Georgetown has too much talent to finish outside the top six in the Big East. The question is whether John Thompson III can get the best out of the players he recruits.
Since arriving at Georgetown, Thompson has distinguished himself as a master recruiter, landing high-profile blue chippers such as Greg Monroe, DaJuan Summers, Chris Wright and Austin Freeman.
Yet other than their Final Four run in 2007, the Hoyas have failed to live up to the hype. After a disappointing—and frankly indefensible —2008-09 campaign, during which the Hoyas failed to make the NCCAs even with Greg Monroe, Georgetown turned in two more underwhelming seasons with back-to-back first-round exits at the Big Dance.
Following another solid recruiting class that ESPN ranked 14th best in the nation, the pressure is on JTIII not only for Georgetown to live up to expectations but surpass them.
In the brutal Big East, a 10th-place finish would be an average season for many teams—certainly not one to celebrate, but with the likes of UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt and Cincinnati, not one to be dispirited about either.
At Georgetown, average has to stop. For the past five years, the Hoyas have started strong, racked up impressive wins and cracked the top 25 before wilting and falling apart. This trend has fabricated a false sense of worth amongst fans and the media alike that Georgetown is a top team.
They should have been, they could have been, but they weren't.
Once again this year the Hoyas have too much talent to shamefully slink out the first weekend of March Madness. Even after four years of undistinguished results, Georgetown is still a top-tier program to not to be forgotten largely because of the strength of Thompson's recruiting.
This year is no different. Led by Otto Porter, Mikael Hopkins, Greg Whittington, Jabril Trawick and Aaron Bowen, the freshman Hoyas are a young, lanky, athletic and talented bunch that should propel Georgetown into the top-25 rankings by year's end.
A starting lineup of Markel Starks, Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson, Nate Lubick and Henry Sims with freshmen Trawick, Porter, Whittington and Hopkins coming off the bench may not be as skilled as other teams just yet, but it is the deepest roster in the league.
Relying on the leadership of senior guard Jason Clark and the explosiveness of Hollis Thompson (a possible First-Team Big East player), the highly touted youngsters should help Georgetown be a force to be reckoned with. Now they just have to prove it.
Prediction: 18-9, fourth in the Big East and a surprise Elite Eight appearance.