In May 2014, Georgetown landed a commit from Queens Village, New York by the name of Jessie Govan. Govan had spent time at St. Mary’s High School and Wings Academy, upping his profile as a four-star a center and the third-best player in the state of New York in the Class of 2015. It was quite good company at the time, as the two players who stood in front of him were Kansas commit Cheick Diallo and Indiana commit Thomas Bryant.
Flashing forward to 18 months later, Govan took the floor for the first time as a member of the Hoyas. Although they would lose that day in a double OT shocker to Radford, Govan showed promise. In 15 minutes of action, he scored 11 points and in doing so earned multiple trips to the free throw line. Govan shot 6-for-6 on the afternoon, displaying a terrific aptitude to make his free baskets.
Would that be a mirage or a sign of things to come? We’d lean towards the latter as Jessie Govan shot a stout 83.1 percent from the free throw line. It is not typical for big men to be so stout from the line, so the fact that he was able to convert on 69 of his 83 free throw attempts was a nice and positive sign for him as a player.
The free throw line wasn’t the only place where Govan excelled. In his freshman season, he displayed an ability to convert baskets from deep as well. Although it was on merely 28 attempts from long range, Jessie Govan converted 50 percent of those 3-point baskets he attempted throughout the season. He did barely average one attempt per game, checking in at 0.8, 1.9 per 40 minutes, and 2.8 per 100 possessions.
But the green light from 3-point land that he was given throughout the year may translate into something over a large sample if Govan pulls up from there at a greater rate over the upcoming 2016-17 season. He obviously won’t be the type to create his own shot from deep, but on a catch-and-shoot basis, he could very easily become a perimeter weapon for Georgetown if given the opportunity.
His offensive game in general leaves a lot to be optimistic about. At per 40 minutes, Govan averaged 15.4 points, and at a per 100 possessions rate, he averaged 22.4 points. His shooting percentage will need to take an uptick as he was just a 48.0 percent shooter from around the floor and only 47.5 percent on 2-point attempts. When you’re a big man, you should be able to convert on your 2-point attempts especially at the basket. Mind you, he was able to hit over 58 percent on attempts at the rim, but he’ll have to make progressions in that area if he wants to continue to succeed.
If Govan does make the strides that he projected to make this season, it will be interesting to track his minutes. Last season he spent time playing behind senior Bradley Hayes, and Hayes was granted a fifth year of eligibility this offseason. So head coach John Thompson III is pit in an interesting spot. Will he start the veteran or the potential-rich youngster whose time in D.C. may be short to begin with?
After his freshman season, Govan was tabbed to be a late-first rounder by DraftExpress, falling at No. 30. He is currently sitting as the No. 2 NBA draft prospect in the Big East Conference behind Xavier Musketeers point guard Edmond Sumner. It might be quiet for now, but there may be a lot of hype circling around Govan throughout the season as it marches on.
The Hoyas have a long and storied history of helping to trot talented big men to the NBA. Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Othella Harrington, Jerome Williams, Roy Hibbert and Greg Monroe have all gone on to have lengthy careers that in the case of Hibbert and Monroe are still trucking on to this day.
Will Jessie Govan have the chops to follow in the celebrated list of big men that the Georgetown Hoyas have built up the last 30-plus years? He’s just scratched the surface, but there’s no reason to believe that he couldn’t fulfill that prophecy.