The Hoya’s Basketball Preview has everything you need to know before the 2015-2016 season.
The rumor broke just before lunchtime on March 31.
“Hearing not-so-great things about D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera being back at Georgetown next season,” Casual Hoya, a popular SB Nation site, tweeted. “Hopefully wrong.”
The first user to respond gave voice to the feelings of more than a few Georgetown fans.
A dark track record loomed going into the 2015 postseason: In its last five appearances in the NCAA tournament, Georgetown had fallen to a double-digit seed: No. 10 seed Davidson, No. 13 seed Ohio, No. 11 seed VCU, No. 11 seed North Carolina State and finally, and most infamously, No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast. When the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee awarded the Hoyas a No. 4 seed despite a 21-10 record, 12-6 in the Big East, entering the tournament, many pundits put Georgetown on upset alert, especially as it was slotted to face No. 13 seed Eastern Washington and the nation’s leading scorer, junior guard Tyler Harvey.
Jagan Mosely was torn.
The 6-foot-3-inch guard had just finished his junior season at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, N.J. He averaged 13 points per game, led his team to a 28-2 record and was named a Second Team All-State selection. In addition, Mosely had a 4.2 GPA and ranked in the top of his class at St. Anthony’s.
As he moved closer to choosing a college, though, he faced a dilemma.
On a team led by senior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and four talented sophomores, it would be easy to overlook this year’s freshman class. The sophomore class, which ESPN ranked as the seventh-best recruiting class in the country last year, will be one of the focal points of the team this year. However, this year’s freshman may play a larger role than expected.
Sophomore guard L.J. Peak added several stamps to his passport this summer. Coming off a strong freshman season in which he was featured in the starting lineup from start to finish — a rarity for a freshman under Head Coach John Thompson III — Peak was named to the Team USA U-19 team. Between that and Georgetown’s summer trip to Italy to play against international competition, Peak had a basketball in his hands for most of the offseason.
Before the 2014-15 season began, then-senior guard Jabril Trawick made it clear he was there to provide senior leadership and strength to the Hoyas.
“With the way my personality is and the kind of player that I am, I’m going to be a naturally vocal person on the court and off the court and just try to teach the younger guys,” Trawick said. “I’m going to be a leader.”
A half-court, desperate heave at the buzzer: That is how the rivalry that helped define the Big East as a premier conference ended.
In the 2013 Big East tournament semifinals, the end of the old Big East was imminent, and first-seeded Georgetown and fifth-seeded Syracuse were slated to face off for the 14th and final time in the conference tournament.
The Georgetown men’s basketball team has historically enjoyed a relatively easy out-of-conference schedule in its first few games. Teams such as St. Francis Brooklyn, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Robert Morris presented little challenge last season. The Hoyas routed each team by a margin of at least 15 points, quickly building a 3-0 record.
At the start of last season’s NCAA tournament, many pundits predicted No. 13 seed Eastern Washington would upset No. 4 seed Georgetown in the first round of March Madness.
“You got Georgetown sitting in there, they’re dying to be upset based on the way they played in the Big East tournament,” analyst Doug Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Selection Sunday,” which announced last year’s bracket March 15.
Villanova won the last two Big East regular season titles — with a combined record of 32-4 in the conference during that span — and is widely expected to continue its dominant run this year. Undersized in the frontcourt, the Wildcats will rely heavily on a few talented guards.
Every time members of the Georgetown women’s basketball team stepped onto the court last season, they battled far more than just the opposing team. Obstacles past and present combined, resulting in a 4-27 record for the Hoyas and a last-place finish in the Big East.
Dorothy Adomako was 30 seconds into her collegiate career when she made a first impression that would define her role on the Georgetown women’s basketball team.
Playing in front of a home crowd in McDonough Arena in mid-November, the then-freshman guard took the first shot of Georgetown’s 2014-15 season opener against Maryland Eastern Shore. Adomako’s jump shot, her first ever as a Hoya, swished through the net to give Georgetown a 2-0 lead.
Senior forward Ki-Ke Rafiu has faced a tumultuous career for the Georgetown women’s basketball team.
In her freshman season, she played in 26 of 31 games, scoring 36 points and grabbing 39 rebounds. The Hoyas, led by current WNBA player Sugar Rodgers (COL ’13), won 15 games against a loaded schedule in the old Big East.
The Georgetown women’s basketball team enters this season with a unique advantage: the team did not lose any players to graduation after last season, returning the six players who played more than 20 minutes per game and adding two freshmen and two transfers.
Without any seniors on the roster last year, the team lacked experience and established leadership in Head Coach Natasha Adair’s first season as the team’s coach.
Last season, lacking the presence of seniors and with the addition of a freshman class of five players, the Georgetown women’s basketball team was one of the youngest in the Big East. The team struggled, posting a 4-27 record. This year, much of the same roster returns, and the team will add several new faces as well.
After back-to-back losing seasons under former Head Coaches Keith Brown and Jim Lewis, the Georgetown women’s basketball team looked to find a long-term solution to fill its coaching void. Enter former Hoyas Assistant Coach Natasha Adair.
Graduate student guard Jasmine Jackson will return to Georgetown this season to finish her NCAA eligibility as a Hoya after transferring to George Mason at the end of her sophomore year.
After leaving Georgetown, Jackson transferred to GMU, where she redshirted her junior year due to transfer rules.
The reigning Big East tournament champions are this year’s preseason favorites to retain the title in 2015-2016. The Blue Demons fell in the NCAA tournament to eventual runner-up Notre Dame, but were the only Big East squad to win a game in the Big Dance. Three players — senior guard/forward Megan Podkowa, senior guard Chanise Jenkins and junior guard Jessica January — that averaged double-digit points per game will return this season. With its history and talent, DePaul will expect to be top dogs in the Big East.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.