Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Set to Open Season

If Georgetown feels like it’s looking in a mirror on Saturday, that’s because it is.

Saturday at McDonough Gymnasium, the Hoyas oppose the Towson Tigers, an opponent that they very much resemble.

While Georgetown added five frosh recruits and two transfers in the off season, Towson replenished its ranks with six freshmen and a junior transfer, Holly Mahan, giving the two teams just as many new faces – and just as many question marks.

Last year’s Tigers finished 9-19 and managed only four conference wins, placing them at the bottom of the Colonial Athletic Association, a position not unfamiliar to Georgetown (albeit in the Big East).

The Tigers return three of their top five scorers on a roster of 11, including five seniors who contributed little to offensive output or playing time, giving Towson an experienced, if small, core to run with this season.

Two returning seniors, forward Kelly Robinson and guard Jamell Beasley will be the Tigers’ linchpin. Robinson started 25 games last year and averaged nine points per game and nearly six rebounds. She also led the team in field goal percentage stroking a respectable .482 from the floor and .707 from the free throw line.

While Robinson struggled from long range, connecting on only 15 of 59 three-point shots last season, Beasley will fill the role of spot shooter for the Tigers.

She finished the year with 34 treys, second on the team to now graduated LaShay Rose. While Beasley took the most threes of returning players, her free-throw percentage (.623) and field goal percentage (.377) could lead to a flurry of errant shots.

The Hoyas are no strangers to shots rolling off the rim either, having compiled a .381 shooting percentage last season. Towson’s tallest player, 6-foot-4 senior center Kim Pyne, who transferred her sophomore year from George Mason, played a total of 149 minutes last season. Towson’s likely starting lineup will consist of four players under six-foot, giving Georgetown’s 6-foot-5 junior center Aminata Diop and 6-foot-4 sophomore forward/center Katrina Wheeler, room to work inside.

Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has not yet announced who will start at center – Wheeler or Diop – or what the rotation will be like, but against a smaller team, Wheeler could play a significant role. Wheeler and junior forward Kieraah Marlow both pulled down 8.2 rebounds per game last season, eighth best in the Big East while Beasley and Robinson were Towson’s leading rebounders, pulling down six boards each. Graduated Tierra Jackson carried the brunt of the Tigers’ board work last year so how Towson will replace her 8.2 rebounds per game is a question that looms.

Towson is not a powerhouse in the mid-major CAA – they are picked to finish 11th of 12 teams this year – and are reminiscent of last year’s opening day tilt against Savannah State. Savannah State, a small independent school, finished last year 4-24 and the Hoyas won 67-59 on Nov. 20, 2005.

While this year’s Big East schedule will contain monsters like DePaul, Connecticut, Rutgers, Louisville and St. John’s, the out of conference schedule will again be against small regional schools.

The Tigers are a program on the rebound, looking to build a core of freshmen around an experienced post player, Robinson, and a guard, Beasley.

Neither team is expected to contend within their conference, but how the Hoyas fare against their reflection will be a good indication of how focused and coached they are come those games against Connecticut.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. in McDonough Gymnasium.

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