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D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera: Proud To Call Him a Hoya

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I initially wrote this article after Georgetown lost to Villanova on Wildcats' Senior Day, a game I could only bear to watch the first 20 minutes of. I held on to it in the hopes that DSR would carry the Hoyas in the most unlikely run to the Big East Championship, and I would instead submit a glowing account of optimism and nostalgia. But that never happened, and so I begin my farewell.

DSR committed to Georgetown over NC State, Louisville, and UCLA after backing out of a Xavier commitment. The highly touted combo guard from Indiana transferred to Oak Hill Academy and was a major blue chip recruit at the time of his commitment. He delivered on that potential his freshman year, averaging 9 points and 3 rebounds in 25 minutes of playing time. He was a key part of our success that year - Otto Porter's sophomore campaign - and proved that he could score in bunches. He highlighted his freshman season with a 33-point performance against DePaul one game before Otto closed the Carrier Dome.

His sophomore year, at least from a statistical perspective, proved to be his most successful season. DSR averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game on 45% shooting - his most efficient shooting mark of his career. A mid-season shooting slump likely paid dividends down the road, as DSR used the opportunity to round out his game: He improved his on-ball defense, became a plus rebounder, and learned how to distribute the ball more. It was during this time that DSR turned from an undersized shooting guard to a prototypical college lead guard.

But his efficiency declined as a result of a new role in the offense. DSR's field goal percentage declined each year, ending at a tepid 41% this season. He seemed to shine most in games where the outcome was never in question: 30 points on 16 shots against Maryland-Eastern Shore; 27 points and 5 assists against UNC-Wilmington; and 33 and 24 in his two games against St. John's. Similarly, he drubbed Eastern Washington in the tournament last year with 25 points and 8 rebounds. But in his only other tournament games - losses to Florida Gulf Coast and Utah - he totaled 18 points on 26 shots. He didn't make a single three-pointer in his 13 attempts.

At times this season, I witnessed Georgetown go on incredible stretches of basketball when DSR was on the bench. It's tough to admit, but I think his presence on the court may have been a limiting factor for other players: In part because he's a ball-dominant player (note: that is not the same thing as selfish), and in part because other players were more deferential when DSR was in the game. DSR was asked to take on a role this year that may not have been suited for him. He's not Batman, he's Robin. An off-ball scoring threat, and a great one at that.

DSR will leave as decorated as any Hoya. In his four productive years, he made more three-pointers than anyone else. He finished fourth in scoring. And he's Georgetown's only member of the 1,800 points, 500 rebounds, and 350 assists club. Still, there seemed be something missing, something fans often guessed at - he's the quiet type, he doesn't lead like Jabril. And while there may be validity buried in the speculation, it's impossible to really know why DSR teams came up short during the big games.

Perhaps it was best exemplified by a (fairly useless) debate in the comment section about an all-time Georgetown team in the JT3 era, and DSR - despite his accolades and undisputed place in Hoya legacy - didn't make the first team. Or the second. And when pushed, nobody could really give a reason why one of the most celebrated scorers and well-rounded guards we've had in the JT3 era didn't make the cut. Such is DSR.

Still, I'll miss him. I'll miss him bailing out failed offensive possessions with the shot clock winding down. I'll miss him flirting with triple-doubles far more often than we give him credit for. I'll miss his ridiculous hairdo at the end of last year, his swag on the court, and his commitment to representing the school well. He was, after all, the inspiration for my SB Nation handle, and that's important. I wish him nothing but the best, and I'm proud to call him a Hoya.