Our award-winning player profiles series marches on with a look a freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
A Look Back:
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, shortened to a much more
manageable casual "DSR", is the star of the Georgetown freshman class. Once ranked as an elite recruit at North Central High School in Indianapolis, his stock dipped slightly due to concerns about his athleticism. After committing to Xavier and transferring to powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, DSR put up big numbers and he again gained national attention during a remarkable 44-0 season. When DSR backed out of his Xavier commitment, JT3 and the staff did a fine job of recruiting him, swooping in on DSR as the Kyle Anderson saga unfolded, beating out Louisville, Memphis and NC State.
Outlook for 2012-13:
DSR's body type might have made scouts question his potential – but Georgetown fans can look to recent history for reassurance. At 6'3", 227, DSR might be the closest thing to Austin Freeman to enter to college ranks since Austin himself in 2007. He's a shooting guard with an above average handle, has the ability to use his broad shoulders for leverage around basket, and most importantly, is a dead-eye shooter. In Kenner League, DSR showed how accurate he can be from three – knocking down 6 or 7 attempts in a row during one particularly phenomenal performance. He also showed a quick first step that was good enough to beat his opponents at Kenner and should challenge many Big East guards. DSR also displayed a rain drop short fadeaway that he seemingly doesn't miss. Bottom line: DSR is going to score this year for the Hoyas. He may be the only player on the Hoyas team that is a true #1 option volume scorer. When he was hot in Kenner League, he showed no deference to Otto Porter, and at times seems to outshine Otto on the offensive end. In addition, DSR made a conscious effort to involve Brandon Bolden who is prone to floating and try to get him looks around the basket, including a number of thunderous alley-oops.
The knock on DSR is how good of a defender will he be. Over the summer, he seemed to show solid instincts and athleticism tracking down long rebounds and getting in passing lanes, but there are question marks as to how he will hold up. But his demeanor, though not as fierce as Jabril Trawick's (is anyone's?), definitely has a sharp edge and shows an intolerance for losing – a good sign that he'll gel well with the Georgetown's hungry sophomore class.
Best Case Scenario:
DSR becomes Georgetown's leading scorer and wins Big East ROY. Even if he starts as a sixth man, don't be surprised if DSR manages to outpace his fellow Hoyas on offense. While Stephen Domingo may be a better option when wide open, DSR knows how to create his own shot. Like Austin Freeman, DSR's wide shoulders allow him to bully opponents and create shots through craftiness rather than pure athleticism. DSR could easily slide into Jason Clark's role last year of a #1 scoring option. DSR's willingness to assume a high possession rate allows Otto Porter and Greg Whittington to play within themselves and exploit match-ups with high efficiency. If Markel Starks falters, the Hoyas could use DSR as a combo point guard and create matchup problems against opponents.
Worst Case Scenario:
His ability to score is undermined by recklessness and poor defense. DSR is a natural scorer who will be able to put the ball in the basket, but the question is whether he can do it efficiently and within the flow of the offense. He's inserted as an offensive spark, but doesn't earn JT3's trust on either side of the ball to finish games. His poor play on defense and a potentially balky knee cause DSR to be nothing more than a role player on this year's squad as Georgetown hopes he develops into the player he can be as a sophomore.