After a quick look at the walk-ons, our player profiles series turns to the scholarship Hoyas. First up is freshman who is no stranger to the Hilltop. Like his coach, Trey Mourning arrives at Georgetown bearing one of the most famous names in Hoya hoops history. But with plenty of front-court competition, the younger Mourning may be a year or more away from forging his own legacy on the court.
Senior-year statistics: 29 ppg, 10 rpg
Recruiting profile: three-star
Mourning dominated relatively meek competition at Ransom Everglades in Florida. At 6'9", 205 lb., Mourning was tall enough to shoot over smaller defenders in the post and on the wing and quick enough to beat them off the dribble. Trey preferred to initiate offense from the perimeter, where his smooth jumper, good hands, and agile feet were all assets, and where his thin frame was less of a liability. On defense, Mourning maintained the family tradition of rim-protection. In one particularly gaudy performance, Trey notched 52 points, 22 rebounds, and 12 blocks. In another, he scored from all over the floor, including a breakaway game winner, showing a flair for the dramatic.
Whether because of his slight frame, middling competition, low profile on the summer circuit, or strong bond to Georgetown, Mourning's recruitment was very quiet. This past spring, word leaked that he was considering the Hoyas along with Duke and Florida. In May, he committed to Georgetown.
Mourning arrives as the least heralded but, on name alone, perhaps most famous member of the 2014 recruiting class. But that name won't get him on the court, and a front-court logjam may mean he'll have to wait at least a year for meaningful minutes. Mourning was the third long, lanky 2014 pledge, joining forwards Isaac Copeland and Paul White. That trio will flank a rotation of veteran posts that includes seniors Joshua Smith and Mikael Hopkins and junior Bradley Hayes.
None of these Hoyas is a sure thing. Smith was academically ineligible for the latter half of last year and not always in shape before that. Hopkins has improved as a rebounder and defender but has battled foul trouble and has never become a reliable contributor. Hayes is still a project. Copeland and White are both highly regarded but unproven.
Given all this uncertainty, Mourning may be able to earn minutes. But the jump from any high school to college is a big one, and Mourning does not have a track-record against top-flight competition. His high school did not play the national schedule Copeland played last season at Brewster Academy, or in the famed local leagues where White and Tre Campbell cut their teeth. He also was not a presence on the summer circuit, where he might have been tested against better competition. (And, lest anyone point out that a certain 2013 NBA lottery pick also played small-school HS hoops and eschewed AAU ball, let's not forget that Otto Porter is a freaking basketball savant.)
Mourning's size and perimeter skill may make him a valuable stretch-big, either this season or down the road. His ability to bury threes and pass over the top of defenses can punish zones and, in man-to-man schemes, less mobile defenders.
Those contributions are more likely to come a year or two from now. Even with a few pounds of added bulk (the Hoyas' roster lists him at 217 lb.), Mourning still needs to add some strength before he can hold his own defensively and on the boards. In Kenner League, he struggled to finish around the rim, defend the post, and stay consistently involved in games against bigger, older competition. Nevertheless, he's a worthwhile long-term investment, regardless of whether he pays off this season.
Mourning is stronger, quicker, and better than his uneven play at Kenner League suggested. He carves out a role as a sharp-shooting stretch-four who in spot minutes opens up the court for Smith and the slashing Hoya guards. With Copeland and White, Mourning lays the foundation for the Hoya front court of the future.
College competition is too much. Mourning is too slight to guard opposing posts, to slow to defend the perimeter, and not burly enough to pound the boards. He doesn't release jumpers quickly or accurately enough to stretch opposing defenses, and he's relegated to mop-up duty with the walk-ons.