After the thought of Hollis officially entering the draft finally set in, I began to get a little bit more anxious for next year than I already was after our abrupt end to what was once such a promising season. It really got me thinking, and was enough for me to finally build the courage to write my first Casual post - What exactly is your level of concern, if any, in regards to the team chemistry for next years squad? What do you guys think of the teams ability to be able to mesh so many new and young faces to the point where they can play together as a well-oiled machine? As I begin to look in to the situation for next year, I have to admit I'm concerned. Maybe this is where all you seasoned Georgetown fanatics swoop in and tell me I'm getting worked up for nothing, but here's the reasoning behind my madness.
(More after the jump)
First, let's analyze the roster.
Seniors Jason Clark and Henry Sims, and juniors Jerrelle Benimon and Hollis Thompson (assuming he returns for at least one more year) are our upperclassmen. Then, you've got 5 sophomores with Starks, Bowen, Caprio, Ayegba, and Lubick, and the 5 incoming freshmen Adams, Trawick, Porter, Whittington, and Hopkins. That's 10 freshmen and sophomores, and 4 juniors and seniors.
Concern Number Uno
The roster is extremely bottom heavy, with 5 incoming freshmen and only Lubick and Starks really having gotten any legitimate playing time their freshmen year. When you look at minutes, only Thompson (744), Sims (449), Clark (978), and Lubick (629) surpassed 400 minutes of game-time last season, compared to 5 players heading into this past season who all in fact surpassed 650 minutes in 09-10. I'm not trying to use the lack of minutes played to express concern in experience, that's blatantly obvious just by looking at the roster. Instead, I'm trying to show how little familiarity the players will have when it comes to time actually spent playing with one another. When you look at minutes played, the 4 players I listed are all already lagging far behind the group of players the year before, but now throw in some of the freshmen who I assume will see immediate action and there's just no apparent fluidity between the young team right now. I know, turnover and meshing new players into the system is something that happens every year in every college program. But seriously, I can't remember (in my young life as a Hoyas fan) the last time we had two consecutive recruiting classes of 5 incoming freshmen. Hopefully this is where the Kenner League and the trip to China really play a huge role.
Now, let's look at Hollywood Hollis Thompson.
As I write this, he is declared for the 2011 NBA Draft, although he has yet to hire an agent and thus has maintained his collegiate eligibility. If you dig deep though, all points indicate to this being a test-run, with Hollis getting a feel for where he stands in the eyes of NBA scouts in anticipation of returning to the Hilltop next year where he knows he will be the main offensive weapon.
Concern Numero Dos
Our true offensive weapon for next year, the centerpiece of our offense, is currently declared for the draft. Although a lot of people believe he'll be coming back to the hilltop, how detrimental is his desire to head to the league to the relationship with the rest of the squad? Here you've got the guy who is going to be a big asset to the offense next year thinking about the draft after years of transfer rumors. Does this constant buzz surrounding Hollis Thompson affect the rest of the squad negatively? How will they respond if he decides to come back for next year but with the clear goal of leaving afterwards to bolt for the league? I like to think we have a team full of smart young men who all share the same desire of making it to the top, but with such a monstrous gap of elder leadership on this roster how likely is it that this attitude will negatively impact team chemistry? Which leads me to...
Concern Numero Tres
Leadership. I addressed the lack of upperclassmen on this roster before, but concern numero tres is dedicated to leadership. Jason Clark was set to be the third piece to the three-headed monster this past season, yet didn't live up to the hype of Wright and Freeman. Sims was still limited in his role, and Jerrelle never really established himself in the lineup. Where do you see the leadership coming from on this roster? None of the guys I just listed have ever appeared very vocal, as is the case with Hollis, if he returns. This is a serious concern for me, as I really see it being a dogfight between all of the young guys for playing time next year, especially with such a talented crop of incoming freshmen. I just don't see this team having that one solid 'old reliable' to lean on when times get rough, which they undoubtedly will in the lovely Big East Conference we call home, like we did with Chris Wright.
As I mentioned, this was my first post so please, be gentle. I've got nothing but optimism for next year, and hope this team pleasantly surprises us all. The concerns i listed above though are definitely something nagging me, and I'd love to see the views of the rest of the Casual Community. Hoya Saxa!