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Georgetown center Qudus Wahab enters transfer portal

Center Qudus Wahab is leaving Georgetown after averaging 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Georgetown sophomore center Qudus Wahab has entered the transfer portal and will leave the program, the university announced Thursday.

Wahab becomes the sixth player to transfer out of the program since December 2019 as the decision takes some shine off an unexpected run to the NCAA tournament after winning the Big East tournament.

“Q was an important piece of our success this year and he needs to do what he feels is best for him,” Coach Patrick Ewing said in a statement. “I want to wish him luck in his future. After an exciting postseason, we are ready to focus on the 2021-22 season.”

The decision is somewhat surprising considering Ewing’s constant public support of Wahab and repeated statements that the 6-foot-11, 237-pounder could develop into one of the better big men in program history. He averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds while starting 25 of the Hoyas’ 26 games last season.

The roster could look drastically different next season with seniors Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett and graduate transfers Chudier Bile and Donald Carey all having the option to end their collegiate careers. The NCAA provided the option for a one-time additional year of eligibility due to the global pandemic.

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Wahab was named to the first team All-Big East tournament team after he averaged 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds inside Madison Square Garden. Wahab had a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds in the NCAA first-round loss to Colorado.

The way the season ended erased some of the questions that began to circle Ewing and his tenure. Georgetown missed the NCAA tournament in each of his first three seasons and the team regressed to a 15-17 record at the end of the 2019-20 season. That December alone, four players transferred and leading scorer Mac McClung transferred to Texas Tech after the season. Starting center Omer Yurseven declared for the NBA before going undrafted, and the Hoyas entered the 2020-21 season without their three top scorers from the previous season.

Georgetown struggled for most of the season after being the Big East preseason pick to finish last in the conference and opened with a 3-8 record, including five straight losses, before a covid-19 issue within the program forced the Hoyas to shut down for three weeks. The team looked like a completely different roster when it returned in late January and closed the regular season on a 6-4 run before winning four straight in New York.

There’s optimism for the future with the way the season ended plus Ewing bringing in the No. 9 recruiting class in the nation, ranked by 247 Sports. The class includes five-star center Aminu Mohammed and four-star center Ryan Mutombo, the son of Georgetown legend Dikembe Mutombo.

The subtraction of Wahab opens the door for 7-foot sophomore Timothy Ighoefe, who averaged 2.5 points and 3.2 rebounds coming off the bench. The move could also provide more opportunity for the incoming Mutombo.

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