Before the season even started, Georgetown point guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera was predicted to be Big East Player of the Year. But, over the course of the season, his inconsistencies started to mess him up, and others started to make a name for themselves as to why they should win Player of the Year in a tough conference like the Big East. Players such as LaDontae Henton, Kris Dunn, D'Angelo Harrison, Darrun Hilliard and more. For Smith-Rivera, this season was more about him being a leader on the team, with all the incoming freshman coming in. His stats this year did drop from last season, but we can't just look at that as a bad thing because in a lot of the games for Georgetown, he has made big playafter big play to get his team to the finish line, and he plays well in the biggest moments. Here is why he should win Big East Player of the Year.
Consistency in conference play
Smith-Rivera down the stretch in the regular season was really consistent if you watched him closely, he has made many spectacular plays, but the way he handles the pressure when he's needed to step up is what makes him special. A lot of the time, his scoring was down, but he has been always been a force on the defensive end and made plays in games on that side of the ball to lead his team to victories. Against Butler, after Isaac Copeland made that three pointer, he blocked Roosevelt Jones' floater to end the game. People know Smith-Rivera for scoring more than anything , he is just not a scoring guard, he does it all on both offense and defense and sets up his teammates to score the ball. A lot of the coaches after the games always recognize that the plan was to stop Smith-Rivera, but you can not stop him. The most entertaining stretch this season was DSR scoring 75 points in the span of a four game winning streak. In a conference like the Big East, that is pretty good because everyone can come out to guard him pretty well. We all know Smith-Rivera has had games where you just want to shake your head, but he always bounces back with an amazing performance in some type of fashion either on offense on defense.
Understands when to takeover
Watching Georgetown, the person that the Hoyas always look to takeover a game is Smith-Rivera. He is the leader on the team, even with the amount of seniors on the team, they rely on him to bring them home. Smith-Rivera does not have anybody on the team like Henton like Dunn does. He does have Joshua Smith, who opens up the offense, but he takes over when Smith is not on the floor. The junior guard has solidified himself as a top two point guard in the league but in my opinion, he does so much in the moments his team needs him. Scoring, passing, and making key defensive stops are important and the award represents him. He barely has a game where he does not score as much, but when he has a bad shooting day, he will always be aggressive on defense. His defense sometimes takes in the final minutes of the game. Always on attack in the crucial moments of the game and he never takes his foot off the pedal unless he is not playing well and other players are. Any other player in this conference will tell you that Smith-Rivera loves to takeover the game and will not stop going.
Game winner against Florida and superb play against Indiana
The most interesting, and best, games that D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had during nonconference play had to be hitting a game winner against Florida, who was projected Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Georgetown's guard nearly dominated that game scoring 17 points and shooting 50 percent from the field against a pretty decent Gator team. At that point, Florida was ranked No.18 and the Hoyas came into that game unranked. What made his performance, and the game winner, so special was that before that shot, there were 21 lead changes in the game. Smith-Rivera had about 4.9 seconds to get a shot off and he did. Usually in a situation like that, where there is so much intensity in overtime, a shot would have been rushed, but the guard looked calm taking the shot. We have never seen him get mad at his teammates, he is always telling them to relax.
Against Indiana, the junior guard took over the game and told them by his play, "I am better than you" with his 29 point performance, and going back and forth with Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell,and James Blackmon Jr, it was like a one on three match at times, because he answered all three of them with a big performance on national television.
He has done this over the course of the season, leading his team back after being down 10 or 12 in games, people need to realize that this award should not be about, "Did he put up consistent numbers?". It should be about, "Did he help his team win on both offense and defense most of the season?". The saying "Big players step up for big moments", he has done that all season.