Georgetown Recruiting in the Class of 2011: The Bigs

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Who will replace Greg Monroe?

Spring is in the air, and for Georgetown basketball that means one thing - prime recruiting season is right round the corner.  Last year, we were all on the edge of our seats as we anxiously awaited word from the Latavious "B.I.G." Williams.  The saga ended with Latavious committing to Memphis, then de-committing from Memphis to play overseas, and finally playing in the D-League.  Exciting, I know.

This year the drama could be even more intense and full of mystery and intrigue, as Georgetown is hot on the tail of a number of big recruits.  Unfortunately, unlike last year, none of these players would arrive on the Hilltop until the 2011-12 season, and Georgetown will probably have to play a smaller, albeit much deeper, squad than in years past due to the departure of Greg Monroe.

(More on recruiting after the Jump)

The 2011-12 season will be a pivotal period for the Hoyas, as they are set to lose Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Julian Vaughn at the end of the 2011 campaign.  Georgetown officially has four open spots for 2011-12, unless someone from the Class of 2010 is offered a scholarship this summer.  The Hoyas are still hot on the heels of guards Tyrone Johnson, who was extended an offer by Georgetown in early February and is expected to visit campus, and Quinn Cook, All-Met Player of the Year and former teammate of Market Starks.  If Johnson or Cook were to commit, Georgetown would be fairly deep in the guard/small forward positions, with Jason ClarkHollis ThompsonVee Sanford, Markel Starks, and Aaron Bowen, but there will certainly be a need for more bodies in the paint, as only Henry Sims, Jerrelle Benimon, Nate Lubick and Moses Abraham would remain.

Below are the PF/Centers on Georgetown's immediate radar:

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Rakeem Christmas
6'8'' 200lbs
Bryn Athyn, PA

Last we heard about Christmas was that he had trimmed his list to five possible schools: Georgetown, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida International.  He is ranked by Rivals as the #1 center and #4 player in the Class of 2011.  ESPN had the following to say about him:

What stands out about this kid is his upside; Christmas is a long athletic power forward that has had an outstanding summer. As talented as he is it is still easy to see what he has the chance to become. He runs the floor like a deer and is a big time finisher with either hand in transition. He has a great motor and a mentality to dominate on the boards; he is a great offensive rebounder that does a good job of finding a lane to the glass. Defensively, he has good feet and lateral quickness that allow him to defend out on the perimeter, as a shot blocker he challenges everything and his timing is advanced. Right now his game is more productive in the paint, but you can see he is going to be a difficult match-up for opponents as he continues to develop a consistent outside shot; he is a threat from 15-17 feet and his free-throw stroke looks good.

Rumors are that his list is down to three, and Georgetown has a good shot at landing the highly sought after big man.  Below is a video from his sophomore season where he records a triple-double in points, rebounds and blocks.

 

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Angelo Chol
6'8'' 205lbs
San Diego, CA

Chol recently trimmed his list to eight, including: Georgetown, Florida, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Connecticut, and Washington.  He dropped Arizona State and Wyoming.  According to Rivals, he is the 3rd best center and 19th best player in the Class of 2011.  ESPN's most recent evaluation of him is as follows: 

Chol demonstrated why he is considered a high-level recruit for the Division I level (California Classic). The lengthy lefty scored in a variety of ways inside and out. His go-to move is a jump hook over his right shoulder. He gets great elevation on it and his release is quick. He can knock down the jump shot at the elbow as well, although it isn't as consistent as it needs to be-but much improved from a year ago. In addition, he shows his savvy for the game with his passing ability-he made a number of fine passes out of the paint area. Despite being very wiry, he is a very solid rebounder to boot. Physically he has a slight frame, but he is very quick off his feet and he can run all day in transition. Defensively, he has the lateral quickness to guard a 4 and the bounce and length to check a 5.

No word on where he is leaning but he would be a huge get for the Hoyas.

 

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Jordan Omogbehin
7'2'' 280lbs
Ft. Washington, MD

There is not much out there on the Nigerian native other than he is tall, very tall.  We wrote about him in October after Hoya Balla caught up with him but not much has surfaced since.  Below is ESPN's scouting report on the big man:

Omogbehin is a huge post player that is at least a mid major plus prospect on size and strength alone. He has an NFL body but his game is still very much under construction. Omogbehim runs heavy legged and his hands are average at best. He can finish drop off passes created by guard penetration with a clear path to the rim and power drop steps. He also scores on offensive rebound put backs. He is not as explosive as he looks and simply has no feel for the game at this point. He is an alert defender and has an all business approach to the game. Omogbehim is very mechanical but has time to devlop his feel and skill but is a lane protroller and a very intimidating force on both ends of the floor. It will be interesting to see his level of improvement over the next year.

The "under construction" description doesn't seem too enticing, especially since Moses Abraham is entering next year with a similar label but if there is one place to tone and develop your big man skills, it is Georgetown.  You can't teach height, just ask all the players that were out-rebounded by the clown Brian Zoubek in the NCAA Tournament.

 

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Johnny O'Bryant
6'9'' 235lbs
Cleveland, MS

Georgetown was late to the party on O'Bryant, who has picked up offers from the many SEC and Big 12 schools including: Mississippi, Mississippi State, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas and others.  Rivals ranks him the 3rd best PF and 13th best player in the class of 2011, while ESPN has the following to say:

O'Bryant's game isn't always pretty, but this blue-collar beast is fun to watch. He has a great motor at both ends and was easily the best rebounder in attendance. He attacks the glass with a chock full of ferocity and he never stops until the whistle blows. Once he snags the rebound on the defensive end he loves to fill the lane where he can throw it down with authority. Although most of his game translates into power, he does have a respectable jump shot out to the elbow. On the other hand, his post game is still in its infantile stage as he has a tendency to bring the ball down far too often. In addition, his pivot work is still a bit sloppy where he gets off balance while finishing. However, due to his motor, impressive physique, and bounce, there is no reason to believe that he won't continue to be one of the elite-level post prospects for his class.

Georgetown is high on the big man's list, despite being late to offer him a scholarship.  He is also drawing interest from Harvard, a good sign as Georgetown's academic reputation could further entice O'Bryant.  He is supposed to visit campus later this month.

 

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Jacob Lawson
6'8'' 220lbs
Oak Ridge, NC

Lawson was thought to be leaning towards Seton Hall but with the coaching change, things can change.  Rivals does not rank him and ESPN had the following to say:

Lawson is a big time athlete that is aggressive and plays above the rim in transition and on any clear paths to the basket. He has a great basketball body and motor. He runs the floor and covers the court effortless at times. Lawson is a tough competitor and seems to play every possession. He rebounds and blocks shots in and out of his area. Other than transition Lawson scores around the basket with quick spin moves and attacks the rim along the baseline. He does a great job of drawing fouls mainly because of his aggressive style of play. He must work on developing some go to moves in the post and his perimeter game. Right now he depends solely on his tremendous athletic ability to be productive. On defense he must have a better understanding of how to defend a live dribble because at times he gets to close and picks ups a cheap foul although he has all the tools to defend both forward positions. But off the ball he is alert and will not hesitate to help a teammate. Lawson has great upside and with skill development he could be a special player.

He also has offers from Seton Hall, North Carolina State and Wake Forest, and Syracuse and Florida are showing interest as well.  He is planning on visiting Georgetown over the summer.

 

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Mikael Hopkins
6'8'' 210lbs
Hyattsville, MD

Local product that has been in the Hoyas radar for awhile, although it seems he is looking towards the midwest for greener and flatter pastures.  Rivals ranks him as the 6th best power forward and 32nd best prospect in the Class of 2011.  ESPN had this to say about Hopkins:

A long and extremely mobile low post prospect with above average athleticism, Hopkins shows the tools to project to the high major level. He has a soft touch around the rim, can gather and finish quickly, catches in traffic, is light on his feet for a player his size, and passes well for a big guy. However, he didn't like contact inside the paint, struggled to finish in congestion, and was disinterested in rebounding the ball (4 rebounds in 28 minutes at Hoophall Classic). He loves to spin off his defender on the interior and utilizes the maneuver effectively both facing up and with his back to the basket. Although his body is far from filled out physically he defended the interior fine but struggled when pulled to the perimeter, unable to close-out without overrunning the player or losing his balance. Ultimately, he's an intriguing prospect with undeniable tools who needs to get stronger and tougher in order to maximize his potential.

Would be an excellent get, but seems less likely as he is drawing attention from other big name programs and has yet to narrow down his list.  He is currently considering Kansas, Texas, Villanova, Georgetown, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, and Ohio State.

 

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Desmond Hubert
6'8'' 195lbs
Cream Ridge, NJ

Georgetown has not offered Hubert, yet, but he is receiving a lot interest from Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Virginia Tech and Xavier.  Rivals ranks him as the 7th best center and 54th best prospect in the Class of 2011.  ESPN had the following to say:

Hubert is a mobile and athletic big man who projects as a high-major shot blocker. He's a tremendous athlete with extremely long arms, great rim to rim speed, and natural lateral quickness. He changes the game defensively with his ability to patrol the paint as a weak side shot blocker, quickly rotating to the rim from a wide radius, blocking shots with both hands, and altering far more shots than he blocks. His best offense is a dunk right now, which he gets by out-running other bigs in transition, going to the offensive glass with a quick second jump, or finishing alley-oops. He needs to get stronger throughout his upper and lower body in order to defend the block, establish his own post position offensively, and finish against contact. While he shows some glimpses of a low post game, he also needs to expand his offensive repertoire.

Maryland and North Carolina are looking at Hubert as well.  He is looking to make a decision by the fall.

 

Assuming the Class of 2010 is set and there are four open scholarship spots for the 2011-12 season, Thompson and his staff have some tough decisions to make.   If one is used by either Tyrone Johnson or Quinn Cook (hopefully two are used by them), how would we use the remaining three?  Getting three of the players listed above is probably unnecessary since we have size with coming with Jordan Goodman in 2012.  But landing two of them is key for the future.  Who does Georgetown concentrate on, or is it too early to tell?  Do we take a chance on Omogbehim, who by all accounts had a stellar junior season?  A 7'2'' player doesn't come around very often, and Georgetown has had success shaping big men and sending them to the professional ranks.  Or do we go after the highly-touted names, that are drawing interest from the top programs in the country?  There will also be a lot of players no one knows about until the last second, similar to the recruitments of Benimon and Bowen.  A fun summer awaits.

Good talk.

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