The Ed Cooley era is underway in Washington D.C., but will he be enough to turn around the dumpster fire that is the Georgetown Hoyas?
Patrick Ewing is out at Georgetown and Ed Cooley is in as the new head coach. Cooley comes over from Providence, which sparked some conversation, as he stayed in the Big East, moving to a bit of a rival, in the Hoyas. However, no one can doubt Cooley’s passion for the game, arguably passing up a better job in the steady Friars, for the crumbling Hoyas.
Cooley will try and work his magic in a new place and dipped his foot into the transfer portal, which might wind up making up over half of this year’s starting lineup. Former Illinois star Jayden Epps and Fairfield big man Supreme Cook are the most important additions, and should both play valuable roles on this Georgetown Hoyas team.
Aside from the transfers, Jay Heath returns for his fifth season in college basketball, and will likely be the starting point guard. It’s a bit of an unfamiliar role, but Heath is a veteran guard and should have no issues moving over from the two-spot.
The frontcourt just got thinner, with Akok Akok entering the transfer portal on Thursday, but 6-9 freshman Drew Fielder has the potential to earn some minutes, based on the impressions he’s given off this summer.
— West Coast Elite (@wceua) July 27, 2023
When it comes down to it, the Georgetown Hoyas are a work in progress, but with Ed Cooley in charge, nothing should be out of the realm of possibilities, even after a seven win season.
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Head coach: Ed Cooley (18th season, 1st at Georgetown)
2022-23 record: 7-25 (2-18)
2023 postseason finish: Missed postseason
Notable departures: Primo Spears (Transferred to Florida State), Brandon Murray (Transferred to Ole Miss), Qudus Wahab (Transferred to Penn State), Akok Akok (Transfer Portal), Bryson Mozone (Graduated/Professional), Jordan Riley (Transferred to Temple)
Notable non-conference games: at Rutgers (Nov. 15), vs. TCU (Dec. 2), vs. Syracuse (Dec. 9), at Notre Dame (Dec. 16)
PG: Jay Heath (6-3, 175, Gr.-Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 12.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 37.3 3P%
SG: Jayden Epps (6-2, 190, So.)
2022-23 stats: 9.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.5 APG (Illinois)
SF: Dontrez Styles (6-6, 210, Jr.)
2022-23 stats: 1.4 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 15 games played (North Carolina)
PF: Ismael Massoud (6-8, 200, Gr.-Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 5.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 41.8 3P% (Kansas State)
C: Supreme Cook (6-9, 200, Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 13.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 54.4 FG% (Fairfield)
6: Drew Fielder (6-9, 215, Fr.)
247Sports Composite No. 129 rated recruit
7: Rowan Brumbaugh (6-4, 190, Rs.-Fr.)
2022 247Sports Composite No. 132 rated recruit (Texas)
8: Wayne Bristol Jr. (6-6, 185, Rs.-Sr.)
2022-23 stats: 3.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 APG
9: Ryan Mutombo (7-2, 252, Jr.)
2022-23 stats: 2.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.0 APG, 11 games played
10: Drew McKenna (6-7, 200, Fr.)
247Sports Composite No. 157 rated recruit
Georgetown Hoyas MVP: Jay Heath
Heath was only the third-leading scorer for the Georgetown Hoyas last year, but with Primo Spears and Brandon Murray both transferring out, it leaves Heath as the top returner. As a sophomore at Boston College, Heath led the Eagles with 14.5 PPG, so being the number one option is a role he’s used to.
A role Heath will have to take on is the point guard. Former 4-star Rowan Brumbaugh could be in the mix but redshirted at Texas last year. That leaves Heath as the only option that makes sense, while keeping Jayden Epps as the off-guard.
As a graduate senior, taking on the starting PG role should be no issue for Heath. He’s seen it all, playing in 100 career games and with one year in the Big East under his belt. For a team looking to get out of the Big East gutter, Heath is a great player to have.
Georgetown Hoyas make-or-break player: Supreme Cook
For Georgetown to be competitive, they will need a presence inside. This is especially true after Akok Akok entered the portal, leaving the Hoyas with few options at center.
Fairfield transfer Supreme Cook fits more as a physical power forward but may need to be the starting center after all. Whether or not Ryan Mutombo slides in as the starting five is irrelevant – Cook needs to play strong in the Big East.
In the MAAC, he had no issues. Cook was a dominant force down low with the Stags. How that translates to the most physical conference in America will be the key. While scoring will also be important, it’s really about how Cook commands the paint. If he can be supreme in the Big East, it will make life for Georgetown a whole heck of a lot easier.
Key analytic: 3P%
I wrote about this in a Big East article the other day, but I’ll say it again. The Georgetown Hoyas need to improve their three-point shooting.
Last season, the Hoyas barely made 3 out of every 10 threes, shooting it at 30.9% from outside. Heath was their best shooter, and he is back, which is a major bonus. Bryson Mozone, Brandon Murray, and Primo Spears all left, which leaves Wayne Bristol (31.1%) as the only other returning player who hit over 30% from deep last season.
Coming in for Georgetown are Ismael Massoud (41.8%), Dontrez Styles (33.3%), and Jayden Epps (30.1%). All three will be pivotal in helping the Hoyas become more efficient from behind the line. Massoud in particular, can be the spot-up guy the Hoyas need. He was lethal for K State, and took it to the next level in the NCAA Tournament, going 6-for-11 from outside, including a big 4-for-6 against Michigan State.
With a thinner frontcourt than initially expected, three-point shooting will be an even bigger factor for GTown.
Georgetown Hoyas 2023-24 projections
Projected conference finish: 9th in Big East
Projected postseason ceiling: NIT Tournament appearance