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Georgetown Hoyas 2007 Preview

by Andrew Force | November 11th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 30-7 (13-3), 1st

Postseason Games

3/8/2007 Villanova Big East Tournament W 62-57
3/9/2007 Notre Dame Big East Tournament W 84-82
3/10/2007 Pittsburgh Big East Final W 65-42
3/15/2007 Belmont NCAA W 80-55
3/17/2007 Boston College NCAA W 62-55
3/23/2007 Vanderbilt NCAA W 66-65
3/25/2007 North Carolina NCAA Elite 8 W 96-84 OT
3/31/2007 Ohio State NCAA Final Four L 60-67

2007-2008 Returning Statistical Leaders:
12.9 ppg – Roy Hibbert
6.9 rpgRoy Hibbert
3.5 apgJessie Sapp

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C Roy Hibbert 7’2” Sr. 100 offensive rebounds
PF Patrick Ewing 6’8” Sr. 14 starts in 93 career games
F DaJuan Summers 6’8 So. Top 3 in steals, blocks, 3’s, def. rebs
G Jessie Sapp 6’3” Jr. When Sapp led scoring, GU was 2-2
PG Jonathan Wallace 6’2” Sr. 102 straight starts for JT3

Key Player Loss: Jeff Green.

Impact Newcomer: Austin Freeman. Playing for the nationally-renowned Dematha Catholic High School, Freeman amassed a gaudy 89-8 career record. Believe that Free played an enormous part in the success.

Aside from the amazing offensive skills, Freeman has the potential to be a shutdown defender. This will earn him PT early on while he adjusts to Georgetown’s offense.

The other freshman stud, Chris Wright, broke his foot in late September. Look for his impact to be muted in this deep backcourt.

Tough Question: Who takes the game-winner?

Jeff Green was a quiet superstar in 2006-2007. To borrow from a former U.S. President, Green “spoke softly and carried a big stick.” When the critical moments emerged, Green stepped up. He hit big shot after big shot.

Closing out halves and games with reliable offensive players is paramount. Georgetown must find a new player to carry the team on its shoulders.

The yoke needs a strong neck upon which to rest.

Too Much PT: Jessie Sapp.

A solid defender, Sapp keeps the best guards out of the lane against his Georgetown bigmen. The dilemma he presents is on the offensive end. He is a poor (29%) outside shooter and can not convert late-game free-throws. The Hoyas would be better off finding a late game replacement for the junior guard.

Get Him on the Floor: Jeremiah Rivers.

The son of Doc Rivers has something neither Jonathan Wallace, nor Jessie Sapp possesses. Flair. Rivers can pass cleverly, dribble exceptionally, and penetrate better than both.

Though Jeremiah is still finding his J, expect the point guard spot to develop into a two-pronged attack this season with Rivers earning more minutes.

Point Guards’ Impact: Jonathan Wallace has limitations, but understands them. Therein lays his strength. He does not play outside his capabilities and the team flourishes with his leadership.

Picking smart shots and capitalizing on the collapsing defenses, Wallace managed an electric 49% from beyond the arc. He also is sure handed late in games. If fouled in crunchtime, Wallace converted 87% from the charity stripe.

Expectations: As Georgetown wound up in the Final Four for the first time in 22 years, it is safe to say everyone met or exceeded expectations last year…will this year be a similar story?

Final Word: The Hoyas lost four forwards and gained four guards in 2007-08. That should give some indication of the depth of this team. While Hibbert, Summers, and Macklin are great players, expect big things from an emerging backcourt.

Austin Freeman and Chris Wright are big-time players from the DC area. Jeremiah Rivers is a cerebral pointman and the exploits of Sapp and Wallace are well known. Bigs are nice, but solid guard play wins in the Big Dance.

The Hoyas now have that in abundance.

–Andrew Force

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