Georgetown’s improvement showing in upset win over No. 5 Louisville

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Aaron Bowen entered Saturday’s game with No. 5 Louisville having played a grand total of 158 minutes in his career as a Georgetown Hoya.

It’s Bowen’s third-year in the program. He’s not exactly the first guy on an opponent’s scouting report. The only reason he’s getting consistent playing time right now is that John Thompson III had to open up his bench when Greg Whittington was suspended earlier this month. But it was Bowen that was the difference on Saturday, as he scored the game-winning bucket as the Hoyas knocked off the Cardinals 53-51.

There were just under four minutes left in the game. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera drove and missed a shot. And Bowen came swooping in out of nowhere, somehow managing to tip-in the miss over his head and off the glass.

I’ve never seen anything like that,” Markel Starks said. “When the shot went up, he just came outta nowhere. It was unbelievable.”

“That was not a normal play,” Thompson said.

Bowen called his shot as well, telling Thompson “I’m gonna get one, coach” as he was subbed in for Nate Lubick at the previous dead-ball.

But there was more to it than simply being the final basket in a game that saw all of two points scored after the final TV timeout. Bowen’s tip-in allowed the Hoyas to make a statement, to serve notice that this is not the same team that lost to Pitt by 28 points in the very same building just 18 days ago.

Louisville has their issues, and we’ll get to that in another post, but regardless of how you slice it, the Cardinals are one of the best teams in the country. They are going to have one of the strongest resumes in the country when the season is all said and done. This is the kind of resume-defining win that Georgetown will need come Selection Sunday. The Hoyas are a long way from the bubble, but with last Saturday’s loss at South Florida, it’s quite obvious that the Hoyas aren’t going to make it through the rest of the Big East schedule unscathed.

Having this win to fall back on certainly could end up being the difference between a four-seed and a six-seed, and that could end up being the difference between a first-round upset and a trip to the Sweet 16.

Yes, that’s a bit of hyperbole. And no, there’s no way that any prediction made today will make sense come March, let alone next weekend.

But don’t let this get lost in the discussion of Louisville flaws. Georgetown once again looks like the team that took Indiana to overtime back in November.

The Hoyas now have back-to-back wins over ranked teams less than three weeks after the country was ready to disregard them.

“We’re geting better. We’re progressing,” Thompson said.

I’d say so.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.