Georgetown's Role Players Will Be The Difference Makers for the Hoyas
Talent is not an issue at the top of Georgetown's roster.
With Chris Wright handling the ball, Austin Freeman on a wing, and Greg Monroe manning the paint, the Hoyas have one of the best 1-2-3 punches in the country. Most pundits, especially the ones worth paying attention to, would agree with that statement.
Through the Hoya's first five games, those three have lived up to all expectation.
While he is still clearly a work in progress, Monroe has been much more assertive on the offensive end and on the glass this season, bumping his averages up to 14.8 ppg and 9.4 rpg. Chris Wright's scoring is up to 13.8 ppg and he is coming off his best game of the year, scoring 18 points and going 4-5 from three against Mt. St. Mary's. Austin Freeman, who is the third or fourth option on the offensive end right now, is still averaging 11.8 ppg despite not having hit his stride this season.
The issue is not what those three bring to the table.
Those three can play, and for the most part they are a great fit for the offense John Thompson III likes to run.
The issue is what they don't bring to the table.
Monroe, for as talented as he is, is not what you would call a banger. He blocks some shots, but is not all that physical inside on either end, especially on the glass. If and when he has the ball in the low-post, you can be pretty certain he will use his left hand.
Part of the reason that his field goal percentage is down 100 points this season is that he has made a concerted effort to improve his right hand.
This is where Julian Vaughn comes into play.
Vaughn came out of Oak Hill Academy with a lot of hype, but played limited minutes at Florida State as a freshman and at Georgetown as a sophomore. With DaJuan Summers gone to the league, Vaughn has slid into the starting "4" spot very nicely this season. He's provided some muscle and toughness on the block, a big reason why Georgetown has looked better on the glass this season.
But Vaughn also has the perimeter skills to fit in with JTIII's Princeton offense. He is a capable passer, with 10 assists and just six turnovers in five games this year, with the ability to knock down a jumper from the perimeter.
In the back court, the one thing that Georgetown was lacking last season was a dynamic play maker and athlete on the defensive end.
Sophomore Jason Clark is that guy.
Clark has been a terror on the defensive end of the floor. He is quick with long arms and great anticipation, allowing him to get into the passing lanes. He creates easy baskets for the Hoyas in transition, which is really important for a team that likes to play at a controlled pace.
Like Vaughn, with more playing time has come the emergence of Clark as a threat in the half court offense Georgetown runs. He has the quicks to get to the rim, the hops to finish around the rim, and the stroke from the perimeter that forces a defense to play him honest.
Don't be surprised if Clark becomes the Hoya's most valuable backcourt player by season's end.
The Georgetown big three is as talented as any in the country, but with a limited bench, the production of the other two starters will go a long way in determining Georgetown's success this season.
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