Just across the floor from where Ewing stood at the end of the team’s bench sat Mourning’s father, Alonzo, his arm draped around Trey’s younger brother.
Alonzo Mourning picked the right day to attend his first Hoyas game of the season — or perhaps it was his presence that sparked Trey’s career-best 27-point, 12-rebound performance.
“It was cool. It was definitely cool,” Trey Mourning said. “He told me at the beginning of this week they were coming into town and bringing my brother as a surprise. More so playing in front of my brother [was special] and my dad, obviously.”
With his family looking on — and Alonzo muttering directives under his breath during the game — Trey Mourning recorded the first double-double of his college career.
Before Saturday, the best season of Mourning’s career was his sophomore year. It ended with 29 points scored across 20 games.
Mourning’s career game was needed against Campbell. Chris Clemons, who entered the game leading Division I in scoring at 31.6 points per game, dropped 45 on the Hoyas. It was the second-highest scoring performance in Campbell’s history as a Division I program — second only to Clemons’s 51-point performance against UNC Ashville in 2017.
Clemons, a 5-foor-9 senior guard from Raleigh, N.C., dazzled all game, making 16 of 28 shots from the field, including 9 of 19 from beyond the arc. Way beyond the arc.
“He shoots threes like Steph, all the way out,” Ewing said, comparing Clemons to NBA superstar Stephen Curry. “Way past the NBA three-point line.”
Mourning, meanwhile, did his damage close to the hoop. The Fighting Camels focused most of their attention on the Hoyas’ leading scorer, center Jessie Govan, allowing Mourning to dominate in the paint and score a bevy of second-chance points. As a result, he also got to the foul line 13 times, where he scored 10 points.
“I think when you’re looking at the sum of the parts and you have Govan, who’s an all-Big East player, and the freshmen, who are all really talented, not that [Mourning] gets lost in the shuffle, but he doesn’t require a lot of shots,” Campbell Coach Kevin McGeehan said.
“Even today, he got them mostly off rebounds and then on the line. It’s harder to prepare for a guy they’re not running plays for and things like that. He’s a high-IQ guy, and he really played well. When they announced his dad’s name, I thought he went up like seven notches. I think he had like six or seven points, and then all of a sudden, he went off. I’m sure he heard it. I know I did.”
Clemons also felt inspired when he set foot in Capital One Arena. His favorite player is Allen Iverson, and he was excited to play against Iverson’s alma mater in Washington. But he was more excited when he arrived on court and saw John Thompson Jr. in his usual spot behind the baseline.
“I’m glad I was able to put on a good show for him,” Clemons said after.
The only other player in double figures for Campbell (3-3)
was Isaac Chatman with 14 points. The scoring was much more evenly distributed for Georgetown (5-1).
Freshman James Akinjo, who was tasked with guarding Clemons, had 17 points and four assists. Govan added 13 points, and Josh LeBlanc had 11 points. Jamorko Pickett added seven rebounds.
But Clemons stood out as the only flashy showman on court.
Mourning came about his points more quietly.
The fifth-year senior has hung out under the basket since he came back from a hip injury that sidelined him all of last season. His goal is to help replace some of the rebounding the team lost when Marcus Derrickson went pro in the spring, and Mourning’s presence (and the Hoyas’ overall length) helped Georgetown outscore Campbell 40-28 in the paint.
“Last year he sat and watched because he was hurt,” Ewing said. “This year he’s able to come out and play and do the things that he saw.”
Mourning said he spent his season on the bench learning where he could help the team most, where he fit in the best. Both Ewing and his assistant coaches have said that Mourning returned this season as one of the team’s vocal leaders.
“I stayed in his ear as much as I could to try to encourage him and lift his spirits and everything,” Alonzo Mourning said. “. . . Today is reminiscent of all the hard work he’s put in. It’s kind of falling into place for him. He’s slowly gaining his confidence and realizing what he’s capable of doing. I’m proud of him. I’m very happy for him.”