After a week off because of finals week on the Syracuse University campus, the basketball team is back in action on Saturday for one of the most contentious rivalries in college basketball. The Orange travels down to the nation’s capital for its 93rd all-time meeting with Georgetown. Georgetown comes into the game with an 8-0 record and has a brand new coach in the form of former Hoya and Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. Ewing has said on multiple occasions that he wants to bring back some of the rough and tumble flavor that the Georgetown program had when he was playing there and the way his players have competed so far this season have reflected that change in direction. With that let’s meet three of them as we gear up for Georgetown with this week’s three players to watch.
Well, if Ewing wants to get back to the more physical style of the old Big East, then he may have found his man in Jessie Govan. The junior stands at 6-foot-10, 270 pounds which is remarkably similar to the size that Ewing played at during his playing days (minus two inches and plus 20 pounds or so). The similarities between Ewing and Govan don’t just stop at the size. He’s a bully in the paint which has led him to some incredibly impressive numbers through the Hoyas’ first eight games. The Queens native is averaging an astounding 20 points and 13 rebounds a contest thus far. A lot of that comes down to his frame, but he’s also a great athlete for his size. He uses that athleticism to go up and get boards even when he doesn’t have the best positioning. Ewing was the same way in terms of athletic ability. What Ewing couldn’t do, however, was shoot from the perimeter. Govan can. The big man is shooting over 58% from beyond the three-point line this season and a lot of those come in transition. Imagine being an opposing defense and just assuming that this monster of a man is going to get into the paint and post up and then all of a sudden, he effortlessly drains a 20-footer. That’s a scary thought and that’s what Govan can do, meaning that he is THE player to watch for Georgetown on Saturday.
Once you get past the shooting stroke and frame of Govan, there are still a lot of other players to like from this Georgetown team and Marcus Derrickson is one of them. A 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward, Derrickson is the second-leading scorer for the Hoyas at a 13.5 point per game clip. While he’s not as physical nor as skilled as Govan, Derrickson still brings a lot to the table. His midrange jumper is probably the best part of his game and his athleticism allows him to create his own shot when he needs to. Outside of the midrange game, he can also knock down the three ball when he needs to, shooting 39% from beyond the arc. Despite giving up a few inches to some of the guys he’s guarding, he’s also a pretty good shot blocker because of his length and athleticism. He also uses that combo to his advantage as a rebounder, grabbing seven boards a game (keep in mind Govan eats on the glass so the fact that Derrickson can still grab that many rebounds is impressive). He’s not going to wow you like Govan will on Saturday, but Derrickson is certainly someone to watch down in D.C.
The last player to watch for Georgetown on Saturday is the guy that’s probably going to be bringing the ball up the floor more than anyone else. A 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, Jonathan Mulmore should be manning the point guard position for the Hoyas on Saturday. A transfer from Allegany College in Maryland, Mulmore’s best asset is his passing ability. He leads the team in assists this season and has great court vision and high basketball IQ. That kind of IQ gives him the ability to make split-second decisions to either pass to an open teammate or create an opportunity for himself off the dribble. Like Govan, he’s also a lethal three-point shooter, drilling over 54% of his shots from behind the three-point line. On the defensive end, the combination of his size and a decent amount of athleticism make him an exceptional individual defender on the perimeter. He leads the Hoyas in steals and also forces his assignments into bad shots. A pass-first guard that can also score the ball when needed, Mulmore should make a difference on both ends of the floor on Saturday.