When: November 8
Time: 8:00 EST
Where: South Korea
What: Armed Forces Classic
How to watch: TBD
The Georgetown Hoyas begin their 2013-14 campaign against No.19 Oregon Ducks in the Armed Forces Classic Friday night.
What to expect: Georgetown
A season ago the Hoyas had a realistic chance at a National Championship but were eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Otto Porter, an All-American and the team's leading scorer last year, has moved on and senior Markel Starks will be the new guy for the Hoyas this season. Starks, along with wildcard UCLA transfer Joshua Smith and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will have to carry the load for the departed Porter.
Replacing what Porter provided on both ends of the floor isn't going to be easy. Even with Porter last season the Georgetown offense only mustered an ORtg of 102.0 (158th). However, the Hoyas registered a dominant DRtg of 89.0 (9th), which was a major reason for their regular season success.
Porter led the Hoyas in minutes, points per game, free throw attempts per game, three-point percentage, steals per game, and even total rebounds per game. That's a lot of production that must be replaced for the Hoyas this season. Freshman Reggie Cameron may eventually be the next guy at Georgetown, but this season the Hoyas will have to rely on multiple guys like Starks, Smith-Rivera, Smith, Nate Lubick, Greg Whittington, Mikael Hopkins, and Jabril Trawick. The Hoyas may have lost an All-American in Porter, but all the dependable role players that surrounded him return along with the wildcard Joshua Smith inside.
The Ewing Theory could very much be at work this season for the Hoyas.
What to expect: Oregon
Like the Hoyas, the Oregon Ducks lost significant production from a season ago, except it was multiple players rather than just one star. The Ducks will have to replace four out of their top-five scoring leaders from a season ago. Those four departures include forward Carlos Emory (11.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), forward Arsalan Kazemi (9.4 ppg, 10.0 rpg), forward E.J. Singler (11.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and center Tony Woods (8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg).
The Ducks frontcourt was their strength a season ago with Emory, Kazemi, Singler and Woods but now their strength is actually in the backcourt led by their young guards Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson. Like Starks, Dotson should be handed the keys to the Oregon offense, but unlike Starks' situation Dotson has a lot more unfamiliar faces that he will have to get acclimated with as Oregon tries to build off their 28-9 record from a season ago.
Another major similarity between the Ducks and Hoyas is they each have their own wildcard transfer inside. The Hoyas have Smith and the Ducks have Mike Moser. Moser started his collegiate career at UCLA, but later transferred to UNLV where he broke out and put together a monster 2011-12 season for the Rebels averaging 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Moser hasn't been 100 percent since that time, but if the Ducks can get 75 percent of 2011-12 Moser that'd be huge for their hopes of replicating last season's success.
Two match-ups to watch out for
Experienced Georgetown frontcourt vs. the inexperienced Oregon frontcourt
Markel Starks vs. Damyean Dotson
Georgetown and Oregon are two eerily similar teams this season. Both are strong defensively, so this match-up figures to be an ugly one with both teams struggling to make baskets as they both try and find their new identities on offense. The last time Georgetown was overseas it didn't end well, and even though I don't expect quite that much chaos this time around I still expect it to end in a Georgetown defeat in a close, low-scoring game.