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2021-22 Big East Basketball Summer Check-In: Georgetown Hoyas

No, I’m not changing the title from “summer,” this is GU’s fault.

Big East Basketball Tournament - First Round Via Getty

Team: Georgetown Hoyas

2020-21 Record: 13-13, 7-9 in Big East play, but a perfect 4-0 in the Big East tournament

2020-21 Big East Finish: Eighth, two losses behind Xavier and two losses in front of Marquette. Officially though, the Hoyas can still claim the title “Big East Champion” because they won the Big East tournament from that seed.

Final 2020-21 KenPom Ranking: #63, but we should point out that they were #85 when the Big East tournament started.

Postseason? Well, if they won the Big East tournament, then the answer is obviously yes. Georgetown earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as a result, and then lost by 23 as the #12 seed to Colorado in the first round. That game wasn’t even that close, since the Hoyas put up a 13-2 run in the final five minutes.

Key Departures: Georgetown has lost their top four scorers from last year’s team that was 9-12 overall when the Big East tournament started. Those four gentlemen are also this teams top four rebounders, and two of them are amongst the four Hoyas who averaged more than an assist per game last season. There’s four other players who were on last year’s team who are not back as well, but this section is called “Key Departures” and, well, without being mean, they didn’t have major roles last season. I did want to make sure everyone understood that Georgetown lost eight guys from last year’s roster, though.

Let’s just go down the scoring chart, shall we?

Jahvon Blair averaged 15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and a team high 3.6 assists last season. Qudus Wahab went for 12.7 points, a team high 8.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Jamorko Pickett, one of the most fun names to say out loud in recent Big East history, was good for 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last year, and he was a constant three-point threat at 37% from long range. Chudier Bile was a Hoya for just one season, but 10.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game is pretty good stuff for your Big East debut (and finale) season.

Key Returners: Georgetown returns three players who had a role worth mentioning last season, and we have to squint to see one of them. Donald Carey and Dante Harris were one of four GU players to appear in every game, although they only started 20 and 21 games respectively. In fact, Harris probably wasn’t supposed to start at all, but the departure of Jalen Harris just five games into the season thrust Dante into the starting lineup for the rest of the year.

Both Carey and Harris averaged exactly 8.0 points per game to come into this season tied as the team’s leading returning scorer. Harris gets the nod as the more productive of the two, as he beats out Carey in rebounds (3.4 to 3.0) and assists (3.2 to 1.7). Carey was the much better shooter last season, cashing in 45% of his long range attempts, and the less said about Harris’ 26% on three attempts per game, the better.

The only other player that’s back for Georgetown that made anything resembling an impact on last year’s team is Timothy Ighoefe. This is the one that we have to squint at a bit to see it. 2.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game for the seven foot tall Nigerian is not all that much.... but he did play in all but two of Georgetown’s games. With that said, the first three games of the year are boosting that minutes per game average, as he went for 15, 11, and 17 minutes each against UMBC, Navy, and West Virginia respectively.

And that is it for notable returning players. There are five other guys on the roster who were on the team last year, but only three of them played at all and none of those guys even cleared 50 minutes total.

Key Additions: Well, here’s some good news for the Hoyas after two straight sections of bad news about the upcoming season. Georgetown has the #16 recruiting class in the country according to 247 Sports. It’s only the third best recruiting class in the Big East, but that’s not Georgetown’s fault. #16 nationally is great!

Here’s the catch.

They have only one top 100 prospect.

If you’re going to only have one top 100 prospect in your five man recruiting class, I highly recommend you do what Georgetown has done and make that one be a top 25 guy. That’s Aminu Mohammed, a 6’5” guard out of Missouri. He’s #23 in the country per 247 Sports and #3 amongst shooting guards. He is the single highest ranked prospect coming into the Big East this season.

Three of Georgetown’s other four incoming freshmen are all top 150 guys, and given the absolute dearth of anything else resembling returning production on this roster, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll all see notable time for the Hoyas. Ryan Mutombo — yes, he’s the son of Hoya legend Dikembo Mutombo — is a 7’2”, 250 pound center out of Atlanta who comes in at #116 in the country. Jordan Riley (6’4”, 195 lbs.) is ranked #129 and is a guard out of New York. Tyler Beard (#145 in the country) comes to D.C. out of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, but the 6’2” guard is from Chicago.

Heck, I’ll mention Jalin Billingsley (6’7”, 195 pounds) here even though 247 Sports says he’s ranked #220 in the country. Maybe Georgetown needs his size at some point this season, and thus he plays regular minutes.

The Hoyas also add a grad transfer from The Citadel. Kaiden Rice (6’7”, 215 pounds) went from part-time guy to regular sub to regular starter in his four years there. As a starter over the past two seasons, Rice averaged 14.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 35% from behind the arc. Quite honestly, the biggest thing he will need to replicate from last year is his turnover rate. Rice ranked #55 in the country in that department last season, and with this many inexperienced players on the floor, the Hoyas need someone who is a steadying influence at the very least.

Coach: Patrick Ewing, in his fifth season at Georgetown and overall. He has a record of 62-59 overall and 26-44 in Big East regular season games.

Outlook: Let’s take a moment before we start to talk about why you’re getting this “Summer” Check-In on the Hoyas on October 17th. I opened this doc on the editing side of AE on July 10th. Due to the weirdness of roster turnover this season because of 1) COVID bonus years and 2) the removal of the transfer redshirt year, I did not want to write any of these check-ins for any team in the Big East without consulting the team’s official 2021-22 roster page on their website. Nine of the 11 Big East teams had their roster pages updated in July, and their check-ins were published in early August in rapid succession. The hold outs? Villanova and Georgetown. Nova finally published their roster and got their check-in up in early September.

On Monday, October 11th, I checked to see if Georgetown had their men’s basketball roster up. They did not.

On Friday, October 15th, Georgetown announced that Tre King, a transfer from Eastern Kentucky, was not enrolled nor was he a part of the men’s basketball program. I checked their roster page. At some point between Monday and that point on Friday, the Hoyas published a 2021-22 roster.

And so here we are. This is delayed because I insisted on Georgetown telling me who exactly is on their roster this year, and it took until some point after October 11th for that to happen.

Is this a metaphor for what the Hoyas are going to look like this season? Maybe!

They’re going to be bad.

T-Rank projects them as the worst team in the Big East, and the only team in the conference outside the top 100 in the country.

They were bad last year. They started the season at #87 in KenPom, quickly fell past the 100 barrier, and only barely recovered to right about their starting point when the regular season ended because they went 6-4 in their final 10 regular season games. Georgetown still ended up eighth in the Big East in offensive efficiency and they were the second worst defense in the conference in the regular season.

The Hoyas could not shoot, especially inside the arc where they ranked #295 in the country. They turned the ball over way too much and did not make up for that at all on the defensive end.

The two point shooting has gotten worse every season under Patrick Ewing’s guidance. Turnovers have been a persistent problem, and they’ve never forced them much at all on defense.

And now, he’s going to trot out a lineup of... what, at least one freshman on the floor at all times because he absolutely has to, and probably at least two? That’s a real recipe for disaster, and if Ewing was expecting Tre King to paper over some of the holes that the team had because they’re so freshman-heavy, well, that’s out the door. That T-Rank projection I mentioned a minute ago? That was with King. Use the RosterCast feature and pull him out? Georgetown suddenly projects as the #125 team in the country. That’s “middle of the pack Conference USA team” type territory.

Georgetown’s best case scenario? The freshmen are all perfectly capable Big East players right out of the gate and Aminu Mohammed is an All-Big East caliber player from Minute #1. Worst case? Georgetown fans start talking themselves into firing the best player in program history.