Over the next two weeks, St. Patrick and Run DSR are previewing every player on the Hoyas’ roster this upcoming season. As my mother used to tell me growing up, if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, post a picture of your lunch.
Up next, Marcus Derrickson
NAME: Marcus Derrickson
What we know:
Derrickson committed to Georgetown as a junior out of basketball powerhouse, Brewster Academy, over a solid contingent of high D1 offers, including Miami, Maryland, and NC State. Not knowing much about the fringe top-100 recruit at the time, fellow correspondent St. Patrick and I watched some of his mix tapes online and came away wondering the same thing: He’s a stretch four that doesn’t look particularly athletic… what is he going to bring to the table that Reggie Cameron already can’t?
By all accounts, Derrickson worked tirelessly to get into Big East basketball shape towards the end of high school, trimming some baby fat and spending time in the weight room. He even completed a half marathon his senior year.
The results showed. Derrickson got the starting nod at one of our forward spots, and kept that position for the entire year. He proved his worth early against Maryland, posting 13 points and 6 rebounds, while adding a couple of blocks and a steal. He also put up a big game against Syracuse, scoring 13 points on 7 shots and securing a double-double with 10 rebounds.
By the time the season ended, I felt better acquainted with Derrickson’s game than I did with the other freshmen’s. He’s a smooth and confident shooter; a plus rebounder who always manages to find good position on the court by the time shot goes up; and a key floor spacer for slashing wings like Peak and Copeland. Though he struggled with some consistency issues in Big East play, some of that can (retroactively) be chalked up to minor injuries he dealt with during the year
What we expect:
Let me make one point clear. He’s a hell of a player, but Draymond Green he is not. That’s not a knock on Derrickson; it’s just the reality of where his game and body are at right now. When we go “small” (i.e., no Hayes or Govan on the floor), I expect to see Agau at the 5 spot more than Derrickson. It was fun to see Derrickson play center at times last year, but our interior defense undeniably suffered.
I don’t think we need to see drastic changes from Derrickson this year. If he can progress as anticipated, he can still lay claim to being one of the better players on the team. There are some areas he can clean up: He was a bit out of control on the way to the basket at times, leading to charges or turnovers; he looked a little winded towards the end of intense games, resulting in lazy fouls on defense; and he made some poor decisions you can expect from a freshman.
Kenner was enough of a sample size to reinforce the positives but not enough to expose any negatives. In case anyone was worried, it appears Marcus can still shoot – and shoot well. He ran the pick-and-roll effectively and has an established back-to-the-basket game (side note: would love to see JT3 invert Jessie and Marcus more to take advantage of possible size mismatches at either position). I didn’t see anything about Derrickson’s game that had me worried; he seems to know his skills and apply them with confidence. But then again, Kenner can only tell us so much (unless it tells us what we want to hear, in which case it’s the only data point that matters).
When I think about what success looks like for Marcus this year, it has less to do with development of his skills – I expect (and the team needs) Derrickson to be a good shooter and rebounder – than it does with his role on the offense and on the team. Though he’s only a sophomore, he played heavy minutes last season. And on a team with a lot of moving pieces, personnel and otherwise, any continuity will help.