Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing says two top players are off basketball team for rest of season
Georgetown sophomores James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not play for the basketball team for the rest of the season.
Coach Patrick Ewing announced Monday the two are off the roster “effective immediately.” The written statement did not say why Akinjo and LeBlanc are gone from the Hoyas, who are off to a 4-3 start.
Without offering specifics on what led to either player’s departure, a university spokesperson issued another statement hours later, saying: “Georgetown takes student conduct issues very seriously and ensures that they are investigated thoroughly. While we are not able to comment on specific cases, we have processes for investigating and adjudicating alleged violations of our student code that are fair to both parties.”
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department provided two incident reports, dating to September and centering on the same property in northwest Washington. They don’t identify either player by name. According to the reports, the victim charges one of the suspects with “showing her his erect clothed penis.”
A week later on Sept 16, three male suspects entered the property and took several items, including a camera and camera lens and two PlayStation controllers, according to one of the reports. When subsequently contacted by video call, the suspect threatened the victim, allegedly saying “If you tell anyone, we’ll send people after you.”
Akinjo, Georgetown’s starting point guard, and LeBlanc, a front-court reserve, were two of Ewing’s top players, both among the top five scorers this season. They were a key part of a group the third-year coach hoped would help lead the school back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when it made it under John Thompson III.
Akinjo was the 2018-19 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 he considered Akinjo and another sophomore, Mac McClung, one of the best backcourts in the country.
Akinjo was averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 assists this season for Georgetown, which has lost two straight games heading into a road trip — Oklahoma State on Wednesday and SMU on Saturday.
LeBlanc was averaging 7.2 points and 2.7 rebounds this season. He appeared in only six games 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.
Georgetown opened this season 4-1, including an 82-66 victory over then-No. 22 Texas at Madison Square Garden. But Ewing’s team then lost 81-73 to then-No. 1 Duke in New York and 65-61 at home against UNC Greensboro last Saturday.
Georgetown won the 1984 national championship with Ewing at center. The team last reached the Final Four in 2007.
Associated Press writer Ashraf Khalil contributed to this report.
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