Govan’s Size and Skill Key to Success
Standing at 6-feet-10 and 270 pounds, junior center Jessie Govan is larger than life. To put this in perspective, the average American male stands at approximately 5-feet-9 and weighs around 196 pounds. Govan’s physicality is difficult to miss, whether he is on the court or walking to class.
However, Govan’s impressive measurements pale in comparison to his coach’s Patrick Ewing, who stands at 7 feet and weighed in at 240 pounds during his playing days. Yet Ewing’s influence and status as a top-50 NBA player of all time and as an NCAA champion surpass these measurements.
Govan insists he is focused on absorbing information from his new coach rather than being intimidated by his legend.
“I just got to try and listen to everything he says, because everything he is saying is with a message and with a purpose,” Govan said. “He’s not wasting his breath. So I’m just trying to listen to everything he says and then go out there and do my thing.”
Govan has seen his role on the team grow in each season he has been on the Hilltop. As a sophomore last season, Govan’s 10.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game ranked in the team’s top three for each category despite his only playing 21 minutes per game. Then-Head Coach John Thompson III used Govan as the Hoyas’ tertiary scoring threat after then-junior L.J. Peak and graduate student Rodney Pryor.
With Peak and Pryor declaring for the NBA draft last summer, Govan is set to step into the primary scoring role for the Hoyas this season. Ewing understands Govan’s importance to Georgetown’s success on both sides of the ball.
“Jessie is one of the keys to our success,” Ewing said. “If he does not step up and have a great year for us, we won’t be successful. You know, I’ve put a lot on his shoulders, a lot on his plate. If he, as an upperclassman, if he does not step up and dominate on both ends of the court we won’t be successful.”
Govan was originally recruited from Wings Academy in Manhasset, N.Y., as the No. 43-ranked recruit by 247Sports and was considered the top prospect to help round out a solid 2015 recruiting haul. Despite his inconsistencies throughout his first two seasons, Govan flashed dangerous offensive potential during conference play late last season.
In Georgetown’s 80-62 victory over Marquette last season, Govan led the charge, scoring in a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and one steal. This offseason, Govan has been focusing on shot selection and letting the game come to him.
“Coach has been emphasizing when I get the ball and if I have a chance to get one-on-one, to put the ball in the basket,” Govan said. “He sees my scoring ability and my teammates see it as well.”
Now an upperclassman, Govan must not only take on the role as the team’s primary scorer, but also as vocal leader in the locker room. Ewing will rely on Govan to unite the Hoyas, helping the team play as a unit that believes in itself while ensuring that the pressure of playing for a former NBA star does not intimidate the team.
Ewing understands Govan’s importance to this year’s Hoya team. Govan realizes that he must step up if Georgetown wants to bring back Hoya Paranoia this season. While Ewing’s stature may be larger than Govan’s, the Hoyas will only go as far as Govan’s 6-feet-10, 270-pound frame can carry them.
(File Photo: Genevieve Gresser For The Hoya)