Plus some recruiting news, as Ewing and staff are traveling a bit
Mark your calendars, the countdown to a fan-favorite event is on—well, tentatively. BIG EAST Media Day will be (if safe) an in-person press event at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, October 19th.
— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) September 16, 2021
Even if BIG EAST Media Day moves to just Zoom meetings, the conference coaches are expected to release their picks for preseason awards, standings, and all-conference team lineups on that date. Expect the Hoyas to be underestimated, yet again.
— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) September 15, 2021
Here are the links:
“Freshmen Fundamentals and Transition Game are marquee personal development events that we take great pride in hosting every fall,” said Val Ackerman, BIG EAST Commissioner. “While COVID-19 has once again kept us from conducting in-person workshops this year, we are confident that our virtual format and content will be engaging for our basketball student-athletes and of value as they look to maximize their opportunities on and off the court. We’re especially grateful to our guest speakers, especially our notable BIG EAST alums, for taking time to share their expertise and experiences” …
Following an opening address from Ackerman, participants of the seventh annual Freshmen Fundamentals and sixth annual Transition Game will both hear from mental health expert, renowned researcher, consultant and author Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble; and financial wellness professionals Dr. Delvena Thomas and Otis Ellis. Both programs will hear from former player panels, featuring notable alumni of BIG EAST schools, including St. John’s Tarik Turner and Zendon Hamilton, Georgetown’s Jagan Mosely and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges for men’s basketball, and Georgetown’s Monica McNutt and Dorothy Adomako, St. John’s Jasmine Sina, UConn’s Morgan Tuck and Villanova’s Briana Weiss for women’s basketball.
— Jack Gilles (@jgtrends) September 16, 2021
So … here’s a breakdown on who could potentially fill the (likely) two remaining spots on the 2021-22 roster.
Prince Aligbe, SF, 6-foot-6, Minnehaha Academy … It’s hard to know how much of a possibility this is, but Aligbe is probably my favorite option. The 6-foot-6 forward is a terror on the defensive end, and his shot should develop to being very legitimate. With Chet Holmgren off to Gonzaga, he should get a lot of opportunities to shine this year, and he should show that he’s being severely underrated right now with a national ranking of No. 110…
Ryan Dunn, SF, 6-foot-6, Perkiomen School … Dunn has a few Crystal Balls for Virginia, and he doesn’t appear to have a visit to the Hilltop set in his sights. But maybe the “turntables turn” with some more prioritization from Ewing and Co. Not likely, but we’ll see.
I will be announcing my college selection on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the @eleve11Hoops NY Top 100 being held at Long Island Lutheran HS.
— Ryan Dunn (@Almighty_ry3) September 16, 2021
Patrick Ewing has his point guard. Beyond his averages of 11.8 points and 3.3 assists per game during the Hoyas’ improbable run as an 8-seed to the program’s eighth BIG EAST Tournament crown, the moxie and composure Harris plays with is what his head coach loves. The 6-foot-0 D.C. kid really embodies what the program is about and showed last season that even though he was a freshman on a team of upperclassmen, Ewing could not take him off the floor. Harris played a combined 141 minutes in the BIG EAST Tournament four-game run. He shot just over 34 percent last season, a mark that should rise with a year under his belt and the confidence he has in his game.
The task at hand for the Hoyas’ floor general is whether or not he can get a young core around him to coexist cohesively. Georgetown’s freshman class ranks 16th in the country by 247 Sports and is highlighted by five-star wing Aminu Mohammed and four-star center Ryan Mutombo. Roster continuity has been something Georgetown has been looking for, but Harris could be the first brick to change that landscape. There’s now recent proof that winning can be done on The Hilltop. The impact of the run last March cannot be overstated, and Harris was the biggest reason for it.
Class of 2022 Winston-Salem (NC) Prep center Christ Essandoko has named Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Maryland, Providence, Illinois and NC State as his top seven schools, per his Instagram. pic.twitter.com/CTYl3NI2lo
— Jacob Polacheck (@JacobPolacheck) September 15, 2021
“Most of the coaches just love my versatility and the fact that I can impact the game in so many ways,” Gardner said. “I’m looking at setting up a few visits soon, but I don’t have dates right now. Right now, I’m just getting to know the coaches.”
For now, Gardner is settling in at Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) after transferring from Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.) for his junior season.
“I just felt like it was the best move for my development,” Gardner said. “I feel like this move is gonna help me grow my game…
Warrior. That is the one-word description often applied to Patrick Ewing. He was indefatigable and relentless in pursuit of an NBA championship despite being denied on an annual basis. Bold predictions did not always materialize and some took them as empty promises, while others as a will to succeed. One of the finest shooting centers to play, he left the game as the New York Knicks’ all-time leader in nearly every significant category and the game’s 13th all-time scorer with 24,815 points. He arrived in New York after a ballyhooed college career with the Georgetown Hoyas that included one NCAA title and appearances in two other championship games. The team’s fierce in-your-face style of basketball created a phenomenon known as “Hoya Paranoia” and as the key intimidating defensive presence, Ewing was tagged the “Hoya Destroya.” A media star since his schoolboy days, his anticipated arrival to the NBA was unprecedented.
— Ridge View Hoops (@RidgeViewHoops) September 14, 2021
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Thompson, son of legendary Georgetown University coach John Thompson Jr., explained the investment in ACL, adding the league is positioned to increase revenue over this decade due to its growing popularity.
“You kind of chuckle when you think about it,” Thompson said of investing in cornhole. “But as you dive in and do the research, cornhole is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.”
ACL launched in 2016 in South Carolina. The company has successfully leveraged the popular game — which requires participants to toss bags of corn kernels onto a platform for points — into a TV sport similar to bowling.
ACL has media agreements with NBCUniversal and Disney-owned ESPN and signed a multiyear deal with ViacomCBS in December.
— ℯ ℯ (@Andrew__Slater) September 16, 2021
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopHoops_) September 15, 2021
Obviously, the scheduling issue seems dire. There is one potential solution that requires acknowledgment. Some fans and commentators (what’s up Bobby Bancroft) have thrown around the idea of heavier DMV scheduling, and there is good reason to hear this concept out. They argue that Georgetown would do well in scheduling local schools such as Maryland, George Washington, George Mason, American, and Howard.
Ewing has in fact scheduled Howard and American in recent years, but the stronger programs—Maryland, George Washington, and George Mason—have been avoided like the plague. The most recent Georgetown-Maryland home-and-home expired in 2017, Georgetown has not played George Washington since 1981, and there has only been one Georgetown/George Mason contest ever!
Fairly, fans note that these middle-tier local games could threaten local recruiting if the Hoyas were to get upset and thus lose their status as the best college basketball program in the DMV (or at least within District limits). Yet, Philadelphia does perfectly well with their “Big 5” annual scheduling alliance between Villanova/Penn/La Salle/Temple/St. Joseph’s. You don’t hear Villanova complaining about those series each year. Can the same not be replicated in the DMV?
Sources: The NCAA has approved that starting on 9/20, two non-coaching staff members in men’s and women’s basketball can engage in on-court practice activity during the 21-22 season.
No more than four coaches and non-coaching staff members combined, may give instruction.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 16, 2021
San Diego State and UT Arlington, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, have never played. Last season the Mavericks were 13-13 and as the No. 3 seed in its conference tournament lost its opening round game.
On Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26, the Aztecs compete in the Paycom Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif. The event opens with a meeting against Georgetown at 8:30 p.m. PT on Thursday and the game broadcast on ESPN2. In its only previous meeting, at Georgetown in the 1981-82 season, the Hoyas came away with a 71-53 victory, and current Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing was a freshman on that squad. Depending on the outcome of the Georgetown game, the Aztecs will play either Southern California or Saint Joseph’s on Friday. The Trojans have defeated the Aztecs in ten of the 13 matchups, but in the last two meetings, in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, San Diego State was the victor. The Aztecs have never faced Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks went 5-15 last year, including 2-9 in Atlantic 10 Conference action and reached the second round of its conference tournament
2021 Fall Coaches Corner
Get the inside info on fall and winter championship sports from those who know it best!
Register Here – https://t.co/2BiKiayzYg
This is for family, friends and supporters of GU Athletics and is not a recruiting event. pic.twitter.com/FM3BI3nolR
— Georgetown Hoyas (@GeorgetownHoyas) September 16, 2021