Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
With the Georgetown Hoyas losing Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter, John Thompson III still brings back four starters from last year’s conference championship team that once again suffered an early exit from the NCAA Tournament.
Last Season: T-1st, 14-4 in Big East, 25-7 overall
Predicted Big East Finish: 2nd
Projected Depth Chart
C: Mikael Hopkins (Jr)/Joshua Smith (Jr)/Moses Ayegba (Sr)/Bradley Hayes (So)
PF:Nate Lubick (Sr)/Reggie Cameron (Fr)
G/F:Jabril Trawick (Jr)/Aaron Bowen (Jr)
SG: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (So)/Stephen Domingo (So)
PG: Markel Starks (Sr)
Gone: F-Otto Porter, PF-Brandon Bolden (transfer-Kansas State)
Senior point guard Markel Starks will be a vital piece of the Hoyas puzzle since for the second straight season, he is the lone true point guard on the roster. Starks has shown steady progress throughout his collegiate career becoming a reliable floor general and consistent outside shooter.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera seems ready for a breakout sophomore campaign since he moves from a sixth man role into the starting line-up alongside Starks. He is in better shape this season but still a physical guard who can score from just about anywhere on the floor. Jabril Trawick has been a solid role player the past two seasons and will complete a three-guard look for JT3.
After being suspended for the second half of last season, news got even worse for talented wing George Whittington as he will miss all of 2013-14 due to a torn ACL. That leaves the Hoyas short-handed with their depth at guard since seldom used Aaron Bowen and Stephen Domingo are the only reserve options off the bench.
Up-front, the Hoyas return their starting tandem of Nate Lubick and Mikael Hopkins but also bring in an intriguing transfer in former UCLA big man Josh Smith who was ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA. Lubick fits Georgetown’s style of play in that he passes the ball well out of the high post and is also aggressive on the glass. Hopkins brings some more athleticism to the floor but didn’t show anything last year to stake his claim on the starting center spot.
That is where Smith comes into play. At 6-10, 350 pounds, he is a load down low but also very skilled with his back to the basket. His effort and conditioning were obstacles at UCLA in him turning into the true, dominant big man that he is capable of becoming. If any program can tap into his potential, it is Georgetown which has a rich history of producing talented bigs. Moses Ayegba, Bradley Hayes, and Reggie Cameron will compete for minutes inside as well but expect JT3 to keep his rotation tight as he usually does.
If Starks and Smith-Rivera can become the best backcourt in the Big East, Smith has his head focused for the entire season, and the team remains one of the better defensive teams in the country; the Georgetown Hoyas will contend with fellow defending Big East Conference champs Marquette and the new kids on the block, Creighton.
Player to Watch: Joshua Smith
The NCAA did the Hoyas and Smith a favor by declaring him immediately eligible rather than having to sit out the first semester. Maybe a new setting and breath of life is what Smith needs to become a dominant big man.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 vs. Oregon (in South Korea)
11/21 vs. Northeastern (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/22 vs. Kansas State/Charlotte (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/24 vs. VCU/Florida State/Michigan/Long Beach State (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
12/21 at Kansas
2/1 vs. Michigan State (at Madison Square Garden)
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#21 Wichita State
#23 New Mexico
#29 St. John’s
#33 Boise State
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#40 Arizona State
#44 Iowa State
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#56 Saint Mary’s
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks