Next up in our series of player profiles is freshman point guard Tre Campbell. A local product, Campbell attended nearby St. John's College High School, where he led his team to a highly successful season as a senior. He arrives on the hilltop as a three-star recruit, and should have an opportunity to make an immediate impact as a new member of the Hoyas.
Senior-year statistics: 12.6 PPG, 56 3-pointers made
Recruiting Profile: three-star, #126 Rivals, #182 247Sports, #90 Scout
Campbell did not register gaudy statistics in high school, but he was still the leader of a loaded St. John's team. As the floor general of a team that featured five Division I players, he provided steady and consistent play. His performance earned him All-Met First Team honors, showing the respect that he earned in the Washington, D.C. area. The 6'2", 170-pound guard is a true point guard who has displayed solid ball-handling ability as well as an improving stroke from the outside. He has shown an innate sense of when to attack and when to facilitate, and brings a high basketball IQ and a well-balanced game. On defense, Campbell shows good effort and energy, and possesses good lateral quickness. It is easy to envision him developing into a solid perimeter defender during his four years at Georgetown.
Campbell's recruitment heated up quickly during his junior year of high school, based on his strong performance both in his high school season and on the AAU circuit. He received offers from Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and VCU among others before settling on Georgetown in May 2013.
Campbell should have an opportunity to compete for playing time almost immediately. He is the only true point guard on the roster, and while junior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera seems likely to slide over and become the starting point guard, Campbell should have a chance to seize some minutes behind or alongside Smith-Rivera. Guards Jabril Trawick and L.J. Peak, or even forward Paul White could spend some time at the lead guard spot, but none of them are natural lead guards, so Campbell could play meaningful minutes from day one.
While it seems as if backup point guard minutes are available, there are question marks as to whether Campbell will be ready to take on those minutes. The leap from high school to college basketball is a huge jump, and Campbell is not a physically dominant player. Thus, there will likely be a steep learning curve as he begins his college career.
Two critical aspects of Campbell's game are his ball-handling and outside shooting. He has been a solid ball-handler and shooter at the high school and AAU level, but he must prove that he can adjust to the increased pace of the college game. If Campbell is able to prove himself in these areas, he could be a useful part of the rotation, especially against smaller and faster teams. Smith-Rivera will be playing his first season as a full-time point guard, and it would be very helpful to have another ball handler to help share those duties. However, Campbell must show that he can compete against bigger, stronger, and more skilled guards than he has faced in the past in order to earn a consistent spot in the rotation.
Reports on Campbell's play in Kenner League were mixed. He was lauded for his quickness and ability to get to the rim, but he still needs to work on his decision-making. He turned the ball over a few too many times, and sometimes looked to shoot too often off of his penetration instead of looking for open shooters on the perimeter. In addition, it is clear that he struggled initially with the adjustment to a higher level of play. He was occasionally beat off the dribble by high-quality guards, and sometimes struggled to get through picks that were set by bigger and stronger big men. However, there were several reasons for optimism, as Campbell showed that he can be very effective pushing the tempo in transition, and showed a solid jumpshot on his better days.
There seems to be little doubt that Campbell has the potential to develop into a solid four-year contributor for Coach John Thompson III. The bigger question seems to be whether he will be ready to play right away. If he proves that he can handle the ball at a high level and keep defenses honest with his jumpshot, he could play an important role in the Georgetown rotation right from the start of his career.
Campbell provides a solid presence off the bench and immediately earns minutes as Smith-Rivera's backup. He shoots 35% from 3-point range and provides effort and energy on both ends of the floor, gradually earning Thompson's trust. As the Hoyas march towards the postseason, Campbell starts to earn minutes alongside Smith-Rivera in addition to his backup minutes, allowing DSR to slide over to his more natural shooting guard position for part of every game. Alongside L.J. Peak, Campbell creates an exciting backcourt for the future.
Campbell struggles to adapt to the college game. He is overwhelmed by faster and bigger point guards on defense, and struggles to fight through picks set by bulkier and smarter forwards. On offense, he turns the ball over far too often, and forces the issue too often in the half-court set. As Big East play begins, Campbell plays only spot minutes, as Jabril Trawick takes over backup point guard duties. Campbell is forced to wait until his sophomore year to make a significant impact.