A new season represents fresh opportunities in men’s college basketball, a sport marked by significant season-to-season volatility.
The Georgetown men’s basketball team (Big East) will take the first step of its 2018-19 campaign Tuesday night against the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (MEAC) Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The two teams last played on Nov. 18, 2017, as the Hoyas prevailed 83-57 at home.
The Blue and Gray are led by senior center Jessie Govan, who made the decision to spurn the NBA Draft after averaging 17.9 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game last season. Govan, who was named to the preseason All-Big East first team, as well as the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list, spoke about turning his individual distinctions into motivation for team goals.
“It’s good motivation, just something to look forward to, something to look towards, but I’m focused on trying to make the tournament this year,” Govan said.
Other key contributors include senior guard Kaleb Johnson, a defensive specialist and secondary ball-handler, and sophomore guard Jamorko Pickett, who averaged 9.6 points per game and came on toward the end of last season.
During preseason interviews, second-year head coach Patrick Ewing said that some of the issues that plagued the Hoyas last year, in particular taking care of the ball, continue to be a point of emphasis in practice.
“It’s gonna be growing pains,” Ewing said. “We’re young, especially at the guard position. All you can do is harp on it, talk about it, show film on it, show them the mistakes.”
For all difficulties with turnovers, however, the Hoyas will likely not face much defensive pressure from the Hawks, who ranked 306th out of 351 Division I teams in forcing turnovers. Additionally, the Hawks surrendered an effective field goal percentage of nearly 55 percent, which ranked 316th, and allowed opponents to rebound over 34 percent of their misses, which ranked 342nd. For a team that returns a strong rebounder in Govan, look for the Hoyas to attack the Hawks on the glass.
The Hawks are led by junior forward Tyler Jones, who averaged 12.1 points per game and five rebounds per game. The Hawks are also buoyed by Jones’ frontcourt counterpart, sophomore forward Miryne Thomas, who averaged 11.1 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game in 2017-18.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on the Fox Sports Networks. Follow @GUVoiceSports for updates, breaking news, and more coverage of Georgetown sports.