Although recent years would say otherwise, the Georgetown Hoyas boast one of college basketball’s most historically prolific programs. Second year coach Patrick Ewing has much to do with that success, and he’s trying to restore the program he helped build. In the final two years before Ewing’s return to his alma mater, the Hoya’s record failed to break even. Last year, his first at the helm, Ewing guided a roster gutted by transfers back to at least respectable status, finishing 15-15 and almost pulling off multiple big-time upsets in the process. However, Pat Ewing has much bigger goals than being “respectable.”
In his first season, Ewing showed an innate ability to develop talent. Under his tutelage, Marcus Derrickson transformed from an 8.3 ppg scorer into an all Big East talent. He had two of his own recruits, Jahvon Blair and Jamarko Pickett, earn conference All-Freshman nods. Now entering the season with heightened expectations, Ewing will look to continue that trend. Other than Derrickson the Hoyas return every player of note. In addition, they add a couple of high-profile recruits to a roster that is beginning to look ready to compete.
Notably, the Hoyas should be ready for a reintroduction to the national spotlight simply by the addition of internet sensation, Mac McClung. The incoming freshman is a highlight waiting to happen, and he already has the attention of many major news outlets. McClung’s senior year highlight tape is one of the 5 most viewed high school tapes of all time. After leading his high school team to a Virginia state championship, McClung will look to prove he is much more than just a prolific dunker.
Along with McClung, the Hoyas will be welcoming 4 star recruits James Akinjo, Grayson Carter, and Josh LeBlanc to the Hilltop. In particular, Akinjo should be ready to standout as a freshman playing for Ewing. The former Uconn commit is an AAU standout, and was the recipient of the Nike Peach Jam MVP award. In addition to scoring, he averaged 25 ppg his senior year, Akinjo is recognized for his tight handle and vision driving the lane, skills that should make him the favorite to be Georgetown’s lead option at the point.
With an influx of new recruits and a returning nucleus that includes center Jessie Govan, along with Pickett and Blair, Ewing is working with far more talent than he was given in his first run as head coach. While they shouldn’t expect a return to elite status quite yet, this season should be a big step in the right direction for the Hoyas. With confidence in Ewing’s ability to lead this team, a NCAA tournament appearance should be the marker for how successful this year plays out.