What a difference a year makes. These teams last year struggled to stay relevant, but now they look to rebound and improve this season. Recruiting, talent and just another year under their belts provide optimism to fans as their school looks positively build off of the previous season. The bounce back countdown begins with the team in our nation’s capital that looks regain its usual perch atop the conference.
Georgetown is coming off their worst season since the 2008-09 year when the Hoyas went 16-15 (7-11) and finished with a first round NIT loss. John Thompson III’s team went 18-15 (8-10) in 2014 and failed to reach the NCAA tournament for only the second time as he begins his 10th season at the helm. This year, the Hoyas boast the best recruiting class in the Big East and one of the top 10 in the nation. Led by forwards Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak, the Hoyas look to regain their place top of the Big East Conference with this group of young talent.
It is not just about this promising recruiting class however, there are many veterans for the Hoyas who are a year older and a year wiser. This could also pay big dividends for Georgetown’s younger players and for the overall team. Junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera looks to build on a solid season a year ago that saw him average 17 points per game and shoot 38.9 percent from behind the arc. He is joined by senior Jabril Trawick who looks to go out with a better season than he had a year ago.
Another team that could have a revival this season because of recruiting is Seton Hall, who finished 17-17 (6-12). Even though they had a nice ride in the conference tournament to end their season, there is still much room for improvement. Those improvements come from the conference’s second best recruiting class, which is also top 12, according to ESPN. The Pirates are led by guard Isaiah Whitehead and power forward Angel Delgado in this class. Both are expected to be stellar, but that is not all the Hall will have this season. Guards "Step back" Sterling Gibbs and Jaren Sina expect to play big roles for this team as leaders in addition to their respective talents. Gibbs can really penetrate and get to the basket in order to finish or draw fouls. Sina is a sharp shooter who can hit big three-pointers in the clutch. When these two are on the court together, great things happen for the Hall.
Senior forward Brandon Mobley will be a major factor for the Pirates as he is the most experienced player in a thin Seton Hall front line. Mobley’s defense and his ability to set the right example, as I wrote in my previous Mobley article. He can really fuel a bounce back year for the Pirates.
The Blue Demons of DePaul - yes that is right, DePaul - will bounce back this season. They will certainly be better than their 12-21 (3-15) record of a year ago. We saw a glimpse of the future in the Blue Demons' win over Georgetown in the first round of the Big East tournament last season. Players like Billy Garrett Jr. and a slimmer Tommy Hamilton IV, who both played well in that game, are sophomores now. They definitely have the talent to improve on last year’s lost season.
Now will they be in contention in the conference? No, but they will certainly improve and have a bounce back season because of the talent on Coach Oliver Purnell’s team.
This team also contains loads of experience. There are no freshman on this team and that can be a problem at times, but with another year under the belts of these players, I think DePaul could cause problems for many teams in the Big East and in non-conference play.
All three of these teams that finished in the bottom half of the conference a year ago will have better seasons. Expect Georgetown and Seton Hall to possibly finish in the top half of the standings in 2014-15. These programs have good prospects and overall talent, which should lead to a better outcome for the Hoyas, Pirates and Blue Demons this year.
Which Big East team is most likely to bounce back this season? Take our poll and leave your thoughts in our comments section below.