You always hear that guard play is what propels college basketball teams these days. If that is the case, John Thompson III and Georgetown should be in good hands with one of the best backcourts in the country.
The team's leading scorer from a year ago and pre-season Big East Player of the Year pick, Austin Freeman spearheads an experienced backcourt with senior point guard Chris Wright. Both players are physical for their respective positions and use their bodies to out-muscle smaller opponents. Freeman is a terrific outside shooter and once he gets going is almost impossible to contain. Wright played really well in spurts as a junior but needs to become a better distributor especially since Greg Monroe was such an asset in terms of of his ability to pass the ball better than any big man in college last season.
Junior Jason Clark returns to the starting lineup and was the team's top three-point shooter a year ago. He can run the point if needed, play off the ball, and might be the Hoyas' best perimeter defender.
Since the three starters play so many minutes, the role players will not be counted on all that much which might be a good thing since Georgetown lacks a lot of experience in terms of depth at guard with sophomore Vee Sanford, and freshmen Martel Starks and Aaron Bowen. Sophomore Hollis Thompson will likely be the sixth man and can play either forward position which will give JT3 some options with his lineups.
Monroe surprised nobody by leaving school early for the NBA, but JT3 now must try and fill that void in the middle where the current Detroit Piston did so many things. Julian Vaughn started alongside Monroe last season and will have to become more aggressive on the glass. Freshman Nate Lubick figures to see serious playing time off the bat and could break into the starting lineup.
Junior Henry Sims could be an x-factor for the Hoyas. He has good size but has been rather disappointing since arriving at Georgetown. The undersized Jerrelle Benimon will bring energy and physicality off the bench, while newcomer Moses Ayegba competes for minutes as well.
Wright-Clark-Freeman may sound like a well-respected law firm, but it's what will lead the Hoyas this season. Whether or not the frontcourt can carry their load may determine just how far this team goes once postseason rolls around.
Player to Watch: Hollis Thompson, F
I am avoiding the obvious of picking Wright or Freeman, and going with Thompson. He is unique to the Georgetown roster in that his length and athleticism are his biggest attributes. The Hoyas do not really have anyone with his versatility, and he should see an expanded role coming off a decent freshman campaign. If JT3 gets creative, he could actually throw a smaller starting five on the floor by giving the nod to Thompson instead of Lubick or Sims.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/12 at Old Dominion
11/21 vs. N.C. State/Charlotte/George Mason/East Carolina (Charleston Classic)