By Jon Rothstein
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1. LENGTH PERSONIFIED
Georgetown coach John Thompson III has made a conscious effort in the last two years to recruit as many versatile pieces as possible, and no team of his will portray the ability to do different things on the floor more than the one he’s about to coach. The Hoyas are incredibly long and will likely start four players 6-8 or taller. For a long time Georgetown has been known for their lineage of great big men but Thompson is now making the Hoyas synonymous with a new brand — length.
2. BATTLE TESTED
If Georgetown’s non-conference schedule can’t prepare this team for the Big East then nothing will. The Hoyas will open the season against Florida, then play UCLA and possibly Indiana in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. Georgetown will also host Tennessee in the Big East/SEC Challenge and return to New York to take on Texas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in early December. That’s five non-conference games against five teams that could conceivably win their leagues before the Big East schedule even begins. Wow.
Thompson has gone on record and said Otto Porter will be one of the best players in the country and after watching him in person on Monday it’s hard to argue. The 6-8 sophomore has a grasp of the game that stretches well beyond his years and for long portions of practice on Monday, Porter regularly brought the ball up the floor and found his teammates in stride cutting to the basket. If his trajectory remains the same, look for Porter to develop into a Boris Diaw type at the next level that can beat an opponent both inside and out.
4. DOWNTOWN DOMINGO
Stephen Domingo may only be 17 years old — but he’s already got an unbelievable feel. The 6-7 wing who graduated high school a year early to enroll at Georgetown should help the Hoyas replace some of the outside shooting they lost with Hollis Thompson’s departure. Regularly using both head and shot fakes to get clean looks in traffic, Domingo has all the looks of a key reserve that has the ability to reach double figures whenever he steps on the floor.
5. SOPHOMORE JUMPS
In addition to Porter, Georgetown’s sophomores — Greg Whittington, Jabril Trawick, and Mikael Hopkins all figure to have a major increase in minutes and production. Whittington is exactly the type of versatile wing that Thompson craves for his system and Hopkins could very well be this team’s X-Factor because of the time he’s going to log on the interior. Trawick, a standout perimeter defender figures to share point guard responsibilities in spurts with Markel Starks, Porter, Whittington, and freshman guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
It’s yet to be determined if this Georgetown team can crack the top quarter of the Big East — but the Hoyas are definitely a squad that should reach the NCAA Tournament. With Porter and Whittington leading the way, Georgetown should have two of the league’s most versatile talents as well as exceptional depth off the bench. Thompson said this could be the deepest team he’s ever had and it’s not crazy to think of the rotation stretching to 10 if freshmen big men Bradley Hayes and Brandon Bolden develop. We don’t know if the Hoyas will be ready for what they’re going to deal with early but we’re willing to bet they’ll be ready late.
Your prediction for the Hoyas? Be heard in the comments below!