Our award-winning player profiles series appropriately concludes with a look at junior walk-on John Caprio.
THE ALLEY-OOP OF DESTINY
A Look Back
A relative unknown beforehand, John Caprio introduced himself to Georgetown at Midnight Madness 2010, making a good first impression to the sweet strains of Hanson:
John Caprio intro Midnight Madness.AVI (via Boku316)
An unmemorable freshman season followed, as Caprio played just six minutes across four contests. He did manage to avoid Club Trillion with a couple of free throws against St. John's, and, as an alumnus of Seton Hall Prep, gave voice to the chronically underrepresented Garden State demographic. But, after a bizarre declaration for the NBA Draft, Caprio's true emergence came over the summer, when he revealed himself to be an amateur documentarian on the Hoyas’ trip to China:
Caprio John 1 (via GeorgetownAthletics)
Little did Hoya fans know, Caprio was not just a cinematic auteur. What followed was a breakout sophomore year the true impact of which can only be captured by advanced metrics. The walk-on surprised his teammates, the faithful, and even JTIII by leading the team in defensive rating while posting the second-highest assist rate, block rate, and offensive rebounding percentage on the squad. Against his home-state power NJIT, Caprio broke new ground offensively by converting a field goal attempt while still leaving room for improvement (the nearly 50% turnover rate and a field-goal percentage in the mid-teens). A team that defined itself on the defensive end of the floor found its steel spine in Caprio. And with defensive tenacity came victories: Georgetown's record in games in which Caprio played was a cool 11-0, with an average margin of 25.6 points.
Okay, so I tried. As with his freshman campaign, Caprio appeared in only the most limited of circumstances last year, performing clean-up duty in one-sided decisions. But, with very few exceptions, that's the role of a walk-on, and Caprio performs it with admirable enthusiasm. And he actually did some good things last year, filling each of the major stat categories at some point during the season and connecting with teammate Aaron Bowen on the victory-capping alley-oop above.
Outlook for 2012-13
In Kenner League, Caprio ran with the freshmen and Otto Porter on the Tombs' squad and played roughly according to form. He had a couple of high-volume games before Porter came back, even reportedly notching a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in one outing. But mostly, he played a supporting role and was less assertive than his fellow walk-on David Allen. Given the already-documented minutes crunch facing Bowen, it seems highly unlikely that Caprio will find any more time available.
But while he may not take off his warm-ups often, Caprio still has a role to play. This year's team is senior-less and without an obvious leader, though some players are more vocal than others. That being so, the tone set by each player, walk-ons included, matters. Even if Caprio doesn't see much game action, he can push his teammates in practice.
Best Case Scenario
Caprio continues to build on the successes of his first two seasons and the Hoyas enjoy more lopsided victories than expected. Caprio erupts for eight points over the course of the season, in the process surpassing luminaries like Kenny Izzo, Brendan Gaughan, David Paulus, and Ryan Beal in the walk-on all-time scoring leaders, leaving him the slimmest of chances of catching Trenton Hillier next year.
Worst Case Scenario
Caprio is surpassed by the quick-trigger Allen as fan favorite and fails to see more than ten minutes of action all year. Caprio's good nature slowly fades and sulks his way through the season, forcing him to spend his free time on the bench coming up with a better Midnight Madness intro song for his senior year introduction than this year's Taylor Swift atrocity.