Georgetown 2009-10 Season Preview: Hoyas Should Be Dancing in March

try pCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2009

Hoyas History

In 1984, the Georgetown program took home a national title under John Thompson, father of current head coach John Thompson III.

Twenty-five years later, that title is the Hoyas' only NCAA Championship although they have returned to the Final Four five times. Meanwhile, the Hoyas are trying to live up to their untapped potential as the 2009-10 season is upon us.


A Look Back at 2008-09

Record: 16-15 (7-12, Big East)

Coming into last season, the Hoyas snagged highly recruited Greg Monroe out of New Orleans away from Coach Krzyzewski and Duke. They began 9-1 with their lone loss coming against No. 12 Tennessee, but down the stretch crumbled like crackers.

To open conference play, the Hoyas defeated second-ranked Connecticut before losing nine out of 12. At that point, postseason play was unlikely, given they had tough games remaining on the road.

Georgetown's only chance was the Big East Championships, but St. Johns bounced the Hoyas in the opening round. They ended up in the NIT and lost to Baylor in the first round. It was a huge disappointment for such a team with an experienced coaching staff and NBA talent.


New and Old Players

Newcomers: SF Hollis Thompson, SG Vee Sanford, SF Stephen Stepka, PF Jerrelle Benimon  

Key Losses: SF/PF DaJuan Summers, SG Jessie Sapp

Key Returners: C Greg Monroe, SG/SF Austin Freeman, PG Chris Wright


Impact Hoyas

Greg Monroe and his skills are second to none. His greatest weakness was consistency last year. He has great size and potential at 6'11". Monroe has great hands and is a tremendous weapon with his passing ability in Thompson's Princeton style offense. Look for him to be a Big East Player of the Year contender as a sophomore.

Austin Freeman is a 6'4" wing who can create, but is tentative at times. He too can be a Big East star if he works on his three-pointer, as he shot just 30 percent from behind the arc a year ago.

Chris Wright is a solid defender at 6'1" and is similar to Allan Ray, a former Villanova guard. He only averaged 1.5 fouls per game, which was key for coach Thompson.

Nikita Mescheriakov has great size and athleticism at 6'8". Not good from the perimeter, but will be needed to replace Summers. He may get big minutes if he can rebound and play defense consistently.


Top Games

  • Duke: Jan. 30. It'll be interesting to see how Monroe holds up against a loaded Duke frontcourt. Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith vs. Freeman and Wright is key.
  • @ Villanova: Jan. 17. A Final Four team returns an outstanding backcourt. It'll be a good road outing against a national title contender.
  • UConn: Jan. 9. This is the only meeting scheduled. UConn lost Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien, A.J. Price, and Craig Austrie, but have Jerome Dyson, Kemba Walker, Stanley Robinson, and Gavin Edwards on the team.


Season Outlook

Thompson will look to get his guys on track and focused. Coming off such a terrible season, it'll be imperative that Georgetown play well above .500 in a tough conference.

Freeman Wright and Monroe have to play like seniors and lead the rest of the young ones. Hollis Thompson, Vee Sanford, Stephen Stepka, and Jerrelle Benimon will come along eventually, but don't expect big minutes. 

Georgetown's chemistry is key in the team's development early in the season. Summers may slightly be missed, but what he did down the stretched should be matched by Nikita Mescheriakov.

This team has enough to make a deep run in the postseason. The Big East should beat them up, but the tough schedule should beat up fellow contenders Syracuse, UConn, and Villanova also.

The Hoyas are a tough team to figure out, but should be able to withstand the storm and make the Sweet 16.