After winning the 2021 BIG EAST tournament, the Georgetown Men’s Basketball Team looked to replicate their success in the 2021-22 season. With two key recruits in Aminu Mohammed and Ryan Mutombo, the Hoyas entered the season hoping to shatter expectations and prove their doubters wrong once again.
But the season fell apart. A home opener against Dartmouth turned into a Big Green beatdown, and while a comeback win against Syracuse sparked some hope for Hoya fans, it was not to be. The Hoyas had one of the worst seasons in program history and finished with a 6-25 record overall, a program-worst 0-19 record in conference play, and a first-round exit in the 2022 BIG EAST tournament.
In the offseason, the team lost most of its core starters and began rebuilding with 10 new additions. With nowhere to go but up now, Head Coach Patrick Ewing hopes to restore the program to its former glory.
“We were at a place that I never thought we would be,” Ewing said at BIG EAST media day. “Last year was difficult. It was frustrating. Even though I never won a championship in the NBA, I never lost that much in my life.”
Heading into the 2022-23 season, the conference’s coaches poll predict the Hoyas will finish 10th in the 11-team league. Despite the challenges, Ewing has no intention of giving up, starting with talent recruitment. He has worked closely with new Associate Coach Kevin Nickelberry to find new blood. With the fourth-best transfer class nationally, the Hoya’s new roster has the potential to win conference games.
Even though this season’s team looks promising, there’s no doubt new core players will have big shoes to fill at every position. Last season, Aminu Mohammed, the BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year, chose to turn pro and signed with the 76ers as an undrafted free agent. Mohammed’s departure, in addition to Donald Carey and Timothy Ighoefe, cost the team their two top scorers and all three of their top rebounders. Other major losses include Kaiden Rice and Collin Holloway, who ranked fourth and fifth on the team respectively for average ppg. Georgetown will also be left without Malcolm Wilson, their best shooter, who averaged .643 from the field. After losing four of five starters from last season, the returners and new additions will have to step up in a big way.
Dante Harris is a key returning player who will continue to play a central role. Harris was the 2021 BIG EAST Tournament MVP and improved last season by averaging 11.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, and 1.5 steals. As the only returning starter, Harris will lead the team and hopefully elevate his game to MVP level again.
Two promising freshmen also join the ranks. Armed with a killer 3-point shot, Denver Anglin is a 6’2” combo guard from Montclair, NJ. 247 Sports rated him as a four-star recruit and ranked him as the #87 prospect in the country. If his jumper carries over to the college level, he will have a big role to play off the bench. He will be joined by D’Ante Bass, a 6’6” forward from Savannah, Ga. Bass averaged 13.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg in his senior year at Windsor Forest High School, earning Region 3-AAA Player of the Year in 2022. Both these players will make great additions to the new roster.
It is the transfer class, though, that will be the most exciting part of this season’s team. Akok Akok from UConn and Qudus Wahab, who is returning to Georgetown after a year at Maryland, will be two key big men to watch out for. Akok was limited by injuries last season but showed impressive shot-blocking ability with the Huskies. Although underutilized by the Terrapins, Wahab averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg for Georgetown in the 2020-21 season. These two players will fill the need for a dominant interior presence and bolster the team’s defense.
Sophomore transfers Brandon Murray and Amir “Primo” Spears are two guards coming off of very successful freshmen seasons, and they will hopefully match their previous levels of production. Spears led Duquesne in scoring as a freshman, averaging 12.7 ppg to go with 2.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, and 1.3 steals per game. His long-range shot could use some improvement, but overall, he is a consistent player who might compete with Harris for the starting point guard spot. Murray, a 6’5” guard from LSU named to the 2022 SEC All-Freshman Team, shot 42.6 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from deep. Murray, one of the NCAA’s top transfers, will be a cornerstone of the Hoya’s new team.
With ten additions, the Hoyas will look like a completely different team in the 2022-23 season. The new roster offers depth and versatility, matching up well against any kind of team. The team has the option to run a small-ball lineup with the new group of talented guards on the floor and Akok at center. But Ewing’s lineup also has the potential to play old-fashioned, Georgetown big-man basketball with Wahab at center and Akok at power forward. Overall, Murray is likely to step up and become a star player, Akok and Wahab are both good options for big men, and Spears is a solid addition to the backcourt.
This rebuilt roster has the potential to win more games and outperform their low ranking coming into the season. The Hoyas will play their first out-of-conference game this season against Coppin State on Nov. 8 at the Capital One Arena.