Georgetown Hoyas forward Greg Whittington has suffered a knee injury – sources confirm to multiple media outlets such as ESPN and CBSSports.
While the severity of the injury remains unknown, there are reports that it is serious. Rumors suggest that it is an injury to his meniscus and that it could keep Whittington out for the entire 2013-14 season.
This would be a crushing blow to the Hoyas who were seen as one of the favorites to win the newly configured Big East this upcoming season. Play For The Garden spent last week previewing the Georgetown roster and dedicated an entire post to the return of Greg Whittington, and how is presence back in the lineup would ease the loss of Otto Porter.
Whittington only played in 13 games last season – averaging 35.2 minutes, 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds – before being suspended for the remainder of the season due to academic reasons.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III was expecting Whittington to have a ‘special year’ last season, so one would have to believe that he was excited to get Greg back after losing the Big East Player of the Year to the NBA.
Whittington has the ability to play either forward spot given his size (6-foot-8) and shooting ability (33% career 3-point shooter), and was potentially going to be Georgetown’s best defender given his athleticism.
The loss of Whittington is no doubt significant, but Georgetown won’t be without options at forward – especially if they can get UCLA transfer Josh Smith on the court and playing meaningful minutes. Nate Lubick will again start at the 4 and Mikael Hopkins is back to start at the 5, but Aaron Bowen, Moses Ayegba, the previously mentioned Smith and incoming top-100 recruit, Reggie Cameron (6-foot-7 power forward who is ESPN’s 63rd ranked recruit), will need to step up.
The success of the Hoyas may now ride on Smith, a top-30 recruit in 2010 who has battled weight issues his entire career. JTIII took a chance on him given his potential, but he needs to cut weight and improve his conditioning so that he can be on the floor for more than a few possessions at a time. Even given his big body (6-foot-10 and 300+ pounds) he has a unique skill set with his soft shooting touch and nimble feet. He was seen as a wildcard with upside for Georgetown, but could end up being their most important player with Whittington out.