As I have just left my ole stomping grounds in the DMV, I wanted to take a step back and look at some of the recent moves Coach Cooley made. Georgetown was active in May, and these moves speak volumes about the direction of Cooley’s program. Rather than thinking solely about next season, let’s take an early look at the guys primed to lead the Hoyas down the line.
Mulready followed Cooley from Providence to DC and is someone that Hoya fans will love for years to come. The early-Hoya comparison for him was Jabril Trawick, which is the exact type of guy the Hoyas have been missing in recent years. These Hoya teams have desperately missed that toughness and grit that came from Trawick, and that’s exactly what Mulready brings to the table.
I think the Trawick comparison is very apt for Mulready, who’s a very versatile guard. He can play that combo guard-type role and lock up the opposing PG, or is physical enough to match up with the opposing team's wings and battle for boards down low. He's a guy who's willing to do whatever it takes to win games.
Mulready has shown off his toughness and willingness to lock up anyone on the court, but he's been on fire from three. He's got a very quick release and is very good off that pull-up. He gets the ball out quickly and just over his right shoulder for a very smooth-looking jumper.
Sorber is the most recent addition to Coach Cooley’s 2024 class and has absolutely shown out this summer, leading to his #27 rank by On3. He’s having an incredible summer and has soared up recruiting rankings.
Sorber’s an excellent athlete, he’s big and strong, quick, has very solid hands, and knows exactly what he’s supposed to do on a basketball court.
I took an in-depth look at Sorber recently, but there were a couple of takeaways I didn’t put on the Twitter feed. Some exclusive content, if you will, which you get here.
Sorber’s defensive versatility leaps off the page. He’s undersized for a big man at 6’9”, but he’s physically strong enough to hold his own with the bigger guys. He's athletic enough to hold his own if he gets switched onto opposing guards, he's able to contest their outside shots and not get blown by, proving that he can guard just about anyone on a basketball court.
One thing that stood out to me on tape was his ability to wall up defensively, he’s very good at contesting shots vertically instead of fouling, something that made ex-Hoya Roy Hibbert one of the most feared defenders in the NBA for multiple seasons.
On the offensive end, Sorber is working on his jump shot, but he’s able to score inside in a variety of ways. He’s vastly improving offensively, even on an AAU team with some excellent guards. He’s going to be used for a ton of duck-ins and clears space to score inside effectively. He’s not someone who needs to have the ball to control a game, but if he gets the ball in a good position, it will be two points. And if his jumper develops on the same track as the rest of his game… watch out.
I like that he’s staying in the class of 2024. His development has been excellent, no need to risk stunting that growth. Against the caliber of bigs the conference has this year, throwing him against the Lions night-in and night-out could do exactly that. Instead, give him another year to continue this astronomical growth and come into the league in 2024 ready to dominate.
Sorber was listed as one of the biggest risers in 247's updated 2024 rankings, and isn't the only Big East commit listed there. It's a testament to how much he's improved and how well he's played this summer.
Lastly, and probably the guy most want to know about, McKenna committed to Georgetown on May 30 and decided to reclassify to the Class of 2023. McKenna was the #1 prospect in Maryland (for the class of 2024), and recruiting out of the area is something the Hoyas have been missing for a while now, so it must be refreshing to land legit local talent.
Much like Sorber, I went very in-depth on McKenna's game, and still have a little more I want to say, so that's coming right here.
McKenna’s jumper will get him minutes. His game reminds me a little bit of ex-Hoya Jamorko Pickett. He doesn’t have the length of Pickett, but his offensive skillset might even exceed what Pickett had on his first day as a Hoya. It will take a little while for McKenna to be ready for big-time minutes, but I think he will play on day one. Pickett was always seen as someone with sky-high potential, and I think McKenna too has a ton of potential, and there’s a lot that Coach Cooley can work with to help him reach his ceiling.
He’s not just a jump shooter though, he’s a good shot creator for both himself and his teammates. He threw some absolutely stunning passes that didn’t result in points, but at this level, guys will be ready to turn those into two points. As his ability to create off the dribble evolves throughout his career, McKenna will be a very dangerous offensive threat.
He’s going to have to be in the gym a ton because this league will be physical. He got boxed out and big boy’d on the AAU scene, and in a league with the caliber of physical athletes the Big East has, he will need to be in the gym to reach his true ceiling.
However, McKenna is capable of guarding smaller guards. Positional versatility for someone on the wings is almost a necessity at this point in basketball, and McKenna has that.
He’s definitely a bench player on day one. He will take some time to develop into the player he can be, but he has a mature skillset and can play a decent, efficient, low-volume type role immediately, which can evolve into an offensive leader later in his career. He's a very patient player, as I said here the game seems to slow down for him. He's very rarely in a rush, and this patience is something that should help him work through the freshman jitters.
I’ve seen some conversation on his updated ranking of #155 from 247 for the 2023 class, but I think there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, it’s fairly hard to accurately place someone who reclassed so late into the process, you’re more or less just guessing (even more than normal!).
Also, Adam Finkelstein’s breakdown of McKenna was that “he’s strong, can be physical inside, but also a mismatch problem because of his ability to face-up and make some plays off the bounce,” and I don’t like disagreeing with the experts who do a great job, but I disagree with this evaluation, as you can see. I think his jumper is what makes him stand out, and his strength is something he will need to work on. Frankly, I would expect McKenna to play more at the two than at the four this year, I think that position would suit his current skillset better.
It hasn’t been directly said anywhere, but I think it’s fairly clear that Coach Cooley is playing for long-term success. They’ll be much better this upcoming season than they were last season, and better than the Torvik projections (that 194 defensive ranking is a Ewing number. Same with St. John’s, those are Mike Anderson projections).
Without directly saying it, he’s clearly prioritized the 2024 class in this later stage of recruiting over rounding out his roster. He’s had 2024 recruit Caleb Williams on campus multiple times and has been going after a couple of other 2024 talents including Jakhi Howard, who had planned to Georgetown and UConn and then make a decision soon after, though he did just get an offer from Memphis.
The Hoyas will be alright next season, probably nothing special, but will be a competitive team in the Big East. But this rebuild is for the future, and bringing on these three guys is a huge step in the right direction. A calling card of a lot of these guys is their positional versatility and that they can play multiple roles, which should line up for some very fun Hoya teams down the line.