Akok Akok heads to Georgetown men’s basketball from UConn

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WASHINGTON – Akok Akok is transferring to Georgetown from UConn, the latest in a series of additions and subtractions for coach Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas after the worst men’s basketball season in Big East history.

Georgetown announced Akok’s move on Tuesday.

The team went 6-25 last season, including 0-19 in conference play, and ended on a 21-game losing streak.

Ewing, who has led the Hoyas to one season above .500 during his five in the job, received a public show of support from athletic director Lee Reed on March 2.

Akok is a 6-foot-9 forward who was born in Egypt and moved to New Hampshire. He spent the past three years at UConn and averaged 3.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 23 games last season, including seven starts.

Other transfers added to Georgetown’s roster ahead of next season include Brandon Murray from LSU, Jay Heath from Arizona State and Primo Spears from Duquesne.

Six Georgetown players have entered the NCAA transfer portal this spring: Don Carey, Collin Holloway, Kobe Clark, Timothy Ighoefe, Tyler Beard and Jalin Billingsley. Leading scorer Aminu Mohammed will test the NBA draft waters.

Carey, Holloway become latest Georgetown players to transfer

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WASHINGTON – Don Carey and Collin Holloway became the fifth and sixth Georgetown basketball players to enter the NCAA transfer portal this spring.

The school announced the moves Friday. Kobe Clark Timothy Ighoefe, Tyler Beard and Jalin Billingsley already entered the portal, and leading scorer Aminu Mohammed opted to test the NBA draft waters.

Carey previously declared for the NBA draft and is keeping that option open. He has one year left of NCAA eligibility after playing for Mount St. Mary’s and Siena before Georgetown.

The 22-year-old guard appeared in 54 games and started 48 for Hoyas, averaging 10.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game. Holloway averaged 9.2points a game during his Georgetown career.

The Hoyas brought in guard Brandon Murray from the portal after he decided to leave LSU, which fired Will Wade. Kevin Nickelberry, who was named Wade’s interim replacement and coached the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament, joined Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing’s staff.

Ewing is going into his sixth season as coach, with the highlight of his tenure being a surprise run to the Big East Tournament title in 2021. Georgetown went 6-25 overall and 0-19 in the Big East last season.

Georgetown lands ex-LSU guard Brandon Murray out of transfer portal

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Brandon Murray has chosen to transfer to Georgetown, a potential boost for the once-storied program coming off a 6-25 season with no victories in the Big East.

The former LSU guard picked Georgetown over Tennessee and Illinois. The Hoyas announced Murray’s decision, and he tweeted, “DC WHAT UP !!”

“I’m happy to welcome Brandon Murray to the Hilltop,” coach Patrick Ewing said. “He chose Georgetown, and we want to make him feel right at home. I am excited to see what he can do here and he is an important building block in our efforts to return this program back to national prominence.”

Murray was considered one of the top players in the NCAA transfer portal. He could have a role right away at Georgetown after leading scorer Aminu Mohammed decided to test the NBA draft waters.

A Baltimore native, Murray was named to the Southeastern Conference’s all-freshman team. The 6-foot-5 guard started 32 games for LSU last season and averaged 10 points a game.

Several LSU players entered the transfer portal in the aftermath of the firing of coach Will Wade amid what the school called “serious” allegations of NCAA violations. Assistant Kevin Nickelberry took over as the interim replacement and coached the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament.

Nickelberry joined Georgetown as an assistant and recruiting coordinator on Ewing’s staff in late March. Ewing at the time expressed confidence Nickelberry would be able to bring in top-level talent, and attracting Murray to join him from LSU is the first evidence of that.

Ewing is going into his sixth season at Georgetown, with the highlight of his tenure being a surprise run to the Big East Tournament title in 2021. The Hoyas’ .194 winning percentage this past season, made possible by an 0-19 record in conference play, was the second worst in program history.

All-Big East: Gillespie unanimous, Champagnie honored again

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NEW YORK — Villanova guard Collin Gillespie was the only unanimous pick for the all-Big East team Sunday, and St. John’s forward Julian Champagnie joined him as a repeat selection.

Connecticut guard R.J. Cole and forward Adama Sanogo also were on the first team, along with Marquette forward Justin Lewis and Seton Hall swingman Jared Rhoden.

Gillespie, the co-Big East player of the year last season, is averaging 16.3 points per game to pace the 11th-ranked Wildcats. He leads the conference in 3-point shooting (43.1%) and free-throw percentage (91.5%).

Champagnie is averaging 18.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. He just missed winning the Big East scoring title for the second consecutive year, nipped by Lewis in the final game of the regular season.

Two players from regular-season champion Providence were included on the all-Big East second team: guard Jared Bynum and center Nate Watson. Joining them were DePaul guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, Creighton forward Ryan Hawkins and Villanova guard Justin Moore.

Receiving honorable mention were St. John’s point guard Posh Alexander, Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner, Marquette guard Darryl Morsell and Xavier center Jack Nunge.

The conference’s head coaches vote for the all-conference teams and are not allowed to pick their own players.

The league’s player of the year will come from the all-Big East first team. The winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden before the Big East Tournament opener, when the conference also reveals its coach of the year, freshman of the year and scholar-athlete of the year.

Creighton had three players on the all-freshman team: guard Trey Alexander, forward Arthur Kaluma and point guard Ryan Nembhard, who was chosen Big East rookie of the week six times before a season-ending wrist injury late last month.

Nembhard was a unanimous selection to the all-freshman team, along with Georgetown guard Aminu Mohammed and Marquette guard Kam Jones. UConn guard Jordan Hawkins also made the squad.

No. 21 UConn sends Hoyas to school-record 18th loss in row

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WASHINGTON – R.J. Cole scored 18 points and No. 21 UConn excelled from behind the arc while sending Georgetown to its school-record 18th straight loss, 86-77 Sunday.

Connecticut (21-7, 12-5 Big East) shot 11 of 20 on 3-pointers. Seven different Huskies made at least one 3.

Isaiah Whaley scored 14 points and Tyler Polley and Jordan Hawkins each added 11 as UConn matched its longest winning streak of the season at five. Adama Sanogo, averaging over 15 points per game, finished with six after fouling out in 18 minutes.

Georgetown (6-22, 0-17) remained winless in conference play. Coach Patrick Ewing, who starred for the Hoyas in the 1980s and won a national championship and appeared in three Final Fours as a player, has posted just one winning season in his five at the helm of his alma mater. His career record is 68-81.

Dante Harris scored 23, Aminu Mohammed added 16 and Donald Carey had 13 for the Hoyas.

Cole made his fourth 3 of the game right in front of the Huskies bench to extend UConn’s lead to 66-46 with 11:27 remaining, forcing Ewing to call timeout. The Howard transfer shot 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

UConn led 41-26 at halftime and pushed the lead to 81-59 with 2:53 remaining before Georgetown ended the game with a late run.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies remained in third place – a game ahead of Creighton – with one week left to play before the Big East Tournament begins at Madison Square Garden on March 9. Coach Dan Hurley has the Huskies in great shape to make consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time since 2011-12 under former coach Jim Calhoun.

Georgetown: The Hoyas have clinched their first last-place finish in the Big East since the league began in the 1979-80 season and are now closing in on both a school record for losses and the record for conference losses in a season. Last year’s improbable four-day run to the Hoyas’ record eighth conference tournament title that seemed to go a long way towards cementing Ewing’s job status now seems like a thing of the distant past.

UP NEXT

UConn: Visits Creighton on Wednesday and finishes the regular season at home against DePaul on Saturday.

Georgetown: Travels to Seton Hall on Wednesday and ends the regular season at Xavier on Saturday.

Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing to miss game vs. Butler

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WASHINGTON — Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing will miss the Hoyas’ game against visiting Butler because of what his team said were D.C. Department of Health guidelines.

The news release announcing the former Georgetown and NBA star’s absence did not offer any other details or explanation.

Georgetown said assistant Louis Orr would serve as the team’s acting coach “starting with the Butler game.”

That is supposed to be the second game for Georgetown since it had four in a row postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 59-year-old Ewing was hospitalized in May 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Hoyas’ next scheduled outing against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden, where Ewing played for the New York Knicks after his college career at Georgetown.

As a player, the 7-footer helped Georgetown win the 1984 NCAA championship and reach two other title games. He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft after the Knicks won the NBA’s first lottery. Ewing wound up leading New York to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.

In April 2017, he returned to Georgetown for his first job as a head coach at any level, hiring Orr as one of his assistants. Orr previously was a head coach at Siena, Seton Hall and Bowling Green.

Georgetown is 6-6 overall and 0-1 in the Big East. Butler is 8-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play.