NCAA

For Virginia, this season will be bowl or bust

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For Virginia, this season will be bowl or bust

College football is a competitive business. When teams do not live up to certain expectations, no matter how lofty, questions begin to arise surrounding the coach. With only seven wins in the past two seasons, the pressure is on for Virginia to show the program is on the right track.

That pressure falls on the players who know they are not only playing for their school, but for head coach Mike London as well.

“This is a bottom-line business. Either you’re winning or losing,” said senior wide receiver Canaan Severin Monday during the ACC Kickoff. “If someone is losing, they’re on the hot seat. That’s just the way it is.”

But that may not be a bad thing.

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The relationship the Cavaliers have with their coach has actually served as motivation to work harder this offseason.

“[London] really tries to take care of us, he always looks out for us,” said senior defensive tackle David Dean. “It’s more than football with him. ...That kind of pushes us to go that much harder out there for him, really play for him and kind of keep him from being fired from his job.”

Love for the coach alone, however, will not be enough. The Cavaliers will have to get results on the field.

Virginia has only one bowl appearance in the past seven seasons, but this is a team that feels like it is going in the right direction.

“Two years ago we won two games,” Severin said. “We knew we had to step it up last summer. There was a lot on the line. That’s what we did. We got five games out of it last year.”

Reaching a bowl this year will show the continued improvement of a team that went from two wins in 2013 to five in 2014. Breaking a three-season bowl drought will be difficult, but seems within reach for a team that came just one win short last year.

“We really came closer together last season,” Dean said. “That’s something we built on and is something we’re going to continue to keep building on.”

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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.