After missing five games in a row, Georgetown center Josh Smith has officially been suspended for the remainder of the 2013-14 season due to academic problems, per Aaron Oster of ESPN 980:
John Thompson III announces Josh Smith will be out for the year due to academic reasons.— Aaron Oster (@TheAOster) January 24, 2014
The junior was forced to sit out for the first time on Jan. 8 against Providence, which coincided with the first day of classes for the second semester at Georgetown, according to Andy Katz of ESPN.
Fortunately, Oster also quotes head coach John Thompson III in saying he could be back next season:
JTIII did say that Smith would continue practicing with the team, and the hope is that he'll be able to play next season— Aaron Oster (@TheAOster) January 24, 2014
This is a big loss for the Hoyas, who are currently 11-7 on the year with a 3-4 record in the Big East. Smith was the team's third-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game, and he added 3.4 rebounds per game. His size, at 6'10" and 350 pounds, also helped him become a tough defender in the low post.
Unfortunately, Georgetown will have to move on without him. One positive note is that the squad is used to overcoming this type of adversity. Last season, second-leading scorer Greg Whittington was ruled ineligible for the final 13 games due to academic issues before transferring to Rutgers.
Still, the coaching staff will clearly have to make some adjustments without Smith. Thompson discussed the problem, via Ben Standig of CSN Washington:
JT3 on Josh Smith, ineligible due to academics: "It's disappointing. So much was geared toward his presence." #hoyas— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) January 24, 2014
Meanwhile, Mike Madden of the Washington City Paper believes this could be damaging to the team's postseason chances:
Hoyas to NCAA tournament: “See you in 2015” // RT @CasualHoya: Georgetown center Josh Smith is out for the year due to academic reasons.— Mike Madden (@MikeMadden) January 24, 2014
As for Smith, this is another disappointing chapter for a once-promising prospect. In 2010, the Washington native was considered a 4-star prospect and the No. 20 player overall, according to ESPN. After two years of struggles at UCLA, he transferred to Georgetown in search of a fresh start.
While he was posting the best scoring numbers of his career to go with an impressive 65.5 field-goal percentage, academic issues will apparently derail his season.
Hopefully, he will find a way to get his academics in order and be able to contribute in the 2014-15 season.
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