Mar 9, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas guards Markel Starks (5) and D

Big East Preview: Georgetown Hoyas


 

Record last season:  25-7 (Conf: 14-4)

Postseason:  Lost in Round 2 of NCAA tournament

Coach:  John Thompson III

Coach’s record at school:  209-88

Offensive efficiency:  105.7 (78th in the country)

Defensive efficiency:  86.3 (2nd in the country)

Returnees:  Markel Starks (12.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.9 APG), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (8.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG), Nate Lubick (7.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG), Mikael Hopkins (6.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG), Jabril Trawick (5.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG), Aaron Bowen (1.6 PPG, 1.0 RPG), Moses Ayegba (1.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG), Stephen Domingo (1.1 PPG), Bradley Hayes

Notable losses:  Otto Porter (16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG)

Newcomers:  Reggie Cameron, Josh Smith

Projected lineup:

G:  Markel Starks

G:  D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

G:  Jabril Trawick

F:  Nate Lubick

F:  Mikael Hopkins

Outlook:

You can’t replace a player like Porter who led the team in points and rebounds last year and ended up being the 4th overall pick in the NBA Draft.  But there is enough talent on this year’s squad to compete for a second straight Big East championship.

The back court has three very talented guards – Starks, Trawick and Smith-Rivera – who could comprise the best back court in the Big East.  Starks is on the Cousy Award watch list for best point guard in the country while Smith-Rivera is primed for a breakout season.  He came out of high school as a known sharp shooter, and averaged just less than nine points per game as a freshman.  I think you’ll hear the initials ‘DSR’ a lot more this season.

The front court is filled with toughness and experience in Hopkins and Lubick.  Lubick, a 6-foot-8 forward, will be a four year starter who is seen as one of the better glue guys in the country.  He has a high motor and is a very good passer for his size.  Hopkins, 6-foot-9, made a nice leap last year in his sophomore year, and should further improve as a junior.

However, the biggest reason the Hoyas could be really good this season is due to incoming transfer Josh Smith.  Smith, a former top 20 recruit, comes to Georgetown from UCLA where he had a falling out last year.  He is highly skilled for his size (6-foot-10 and 300+ pounds), and will be a nightmare for whoever gets the responsibility of guarding him.  He is a difference maker, but has had trouble staying on the court for more than a few minutes at a time.  He has two years of eligibility remaining.

The Hoyas also welcome top 100 prospect Reggie Cameron.  The 6-foot-7 forward is known for his shooting and defense, and will give Georgetown solid depth on the wing.

And Ayegba, Domingo, Bowen and Hayes all provide formidable front court depth for JT3.

It’s tough to say this is a better team than last year after they lost a lottery pick, but there shouldn’t be much of a drop off.  The Hoyas had the second best defense in the country last year which shouldn’t change and there appears to be players on the roster who are more than capable of stepping up and making up for the loss of Porter on the offensive end.  And with the potential that Smith brings, you have to like the prospects of Georgetown being a really good team again.  Now if they can only get by their first opponent in the NCAA tournament this year.

Projected Big East finish:  2nd


Tags: Basketball Big East D'Vauntes Smith-River D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera Georgetown Hoyas Josh Smith Markel Starks Otto Porter