Recruiting roundup: Depth plays for GW, Mason


Recruiting roundup: Depth plays for GW, Mason

Quick update on recruiting gains for two of the local Atlantic 10 men's basketball programs followed by a bit of site news:

* George Washington: The Colonials enter the 2015-16 season with high expectations - and a second NCAA Tournament berth in three seasons - thanks in large part to seniors Kevin Larsen, Patricio Garino and Joe McDonald. This also means the trio are done with their GW playing careers next year, which means coach Mike Lonergan is on the recruiting trail seeking replacements, especially for Larsen, the Colonials' top big man. The first member of the 2016 class, power forward/center Collin Smith, provides an option in the post-Larsen world. ranks the 6-foot-9 prospect from Jacksonville as two-star recruit.  Smith would join Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh, Matt Cimino and 2015 freshman Collin Goss inside for the Colonials. Former Seton Hall transfer Jared Sina likely enters the fall of 2016 as GW's top addition after the guard sits out the required one season.

* George Mason: First-year head coach Dave Paulsen officially announced four recruits for the 2015-16 on Tuesday: 6-foot-7 G DeAndre Abram (Carrollton, Texas), 6-foot-10 F Danny Dixon (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.), 5-foot-11 G Otis Livingston II (Linden, N.J.) and 6-foot-2 G Kameron Murrell (Long Beach, Calif.).

The roster underwent several changes during the transition from former coach Paul Hewitt to Paulsen. The new guys represent the positive kind of change.

“We’re really excited about these four individuals who comprise our first recruiting class,” Paulsen said. “It was very important to me that we sign young men of the highest character who had distinguished themselves academically as well as athletically. I couldn’t be happier with this group in that regard and I know that they will be great representatives of Mason both on and off the court.

Murrell, a member of the 2015 Prep School National Championship Runner-Up squad, shot a staggering 66.0 percent from three-point range and averaged 16.0 points per game, 6.3 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game last season. Some view Livingston as a potentially sneaky lead guard addition for the Patriots.

“We also addressed some specific needs for our team with some excellent ball handlers and shooters and an additional ‘big’ who can give us added depth up front,” Paulsen noted. “I am excited to work with Kam, Otis, DeAndre and Danny as we begin in earnest our quest for the A-10 Championships.”

* As for the site, you may have noticed this article is housed under a new "Atlantic 10 Conference" page on Now there will be one central page for any George Washington, George Mason, VCU or any other A-10 coverage. Tell your friends.

MORE ATLANTIC 10: A-10 opponents revealed for GW, Mason

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.


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


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.


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.