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ROSTERGATE: Five Key Issues from Not Updating the Georgetown Roster

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GUHoyas will update the roster when they’re ready, but why isn’t it now?

Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament - Marquette v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With BIG EAST Media Day on Tuesday, the big question for the Georgetown Hoyas remains: “Who is on the team?” That’s right, the roster on GUHOYAS.com has not been updated yet. Now, national analysts are taking note.

Fans fully understand that Georgetown moves on their own time, but it doesn’t make the non-updated roster any less nonsensical, unattractive, or ... suspicious.

Here are five quick thoughts about the rosters:

1. Sportswriters will identify the team by the people who left, not the people who will be playing.

When an analyst, coach, blogger, or Joe Schmo rates and ranks an NCAA team, they often look to quality and quantity of players who are returning. That’s not necessarily easy to do, especially when one does not have a roster in front of them. Experience wins games in college basketball, and roster churn can be an easy way to decide whether to swipe left or right on a particular team. Without a full roster, the easy path is identifying who is no longer on the team by, e.g., looking at news of who graduated and waived their extra eligibility, who turned pro, and who transferred. One quick, faux-analytical supposition they like to make is, e.g., how many points left the squad since last year. Spoiler: for Ewing, it’s a lot.

GUHoyas

Other BIG EAST teams have lost a few guys, too, but—with rosters posted—it’s easier to see where the gaps might have been filled. It’s hard not to put GU in the bottom without seeing talent and depth.

But honestly, I’m going to slap someone if I have to read another preview about Georgetown asking, “How will Ewing replace the production of Blair, Pickett, Bile, and Wahab?” It’s just lazy writing, but who can blame them? It’s almost as lazy as not updating an online roster.

2. It’s much easier to say a program and coach have issues with talent retention when reminding readers which former members left.

Speaking of Wahab, isn’t great to be reminded that Qudus Wahab transferred from Georgetown to Maryland? Right. Remember who else hit the ‘eject’ button? Well, both Pepperidge Farm and GUHoyas remember—seemingly always. This year’s defectors were four-star recruit Jamari Sibley and 46%-three-point-shooter TJ Berger. Based on playing time, not many held it against them. They were hardly world-beaters last season, but hardly freshmen anyone wanted to see leave—especially when the team experienced an exodus before. Of course, the transfer portal was a super duper free agency dumpster fire, but a transfer producer is not a reputation anyone wants.

For instance, St. John’s experienced a bit of an exodus after last season, despite head coach Mike Anderson winning Big East Coach of the Year! A lawsuit from an assistant coach is in the headlines and recruiting cannot be easy.

Georgetown is almost two years away from their newsworthy mass defection, but the loss of Qudus Wahab certainly triggers outsiders to offer their concern for the direction of the program. Why would Georgetown’s website include him still?

3. It’s an invitation to take the leap into speculation land.

With a ridiculous amount of time passing for the roster update, it’s not easy to stop from leaning into speculation. Of course, “panic” is the default setting for Hoyas fans. For example, might an expected newcomer have eligibility issues? Did credits transfer properly for the portal hoppers? Was one of Ewing’s “team rules” violated like (allegedly) with Chris Sodom or Antwan Walker? Is there really a new walk-on or not? Has anyone checked the criminal court notices (knock on wood)? Let’s not go there, yet.

A favorite past-time of Hoya Twitter is analyzing practice footage to see who is working out with the team. We won’t dance around the speculation about who we haven’t seen shooting on the floor of the Thompson Center. What’s going on with the status of big man transfer Tre King?

@atg.treking

It’s probably nothing. No reason to panic. But seriously, why invite the speculation with a delayed roster update? Why not post the new roster and then do an add/drop in the first few weeks like a freshman who picked an 8AM class on Friday? It has to be easier to list all new players and remove anyone who is not necessarily eligible, right?

4. Catching up with old friends and learning new names and faces.

Big questions each season include discussions of which underclassman might make a big jump or whether any leaders finally emerge as seniors. Having that list at one’s fingertips goes a long way to promote discussion. Did anyone grow an inch over the summer? Who was hitting the weight room and added some L-B’s to show it? Any changes to the staff? (HA!) And Is anyone changing the pronunciation of their name? Not to mention, who are the handful of new guys and what’s their stories? Ewing keeps adding 5-7 players each year, and it’s the fans’ job to love them on game 1.

As I said last week, there’s plenty of momentum form the BIG EAST Tournament championship that is being squandered heading into 2021-22. Congratulations to Georgetown students for purchasing 1,000 student season tickets thus far—but how many might have been left on the table by mediocre marketing efforts?

Maybe a student buys tickets after identifying that 6’3” kid in his sociology class might be fun to support. With a player update and little boost in promotion, perhaps there might be more tickets sold. One might even suggest that the lack of an updated roster might hurt season tickets for local fans and alumni even more. Boomers tend forget things easily.

Perhaps most importantly—for building for the future—Georgetown’s decision to not update the roster is not necessarily helping their NIL cause. Marketing players often begins with providing a list of players so that brands can check their official bios and profiles.

5. Does Georgetown beat the 2020 roster-update date of October 26th?

With BIG EAST Media Day looming, perhaps the roster gets an update before then. It seems nonsensical to issue a print-out roster on Media Day and not push the changes to the cloud. Then again, Georgetown might skip issuing a roster to the media next Tuesday and really invite some hard questions.

Still, there might be no issues, no drama, and just waiting on approval of the most recent photographs. For instance, last year’s (delayed) roster posting turned out to be a huge let-down with very little new information. But then again, that’s what a roster is supposed to be.