D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, rising junior for the Georgetown Hoyas, had a breakout year during the 2013-14 campaign in the eyes of many who watched him.
Smith-Rivera was more aggressive and his offensive arsenal increased, and it showed on the stat sheet. Last season, the Indianapolis, Indiana native averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game with a field goal percentage of 44.5 percent to boot. Those are numbers that are usually reserved for a junior or a senior, but head coach John Thompson III gave him a lot of freedom with the Hoyas' free-flowing offense.
Smith-Rivera has an advantage over anybody at his position because he is not an prototypical point guard. You could say that he has the body of an fullback or an linebacker, and that is quite true as he checks in at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds with a lot of muscle to go alongside that stature.
Smith-Rivera really grew from his freshman to sophomore year. In his first year at The Hilltop, he averaged just 8.9 points per game while playing with Markel Starks, who has since left Washington, D.C. to pursue his professional career. Georgetown will now use him at the point guard position this season, so that fellow guard Jabril Trawick can play the at the "2."
With what lies ahead, D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera needs to be a leader on the team. And that leadership begins with guiding freshman guard Tre Campbell, a four-star recruit and a native of Washington, D.C. Georgetown is going to have a few leaders on the team, but as a junior and a point guard, I think the majority of those responsibilities will be firmly supplanted on the shoulders of Smith-Rivera.
During Kenner League action, Smith-Rivera was scoring from all over the floor, and could not be stopped. Simply put: the only person who can stop D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera is ... D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
Sometimes he does get a little frustrated at times when he is not knocking down shots he know he can make. I would like to see him continue to push through frustration and keep his confidence, and with the talent he has, piecing those final things together under the guidance of good coaching should not prove to be too difficult.
How good can he be this season? His potential this season is really high, based on what I have seen in Kenner League action. And the more I watch him, the more I see a scoring point guard that can control the pace and get up and down the floor with ease. But, also, Smith-Rivera can be a facilitator when he needs to be.
In the 2014-15 season, I expect D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera to be one of the best players in the Big East Conference, and is a threat to be a First Team All-Big East selection again.