Big East Basketball: Preseason power rankings for 2020-21 season
Guards – Jahvon Blair-SR and Jalen Harris-SR*
Forwards – Jamorko Pickett-SR, Chudier Bile-SR* and Qudus Wahab-SO
Bench – Jamari Sibley-FR, Timothy Ighoefe-SO, Malcolm Wilson-FR, Kobe Clark-FR, Dante Harris-FR, TJ Berger-FR, Tyler Beard-FR
Talk about a program that has been through a lot lately. In a very short period of time last season, Patrick Ewing’s most heralded recruiting class of Josh LeBlanc, James Akinjo, and Mac McLung, turned into, for lack of a better word, a failure, as all three transferred within months of one another in only their second season as Hoyas.
Leblanc and Akinjo left mid-season and McLung was injured for much of Big East play, so the good news is that many of the guys Ewing have back not only had a lot of experience on the court together but also showcased some talent that had them on the bubble as late as early February.
Adding to the returning talent in the backcourt is Jalen Harris, the grad transfer from Arkansas. Harris, who finished fourth in the SEC in assists/game in 2018-19 underachieved last season in Eric Mussleman’s system, and what better place to land than as the starting point guard at Georgetown, a place that desperately needs his services as they played last year without a true starting point guard.
He will initiate the offense alongside Jahvon Blair (10.8 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 2.0 Ast) and once 4-star recruit Jamorko Pickett (10.2 Pts, 6.3 Reb, 1.1 Ast), creating what is going to be a sneaky good Big East backcourt.
If Georgetown is going to be able to compete in the Big East, they are going to need to see fast progress in the post. Who better to help in that development than Patrick Ewing? He has three 7-footers in Qudus Wahab (5.5 Pts, 4.3 Reb, 0.3 Ast), Timothy Ighoefe, and Malcolm Wilson in his arsenal, and they all need to get better on the offensive end of the floor.
Wahab led the team in blocked shot percentage (7.1%) which probably inks him as the starting center, but these guys aren’t far apart from each other talent-wise and slight offseason improvement offensively could change the conversation amongst the centers. Assuming Chudier Bile (14.3 pts, 7.6 reb, 1.5 blk) receives his waiver for immediate eligibility after transferring from Northwestern St., he will join whoever emerges as the best center in the frontcourt.
If Bile doesn’t turn out to be the answer, freshman Jamari Sibley will see a lot of minutes play both small forward and power forward. Sibley, the 18th best PF in the 2020 class is a versatile playmaker who can go inside or outside and has the ability to play 20 minutes a game immediately if Ewing needs him to. There are high hopes for the first-year player out of Oak Hill Academy.
Ewing has his work cut out for him, but he’s actually put together a solid roster despite the apparent dysfunction in DC. If the local product and former top-100 recruit, Pickett, can become what was expected of him when he arrived on campus in 2017, Georgetown has a chance to be a dark horse in the Big East.