Coach John Thompson III used veteran talent and a solid recruiting class to make Georgetown relevant in the conference last season. Here are the projected starters for the team that looks to bring the conference title back to the nation’s capital.
Point Guard: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera
Smith-Rivera is back for his senior season with the Hoyas after having a solid junior campaign. DSR was the preseason player of the year in the conference last season and had pressure on him all year to live up to that billing. He may not have met those high expectations, but he did post good scoring numbers.
The point guard averaged 16.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 38.7 percent from behind the arc. Smith-Rivera also grabbed 1.6 steals a night and was the heart of the Hoyas last season.
Expect more of the same next season.
With the losses of seniors like Joshua Smith, Jabril Trawick and Aaron Bowen, Georgetown will be relying on DSR to carry most of the load.
The Hoyas go as he goes and if Georgetown gets a great senior season from their best player they could have a memorable campaign.
Shooting Guard: L. J. Peak
After a hot start to his college career, Peak struggled to find consistency at times during his freshman season.
However, when he turned it on there were not many guards in the conference that could hang with Peak on the drive. His quickness, agility and athleticism allowed Peak to get to the free throw line a bunch. Peak converted on 70.1 percent of his free throws last season.
Peak can score too despite only averaging 7.9 points per game and showed a solid shooting stroke in games against Creighton, Marquette, Villanova and St. John’s in conference play. The guard made 16 of his 32 shots in those matchups and Georgetown went 3-1 in those games.
With a year under his belt, expect Peak to get even better in 2015-16 and be a major contributor in the starting lineup.
Small Forward: Isaac Copeland
Despite the lack of experience overall on the Hoyas’ roster, it is players like Copeland that allow Georgetown fans to be confident in their squad.
Last season, Copeland showed why he was one of the best young recruits in the conference with his "jack of all trades" type of play.
Copeland can provide some scoring, rebounding and efficient shooting from the field. As a freshman, the forward shot 45.1 percent from the floor and made 80.9 percent of his free throws.
The biggest attribute that Copeland brings to the Hoyas is his composure. He is lights out under pressure and nothing seems to bother him on the road or in general.
Scoring is something that Copeland will need to provide more of if the Hoyas want to improve next season. If last season is any indication, he learns quickly and can make those adjustments.
Power Forward: Paul White
The Hoyas’ core of sophomores is completed with the gritty defensive play of White who also brings some offensive ability.
Many times during last season, White could come in and provide some defensive stability in addition to making a basket or two. Now he will be expected to expand his role on both sides of the ball. With the lack of size that the Hoyas have it will be important for White to have a great season.
One thing that seems to be contagious on this Georgetown team is the poise that they show on the basketball court. White certainly fits into that mold and stepped up in a number of big wins for the Hoyas over Florida and in the dance against Eastern Washington.
White, along with Peak and Copeland, are vital to Georgetown’s success.
Center: Jessie Govan
This is Georgetown we are talking about so it is almost a requirement that the Hoyas have a solid center in their starting lineup. With the loss of Smith, the Hoyas turn to their top recruit in the Class of 2015 to fill the void.
Govan has a strong body with good size and can use his arms to play long in the paint. The 6-foot-10 freshman is 263 pounds and should be able to battle for boards with some of best players in the conference at the center position.
The freshman was the number 67th recruit in the ESPN top 100 for 2015 and another reason why is his ability to run the floor. Govan, especially for his size, is solid at getting ahead on the break and back on defense.
Georgetown hopes that he is the man that can complete this team and give the Hoyas enough size to compete in the physical Big East conference.