Georgetown Hoyas Midterm Grades
Believe it or not, your Georgetown Hoyas are effectively halfway through their regular season. As Big East play gets underway, it seems like a natural time to evaluate the individual contributions of each of the players. So, without further ado, I have graded each of the Hoyas, sorted by class. Obviously, these are just my personal opinion, and these are all open for discussion, which can be carried on in the comments section. This is a subjective exercise that is more for fun than anything else, but it's always good to evaluate the individual players and the team's performance as a whole.
C Joshua Smith
Stats: 13 GP, 12.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 64.2 FG%, 68.3 FT%
Positive Aspects: Smith has shown great improvement in a number of areas this season. He has provided a steady presence on the low block, and has been mostly unguardable in 1-on-1 post-ups. He represents a matchup problem for virtually every team the Hoyas go up against. In addition, his mobility and defense, while still not top-notch, have definitely improved since last season. Smith's 6.3 rebounds per game are up from his 2013-14 average of 3.4 per game, and he has had some success as a weak-side shot blocker on defense.
Areas to Improve: At this point in his career, Smith is what he is. He's never going to morph into Roy Hibbert on defense, and there are some shortcomings that we are just going to have to deal with. However, there are a few things that he needs to work on this season. First of all, he needs to stay out of foul trouble. Many of his fouls have been questionable decisions from refs who don't know how to officiate his size and girth, but some of them are still lazy fouls that can be avoided. In addition, Smith has turned the ball over 2.7 times per game, a number that is too high and could be lowered through smarter post decision-making, particularly in dealing with double-teams.
G Jabril Trawick
Stats: 8.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 55.6 FG%, 59.5 FT%, 47.8 3FG%
Positive Aspects: Trawick has brought a solid, tenacious, veteran presence to this year's Hoya lineup. He has provided his typical hard-nosed defense, along with an underappreciated but nonetheless valuable offensive contribution. Trawick has been judicious with his shot selection, taking only five shots per game, and converting an extremely high percentage of them, both inside and outside the three-point arc. In addition, he has filled a role as a secondary distributor within John Thompson III's offense, dishing out 2.5 assists per game, good for second on the team. He is also effective in transition, showing off his athleticism with a number of highlight-reel dunks.
Areas to Improve: Trawick is most effective when he plays within himself on offense. However, he is not an effective as an isolation scorer or an off-the-dribble creator, and he has turned the ball over often when he tries to fulfill those roles. Trawick's selective shot selection has been mostly beneficial to the Hoyas, a team with many offensive options. However, his reluctance to shoot has hurt the team in certain situations, as he sometimes goes invisible for long stretches of games. He has passed a number of open perimeter shots, particularly in big games, which has sometimes led to a more difficult shot later in the shot clock.
F Mikael Hopkins
Stats: 4.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.8 BPG, 37.5 FG%, 58.6 FT%
Positive Aspects: Hopkins is an effective defender and rebounder. He is the team's best rim protector, and his versatility and athleticism has allowed him to contain pick-and-roll handlers with decent success. He is also comfortable guarding perimeter big men and forwards, which is valuable because Joshua Smith is more comfortable near the rim. On offense, Hopkins has been effective at times as a high-post distributor, ranking fourth on the team in assists and providing a number of pretty backdoor passes.
Areas to Improve: Hopkins is one of the worst paint scorers I have ever seen. His field goal percentage of 37.5% is truly astonishing when you consider that virtually all of his shots come from within five feet of the rim. He has a remarkable knack for getting his shot blocked from any and all angles. It's probably too late for Hopkins to ever become a competent post scorer, but he might be able to learn to go up strong on his layup attempts and at least draw more fouls. In addition, he probably needs to cut isolation post-ups completely out of his arsenal, as they usually end poorly for the Hoyas.
F Aaron Bowen
Stats: 7.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 62.3 FG%, 54.5 FT%
Positive Aspects: Bowen has provided an extremely valuable spark off the Georgetown bench. He is probably the team's best finisher in transition, and has scored a lot of easy baskets off of deflections and steals. Bowen's athleticism and length have allowed him to wreak a lot of havoc and impact games on both ends of the floor.
Areas to Improve: Bowen has a number of shortcomings, but at this point in his career he would simply do best to play within himself and stay in his role, which he has done a good job of so far. His shooting and ball-handling are never going to be strengths, but if he could develop into a competent three-point shooter, it could force defenses to pay attention to him on the perimeter. On the whole, though, Bowen has done a fine job playing a limited role for the Hoyas.
G D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera
Stats: 14.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.6 APG, 40.9 FG%, 86.7 FT%, 33.3 3FG%
Positive Aspects: Smith-Rivera has been a stabilizing force for a young team. Often, he has provided baskets in critical situations, and carried the team to important victories over Florida and Indiana. He has also done a solid job as a distributor as he adapts to his new role as a lead guard, leading the team in assists and turning the ball over at a relatively low rate of 1.6 per game. He is the team's only true three-point marksman, at least based on his track record, and has provided the team with a valuable perimeter threat for most of the season.
Areas to Improve: Smith-Rivera is still adjusting to his role as a point guard, and has struggled with his jumpshot for long stretches of games. He has had to create a lot of his shots off the dribble, as he is spending fewer minutes off the ball as a shooting guard, and it has proved to be a difficult adjustment at times. Still, Smith-Rivera has earned Hoya fans' trust, and there is reason to expect his shooting to improve as the year continues.
C Bradley Hayes
Stats: 0.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.1 APG, 75.0 FG%, 0.0 FT%
Positive Aspects: Hayes is 7 feet tall. He has grabbed a few rebounds. He made a jump-hook against Radford.
Areas to Improve: He still hasn't been able to crack the Hoyas' rotation, and has only received significant playing time in emergency situations and blowouts. In order to get on the court, he needs to improve, particularly as a defender and a rebounder, so that he can take full advantage of his size.
F Reggie Cameron
Stats: 2.1 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.4 APG, 28.6 FG%, 25.0 3FG%, 85.7 FT%
Positive Aspects: Reggie has hit a three-pointer here and there, and seems to be giving good effort when he is on the court. His shooting stroke is compact, clean, and repeatable, and it seems as though he could still be an effective three-point shooter with more work.
Areas to Improve: I believe Reggie is pressing due to his limited role and playing time. Every time he misses a three-pointer, he seems to berate himself, because he knows that he won't have many opportunities before he returns to the bench. Still, I maintain a sliver of hope that Reggie could develop into a zone-busting three-point specialist. He just needs to keep working hard in practice, stay relaxed, and wait for an opportunity.
G/F L.J. Peak
Stats: 9.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 43.1 FG%, 72.7 FT%, 30.0 3FG%
Positive Aspects: Peak has been extremely fun to watch this season. He is a natural born scorer, and is fearless attacking the rim. He is a crafty finisher with either hand, and has shown the ability to finish through contact. L.J. has an innate sense of when his defender is off balance, and has shown the ability to attack at the right moments. In addition, he has hit a three-pointer here and there to keep the defense honest. Peak has a lot of potential, and could be one of the best pure scorers of the JT3 era.
Areas to Improve: Peak is out of control at times, and has picked up a few offensive fouls and turnovers during his wild rampages to the rim. His jumpshot has very little rotation, and has been inconsistent throughout his freshmen season. In addition, he has been slow to rotate on defense at times, most notably against Brannen Greene and Kansas. However, many of these issues can be attributed to his inexperience, and Peak has played very well on the whole over the first half of his first season.
F Paul White
Stats: 7.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 47.2 FG%, 65.0 FT%, 46.2 3FG%
Positive Aspects: White has exceeded expectations early in his career. He is a very polished player with a smooth jumper and a solid handle, and has gotten heavy minutes in some of the team's biggest games. His three-point shot in particularly has been better than expected, with a solid percentage of 46.2. He has also shown flashes of potential as a zone-buster in the middle of a 2-3 defense, but JT3 hasn't used him in that role as much as one might expect.
Areas to Improve: Recently, White has struggled with his shooting. A lot of his jumpers have hit the front rim, and he has started missing a lot more foul shots. In addition, he could be more assertive, both as a scorer on offense and as a rebounder on both ends of the floor. Overall, though, White has shown a lot of potential and will play an important role during Big East play.
F Isaac Copeland
Stats: 4.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 45.8 FG%, 76.9 FT%, 33.3 3FG%
Positive Aspects: Copeland is very long and extremely athletic. He has shown that athleticism at times, with a few highlight-reel blocks and put-back dunks. In addition, he has a clean, repeatable jumper with good form. Copeland has the potential to be a genuine star for future Hoyas teams, but for now, he functions as an athletic combo forward for the Georgetown bench.
Areas to Improve: It seems as though Copeland has not fully established his confidence as a college player yet. Often, he is invisible during his stretches on the court, failing to assert himself, particularly as a rebounder. I believe his tentativeness has prevented him from reaching his potential as a shooter, as he often hesitates before releasing his shot. In my opinion, Copeland will benefit greatly from increased experience as he spends more time in the program.
G Tre Campbell
Stats: 2.7 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 35.1 FG%, 66.7 FT%, 32.0 3FG%
Positive Aspects: Campbell is quick and agile, and it's easy to envision his future role as a Hoya. He is a pest on defense, and he can hit an open three-pointer. In addition, he is effective in transition, and the Hoyas as a team play a more fast-paced style with him on the court.
Areas to Improve: Campbell, even though he has had tantalizing signs of potential, still hasn't carved out a consistent, significant role in the Georgetown rotation. Even though his shooting stroke looks good, he still hasn't converted a high enough percentage, and like all of the freshmen he will benefit from increased exposure to the college games.
F Trey Mourning
Stats: 0.0 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 FT%
Positive Aspect: Mourning has a good shooting stroke for a big man and could eventually carve out a role as a stretch power forward, even if not this year.
Areas to Improve: First and foremost, Mourning needs to hit the weight room to give himself a chance to compete with the rugged post players of the Big East. In particular, he needs to improve his lower body strength in order to give himself a chance to rebound effectively.
The first half of the Hoyas season has been full of exciting successes (Indiana and Florida) as well as excruciating disappointments (Xavier and Butler). Still, there are signs of optimism with regards to the team's potential to improve. As previously outlined, each player has things to work on, and I believe that despite the ugliness of the last few games, our Hoyas still have a lot to look forward to this season.