Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Georgetown Hoyas (Last Year: 24-9, 12-6 in Big East)
2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:
F/C: Nate Lubick (Jr)/Moses Ayegba (Jr)/Bradley Hayes (Fr)
F: Otto Porter (So)/Mikael Hopkins (So)/Brandon Bolden (Fr)
G/F: George Whittington (So)/Stephen Domingo (Fr)/Aaron Bowen (So)
SG: Jabril Trawick (So)/D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Fr)
PG: Markel Starks (Jr)
G-Jason Clark, C-Henry Sims, SF-Hollis Thompson
The Georgetown Hoyas lose their top-three scorers from a year ago, but have some talented young players who will need to step into bigger roles this season for the team to be a player in the Big East Conference.
One player who is capable of making the leap this year is versatile, athletic forward Otto Porter. He continued to improve as last season progressed and became a major asset in almost every area of the game. Improving his outside shooting and accepting a more assertive role as Georgetown's go-to option will really allow Porter to take his game to the next level.
As is typically the case, there is no shortage of size on the Hoyas' roster. Nate Lubick is the most experienced guy in that group and will probably see the offense run through him a little more since he is a capable passer. Mikael Hopkins was used seldomly last year, but figures to see a more prominent role off the bench.
There are three other bigs who will compete for minutes inside as well. Moses Ayegba returns from an injury that cost him all of last season, while freshmen Bradley Hayes and Brandon Bolden offer even more size at 7-0 and 6-10, respectively. Tyler Adams' season is already over and possibly his career due to a heart issue.
The backcourt will rely heavily on returning starter Markel Starks and sophomore Jabril Trawick. Starks is really the only true point guard on the roster, so he must stay healthy and embrace the role as floor leader, which Jason Clark had a firm grip on last season. Trawick had a shaky freshman campaign and with an expected increase in minutes, he needs to be more reliable to score from the off-guard position.
I really like Greg Whittington and think he's ready to blossom in his sophomore year. Like Porter, Whittington is lengthy, versatile, and athletic. He can stroke it from deep, which is a nice weapon to have when you are 6-8. If Whittington can become more effective off the bounce, he and Porter could be a very intriguing one-two punch for the Hoyas.
Aaron Bowen, D'Vauntes Rivera, and Stephen Domingo, who reclassified and enrolled a year sooner than expected, will compete for playing time off the bench at the wing position. Rivera is the logical choice to play some point when Starks needs a breather. Domingo is another long, athletic, versatile wing, while Bowen's biggest strength is his outside shooting.
Because of the length in its frontcourt and on the wing, Georgetown should once again be a solid defensive team especially when it plays some 2-3 zone. The offensive production is the biggest question mark for John Thompson III. There is capable talent and Thompson has a tendency of getting his players to rise to the occasion in expanded roles.
Player to Watch: Otto Porter, F
His ability to play a couple different positions is a terrific weapon for Thompson to have. The Hoyas can play him at the four and go with a quicker, more athletic lineup. They can also play him at the three utilizing a taller, lengthier five. That is part of the reason, too, he is a potential NBA Draft lottery pick.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/9 vs. Florida (on USS Bataan)
11/19 vs. UCLA (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
11/20 vs. Indiana/Georgia (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
11/30 vs. Tennessee (Big East/SEC Challenge)
12/4 vs. Texas (Jimmy V Classic at MSG)
Predicted Big East Finish: 7th
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