December 8, 2012 - Today marks a homecoming of sorts at Verizon Center. No, Georgetown University (6-1) does not celebrate it in hoops; this revolves around a person coming back. The individual in question is Jerrelle Benimon - dubbed 'Beenie Man' or simply 'Beanie' by HoyaReport.com subscribers - who hits the hardwood as a member of his current school, Towson University (4-4).
A career 1.3 point, 1.8 rebound performer on The Hilltop between 2009 and 2011, Benimon, a 6'6", 245 pound forward, has notched decidedly better numbers as a Tiger; 16.3 points and 9.9 boards each time out. Benimon's clock totals have also improved drastically, rising from 10.3 minutes a game previously to 33.9, in his first season of playing at Towson (last season was consumed by the transfer penalty).
The Hoyas expect their former program member will be amped today.
"Absolutely, absolutely" , said junior point guard Markel Starks yesterday while laughing, when asked if Benimon would come into today's game motivated. "We just have to stick to our defensive principles, we know he's going to try and get off, and as he should; he started his career at Georgetown…why wouldn't he be excited?
"But you know we wish him well. He's obviously long gone but to a certain degree he's still part of us. Two years removed, I'm pretty sure some of those feelings he had when he left will be expelled during the game on Saturday. So we will see".
Sophomore Mikael Hopkins didn't play with Benimon - arriving the summer after he transferred - but nevertheless is well aware of Jerrelle. "Just being a local guy, I came up here a few times when Jerrelle was at Georgetown" recalled Hopkins. " So I know what kind of game he has - real athletic, physical guy, real strong guy. He's actually a fun player to pay against".
"We know what he's going to do…He's going to be real hyped" opined sophomore forward Otto Porter, a guy also aware of Benimon despite not playing with him. "We will just try not to let him get too hyped".
Their coach, John Thompson III expects a lot from his former charge.
"He seems to have found a good spot form himself" said head coach John Thompson III of Benimon and his current play. "Which doesn't surprise me, because he's a very good player. He's going to pose problems for us tomorrow, just because he's a load down there. He's a very smart player, and he can score…he can handle the ball so he draws you out he can take you off the bounce.
"So we are really going to have to pay attention to him. He's playing very, very well right now, which is not a surprise".
Tip-off is noon, with the radio broadcast being supplied by WTEM. MASN provides the television presentation. Rich Chvotkin and Mark Tillmon, handle the play by play and TV color commentary duties for radio and TV, respectively.
Be sure to return here, for broad came coverage. Our in-game chat thread is here. For real-time tweets, access @HoyaNation.
For comments from Thompson concerning Benimon's transfer - he was asked why Jerrelle transferred - see our Premium Court message board.