WASHINGTON – Qudus Wahab is quietly putting forward an impressive freshman campaign for the Georgetown Hoyas.
He’s the second guy off the bench, primarily backing up Omer Yurtseven at the No. 5 spot in the rotation. But his usage is the best on the team. His per 40-minute average through the last five games is 27.6 points.
What’s curious is Wahab is producing by only stepping on the court less than 12 minutes a game. Head coach Patrick Ewing isn’t getting him more playing time through his best stretch on the season. Opportunities and consistent time among the starters are limited.
The restraints on the freshman center were repeated in the team’s loss to No. 15 Butler when Omer Yurtseven failed to produce in the paint. Still, in 10 minutes of relief, Wahab had 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
The quizzical decision to keep the talented center so deep in the rotation for the Hoyas is one that has many within the fanbase dumbfounded. The team is down to only nine scholarship players and need all the production they can get. While Yurtseven has been dominant at times, he’s also inconsistent and struggled to find a rhythm in games.
Seven times this season, Yurtseven has shot 40% from the field or lower. Wahab hasn’t had a worse shooting night when attempting more than two shots since Nov. 30.
“To me, Omer is our best player. Qudus is very good. He’s our future,” Ewing said after Georgetown’s loss to Butler. “Some nights I want to play him more but sometimes he makes good play on one end, but I don’t see it on the other end.
“But I’m going to play the way I see it.”
Three of Wahab’s four buckets were dunks. One was a fastbreak throwdown while the other two were great feeds to him in the post. His 10 points in 10 minutes are starkly contrasted to Yurtseven’s 14 points in 30 minutes.
It’s just a continuation of a great stretch for the freshman. The last five games Wahab has produced 38 points on 17-for-22 shooting in 54 minutes of action. In many games, he has outperformed Yurtseven.
Ewing, however, is not ready to fully give faith in the four-star recruit in his first season. Defensively there are still some areas Ewing wants to see him improve.
“He can score. He’s a very good scorer. He missed some easy shots tonight. I need him to score. I need him to rebound. I need him to defend.”
And he needs to defend without fouling. He’s third on the team in fouls despite being seventh in minutes. Ewing has willingly chosen to keep him off the court in favor of Yurtseven. But Wahab's own abilities have contributed to fewer minutes.
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