7:31 PM ET
Myron MedcalfESPN Staff Writer
- Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
Georgetown‘s push to make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2015 encountered turbulence after the school announced Monday that standouts James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc were no longer with the team.
The written statement did not specify why Akinjo and LeBlanc are leaving the Hoyas. Both players are in the transfer portal.
Akinjo, a point guard averaging 13.4 points per game, had been the No. 2 scorer for the Hoyas this season. LeBlanc, a 6-foot-7 forward, was averaging 7.2 points and 2.7 rebounds.
“Georgetown University men’s basketball players James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not be playing for the men’s basketball team effective immediately and will not be members of the team for the remainder of the season, head coach Patrick Ewing announced today,” the school’s statement read.
Akinjo was the 2019 freshman of the year in the Big East Conference, averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 assists while making 39.1% of his 3-point attempts. He started 32 of Georgetown’s 33 games and appeared in all of them.
Ewing said before this season that he considered Akinjo and another sophomore, Mac McClung, one of the best backcourts in the country.
LeBlanc appeared in only six games this season because he was suspended for the team’s opener. As a freshman, LeBlanc started the last 22 games and averaged 9.1 points and 7.3 rebounds, earning a spot on the Big East All-Freshman team.
In their win over a top-25 Texas squad last month at Madison Square Garden, the duo combined to score 23 points. This season, Georgetown has grabbed 38.1% of its offensive rebounds and forced turnovers on more than one-fifth of its opponents’ possessions with LeBlanc and Akinjo on the floor together, per hooplens.com.
The 4-3 Hoyas will try to end a two-game losing streak when they face Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Wednesday.
Ewing, who helped Georgetown win the 1984 championship as the team’s starting center, is in his third year coaching the Hoyas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.