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Georgetown Hoyas: Burning Questions for the Offseason

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The loss to Utah was disappointing because the team will not advance to the Sweet 16. However, the biggest disappointment was that we won't get to watch our Hoyas play for several months, as the long, hard offseason lies ahead. However, there are still a few storylines that Hoya fans should follow over the next few months.

Who will play center next year?

One of the major bright spots of the Hoyas' time in the NCAA tournament was the play of rising senior center Bradley Hayes, particularly in the win over Eastern Washington. However, Hayes is still a huge question mark for next season. If he can be a competent rim protector on defense while creating extra possessions as an offensive rebounder, he could carve out a significant role, perhaps even as a starter. However, incoming freshman recruit Jessie Govan will challenge him for the starting spot. Govan is billed as a big, offensively skilled center, and he might be a better fit for the high-post role in the Georgetown offense. However, Hayes's college experience in practice and in the weight room could give him the edge, at least in the beginning of the season. Louisville transfer Akoy Agau, who has reportedly impressed in practice thus far, is a wild card in this race. At 6'8" with a 7'3" wingspan, Agau could play a role similar to Mikael Hopkins as an undersized center when he becomes eligible.

Can the freshmen make a leap prior to next season?

Georgetown's highly-touted 2014 recruiting class was largely a success in their debut season. Isaac Copeland, Paul White, Tre Campbell, and L.J. Peak all had stretches of brilliance, and each of them showed the potential for college stardom. However, the freshmen also disappeared for long periods, failing to consistently impact each game. A popular narrative in college basketball is that players make their greatest improvement in between their freshman and sophomore years. If the four players begin next season physically stronger and as more consistent jump shooters, there is no limit to what this team can achieve.

Will the team's offense deviate further from the Princeton principles?

In recent years, John Thompson III has made an effort to recruit long, athletic players. As a result, Georgetown has gradually drifted away from the principles of the Princeton offense, with Thompson referring to his offense as the "Georgetown offense" rather than the Princeton. Many Hoya fans were frustrated by a national misconception that Georgetown could not play a fast-paced game; in fact, many of the current players excel in a fast-break environment. After the graduation of Joshua Smith, next year's team will be loaded with speed and athletic ability, and it is possible that Thompson's offense could continue to adapt to the changing college game.

Can 3-point shooting (outside of Smith-Rivera) improve?

The 2014-15 Hoyas had a multitude of threats from beyond the arc. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jabril Trawick, White, Copeland, Campbell, and even Peak had varying levels of success as outside shooters. However, Smith-Rivera was the only Georgetown player who made more than one three-pointer per game, even though several other players had the ability to make shots. Next year's team would greatly benefit from a general improvement in the consistency of the outside shooting. Incoming recruit Marcus Derrickson could provide some assistance in this department, but it is mostly on the current players to get in the gym over the summer and put up some shots.

Which of the newcomers will carve out spots in the rotation?

Next year, the Hoyas will welcome four new players to the Hilltop. Incoming freshman Derrickson, Govan, and Kaleb Johnson, along with Agau, will form the next line of reinforcements. All four players have the potential to make a significant impact during their time at Georgetown, however, their immediate roles are unclear. As previously addressed, Govan could be the starting center from the outset of his career, but there are some questions about his strength, explosiveness, and defense. Derrickson is a skilled forward with shooting ability, but with a crowded forward rotation, it is unclear whether he will be able to earn significant minutes right away. Johnson is an athletic wing who is somewhat reminiscent of Aaron Bowen, but like Bowen, he could begin his career mostly on the bench. Finally, Agau, who has supposedly showcased an impressive stretch-four game in practice, could be an intriguing addition to Thompson's big man rotation. However, none of these four players will be given anything; each will have to earn his minutes. Still, they could provide the boost that the Hoyas need to have a successful season.

Can Thompson bring in some 2016 recruits?

After an exceptional 2014 recruiting class and a solid 2015 group, Thompson will look to continue his recruiting momentum by building another strong class in 2016. As of now, the Hoyas do not have any commitments, but are looking at a number of promising recruits. Some of the names to keep an eye on are Temple Gibbs (younger brother of Ashton and Sterling), Mamadi Diakite, DaQuan Bracey, Markelle Fultz, Kodye Pugh, V.J. King, and Ako Adams, but as Kaleb Johnson showed us this year, it is very possible that an under-the-radar recruit could emerge in the coming months. No matter what, though, it is critical for the Hoyas to continue to bring in solid recruits, particularly with the addition of the new John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center. This is undoubtedly a key storyline to keep an eye on this offseason.

Will any current (non-senior) player leave the program?

Before analyzing next season's roster, it is important to consider the possibility that one of the current players could transfer. During the John Thompson III era, several players have transferred out of the program, and it is clear that Georgetown, while it does have a number of exceptionally strong characteristics, is not the right place for every basketball player. Reggie Cameron appears to be a prime transfer candidate after failing to carve out a role in Georgetown's rotation this season. At this point it seems unlikely that Hayes would transfer, and it is hard to envision any of the current freshmen leaving. However, nothing is ever set in stone, and a transfer is a possibility and could potentially compromise next year's team.

Will JT3 add a graduate transfer?

Even after the late addition of Kaleb Johnson, Georgetown still has another scholarship open for next season, and the transfer market could also work in the Hoyas' favor. A graduated player, who would be immediately eligible to play, could make some sense here. Thompson would not have to wait the NCAA-mandated full year to install a graduate transfer into the rotation, and it would not tie up a scholarship in the long term. The new graduate transfer rule has introduced a virtual free agency period, and it is possible that Thompson could go shopping for depth at guard or center. The inspiration of many Hoya fans' nightmares, Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey, is eligible to transfer as a graduated student, and would be a phenomenal addition. Even though that is a long shot, there will be players available for next season only, and as Matt Carlino proved, a graduate transfer can make an immediate impact in the Big East.

As disappointing as it is to watch the NCAA tournament continue without our Hoyas, there is significant optimism for next season and the future beyond that. Although we will have to go a few months without basketball, there is still much to look forward to. Hoya Saxa.