Happy Aminu Mohammed Decision Day!
#AminuWatch is set to come to an end tonight at 6 PM EST, as the five-star recruit will announce his college decision at Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield, Missouri.
Hoya Saxa, and good morning! Welcome to our second edition of the Hilltop Hoops newsletter. After a tough 94-83 loss to St. John’s on the road last night, the Hoyas now have two days off before heading to New Jersey to take on the Seton Hall Pirates on Wednesday night. But before then, Georgetown will learn if they will be welcoming Aminu Mohammed to the Hilltop next year, as the five-star recruit is set to announce his decision tonight at 6 PM. We discuss that below, talk some Hoyas vs. Johnnies, and also give a brief recap on what else has happened in the Big East this week.
After a long recruitment process, Aminu Mohammed will finally make his decision on where he will be attending school next year, tonight at 6 PM EST. The five-star recruit has been the primary target for Georgetown in the Class of 2021 for well over a year now, and a commitment tonight would mark a significant step forward for Patrick Ewing as he rebuilds this program.
The top contenders for Mohammed for a while now have been Georgetown, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas State, and DePaul. Of that group, the three that have received the most attention have been Georgetown, Indiana, and Georgia. At this stage, Indiana is out of the race, and it’s now a battle of the bulldogs, between the Hoyas and the Bulldogs of Georgia.
While Georgia received a handful of FutureCast predictions from several less reputable Rivals reporters the past couple of weeks, there has been a shift in momentum in Georgetown’s direction late this week.
The Hoyas’ coaching staff continues to feel confident about where they stand with Mohammed, and there is reason for Georgetown fans to feel a measured sense of hope and optimism heading into Monday night’s announcement.
However, it’s important to note that a decision has not been communicated to any team yet. Nothing is set in stone.
While Georgia and Georgetown can feel as confident as they want to be in their chances, it is expected that all parties won’t find out for sure until Mohammed reveals his decision to everyone on Monday night.
In an era full of leaked decisions via tweets, FutureCasts, and Crystal Balls, this is going to be an old-school recruiting announcement, where everyone finds out at the same time. It’s sure to be a nerve-wracking day, right up until Mohammed’s decision.
Georgetown vs. St. John’s, Take Two
It wasn’t a very pleasant Sunday night for the Hoyas in their first road game of the season, falling to the St. John’s Red Storm by a final score of 94-83.
Defending the three-pointer and turnovers were once again an issue for the Hoyas, who allowed St. John’s to shoot 53% from three-point range in the first half, and 44.8% for the entire game. Georgetown committed 13 turnovers, which led to 13 points for the hosts.
Jamorko Pickett had a lethargic night, shooting 2-of-12 from the field and scoring only six points. Despite grabbing 11 rebounds, which should be commended, Pickett must take on a greater scoring load for this team to have a chance against teams in the Big East. The senior from Washington, D.C. was 0-for-7 in the first half, and took several questionable shots from the midrange.
The game got off to a torrid start, with the Hoyas shooting 71% from the field four minutes into the game, and the Johnnies shooting at a solid 57% clip too. The two teams were tied at 12, but the Hoyas became undone midway through the first half, and the Red Storm jumped out to a 16-point lead with 5:07 left in the half.
The Hoyas would trim the deficit to eight points heading into halftime, and made a run early in the second half, with a Jahvon Blair layup making it a two-point game just 4:27 into the second half.
Blair would finish the game with 25 points on 7-of-16 shooting, along with five rebounds and six assists.
The Hoyas could not keep pace with St. John’s though, as the home team eventually got its lead back up to double digits. With 8:31 left in the game, Georgetown trailed 76-57, which was the largest deficit that the visitors faced on Sunday night.
St. John’s was led by junior wing Greg Williams Jr., who finished with 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Sophomore wing Julian Champagnie also had 20 points and nine rebounds, while JuCo transfer Vince Cole had 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Around the League
In their first Big East conference game since March 2013, UConn lost in overtime to Creighton, 76-74. The Huskies had not played in 17 days, dating back to their December 3rd win against USC, but gave the Bluejays all they could handle. Huskies star James Bouknight scored 40 points on 13-of-24 shooting in the losing effort.
Providence beat Seton Hall in overtime, 80-77, snapping the Pirates’ four-game win streak. The Friars’ A.J. Reeves knocked down an open three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in overtime to deliver the road win to Providence.
Butler lost to Indiana, 68-60, in a nonconference matchup on Saturday afternoon. The game was only Butler’s third contest of the season so far, and they are now 1-2 on the season. The Bulldogs had only seven players in uniform for this matchup, as they recover from COVID complications earlier this season.
Duke transfer Alex O’Connell was declared eligible for Creighton this season. O’Connell, a 6-foot-6 guard from Roswell, Georgia, played in 101 games at Duke the last three season, and averaged 5.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season in Durham. He will add more shooting to an already loaded Creighton offense.
Butler transfer Bo Hodges was ruled academically ineligible this year, in a crushing blow for a Butler team that simply needs bodies right now, but especially talented ones like Hodges. It’s going to be a tough year for Butler.