As the season comes into view and Georgetown University is overcome with basketball fever, Washington D.C. is preparing for a fine hoops campaign.
The Georgetown Hoyas are set to begin their year and fans are getting ready for another strong season from John Thompson III's squad.
However, what exactly do the fans need to know or expect heading into the season opener against Old Dominion?
What will the team look like?
Who are the key players?
While I cannot answer every question a fan throws out, I can presume and expect different things.
But there are some things I believe Georgetown fans need to know.
With that being said, here are 10 things Georgetown basketball fans want to know about heading into the 2010 season.
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Last year, Georgetown fans and the college basketball world were stunned by the team's loss to Ohio in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now, fans can only hope that the past is in the rear-view mirror and forgotten about by the team as the 2010-11 season is set to get underway.
If the Hoyas are still feeling the effects of a heart-breaking loss to an over-achieving Ohio squad, Georgetown basketball could be doomed this year.
John Thompson's squad has a tough non-conference schedule ahead of them in addition to their grueling Big East schedule: Old Dominion to open the year, Missouri, Utah State, Temple and Memphis.
As usual, the Hoyas will see their RPI and strength-of-schedule numbers very high going into March; if they can add four wins from those five teams, they will be in even better shape.
To be a successful, prominent team this year, Georgetown will have to be focused on the teams that are standing in their path—not the ones they have already overcome in the past.
If they can overcome the past, it will be a start to a successful season.
Last season was plagued by different Georgetown teams coming to play each night, resulting in huge wins (Duke) and horrific losses (Ohio).
I am a firm believer that consistency is one of the biggest keys to building a successful basketball team. Thus, the Hoyas must become more consistent in order to succeed.
However, a new year and another year under the belts of returning players gives us hope that the team will be more consistent than last year.
Just because Hollis Thompson is pictured here doesn't mean he is the prime example of inconsistency. Everyone was guilty of it last season.
Freeman and Wright could go for 25 points one game to barely five the next.
Come this year, there will have to be a steady in-between for the team.
Last year there was virtually no impact freshman aside from Hollis Thompson, and that is no surprise with a typical Georgetown basketball team.
However, this season will be different. Freshmen will have an impact on many games for the Hoyas.
The two that we will see the most will be Nate Lubick (pictured), a power forward, and Markel Starks, a point guard.
Lubick will battle for playing time inside with the loss of Monroe and the lack of experience down low will only help him.
Starks, on the other hand, will be in more of a developmental year, as he will learn from Chris Wright and spell him when needed at the point guard spot.
As usual, don't expect huge things from the Hoya freshmen, but they will be important role players for the team.
Other incoming freshmen include C Moses Abraham and SG Aaron Bowen.
The bench cost John Thompson's team a lot of close wins last season, and coming into this year, fans are hoping to see something better.
Building on the last slide, one would think that the additions of Lubick and Starks will help the bench some.
Also, another year under the belts of Jerrelle Benimon and Henry Sims will pay dividends for the bench.
Benimon showed great promise last year as a freshman and should compete night in and night out against opposing teams.
Once again, the bench will be key for Georgetown and the Hoyas.
With the loss of Greg Monroe, another huge question that will have to be answered is about the post play.
Can the returning players hold their own down low and have a positive presence?
Julian Vaughn (pictured) will be expected to be the primary guy in the post. He has experience and has shown some great spots here and there.
Vaughn could be the key to the Hoyas' season. If he is able to contain the post, it will open things up for the perimeter players, which is arguably the best perimeter group in the conference.
If Henry Sims can get things together, he could also be very valuable.
His 6'10" frame would be huge on the defensive side of the ball, as he has the ability to alter and block the shots of players in the lane.
Benimon and Lubick will also try to strengthen the weakness Georgetown possesses down low.
While none of these players will be able to be Greg Monroe, together they can make up for his absence and be a better team.
Chris Wright was vital to the team last season.
When he scored in double-digits, the team won; when he did not, the team faltered.
People can argue that he needs to keep scoring, but this season the Hoyas need something more: a true point guard.
While Wright assumed the role as point guard last season, many could tell he wasn't quite comfortable with his role and the leadership duties he needed to uphold.
However, I expect a different Chris Wright this year. I am sure he has worked hard in the offseason and will be a better true point guard than what we have witnessed in the past.
As the season wound down last year, Austin Freeman got tragic news and was diagnosed with diabetes.
While he did struggle at first, he concluded the season rather well and fans could tell he was getting comfortable with his situation.
The question is, will everything be fine this season?
Freeman—the preseason Big East Player of the Year—is a key component for Georgetown's team. If they do not have him performing at his best ability, the team will not reach its peak performance.
He took time this offseason to readjust his habits and game-play, so lets hope that he is good to go for the season.
Chris Wright and Austin Freeman will not be able to carry the team by themselves for an entire season; another player or two will have to step in to help.
Three of my prime candidates to step in are Julian Vaughn, Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark (pictured).
Thompson and Clark have great shooting touches and could hit some timely three-point baskets to help the Hoyas, especially when teams are locked in on Freeman.
Vaughn will have to give the team something from the post, and I am a firm believer he will do so.
It doesn't have to be the same player every game, but if one of these three players can step in game after game, the team will be able to hold their own and play well.
John Thompson III will have to have a third and/or fourth contributor, though.
I know this has been focused on the future and the matter at hand, but I am pretty sure Georgetown fans want to know how Greg Monroe will be replaced.
Everyone knows he will be hard to replace, but it can be done.
His stat sheet can be replaced by other Hoyas working together, but the thing that will be the hardest is his big body and the attention he received.
Monroe opened things up for shooters and guys on the perimeter to make plays for themselves.
Can they do the same now?
It should be interesting without Monroe. The team will have a different look at first, but as the season progresses, I think the Hoyas will have a new way to play the game.
Teams discuss this very question year after year and fans/experts discuss their opinions.
But, is this the year for the Georgetown Hoyas?
The team has a nice mix of experience and youth to compete in the brutal Big East.
Despite Georgetown being in the first Top 25 Poll, many people are overlooking the Hoyas.
However, they are one of my teams to watch as the season unravels. They will surprise a lot of people—mark that down.
They may be without Greg Monroe, but this is a very sound team and should be able to contend.
Look forward to a very gritty, exciting year, Hoya fans!