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Hoops Preview: Hoyas on Shaky Ground Entering Gallagher-Iba Arena

What to know about OSU’s upcoming game against Georgetown.



STILLWATER — Georgetown is without its starting point guard heading into an opposing point guard who has averaged four steals a game in his last four games.

Isaac Likekele has stolen players’ lunch money as of late and with Georgetown point guard James Akinjo leaving the program this week, an inexperienced guard could be dribbling the ball in front of Likekele Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“It looks different for (Likekele) from night to night,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “Some nights it is scoring. Some nights it’s being a lockdown defender. I thought his defense was tremendous in both games (in Brooklyn). That’s where it’s gotta start for us, for him because his energy, his size at his position can really be imposing for other team’s point guards.

“I’m certainly glad I’m not trying to prepare to play against him because you maybe look at his game and, ‘Eh, I don’t know what he does well,’ then you gotta compete against him and he’s a pitbull.”

On Monday, Georgetown announced that Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc were no longer with the program. Akinjo averaged 13 points a game to this point in the season. LeBlanc averaged seven points a game to this point.

There are also question marks around whether the Hoyas will have depth players Galen Alexander and Myron Gardner, who, along with LeBlanc, recently had temporary restraining orders filed against them. Although Georgetown released a statement regarding Akinjo and LeBlanc no longer being with the program, nothing has been said with Alexander and Gardner as of this writing.

Pertaining to OSU, that means it will likely be either sophomore Mac McClung or senior Jagan Mosley taking over point guard duties Wednesday night against the Pokes, a tough ask going against a defender as stifling as Likekele.

Likekele has been a Swiss Army knife for OSU this season. He leads the Cowboys in points (13.7), assists (five), and steals (2.9) per game. He made the NIT Season Tip-Off all-tournament team, averaging 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, six assists and four steals a game in OSU’s two contests in Brooklyn.

“I feel like I just went there and played my game, got comfortable,” Likekele said. “I try to establish myself early in the game. Just go out there and just play senseless at hand, knowing what I’m supposed to do but also play within the gameplan. Just be aggressive when I can.”

Mike Boynton’s Crazy Life

When Mike Boynton was 7 or 8 years old, the Brooklyn kid went to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks play in what was his first NBA game.

Boynton said his seats were in the nosebleeds, but the family got there early so he could go down to get a closer look, and there the young Boynton saw Patrick Ewing.

“He was like the biggest human being I’ve ever seen in my life,” Boynton said Monday. “I was 7 or 8 years old. There still haven’t been many that’s past him.”

Wednesday night Boynton will coach against his beloved Knicks’ former legend, and Boynton will coach the alma mater of his first favorite player, John Starks. Starks played the 1987-88 season in Stillwater before becoming a Knick from 1990 to 1998.

“I didn’t know (he went to OSU) at the time,” Boynton said. “I only knew him as No. 3 for the Knicks. … I admired Michael Jordan a ton. I didn’t like that he always beat the Knicks. I think all of us were Jordan fans just because his talent, but I think Starks was my favorite guy.”

Boynton said his father, Michael Boynton Sr., was a fan of Georgetown, specifically with legendary coach John Thompson. Boynton said his father’s fandom hit a new height when the Knicks drafted Ewing out of Georgetown. It’s interesting how this Big 12/Big East Battle and how the NIT Season Tip-Off event have put together Boynton’s worlds.

“I think it says more about life,” Boynton said. “You can’t predict this thing. As much as we try and hope, we’re not in very much control of how this stuff happens.”

Mac McClung in GIA

A few years ago Mac McClung was just a three-star senior high school basketball player in Virginia.

Despite not being a bluechip prospect (he was No. 245 in the 2018 class), McClung was all over social media because of his leaping ability.

His high school senior Ball Is Life mixtape proclaimed him as “the most exciting player in America” for how high he was able to get his 6-foot-2 frame.

Now a sophomore at Georgetown, McClung averages 11.9 points per game. He started 29 games as a freshman last season and averaged 13.1 points per on his way to being named to the Big East’s All-Freshman team.

Viewing Info

Time: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena
Watch: ESPN+

Oklahoma State’s Projected Lineup
Isaac Likekele Sophomore 13.7 5.3 5 0.3 2.9
Thomas Dziagwa Senior 10.3 1.4 1 0 0.7
Lindy Waters Senior 11.9 5.3 2.1 0 1.4
Cameron McGriff Senior 9 6.3 2.3 0.1 0.3
Yor Anei Sophomore 12.9 7.6 0.1 3.3 1
Georgetown’s Projected Lineup
Mac McClung Sophomore 11.9 2.3 1.4 0 1.3
Jagan Mosley Senior 5.7 4 2.7 0.4 0.9
Galen Alexander Junior 4.4 1.9 0.1 0 0.3
Jamorko Pickett Junior 8.1 5.1 1.4 0.9 0.6
Omer Yurtseven Senior 15.6 9.7 0.9 2 0.6
Oklahoma State’s Past Five
Opponent Result Score
at Charleston W 73-54
vs. Yale W 64-57
vs. Western Michigan W 70-63
vs. Syracuse W 86-72
vs. Ole Miss W 78-37
Georgetown’s Past Five
Opponent Result Score
vs. Penn State L 81-66
vs. Georgia State W 91-83
vs. No. 22 Texas W 82-66
vs. No. 1 Duke L 81-73
vs. UNC-Greensboro L 65-61

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