points and 10 rebounds while junior guard Cameron Ayers hung 18 points on the Boilermakers. Ayers torched the Patriots last season for 23 points, 18 coming after halftime with a stretch of seven consecutive made baskets.

 

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.