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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Former Georgetown guard James Akinjo commits to Arizona

Madeleine Viceconte

Head coach Sean Miller signals orders to his players during the game against Washington on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in McKale Center. Arizona lost the game 67-60. 

As the clock struck midnight and everybody brought in the new year, Arizona fans were given even more of a reason to celebrate.

Former Georgetown guard and 2019 Big East Freshman of the Year James Akinjo announced via Instagram that he was transferring to Arizona, where he will be eligible the second half of next season unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA.

Akinjo averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 assists per game on 36.5% from the field and 39.1% from three-point range last season for the Hoyas. In seven games this season before transferring, Akinjo again averaged 13.4 points per game, but shot the ball just 33.7% from the floor and 24.2% from three.

A 6-foot-1 point guard from Richmond, Calif., Akinjo was a four-star prospect out of high school who originally committed to UConn before de-committing and choosing Georgetown over Arizona, amongst other schools. He was in Tucson last month when the Wildcats played Gonzaga, as both schools were in the mix for his services. 

Georgetown has gone 6-1 since Akinjo decided to transfer, with Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim saying following his team’s loss to the Hoyas that Akinjo’s decision to leave was a benefit to the program.

“They got rid of a guy that wouldn’t pass the ball to anybody and just shot every time. That’s why they’re good now,” Boeheim said, referring to Akinjo. “Patrick [Ewing] can’t say that but I can. He lost two games for them by himself.”

With Nico Mannion likely to enter the NBA Draft after this season, Akinjo projects to slide right into the point guard position next season alongside Brandon Williams. Not a true point guard like Mannion, Akinjo fits the mold more of lead guards in the past under Miller such as Mark Lyons and Lamont “MoMo” Jones.

Follow Mark Lawson on Twitter.

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