Head Coach: John Thompson III
Preseason Big East Coaches’ Poll: #2
Big East and Beyond Poll: #2
Last Year’s Record: 18-15 (8-10, 7th in Big East)
Last Year’s Result: It was certainly a forgettable year for JT3’s Hoyas last season. To finish 7th in the Big East and miss the NCAA Tournament is never something a storied program like Georgetown is used to. The highlight of the year was beating then number seven Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on February 1st. That win snapped a five game losing streak and placed the Hoyas back on the bubble; however, it was all for naught once the Hoyas lost to the lowly DePaul Blue Demons in the first round of the Big East Tournament. From there, Georgetown punched a ticket to the NIT where they lost in the second round to the Florida State Seminoles.
No Longer Here (2 Starters: Markel Starks, Nate Lubick, 1 contributor: Moses Abraham [transfer]) : It’s never easy to lose a guy who played 37 minutes a game like Markel Starks did for Georgetown a season ago. He averaged 17.3 points per game and led the team with 4.1 assists. Nate Lubick will also be missed as he was the leading rebounder for the Hoyas averaging 5.4 per contest. The other loss for the Hoyas is interior presence Moses Abraham who transferred to Nebraska for his final year of eligibility after graduating from Georgetown in May.
Who is back (3 Starters: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jabril Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, 3 Contributors: Josh Smith, Aaron Bowen, Reggie Cameron): The Hoyas bring back a host of players from last year’s team, led by preseason Player of the Year D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Smith-Rivera led the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game, had 5 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game. Expect all of these numbers to increase to help fill the void Starks left behind. Trawick is a slashing guard who can also score the ball, while Hopkins is a returning inside threat.
Josh Smith is probably the most peculiar name on the list because when he is on the court (and is interested in playing) he can absolutely dominate. After 13 games last year he was ruled ineligible, and this really hurt the Hoyas. But now all things seem to be on track for Smith to make a strong return this season, and can be a substantial difference for this team. His play will likely be the difference between Georgetown being a good and very good team. Finally, expect Bowen and Cameron to each provide energy minutes off the bench from the wing.
Who is new (L.J. Peak, Tre Campbell, Isaac Copeland, Paul White, Trey Mourning): This heralded recruiting class for John Thompson III is expected to make an immediate impact on the Hilltop. Three top 100 recruits in Copeland, Peak, and White lead the way. Copeland, the most regarded of the recruiting class, should give immediate mileage down low to help replace Lubick and Abraham. White will look to do the same. Peak, meanwhile, is going to add more depth on the wing that can definitely score the ball, which is something Georgetown has lacked. Campbell and Mourning (son of Alonzo, who also went to Georgetown) round out the recruiting class and help brighten the future for the Hoyas.
Why they will succeed: The pieces seem to all be in place for the Hoyas to return to prominence in 2014-15. Sure there will be some cogs to replace in Starks and Lubick, but having a guy like Smith-Rivera, a dominant interior piece like Smith, and a slew of good recruits should make overcoming that pretty simple. Playing Florida in the Bahamas and then Kansas at home will provide Georgetown with great opportunities early on. If all goes well John Thompson’s team could be in the top 25 by season’s end.
Why there should be concern: Markel Starks was the point guard that ran the show for Georgetown last year. The recruiting class is great, but it is more interior focused than out on the perimeter. The task will be for Smith-Rivera, Trawick, and freshman Tre Campbell to man the point guard duties. Only time will tell if it will be enough to make the Hoya’s offense a fluid one.
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