May 31, 2013, 6:08 PM EST
Georgetown guard Greg Whittington was expected to be a key cog in the attack for John Thompson III’s Hoyas before the 2012-13 season began.
With Jason Clark, Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson all gone, the theory was that for Georgetown to have success both Whittington and Otto Porter Jr. would need to be prominent figures.
As we all know the season didn’t end as Whittington wanted it to, with his being declared academically ineligible for the remainder of the season after playing in 13 games.
All Porter Jr. did was emerge as one of the best players in the country, leading the Hoyas to a share of the Big East regular season title and a two-seed in the NCAA tournament.
With Porter Jr. a likely lottery pick in next month’s NBA Draft, many wondered what Whittington’s status for next season was. On Friday, Ben Standig of CSN Washington received an official answer of sorts, with Thompson III telling him that Whittington will be back on “The Hilltop” next season.
“I think Greg grew up a lot this year, a hell of a lot.” Thompson told Standig. “It was painful for him…He’s made strides, not just in the classroom, but who he is. He’s growing up.”
Whittington averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season, and with Porter Jr. gone the opportunity to have a major impact is certainly there.
The question is whether or not Whittington’s ready to do so, and he’ll need to if Georgetown is to win another conference title.
It should also be noted that Georgetown doesn’t enter the 2013-14 season with a bare cupboard either, as the Hoyas have multiple options both inside and out.
Beyond Whittington and Smith, Georgetown has several frontcourt options including returning starters Nate Lubick and Mikael Hopkins, Moses Ayegba and Bradley Hayes. The versatile Whittington will take over Porter’s small forward role, where Aaron Bowen, Stephen Domingo and incoming freshman Reggie Cameron could also receive minutes. Markel Starks, Jabril Trawick and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera form the guard rotation though Whittington will also see minutes in the backcourt, Thompson said.
While the question of whether or not Whittington will return has been answered, one remains: when will UCLA transfer Josh Smith be eligible to take the floor?
Smith played in six games last season before deciding that a change of scenery would be for the best, and in Standig’s interview Thompson III didn’t have a concrete answer as to when the big man will be eligible to play.
Whenever Smith becomes available he’ll give Georgetown some added depth in the post, and if a “new beginning” can serve as a spark the former McDonald’s All-American will be a valuable asset.
Losing a player the caliber of Otto Porter Jr. certainly hurts, but that shouldn’t be used as a reason to rule Georgetown out in 2013-14 either.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
- No. 15 Iowa State holds on to beat No. 19 Texas 0
- Washington kicks talented shot blocking big man off the team 0
- Tracking The Unbeatens: Virginia’s difficult schedule, and why were Kentucky’s platoons created? 1
- Weekly Awards: D’Angelo Russell’s ascension, Kansas takes the next step 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Latest Top 25 2
- Coach K earns career win No. 1,000 in No. 5 Duke’s win over St. John’s 4
- Kentucky lands commitment from international Class of 2016 big man 4
- No. 6 Wisconsin utterly embarrassed No. 25 Iowa for more than one reason (13)
- The Top Ten Players that Coach K has had at Duke (13)
- You think college basketball is unwatchable this year? Turn on an Indiana game (7)
- You Make The Call: Was this a charge on TaShawn Thomas? (VIDEO) (5)
- Player of the Year Power Rankings: Jahlil Okafor, Frank Kaminsky are still 1-2 (5)