Monday, September 29, 2008

Georgetown: 2008-2009 Team Preview

2007-2008 Team Preview: 28-6, 15-3 Big East (1st)

Key Losses: Roy Hibbert (13.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.2 bpg), Jonathon Wallace (10.7 ppg, 2.4 apg), Patrick Ewing, Jr (6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

Key Returnees: DaJuan Summers (11.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Austin Freeman (9.1 ppg), Jessie Sapp (9.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

Newcomers: Greg Monroe, Henry Sims, Jason Clark

Georgetown was the class of the Big East the last two years, but losing three seniors that were key to the success of the Princeton offense is really going to hurt. The biggest (literally and figuratively) is Roy Hibbert. People underestimate how important this guy was to that offense. He could hit a 15 footer, he was darn near automatic when he got the ball on the block, and he was a very good passer. Simply put, Hibbert was the ideal center for the system Georgetown ran.

Georgetown does return a lot of talented players, however, especially in their back court. Chris Wright was a McDonald's all-american coming out of Washington, DC, but he was slowed during his freshman year due to a foot injury. But he is a lighting quick, play making point guard that also is an above average shooter. Austin Freeman, another Mickey D's all-american, is a great complement to Wright. At 6'4", 240 lb, he is an excellent shooter, but is big and strong and more than capable of finishing in the paint. Expect big years out of both sophomores. Jessie Sapp also returns for Georgetown. Sapp is an NYC kid with a bit of streetball style in his game, but he is also a pretty solid all-around player. He can hit the three, can get to the rim off the dribble, and is also probably Georgetown's best perimeter defender (he led the team in steals last year). Freshman Jason Clark, a top 100 recruit, should also see a lot of time off the bench.

The front court is a different story. DaJuan Summers is the only returner with significant experience. Summers is a guy who has never really lived up to his potential. He is a big, strong, athletic combo forward (6'8", 236 lb) that can score down low, but also has some perimeter skills. But he has been very inconsistent through out his career, including last season. The Hoyas also add two talented freshman to their front court. Greg Monroe could be the best freshman in the Big east next season. He is 6'10" and long, but he also has outstanding perimeter skills. He can hit three's, he can put the ball on the floor and blow by defenders, and he is an outstanding passer. He has a tendency to get out hustled on defense and on rebounds, but his talent is undeniable (he skill set has drawn comparisons to former Hoya Jeff Green, but his attitude and demeanor is closer DaJuan Summers). The other freshman is Henry Sims. He is 6'10" with long arms, but right now he is more of an athlete than a basketball player. He has gotten rave reviews for his motor, however, meaning that he is probably going to be an excellent rebounder and defender inside for Georgetown.

Outlook: There is no question the Hoyas have talent on their roster this year, but they do have some other questions marks. The first is their depth. Not only did they lose the seniors, but Jeremiah Rivers and Vernon Macklin, two key role players, both decided to transfer out of the program, meaning that they won't have the depth that they have had in previous years. They also don't look to be as tough defensively as they have in the past. But the biggest concern I have is with the guys on their roster. Are they actually best-suited for running a Princeton offense? With quick, talented guards like Wright and Sapp, and some athletic bigs that can run the floor like Summers, Monroe, and Sims, wouldn't they be better suited to a fast paced style? I still think that they will be one of the better teams in the Big East, but this year that could mean they finish in eighth place.

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