Why Georgetown Will Be a Title Contender if Greg Monroe Returns
From start to finish, it was an up and down year for the Hoyas of Georgetown. They were plagued with inconsistency, going through marvelous highs, and disappointing lows, since the season first tipped off.
When this Hoya team was on, they were unstoppable, beating the likes of Duke, Villanova, and Syracuse and doing it quite easily on two of three occasions.
When off their game, however, this team hit lows you wouldn't have thought possible if you watched them on nights when they were playing well. They lost to a miserable Rutgers squad, a sub-par South Florida team, and finally, the Hoyas capped off their season with a blowout loss in the first round to the Ohio Bobcats.
Although extremely talented, Georgetown failed to put its best effort out on the floor night in and night out, which lead to a first-round KO in the tournament. However, next year could be a completely different story if big man Greg Monroe decides to stay in school for another year.
Here are six reasons why this Georgetown team will make a run at the national championship if Greg stays a Hoya.
No. 1: Georgetown Will Be Returning Every Player on its Roster
Not one senior was on the Hoyas' roster this year, meaning if Greg forgoes the draft, the Hoyas will have all their players back. This already extremely talented team will have nine months of improvement going into next season, taking this team to a different level.
Players like Austin Freeman and Chris Wright, who both had great seasons this year, will only be better and dominant teams more next season.
Jason Clark, a sophomore guard who can really stroke the ball, found his touch last year and was a big difference maker for the Hoyas. Clark is continuing to improve his game to a higher level than it has been at any point in his career. If he continues his development, he could be an even bigger contributor for Georgetown next year.
This team had one of the best starting five's in the country this season, and with a year of improvement and becoming familiar with each other under their belt, the sky is the limit for this starting five.
No. 2: The Dominance of Greg Monroe
You could argue the case that Greg Monroe was the best center in the nation this year, dominating opponents and putting up big numbers of 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks per game.
Monroe has outstanding moves in the post and can drive to the basket effectively on slower, less athletic big men. Greg is also one of the nation’s best passers, posting huge assist numbers for a center. He is the facilitator for that offense and reads zone defenses like a book.
Now, imagine this beast today, then a summer of bulking up and improving his game, and coming back to college and playing in a league that loses a lot of the bigs who challenged him this year, like Onuako and Hamady Ndiaye from Rutgers.
Scary to even think about that for opposing teams.
No. 3: The Development of Hollis Thompson
This freshman from California started off slowly at the beginning of the year, not getting much playing time or contributing with the time he got.
This is not uncommon for freshman adjusting to Georgetown’s complicated Princeton style offense, but his true talents were limited at first because of this new set offense Hollis needed to take in.
As Thompson began to fit in and find his role as a Hoya, things took a swing for the better for Hollis. He began to see more time on the floor, showing off his natural stroke and a great ability to slash to the basket and score.
Most people who aren't Georgetown fans don't know who this kid is. But he is a great talent and could be a Kris Joseph-like guy for the Hoyas next season, creating instant offense off the bench.
John Thompson III has done an outstanding job developing Hollis over the course of this year, and the kid is only going to get better over the offseason. He has proven he can contribute off the bench for the Hoyas next year in games late this season, like against Ohio, where he scored 16 points while going 3-for-5 from distance.
He was one of the only bright spots in that game, proving his worth to Hoya fans. If he can continue to get stronger and develop his game, he could be one of the best sixth men in the Big East or possibly even the nation next season.
No. 4: Senior Leadership
The Hoyas lacked leadership throughout most of this year. That was one of the big reasons for their inconsistency. They had no one that could lead their team down the stretch, pull out close games, or put away inferior teams.
Coming into next season, however, there will be three seniors in the starting lineup in Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Julian Vaughn.
The roster will be stacked with upperclassmen, most of them with big game experience, who can lead this Georgetown team on the floor more effectively than last season.
Having seniors on a team is a big factor for any team in March, and having a lot of seniors on their squad next season will certainly help the Hoyas fair better when the Madness starts next season.
No. 5: Georgetown Has a Top 25 Recruiting Class Coming In
To go along with Georgetown returning all of their players from last season, the Hoyas also have talented freshman coming in next year to help fill their roster.
No. 48 ranked Nate Lubick at forward, No. 71 ranked recruit Markel Starks at point guard, center Moses Abraham, and forward Aaron Bowen have all committed to the Hoyas, giving them more depth in their now thin roster.
The Hoyas had only 11 players on their team this season, but with the addition of these young, talented freshmen, it will give John Thompson more options for people to put in the game.
No. 6: A Perfect Amount of Depth
A weak bench this season was one of the Hoyas biggest problems as a team. It was a main contributor to their struggles with consistency because if a starter ever got hurt, was in foul trouble, or was playing poorly that game, there were very few players to replace him.
The Hoyas were last in the nation in points off the pine, with only around eight a game. However, this team’s bench coming into next year is looking as strong as ever due to the development and addition of new players.
Since there was no back-up point guard last year for Georgetown, the Hoyas relied heavily on Chris Wright to stay out of foul trouble and perform his best every night. When he was able to, Georgetown was close to unbeatable, winning countless games when Wright scored in double figures.
When he struggled, however, Georgetown had trouble breaking presses, getting into sets on the offensive end, and executing their game plan. Things seemed to just fall apart when Wright was out of the game because there was nobody to replace him.
However, with the addition of Markel Starks, a heady four-star point guard who is very similar to Chris Wright when he first came to Georgetown, will be able to give good minutes in place of Wright, which will be big for the Hoyas come next season if Chris ever needs to sit. Vee Sanford, a freshman point guard this year who didn't see many minutes could also see some playing time next year, as he is developing into a solid player on both ends of the ball.
To go along with newly acquired depth at the point, the Hoyas will have new big men to come into the game and give quality minutes. Nate Lubick and Moses Abraham are two bigs that are very good on the defensive end, blocking shots and hustling to loose balls. They should solid for Georgetown next year.
All and all, the Hoyas should have five or six guys seeing minutes off the bench, with players at lots of different positions that all contribute in different ways. This is a perfect bench in my eyes, a solid amount of guys with a lot of talent and players at every position.
Georgetown will be coming back next season with a new and improved squad that is absolutely stacked. I am already pumped to see the Hoyas through on the jerseys next season and make up for that devastating first round loss to Ohio by going out and having a great year.
P.S. Greg, stay with Georgetown for just one more year, please. The Hoya faithful are thirsty for a few tournament wins, and that is more than possible if you stay for 2011.
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