The much-anticipated 2014-15 edition of the Georgetown Hoyas was finally unveiled Friday night in McDonough Gymnasium, along with a flood of optimism and hope for a rebound season from last year's disappointing campaign. An excellent play-by-play recap of last night's festivities with pictures and video clips can be found here, but I thought I would offer my more informal observations from a student perspective.
Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak can fly. Not only can they jump high, but they also get off the ground quickly and effortlessly. These two are going to provide a lot of highlights during their time on the Hilltop. Aaron Bowen and Jabril Trawick also have pogo sticks for legs, but we knew that already. Bowen had one of the more spectacular missed dunks I have ever seen, and would almost certainly have won the dunk contest had he made that attempt. (He then went on to miss four more dunks to make Copeland the default dunk contest champion.) However, Copeland was a deserving winner for his against-the-grain 360 dunk.
Much has been made of this, but Josh Smith has lost significant weight since last season. It's hard to assess the exact amount, but visions of a dominant season were swirling as he was introduced. However, as the team was going through their layup lines, he shot almost exclusively three-pointers, to the amusement and dismay (mostly dismay) of the crowd.
The three-point contest was a team event, with each team composed of a men's basketball player, a women's basketball player, and a football player. Reggie Cameron led his team to victory over D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's squad, but Cameron was outshone by the Hoyas' junior quarterback Kyle Nolan and the women's junior guard Katie McCormick, who each made at least as many shots as Cameron. He had better get his act together if he wants to see minutes this year, especially with our new highly-touted forward recruits. I'm only half-kidding.
The student turnout was very solid. McDonough was packed, and the place was rocking for much of the night. Unfortunately, someone dropped the ball on Trey Songz's performance, as the DJ didn't have all of the music that Trey was planning on performing. However, the crowd was still thoroughly entertained by his performance.
Jabril Trawick's rap was enthusiastic, but I believe that his time would be better spent working on his three-point shot.
A dance group that JT3 dubbed "Reggie and the Juniors" performed. The group consisted of Riyan Williams, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Reggie Cameron, and David Allen (and not Bradley Hayes, who was called out by JT3 for being unwilling to dance). They weren't great dancers, but the crowd loved them anyway. The players clearly enjoyed their time at center stage, and seemed excited to begin what appears to be a promising season.
Tacko Fall is really, really tall. I saw him standing next to Jessie Govan, and it took me a while to realize that the small child standing next to Tacko was actually a 6'10" center recruit. Nobody can tell me that Tacko couldn't at least make an impact, should he choose to spend his college years on the hilltop.
There isn't much else that I can provide that hasn't already been covered by Chris's previous recap, but I can definitely say that there is an enormous amount of optimism in the student body for a great season. Walking out of McDonough after the event, it was hard not to picture a season where Smith-Rivera scores 25 points per game, Smith dominates the low block, and Peak, Copeland, Trawick, and Bowen provide three highlight dunks per game en route to a national championship. Hey, it's the preseason, when delusion runs wild. Most importantly, we can all finally celebrate the return of basketball season. Hoya Saxa.