Coming off a pair of disastrous 25-loss seasons, Georgetown and Green Bay enter Saturday’s game at Washington, D.C. with revamped rosters and renewed hopes.
While Georgetown (1-0) mined the transfer portal to bring in eight new players from Division I schools, Green Bay (0-1) plucked the junior-college ranks to chart its new course.
Judging from their disjointed opening games, both teams still are in need of work to get their new combinations on the same page.
On Monday, Green Bay’s lack of cohesion was evident in an 80-53 loss at Indiana State as the Phoenix committed 17 turnovers and had just six assists in the defeat.
On Tuesday, Georgetown got a brilliant performance in the clutch from Duquesne transfer Primo Spears, but the Hoyas still needed to work overtime to put away Coppin State, 99-89.
After Coppin State led by seven points, Spears scored 15 of his 28 points in the final six minutes of regulation. In the extra session, he made three more baskets as the Hoyas overcame 18 turnovers and snapped their 21-game losing streak which carried over from last year.
Each of the starters for the Hoyas — all transfers — scored in double figures. UConn transfer Akok Akok had 18 points with 12 rebounds and five blocks, and LSU transfer Brandon Murray added 18 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals. South Carolina Upstate product Bryson Mozone contributed 20 points and seven rebounds.
While the numbers were impressive, there were long stretches in which the Hoyas were plagued by their unfamiliarity.
“In order for us to be good, the ball has to move,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. “There has to be multiple passes, multiple efforts.”
The bright spot in Green Bay’s defeat was junior-college transfer Davin Zeigler, who recorded 19 points and eight rebounds, both team highs.
Other junior-college imports who received major minutes in the opener were wings Zae Blake, Clarence Cummings III and Randy Tucker.
The transfer of Green Bay’s top three scorers from last season, left the Phoenix with just two experienced hands in Cade Meyer (9.1 points, 4.3 rebounds per game last year) and Nate Jenkins (6.4 points).
“They’re hungry and committed to getting Green Bay basketball back to where I think it can go,” Green Bay coach Will Ryan said. “We’re on the upward trend and they want to be a part of that.”
-Field Level Media