When I originally started laying out the teams in my Top-25 Countdown, I had Georgetown in at 18th. As I started to do more research and learn more about the top teams in the country, GU began to drop on my list.
Eventually they fell to 21st and then I knocked them straight out of my top 25. This despite the fact that many publications and writers have ranked the Hoyas in the top 25, if not the top 15.
Dickie Vitale ranks them 15th, Athlon Magazine has them 21st in its season preview, Rivals ranked them 11th in June. Rivals is also counting down the teams and is down to number 12 without ranking Georgetown yet. When number 11 is released tomorrow, it'll probably be the Hoyas.
Most of my rankings won't be radically different than the big name publications, but the one that varies the most is where I rank Georgetown.
The Hoyas are good. There's no doubt about that. John Thompson III has a nice group of very impressive of players, but also have lots of question marks and very little depth.
Defections and graduation have left GU with just four plays who saw significant time in 2008. Center Roy Hibbert and forward Patrick Ewing Jr. moved onto the NBA, and point guard Jonathan Wallace who started every game in his four year career is now attending Georgetown's Law School.
The Hoya Saxa is also without the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Jeremiah Rivers who transferred to Indiana. Promising forward Vernon Macklin left to attend Florida.
Three of the four leading Hoyas in offensive efficiency are no longer on the team, and DaJuan Summers, the player expected to lead GU in 2009, had a sub-par 102 efficiency rating. To put that in perspective, Roy Hibbert's rating was 119, Jonathan Wallace had a 122 rating, and even Patrick Ewing Jr.'s rating was 108.
John Thompson's offense thrives off being slow paced and incredibly efficient. If Summers doesn't improve offensively, Thompson will have to look towards another player to lead his offense.
Sophomore Austin Freeman will step up after a solid freshman season when he averaged almost ten points per game. He finished the season with an offensive efficiency rating of 115, third best on the team.
The Hoya's next best returning player is senior guard Jessie Sapp who's a solid marksman, but not much else.
The final player Georgetown returns is Chris Wright, a dynamic sophomore who struggled through injuries his freshman year. He showed flashes of brilliance with his long range shooting abilities and athleticism.
But those four players, Summers, Freeman, Sapp, and Wright are the only four players the Hoyas return.
Georgetown does bring in several highly touted freshmen and transfers that will help build its roster.
Center Greg Monroe will most likely start and enters GU as a top ten recruit. Backing Monroe up will be another freshman, Henry Sims. He's considered another 50 recruit that won't make a big impact in 2009, but will have a role.
The Hoyas also picked up the 35th ranked power forward of his freshman class, Julian Vaughn who transferred to Georgetown after originally enrolling at Florida State.
Guard Jason Clark will only be Georgetown's third true guard on the roster. He's generally regarded as a top 75 recruit.
So where does this leave Georgetown?
The Hoyas have four players that will definitely be solid contributors. Freshman Greg Monroe should play well enough to be a factor, so that's five solid players.
After that, GU has major question marks. Henry Sims and Jason Clark should contribute, but how effective they will be is uncertain.
The Hoyas have just three true guards on their roster, Sapp, Wright , and Clark. Austin Freeman can slide over to the two guard spot if needed, but that leaves the Hoyas with a hole on the wing. If DaJuan Summers plays the three, Georgetown will be forced to put both Monroe and Sims on the floor at the same time.
Georgetown is the 2009 version of the 2008 Syracuse team. Lots of talents, lots of youth, and a lack of depth.
One injury or one suspension can completely sink the Hoyas season. Just ask Syracuse about how quickly injuries can derail a season. SU lost both of its shooting guards Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins to A.C.L. injuries. The Orange played the rest of its season with seven scholarship players.
The 'Cuse flirted with a ranking in the beginning of 2008, but slowly slipped through the rigors of the conference schedule. Georgetown will follow Syracuse's footsteps in 2009. The Hoyas will be ranked to begin the season and fall throughout the Big East conference schedule. A team cannot compete in the Big East with just seven or eight players.
So the Hoyas will have some impresive, young talent, but in the end will lack the personal to be a top tier team in the Big East and the country.