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Porter likely back for Georgetown vs. UCLA

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Craig Stouffer

A return and a debut have raised the level of intrigue for Georgetown's first clash with UCLA since 2003.

Hoyas sophomore forward Otto Porter is expected back after practicing late last week following a one game absence with a concussion. Freshman Shabazz Muhammad was reinstated by the NCAA late Friday after the Bruins (3-0) filed an appeal on his behalf regarding "amateurism violations" that kept him out of UCLA's first three games.

The 19-year-old, 6-foot-6 swingman is regarded as the likely first pick in the next NBA Draft.

"He adds a whole new dimension," Hoyas coach John Thompson III. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about that just because of how hard he plays. On top of that, he's very, very good. He's very, very talented. Just how he plays, as hard as anyone I've ever seen in recent history."

The Hoyas (2-0) haven't looked sharp in part because Porter was lost early against Duquesne. His return should improve Georgetown's rhythm offensively while adding length to a defense that allowed Liberty to shoot better than 50 percent from 3-point range (10-for-19).

With the Florida game abandoned, the Hoyas know their two games in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be important to their postseason resume. Last year Georgetown used a 67-63 loss to Kansas in Maui as a springboard to win the next 11 games.

"Quite honestly, I think our team is at a much different place than our team was last year," Thompson said. "We're not as far along at this point as we were last year going into the Kansas game. Hopefully, the outcome is different because hopefully we win."

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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