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DMV Men's College Hoops Preview - A Whole Lotta New

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s opening week for the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season and the DMV has five teams desperate to make some noise.


DMV College Hoops has been down in recent years. Between the five area men’s college hoops teams, there have been three NCAA Tournament appearances in the past five years combined.


Howard hasn’t been since 1992, George Washington and American haven’t been since 2014 while Maryland and Georgetown have been recently but are both coming off losing seasons.


What does this mean for DMV College Hoops? A whole lotta new.


We’ve got new coaches at Maryland and George Washington and there are nine new players at both Georgetown and Howard.


Beyond that, we’ve got drama. Head coaches Patrick Ewing at Georgetown and Mike Brennan at American are on the hot seat, needing to deliver much better results in 2022-23 to secure their jobs.


In this article, we take a quick snapshot of each program in the DMV in order of best overall record from last season, looking at what happened last year and what to expect in 2022-23.

 

Howard


Nuts & Bolts:


  • 2021-22 Record: 16-13 overall (9-5 MEAC)

  • Head Coach: Kenny Blakeney (4th season, 21-45 overall)

  • Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

  • 2022-23 DMV Opponents:

    • vs. UDC

    • vs. Gallaudet

    • @ George Washington

  • 2022-23 Notable Non-Conference Opponents:

    • @ Kentucky

Overview


Howard is coming off its best season under Kenny Blakeney, who enters his fourth season in charge of the Bison

program (although you could argue it’s year

three since Howard only played five games in 2020-21 due to COVID).


Through two seasons, Howard was 5-33 under Blakeney, but had a stellar 16-13 season last year, finishing 2nd in the MEAC behind Norfolk State, who won the conference tournament and gained the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


It’s a big year for Howard as they’ll look to build off momentum from last season. They return two of its three top scorers from last year and add nine new players, including five freshmen.


The Bison just might be The DMV’s best chance at an NCAA Tournament team.


Last Season


16-13 in a conference like the MEAC is impressive, especially coming off a COVID year where Howard played just five games before canceling its season.


The team went 6-7 in its non-conference slate including a win on the road at Bradley, while losses to Austin Peay and at Mount St. Mary’s were by two points each.


Perhaps most impressively, The Bison took eventual Round of 32 team Notre Dame to the brink in a 71-68 loss on January 17.

Photo: Katherine Frey/Washington Post


Kyle Foster led the team in scoring (15.8 PPG) and shot nearly 46% from beyond the arc, while Randall Brumant led the team in rebounds (5.2 RPG). Both will not be on the team entering 2022-23.


From February on, Howard was slicing through the MEAC, winning 8 of its final 10 games before the conference tournament.


Unfortunately, the Bison were bounced in the opening round of the MEAC Tournament in an upset 59-57 defeat to Coppin State (Georgetown’s first opponent on 11/8/22). Strangely, three of Coppin State’s nine wins last season were against Howard.


The Bison were hot at the right time but could not carry the momentum into the postseason. They’ll look to perform better when it matters most and get over the hump in close games in 2022-23.


This Season


The Bison return just five players from last year’s team, adding nine new players, including five freshmen.


Forward Steve Sette was second in scoring a year ago to Foster, averaging nearly 14 PPG and just over 5 rebounds. Sette is poised to lead the team in both categories this year.

Howard had the best offense in the MEAC a year ago, putting up over 76 PPG. They were also the best three point shooting team and number one at the free throw line in the conference.


If they can carry those numbers into 2022-23 while adding more stability and consistency defensively, the sky’s the limit for The Bison.


They get a pretty fun early season test as Howard takes on one of the best teams in the country in Kentucky on opening night (11/7).


Prediction: Reach NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992

 

Maryland


Nuts & Bolts:


  • 2021-22 Record: 15-17 overall (7-13 B1G)

  • Head Coach: Kevin Willard (1st season)

  • Conference: Big 10

  • 2022-23 DMV Opponents: N/A

  • 2022-23 Notable Non-Conference Opponents:

    • @ Louisville

    • vs. Tennessee

    • vs. UCLA

    • vs. Saint Peter’s

Overview


It’s a new era in College Park as Kevin Willard takes over the Terrapin program after former coach Mark Turgeon resigned early last season.


Willard comes over from Seton Hall, a school that made the NCAA Tournament just three times in the 21st Century before he took over in 2010-11. Over the course of 12 seasons, Willard led the Pirates to the Big Dance five of the last six tournaments, accumulating a 225-161 record.


Expectations for Maryland this year are low, with Willard inheriting a program that is coming off its worst season since 1992-93. If The Terps make any postseason tournament (mainly the NCAA or NIT), the season will be deemed a success.


Last Season


By Maryland’s standards, last season was a disaster. The Terps finished 15-17 and went 7-13 in Big 10 games. Their coach, Mark Turgeon, resigned after a 5-3 start and Dany Manning took over from there, going 10-14 the rest of the way.

The 15-17 record marks an end to Maryland’s streak of 28 consecutive winnings seasons.


Maryland started the season pretty well, going 5-1 out of the box. However, things began to spiral late in non-con and early in Big 10 play. The Terps started 0-4 in conference and the wheels were off from there.


UM finished 11th in the Big 10 and lost its first game at the Big 10 Tournament, bringing an end to its dismal season.


Maryland’s top two scorers from a year ago, Fatts Russell and Eric Ayala, are gone. The only returning player heading into 2022-23 who averaged in double-figures is Danta Scott, who scored 12.8 PPG a year ago.


This Season


Low expectations means Willard gets to play with house money in his first year in College Park. The Terps are coming off their worst season in nearly 30 years and a rebuild likely won’t happen in one offseason.


Willard got right to work in his new role, needing to replace the top two scorers from last year’s team.


Seniors Hakim Hart and Donta Scott are the main returners for UM, while transfers Jahmir Young and Donald Carey are key additions.


Young scored nearly 20 PPG for Charlotte last season, adding nearly 6 RPG and 3.7 APG. Carey comes over from Georgetown, where he scored 13.5 PPG for Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas.


Maryland’s non-conference schedule is no joke, and wins may be hard to come by once they get past the first month of the season.


Willard’s Terps may struggle in year 1. The good news is that the 2023 recruiting class is already looking strong, with two players in the ESPN Top 100 already committed to join The Terps.


Prediction: No postseason play. Maryland is a year away from being a year away

 

George Washington


Nuts & Bolts:


  • 2021-22 Record: 12-18 overall (8-9 Atlantic 10)

  • Head Coach: Chris Caputo (1st season)

  • Conference: Atlantic 10

  • 2022-23 DMV Opponents:

    • vs. Howard

    • vs. American

  • 2022-23 Notable Non-Conference Opponents:

    • vs. South Carolina

    • vs. Washington State

Overview


Like Maryland, George Washington will be under new leadership in 2022-23, as Chris Caputo takes over for The Colonials. It’s a great hire for the program.



Caputo comes over from Miami, where he was an assistant for the past 11 seasons under Jim Larranaga, and was a part of five NCAA Tournament teams, including last year's Canes who surprisingly made the Elite 8 as a 10 seed.


Perhaps most notably, however, Caputo was an assistant under Larranaga at George Mason when they made their remarkable Final 4 run.


Caputo faces a big task at GW. The program has reached the NCAA Tournament once in the past 15 seasons, finishing below .500 nine of those years. The Colonials have finished below .500 five years in a row, making it easy to replace former coach Jamion Christian,


who only spent three years in charge of the program.


The Atlantic 10 Conference is no joke. The league got two NCAA Tournament bids last year in Richmond and Davidson and will look to build on that momentum. The most premier program in the conference as of late has been The Dayton Flyers, who visit D.C. January 21.


Last Season


For the second time in three seasons under former coach Jamion Christian, GW won only 12 games.


In non-con, The Colonials finished 4-8, with half of those losses coming by single digits.

Photo: G Fiume/GettyImages


Throughout the year, GW could not find consistency. The team never won more than two straight games and once they reached conference play, never lost more than two straight games.


The season came to an end in an A-10 Tournament opening round 99-88 loss to UMass. GW has been consistently in Wednesday's opening round of the conference tournament, needing to win five games in five days to make the NCAA Tournament.


The team hasn’t even made it to Friday’s quarterfinal round since 2016. It’s a big task ahead for Chris Caputo.


This Season


There are seven players returning to The Colonials who averaged at least 10 minutes per game a year ago, giving first-year head coach Chris Caputo a roster built on experience.


Senior guard James Bishop IV was the team’s leading scorer a year ago and is back for his senior season. He’ll be poised to be the main option offensively for The Colonials.


GW has a relatively friendly non-conference schedule and could be positioned to be off to a very positive start in 2022-23. However, they’ll have to find consistency once they reach conference play if they want to avoid the opening round of the A-10 Tournament for the first time in seven years.


The A-10 is a dog-eat-dog league. The conference is so similar top to bottom that it can be tough for a team like GW to rise.


George Washington hosts the conference’s best team in Dayton and they host last year’s conference tournament champion Richmond. It’s games like those that will be a wonderful measuring stick for Caputo as he begins his campaign in D.C.


Fortunately for Caputo, expectations are low in downtown D.C. He should have some time (at least 3 years…) to get things going to see if they can get out of the basement of the Atlantic 10.

From 2013-2017, GW won 20+ games. Those days aren’t a thing of the distant past and it’ll be up to Caputo to make them a part of the not so distant future.


Prediction: Avoids the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, misses postseason

 

American


Nuts & Bolts:


  • 2021-22 Record: 10-22 overall (5-13 Patriot)

  • Head Coach: Mike Brennan (10th season)

  • Conference: Patriot League

  • 2022-23 DMV Opponents:

    • @ Georgetown

    • @ George Washington

  • 2022-23 Notable Non-Conference Opponents: N/A

Overview


American seems to be skipping the “whole lotta new” theme throughout the DMV. The Eagles bring back head coach Mike Brennan for his 10th season in charge. It was Brennan who took the program to its last NCAA Tournament in 2014, which was Brennan’s first season at the helm.


The Eagles have only finished above .500 in conference twice under Brennan. The Patriot League is a standard ‘one-bid league’ for the NCAA Tournament every year.


If the long-tenured head coach doesn’t get things going in year ten, it may be his seat (not Patrick Ewing’s at Georgetown) that becomes the hottest in the DMV.

Photo: aueagles.com


The good news for Brennan, of AU’s top six scorers from last year, only one isn’t on the roster for 2022-23. That should spell more consistency and stability for D.C. Patriot League team.


Last Season


American finished last in the Patriot League with a record of 5-13 in conference. A big reason why? Losing streaks.


Throughout the year, AU had losing streaks of seven games, five games and twice lost three games in a row.


The Eagles lost 22 games in 2021-22, and only nine of those losses were by single-digits. The team was able to put together a win in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament, but lost in the second round to Navy, bringing the season to an end.


This Season


If you throw out the COVID year, American has been better more recently than you might think. It was in 2019-20, before the season was shut down, that AU finished 2nd in conference at 12-6 and was just a few wins away from potentially making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.

They’re not far away. The Eagles have low expectations, but Brennan has as veteran a team as he’s ever had heading into a season.


The top scorer from a year ago, Stacy Beckton is not on the team this year. However, the next best five scorers from last year are all back.


The best thing AU can do is stay healthy and find its identity before the Patriot League tournament. In these ‘one-bid leagues,’ anything can happen and anyone can get hot enough to snatch the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Might this be the year?


Prediction: Reach NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014

 

Georgetown


Nuts & Bolts:

  • 2021-22 Record: 6-25 overall (0-20 Big East)

  • Head Coach: Patrick Ewing (6th season)

  • Conference: Big East

  • 2022-23 DMV Opponents:

    • vs. American

  • 2022-23 Notable Non-Conference Opponents:

    • vs. Northwestern

    • @ Texas Tech

    • vs. South Carolina

    • @ Syracuse

Overview


In-depth look at the 2022-23 Georgetown Hoyas available HERE.


Prediction: 12-20 overall (4-16 Big East), 10th in Conference

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