To compete in the one-and-done environment college basketball has become, it is imperative for teams to match the outflow of graduating talent with an inflow of skilled recruits.
After losing star guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and lockdown defender Riyan Willaims, the Georgetown men’s basketball team took the precautionary steps to ensure the leftover void would be filled. Namely, the Hoyas recruited three guards — junior transfer Jonathan Mulmore, graduate student transer Rodney Pryor and freshman Jagan Mosely — to help lead the Blue and Gray back to postseason play.
A transfer from Allegany College in Maryland, Mulmore provides some much needed ballhandling for a team previously lacking depth at the point guard position. He averaged 26.1 points per game, good for second in the the National Junior College Athletic Association, on 48 percent shooting last season. While not an elite three-point shooter — averaging just 32 percent from deep last season — Mulmore excels using his quick first step to attack the rim, a skill that can help jumpstart the Hoyas ‘ offense, should it stagnate.
Pryor, the Robert Morris transfer who averaged 18 points per game last season, also serves as a mentor to Georgetown’s rookies.
“He’s one of our leaders on the team, even though he’s only been here for a short amount of time,” sophomore center Jessie Govan said of the twenty-four-year old’s leadership presence on the team. “He’s so experienced. He’s been through a lot of situations in college, and he’s really motivated us a lot. He knows what it takes to win.”
“I think I hear Rodney’s voice pretty much the whole practice,” senior forward Reggie Cameron said, echoing Govan’s thoughts on their new teammate. “I think guys respond to him because he works hard and does what he’s supposed to do. People tend to listen to people that do things like that.”
Having played two seasons at Robert Morris, Pryor led the team in scoring both years and averages 16.7 points per game for his career.
“He’s been in situations, no matter what school he’s been at, that we are going to be in this year,” Govan said referring to Pryor and the 64 games in which he has appeared over the course of his career. “He can help us and guide us through those situations, whether it’s good or bad, and help us get to where we want to be.”
The only fresh-out-of-high-school recruit on the team, Mosely looks to translate his success at St. Anthony’s, winning the New Jersey High School Player of the Year last season, to the NCAA. Mosley is fresh off a state championship win and averaged 14.2 points per game for his career, an explosive and high-energy player who can act as a sparkplug for Georgetown’s offense.
“Jagan Mosely does not play like a freshman. He played for Coach Hurley coming from St. Anthony’s. He’s been coached hard. A lot of times guys get here, or get anywhere in college, not just here, and for the first time they’re told something they don’t like. He’s used to that,” Thompson said.
Pryor and Mosely have already impressed in their short time on the Hilltop. In the 2016 Kenner League Championship, Pryor and Mosely scored 40 and 27 points, respectively. Pryor shot 42 percent from deep and grabbed five rebounds, while Mosely shot 53 percent from the floor and notched three free-throw attempts. While the Kenner League’s summer circuit does not equate to the Division-I level, it provided a glimpse of the new talent that the Hoyas have at their disposal.
“Our athleticism has increased a lot. Our practices are a lot more competitive, which has been great relative to last year,” Thompson said. “They’re vocal. They have quickly established a presence within our team, in the locker room, away from the court, which is good. It’s been very, very good.”
Moreover, the team also sees the return of junior forward and Louisville transfer Akoy Agau, who missed all of last season due to injury. The new recruits bring a much-needed combination of experience, leadership and tenacity to a team that features only two returning seniors.
While there may be roadblocks along the way, the Hoyas have the talent to play well into March and compete in a Big East Conference that has only grown stronger.