Tagged with Men’s Basketball

Recruiting Update: Top Guard Targets

While most of the varsity sports on the Hilltop wrap up their seasons and the student body celebrated Georgetown Day, the men’s basketball coaching staff is already hot on the recruiting trail for next year. The team currently has one open scholarship spot open and is seeking to fill it with a guard via a transfer or graduate school recruit. Casual Hoya, a Georgetown fan site, has been posting about a couple of Georgetown’s top targets. Let’s take a look at each:

Anton Gill (6’3” sophomore guard, Louisville):

Gill was an elite scorer with great verticality coming out of high school (he was ranked #48 in the country by ESPN, ahead of the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine). At Louisville, his minutes stagnated, and he couldn’t crack the rotation. He announced his intention to transfer at the end of March. He played high school basketball with Isaac Copeland and college basketball with Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau so he has serious connections to the Hoyas. Gill took an official visit about a week ago but would have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules.

Anthony Collins (6’1” graduate point guard, South Florida):

Collins is a defensive-minded point guard (averaged 1.5 steals per game last year) who also has a great playmaking capacity. Hoyas could really use another point guard so DSR can spend more minutes at his natural off-guard position. Since Collins would be a 5th year graduate-transfer, he would be immediately eligible. Per Jon Rothstein of CBS, Collins has cut his list down to Georgetown, Tennessee and Baylor, but Texas A&M has recently gotten into the mix.

Nigel Williams-Goss (6’3 “sophomore guard, Washington):

Williams-Goss is easily one of the best transfers available. He averaged 15.6 points 5.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds a game during 2014-2015 season while being named to the All Pac-12 team. Williams-Goss is a well-rounded player who would be a huge boost for the Hoyas should they recruit him. Even though he would sit out a year, Williams-Goss would have two seasons to play with the current freshman core of Copeland, Peak, White, and Campbell (a potent combination). Williams-Goss has reportedly narrowed his choices to Georgetown, UNLV, Texas, Michigan State, Arkansas and Gonzaga. Coach Thompson will make an in-home visit with him this week and then Williams-Goss will make an official visit on May 8th.

Kenny Williams (6’3” high school senior guard):

Kenny Williams, ESPN’s #82 player in the country this year was locked into   attending VCU until Shaka Smart left to take the Texas head coaching job and

Williams was released from his letter of intent. Now, his recruitment is wide open with UNC, Michigan, VCU and Virginia looking like frontrunners, but Georgetown, which extended an offer to Williams last year, is still in contention. Williams is a well-rounded scorer, but his value comes from being one of the best shooters in the class of 2015. Williams would be a great addition to the already solid 2015 Georgetown recruiting class.

Any one of these guys would solidify an already strong Georgetown roster that looks poised to challenge even the toughest teams in the Big East.

Class of 2015 guard Kaleb Johnson signs his letter of intent to play for Georgetown next season.

Class of 2015 guard Kaleb Johnson signs his letter of intent to play for Georgetown next season.

In other recruiting news this week, Georgetown commit Kaleb Johnson officially signed his national letter of intent. That means

the 6’6” wing will be joining Jesse Govan and Marcus Derrickson as part of the incoming freshman class. Johnson is a well-

rounded player who will add outside shooting and defense for the Hoyas.

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Georgetown and Maryland to Meet Next Year

The Washington, D.C. metro area has long been one of the top basketball regions in the country, but the two premier local programs – Georgetown and Maryland – have not played each other consistently since the late 1970s. There have been occasional meetings between the teams in various tournaments since then, but none that have been scheduled. That changed on Tuesday afternoon when the local CBS affiliate reported that Georgetown and Maryland will play this upcoming season in College Park, Md.

The matchup will be the highlight of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, a series of contests that will pit opponents from the Big East and the Big Ten. 2015 will mark the first edition of the games, which are scheduled to run through the 2022-2023 season. The inaugural match-ups have yet to be formally announced, but individual games have been reported since last week and Brian Snow of Scout.com tweeted out what appears to be a complete schedule on Tuesday afternoon:

Georgetown vs. Maryland

Xavier @ Michigan

Creighton @ Indiana

Rutgers @ St. John’s

Illinois @ Providence

Nebraska @ Villanova

Penn State @ DePaul

Iowa vs. Marquette

From an interest standpoint, the meeting between Georgetown and Maryland could hardly have come at a better time, as both teams are projected to be among the best in the country next season.

Maryland, led by talented freshman guard Melo Trimble, returns the bulk of the talent from a team that spent much of the past season ranked in the top-20, received a five seed in the NCAA tournament and lost in the round of 32 to West Virginia. The Terps are bringing in a consensus top-10 recruit in center Diamond Stone and will likely be ranked in the preseason top-five, if not higher.

Georgetown, buoyed by the return of junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, brings back an incredibly talented group of freshmen to go along with a strong recruiting class. The Hoyas will expect to fall somewhere in the 15 to 20 range of the preseason polls.

The last meeting between the two programs came in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, where Georgetown rolled by a score of 75-48. Prior to that, the teams had not met since the 2001 Sweet 16, when the Terps beat the Hoyas 76-66 on their way to the Final Four.

This is a game that college basketball fans not only in D.C., but also around the country have been waiting a long time for. Along with a matchup against archrival Syracuse, it will be one of the most anticipated games of Georgetown’s season.

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Rumors of Smith-Rivera Return Break Tuesday Evening

Georgetown’s prospects for the 2015-2016 basketball season suffered a significant blow one week ago when news broke that junior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera would forego his senior year to enter the NBA Draft.

Smith-Rivera was Georgetown’s leading scorer this past season, averaging 16.3 points per game. The announcement caught many fans off guard, given that it was unclear whether or not Smith-Rivera would actually be drafted by an NBA team this year. His departure also left the Hoyas with a sizeable hole in their backcourt, where freshman guard Tre Campbell looked to be the only returning true point guard.

But not so fast. On Tuesday afternoon, Casual Hoya posted that Smith-Rivera may be reconsidering his decision to enter the NBA draft.

Hours later, Brian Snow of the recruiting website Scout.com sent out the following tweet.

Update: ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted that Smith-Rivera’s mother has confirmed that her son will return to school.

There have been no announcements from Smith-Rivera or Georgetown pertaining to a change in the point guard’s decision, but signs point toward Smith-Rivera’s return to Georgetown next year. Although he announced his intention to declare for the draft, as long as Smith-Rivera did not hire an agent or break any of seven points laid out by the NCAA he could still have chosen to return to school. The deadline for withdrawing one’s name from the draft list to retain eligibility is April 12 this year.

Georgetown’s initial press release stated that Smith-Rivera “plans” to sign with an agent.

The Hoya has reached out to the basketball program for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Update: Smith-Rivera has confirmed on his Instagram account that he will return.

Update- April 8: As of Wednesday morning, Georgetown Athletic’s Sports Information Department still has not received word about Smith-Rivera’s potential return. Signs seem to point to the guard playing his senior season, but, per NCAA rules, he must submit a written declaration of his intent to return to collegiate basketball to Director of Athletics Lee Reed.

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Future Suddenly Looks Uncertain for DSR, Georgetown

Georgetown announced that junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera would declare for the NBA Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Smith-Rivera will hire an agent according to the school’s press release, which means that he will be ineligible to play for the Hoyas next season. Some quick breakdowns of the development are below.

A Surprising Decision

Smith-Rivera impressed in his three years on the Hilltop, earning a spot on an all-conference team after each season – All-Rookie

File Photo: Julia Hennrikus/ The Hoya Junior guard and co-captain D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will not return for his senior season, leaving Georgetown short of backcourt options.

File Photo: Julia Hennrikus/ The Hoya
Junior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera will not return for his senior season, leaving Georgetown short of backcourt options.

as a freshman, Second Team as a sophomore and First Team as a junior. He averaged 16.2 points per game last season and could have conceivably been the fourth player in school history to score 2,000 career points if he had stayed for his senior season (Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd and Alonzo Mourning are the only Hoyas to have done so).

Although Smith-Rivera has shown the ability to dominate at the collegiate level, his pro prospects are murkier. DraftExpress.com ranks Smith-Rivera as the 61st junior in the country and NBADraft.net has him as the 32nd junior. After the news broke this afternoon, ESPN draft expert Chad Ford tweeted that Smith-Rivera was the first person outside of his top 100 prospects to declare (freshman forward Isaac Copeland ranks 66th on that list).

With that said, most of the knocks on Smith-Rivera are more related to his physical abilities than his skill-set. Another year at Georgetown wasn’t going to make Smith-Rivera three inches taller, and given the fact that Smith-Rivera is already 22, the case can be made that it makes sense for him to start his pro career sooner rather than later. Continue reading

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DSR To Leave Georgetown Early

Junior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has announced that he will declare for the NBA draft and forgo his senior season at Georgetown.

Smith-Rivera averaged 16.3 points and 34 minutes played over his 32 starts this season. His play was instrumental in a number of wins, including those over Florida and Butler.

Nevertheless, the announcement will come as a surprise to many Georgetown fans. Smith-Rivera’s standout performances were coupled with games where he had little impact. A contract with a team in Europe seems as likely as a spot on an NBA roster.

Georgetown now has just three returning guards for the 2015-2016 season: freshman Tre Campbell, junior Riyan Williams and junior David Allen. Only Campbell saw meaningful playing time this season. Sophomore Reggie Cameron is listed as a forward but will likely also be a part of the conversation for playing time at the guard position. Freshman forward L.J. Peak may also play a role similar to that of outgoing senior guard Jabril Trawick.

The addition of a graduate transfer such as Damion Lee is also a possibility for Head Coach John Thompson III. Barring any additions, though, the Hoya roster is suddenly light on guards heading into next season.

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Hoyas Must Watch Out For Wright, Taylor in Second-Round Game

The Hoya talked with Griffin Adams, sports editor of The Daily Utah Chronicle, about Georgetown’s second-round matchup in the NCAA tournament. This is what he had to say about fifth-seeded Utah (25-8, 13-5 Pac 12).

What is it that makes Delon Wright such a good player?

When talking about the best players in the nation, Delon Wright’s name has to be mentioned. Thanks to his wide variety of skills, Wright makes plays that sometimes his teammates and coaches don’t even see coming. Wright has become one of the smartest players in the country in his time at Utah, and that’s what really separates him from the rest of the field. The Wooden Award candidate seems to always make the right play, and when he does make a mistake or turn the ball over, most are shocked.

Wright can pass, dribble, penetrate and finish at the rim with ease, as evidenced by his 52.3 field-goal percentage. One knock on Wright heading into this season was that he couldn’t shoot from behind the arc, and while he hasn’t exactly shot lights out from deep this season, Wright has improved his three-point percentage to a respectable 36 percent. Basically, there’s no simple solution when trying to stop Wright, and I feel bad for a coach who has to gameplan against him.

What types of team has Utah had success against this season? What time of team has it struggled with?

Looking at Utah’s losses, most of them were close games that were lost in the closing minutes. But the one time the Utes got absolutely run out of the gym was against Arizona in Tucson earlier in the season. The reason why the Runnin’ Utes struggled so mightily against the Wildcats was due to the physicality of the opponent. Utah boasts two seven-footers in Jakob Poeltl and Dallin Bachynski, but this team has been regarded as a squad that can’t bang down low with the big boys. In that loss, Arizona’s Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley — and even Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson — all seemed like superior rebounders to any of the Utah players, and when the Utes don’t win the rebounding battle, it’s usually a toss-up when it comes to the outcome.

Outside of Wright and Jakob Poeltl, who are the Utes’ key cogs?

This question is hard to answer, as different players have stepped up for the Utes all season long. They are an extremely deep squad, and head coach Larry Krystkowiak isn’t afraid to opt for his bench when he sees something on the court he doesn’t like.

That said, one key player on this squad is Brandon Taylor. The shortest player on the roster, measuring in at just 5-foot-10, plays some of the best defense on this squad. Despite his short stature, Taylor never backs down from a challenge and has been placed on the opposing team’s best player multiple times throughout the season. Additionally, Taylor catches fire pretty easily from downtown, and when he is hitting from deep, this Utah team is hard to stop.

Portland is obviously much closer to Salt Lake City than D.C. How well do you expect Utah to be represented in the stands?

I think this game will be well attended by the Utes, and I think the crowd, even the non-Utah fans, might be more in their favor. On Thursday night when the Runnin’ Utes took on Stephen F. Austin, the Utah fans were the only ones to fill up an entire section when the game tipped off, but as the contest progressed, the upset-minded crowd in Portland sided with the Lumberjacks.

However, with Utah being the lower seed in this one, not only do I expect the Ute faithful to show up in full force, I also expect the neutral fans in attendance to side with the Runnin’ Utes to give them somewhat of a home-game atmosphere in Portland.

 

Georgetown and Utah will play tonight at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Tip is set for 7:45, and the game will be shown on CBS.

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