Recruiting Class of 2015: The Ones Who Got Away
As Georgetown's season continues, its results can only be described as disappointing thus far. The team has struggled, particularly in the backcourt, and has suffered several bad losses early in the schedule. It is thus easy to wonder which recruits Georgetown missed out on, and how they might have helped the team this season. Thus, I checked up on a few of Georgetown's recruiting targets that ended up elsewhere, briefly discussing their performance. Recruiting is an inexact science, and you'll never get all the players you target, but I thought this might be an interesting exercise. We'll start with the guards.
Bryant Crawford, 6'3" PG, Wake Forest
Stats: 12.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 36.9 FG%, 41.4 3P%, 70.2 FT%
Crawford, a 6-foot-3 point guard out of Washington, D.C., attended the groundbreaking of the Thompson Athletic Center in the fall of 2014 and was regarded as a realistic guard target for the Hoyas. However, he chose Wake Forest over his local school, and has played very well for the Demon Deacons. He has played at least 24 minutes in every game, averaging 30.1 minutes per game. He made a game-winning shot in Wake's upset of then-No. 13 Indiana, and has made an immediate impact this season.
It's clear that Crawford could have helped the Hoyas, who have struggled with guard depth this season, particularly with Tre Campbell and Paul White dealing with injuries and L.J. Peak struggling with foul trouble. Still, it's hard to blame Crawford for his decision based on the early results.
P.J. Dozier, 6'7" G, South Carolina
Stats: 7.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 40.8 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 51.4 FT%
A highly-rated prospect coming out of high school, Dozier chose South Carolina over Georgetown and Louisville. He has not made the immediate impact that was expected out of him, but he has started all 14 of his team's games and has been a key part of a team that is 14-0. Considering that some Georgetown fans thought that Dozier's choice of South Carolina would limit his opportunities to win games, this is disappointing to say the least.
Dozier would have been a good addition for this year's team and a solid replacement for the graduating D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Unfortunately, we will have to watch him from afar for the next few years.
Haanif Cheatham, 6'5" SG, Marquette
Stats: 10.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 55.9 FG%, 61.1 3P%, 74.0 FT%
Cheatham, another four-star guard recruit, picked Marquette over Georgetown and Cal. We saw him at Verizon Center last week, where he scored six points in a loss to the Hoyas. Although he didn't make much of an impact on Saturday, he has been both efficient and effective this year, posting 10.8 points per game on extremely efficient shooting percentages.
Cheatham isn't the flashiest player, but he has been undeniably effective this season, and will be part of a strong young nucleus for Marquette in the coming years.
Noah Dickerson, 6'8" PF, Washington
Stats: 6.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 42.2 FG%, 52.0 FT%
A four-star power forward, Dickerson committed to Georgetown briefly before de-committing only days later. He then committed to Florida before de-committing again and finally settling in Washington state instead of Washington, D.C.
Dickerson has been a solid interior presence for the Huskies, grabbing rebounds at a high rate and scoring a decent amount of points. His shooting percentages don't stand out, but he has been a contributor as a freshman. Especially in the wake of Akoy Agau's injury, it would be nice to have a little more depth in the frontcourt, especially in the form of a talented freshman. However, with Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson having entered Georgetown in the Class of 2015, it's easy to see why Dickerson might want to go somewhere else for more consistent minutes.
Ivan Rabb, 6'11" PF, California
Stats: 12.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.4 BPG, 64.5 FG%, 74.1 FT%
Rabb drew attention from Georgetown fans when he visited the campus in the summer preceding his senior season, but it is unclear how seriously, if at all, he was considering Georgetown, as the school did not make his final list. He is an athletic freak, and he has made an immediate impact on the boards and in the paint. He has stayed within his comfort zone offensively, which has led to a hyper-efficient 64.5 field goal percentage.
Still, Rabb is likely to be a one-and-done player, as he is ranked No. 5 on NBADraft.net's rankings (Georgetown sophomore forward Isaac Copeland is ranked No. 13 on the same list). He would have undoubtedly made a huge impact on this year's Georgetown team, but he would likely have only contributed for one year.
Tacko Fall, 7'6" C, Central Florida
Stats: 8.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 74.2 FG%, 50.0 FT%
Fall, who is known throughout the country for his extraordinary height, was regarded as a long-term project coming out of high school. He visited Georgetown for Midnight Madness, and the Hoyas were believed to be right in the mix of recruiting. However, he eventually decided to choose Central Florida, and some Hoya fans were happy that they would not have a long-term project on the roster.
However, Tacko has made an immediate impact for Central Florida. He has started all 13 of his team's games, and some of his numbers jump off the page. He has blocked 2.5 shots per game in only 17.2 minutes per game. To put this into perspective, Georgetown centers Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan have blocked the same number of shots, 2.5 per game, in 38.5 minutes per game. While Fall is limited offensively, 8.0 points per game in 17.2 minutes per game is nothing to sneeze at, particularly when it comes off 74.2 percent (!) shooting on field goal attempts. Especially with Hayes graduating after this season, I for one would welcome Fall's potential on this Georgetown team.
As I said before, you will never get all the recruits you target in a given year. Still, it is frustrating to watch some of the team's targets flourish elsewhere while Georgetown struggles this season. Let's all hope for better things in the coming weeks.