Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Big East Preview: #6 Georgetown

Posted by Zach on October 23, 2008

6. Georgetown Hoyas– Coach: John Thompson III (5th season)

PG- Chris Wright (SO): Replacing floor leader and pinpoint three-point shooter Jonathan Wallace is no cakewalk, but the Hoyas have a former McDonalds All-American lined up to take the reigns. Chris Wright played in only 16 games last year due to a severely sprained ankle that hindered what Wright does best: out-quick the opponent (definitely not a word). Wright enters this season 100% healthy and a prime candidate for most improved player in the Big East. Wright is a perfect fit for the Hoyas transition offense and proves above average defensively. Wallace was a tremendous shooter for the Hoyas, yet this team could score more points with Wright’s quickness at the helm.

SG- Jessie Sapp (SR): Sapp is another underrated piece of the puzzle. He not only drained 41% from behind the arc last year, but also led the team in assists over Wallace. Sapp is the total package who rarely makes mistakes; Thompson views his senior guard as the most dependable player returning for this season. As the lone senior in the starting five, the challenge for Sapp will be keeping the mood positive on and off the court if Georgetown hits a rough patch this season. He improved his three-point stroke last year and could be the focus of the defense during crunch time minutes.

SG/SF- Austin Freeman (SO)
: Austin Freeman was sensational as a freshman and may take the next step towards being recognized nationally in 07-08. Freeman averaged just under 10 PPG including accuracy from all over the court: 51% from the floor overall, 40% from three and 82% from the charity stripe. He starred in the winner-takes-the-Big East duel with Louisville last March, notching 15 points. Look for plenty of those efforts from Freeman. His versatility is also helpful for Thompson, as he can freely slide Freeman over to the 2-spot if he wants to go big with both Macklin and Monroe.

PF- DaJuan Summers (JR): Even with all of the talent Freeman and Monroe possess, it may be Summers that college basketball fans are talking about as the breakout player for the Hoyas this season. Underachieving a bit as a sophomore with high expectations, Summers returns to DC this year in phenomenal shape and the goal to play the role of Jeff Green on this Sweet 16-caliber Georgetown team. He’ll seemingly benefit from the more fast-paced system Thompson will employ with Wright running the point. His ability to run the floor and create matchup problems is key. Summers finished second to Hibbert in both PPG and RPG in 07-08. Don’t be surprised if he leads Georgetown in both categories in 08-09.

PF/C- Greg Monroe (FR)
: Thompson will rightfully hesitate to forward a majority of the scoring load from the frontcourt onto the plate of the youngster Monroe. He may not have a choice by the end of the year. Much like Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo from a year ago, Monroe already has a Big East-caliber body, and has bulked himself up to a reported 250 pounds this offseason. The 6’11 two-time Louisiana Mr. Basketball has plenty of high expectations and the skill to back them up. He’s a strong offensive and defensive rebounding presence that can score posting up or facing the basket. He’s also an outstanding shot blocker. Don’t expect Monroe to dominate the Big East initially, but watch out if this kid continues to gain more and more confidence as the year progresses.

Bench:
The Hoyas lost Jeremiah Rivers, who opted to transfer to Indiana, so it’s slim pickings in terms of guard depth. Sophomore Omar Wattad is still maturing into his big frame; he can surprise you with an accurate three-point shot. Freshman Jason Clark is a 6’2 guard from Arlington will be extremely valuable for Thompson and see minutes because he shows 100% hustle on every possession and plays strong defense. Florida State transfer Julian Vaughn will be eligible immediately for Thompson. Vaughn could take over for Monroe if he should struggle and the Hoyas wouldn’t lose that much in terms of bulk and aggressiveness on the boards, but their scoring could dip. Freshman Henry Sims will surely see action. Sims is a 6’10 lanky forward who specializes in shot blocking and defense, and it could take him a while to score effectively at the college level.

Backcourt: B+
Frontcourt: A-
Bench: B
Coaching: A-

Bottom Line:
Losing Roy Hibbert and Jonathan Wallace stings. Expecting to contend for the Big East crown after losing those two players may also be a stretch. But never underestimate the coaching ability of John Thompson. This team rarely makes mistakes and will match up with any team in the nation on defense. They have plenty of players who could make the leap: Summers, Monroe, Wright, Freeman. Look for this group to play solid basketball all season long but fall behind teams who have more talent overall. Georgetown will be right in the mix as they always are under JTIII.

Key Non-Conference Games: Old Spice Classic (Tennessee in the semis most likely), 12/13 vs. Memphis, 1/17 @ Duke
Key Conference Games: 1/3 vs. Pittsburgh, 1/31 @ Marquette, 2/14 @ Syracuse, 2/23 vs. Louisville
Most Valuable Player: Austin Freeman
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA (Round of 32)

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One Response to “Big East Preview: #6 Georgetown”

  1. Kevin said

    Losing Patrick Ewing Jr, Roy Hibbert, Jonathan Wallace, Jeremiah Rivers and Vernon Macklin is a losing a ton of experience and talent. Don’t expect Georgetown to finish in the top half of the conference, and that’s not a knock on GT. The Big East is that good.

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