Je’lon Hornbeak

King Rice
Associated Press

VIDEO: Monmouth ‘Bench Mob’ at it again in win over Georgetown

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While the antics of the Monmouth Bench Mob have certainly been entertaining to this point in the season, it’s important to realize that the players these reserves are celebrating are pretty doggone good. King Rice’s team added another win over a power conference opponent to its résumé as they won 83-68 at Georgetown Tuesday night.

The Hawks, who have also beaten UCLA, Notre Dame and USC, outplayed the Hoyas from the start as they picked up their first-ever win over a Big East opponent (1-30). Je’lon Hornbeak lead a balanced effort with 18 points as Monmouth shot 10-for-20 from three and 31-for-37 from the foul line. Monmouth didn’t shoot an impressive percentage from the field overall (42.9 percent), but their ability to attack Georgetown off the dribble resulted in numerous opportunities from three by way of using the dribble drive to kick the ball out to open shooters.

With options such as Hornbeak, Justin Robinson, Micah Seaborn and Deon Jones, the Hawks have multiple players capable of hurting teams off the bounce, and that’s what happened to Georgetown. The Hoyas began the game with subpar energy, which is a bit surprising given Monmouth’s credentials to this point in the season, and the visitors too advantage. By the time Georgetown was fully engaged in the game it was too late, with Monmouth doing a solid job on the defensive end.

Georgetown shot just 32.8 percent from the field and 7-for-30 from three, and outside of freshman Jessie Govan (14 points, four rebounds) they didn’t get much offensively from their big men. Monmouth has players in the post, but that was one aspect of the matchup where the Hoyas should have been able to grab the advantage. Instead they struggled, with Bradley Hayes scoring just one point and Marcus Derrickson three.

King Rice’s veteran team plays without fear and doesn’t back down from anyone, which is a big reason why they’re off to a 7-3 start and have one of the better résumés in college basketball to this point in the season. Nothing wrong with taking joy in the exploits of the players at the end of the bench, but it’s important to understand that Monmouth is for real.

Could the Hawks be an at-large candidate come March? That remains to be seen as there’s a lot of basketball to be played, but there’s no overlooking what they’ve been able to accomplish to this point.

Je’lon Hornbeak transfers from Oklahoma after two seasons

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Oklahoma sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak will complete the second half of his collegiate career elsewhere, head coach Lon Kruger announced on Tuesday evening.

“I met with Coach Kruger and he was understanding of my desire for a fresh start,” Hornbeak said in a statement. “I appreciate (assistant) Coach [Lew] Hill recruiting me, and all my teammates. That bond is strong. All the coaches are trying to help me get to wherever I want to go. I’m thankful for that. Everyone has been good to me.”

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 5.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 18.7 minutes per game during the 2013-2014 season.

Hornbeak was a four-star commit in the Class of 2012 according to Rivals and committed to the Sooners over offers from Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisville, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Texas and West Virginia.

He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining once he sits out the 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Oklahoma was 23-10 (12-6 Big 12) this past season, finishing second in the conference standings before being bounced early from the NCAA tournament by No. 12 seed North Dakota State. The Sooners will return four starters, including leading scorer Buddy Hield and top rebounder Ryan Spangler.

Oklahoma guard Je’lon Hornbeak to miss 4-6 weeks with foot injury

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Oklahoma sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak will miss up to a month and a half with after a breaking a bone in his foot , the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 Hornbeak suffered the injury during practice on Tuesday morning, and although the recovery does not require surgery, it will take up four to six weeks for him to be back in the lineup with the 8-1 Sooners. Hornbeak was averaging 5.7 points, 2.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

“We’re very disappointed for Je’lon,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said in a statement. “He battled another injury to his foot in the preseason, and now this one. This will impact our team significantly while he is out.”

In late August, Hornbeak underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of the right foot. The broken bone suffered on Tuesday happened in his left foot.

Oklahoma hosts Tulsa on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.