Potential Hoya: Trey Lewis
After D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's shocking and sudden departure, Georgetown is left scrambling for a scoring guard for next season. It is likely too late to find a high school prospect that would be ready to play significant minutes, so the most likely option is a graduate transfer.
The NCAA's new rule allows players who have graduated to transfer and play immediately at their new school, and as a result the Hoyas' might be able to replace some of Smith-Rivera's production with an experienced player. One option could be Cleveland State's redshirt junior guard Trey Lewis, who is exploring transfer options for his final college season.
Weight: 190 pounds
Year: Redshirt Junior
2011-12 (Freshman year at Penn State): 5.6 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 37% FG%, 34.7 3FG%, 60.0 FT%
2012-13: Sat out due to NCAA transfer rules after leaving Penn State
2013-14 (Sophomore year at Cleveland State): 13.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, 40.1 FG%, 36.9 3FG%, 74.8 FT%
2014-15 (Junior year at Cleveland State): 16.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 44.6 FG%, 42.3 3FG%, 75.7 FT%
Lewis's scouting report starts with one important skill: three-point shooting. As a junior at Cleveland State, he hit 96 threes at a healthy 42.4 percent clip. He has a quick, high-arcing release, and is effective moving off the ball and coming off screens to find his shot. His catch-and-shoot release is smooth and effortless, and he is a good shooter on the move.
Lewis shows some ability as a creator off the dribble, and has the occasional ability to finish in the lane with creativity and touch. In addition, he is able to find open shooters off his penetration. Still, he is most comfortable as an outside shooter, and is not a true point guard. Like the departed Smith-Rivera, he can be considered a combo guard with a deadly three-point stroke.
At 6'2", 190 pounds, Lewis does not possess the ideal size to defend Big East wings and might not be quite quick enough to defend players like Kris Dunn (should he return) or Ryan Arcidiacono. Still, Lewis's ability as a shooter mitigates a lot of the damage he might do on defense.
As a high school player, Lewis was extremely productive. As a senior at Garfield Heights High School in Ohio, he averaged 23.0 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game. His performance earned him a runner-up finish for the Mr. Basketball Award in Ohio, finishing behind future NCAA National Player of the Year and NBA Lottery pick Trey Burke. He was a three-year team captain and was so respected at Garfield Heights that he had his jersey retired.
Despite his tremendous performance, Lewis was not a high-profile recruit. ESPN and Rivals both rated him as a two-star prospect, and as a result he was drawn to Penn State by its Big Ten conference affiliation.
As a freshman, Lewis played in 20 games, starting six. However, a stress fracture in one of his vertebrae caused him to miss six weeks in the middle of the season, derailing his progress. After the season, Lewis decided to transfer because Ed DeChellis, the head coach who had recruited him to State College, had left. He chose to transfer to Cleveland State, which had been one of his final choices during his recruitment.
Lewis spent two productive years with Cleveland State. As a sophomore, he was the team's second leading scorer behind Bryn Forbes, who you may have seen hitting multiple important three-pointers for Tom Izzo's Michigan State team in the Elite Eight. In his junior season, Lewis's stats looked eerily similar to Smith-Rivera's junior year stats at Georgetown:
Lewis: 16.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 44.6 FG%, 42.3 3FG%, 75.7 FT%
Smith-Rivera: 16.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 42.1 FG%, 38.7 3FG%, 86.1 FT%
There is no doubt that Lewis is a productive, experienced guard with at least one extremely valuable skill: three-point shooting.
Lewis has used three years of eligibility. He is on track to graduate this year with a major in business, and as previously mentioned, he would be immediately eligible to play one season at his new school.
In many ways, Lewis could be considered the D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera of the Horizon League. This is a compliment, as he has been a productive, veteran guard with tremendous outside shooting ability. However, the Horizon League is not the Big East, and Lewis's shortcomings would be much more exaggerated in a tougher league. He would have a harder time finding space for his shot, and might be exposed on defense against bigger and more athletic guards.
Because of the jump in competition, it's important to maintain realistic expectations. Lewis would not be able to come to the Hilltop and seamlessly replace Smith-Rivera. As with any other transfer, Lewis would have to learn John Thompson III's offensive system, and there is no substitute for Smith-Rivera's three years of experience running the offense. It would be a big adjustment for Lewis, but nevertheless I think he could be a good addition to add some guard depth.
Rising sophomores Tre Campbell and L.J. Peak figure to slot in as the starting backcourt next season, but Lewis could come in and earn major minutes off the bench, and maybe even as a starter.
It seems that John Thompson III will need to add at least one guard through the graduate transfer route. Campbell and Peak, as promising as they are, cannot play 40 minutes per game, and with all due respect to David Allen, he is not ready to play a significant role in the Georgetown rotation. Although Lewis has shortcomings, he seems as good a fit as almost anyone to help fill Smith-Rivera's void.
Thompson has reached out to express interest in bringing Lewis to the Hilltop. The Hoyas are currently extremely short on guard depth, and Lewis would help to alleviate that need. Campbell, Peak, and Lewis, along with Kaleb Johnson and Paul White playing spot minutes, might be able to be a serviceable Big East backcourt.
Biggest Competition: Louisville