With the early departure of Hollis Thompson, three out of Georgetown’s four top offensive options have departed this spring. Hollis, Jason Clark and Henry Sims all will test their luck in the professional ranks be it NBA, D-League or overseas. This leaves not so much a void but an opportunity for the energetic core of freshman and sophomores to step into the limelight.
The offense is sure to operate through Otto Porter who turned in a fabulous freshman year and began playing his best ball at the right time. As the season came to a close through the Big East Tournament it sure felt that Otto was perhaps only second to Henry Sims in terms of importance and had upped his game at the right time on the offensive side of the ball. In his final 10 games, Otto posted an offensive rating of 129.7, easily tops on the team. Otto figures to be fantastic as a sophomore as he gets stronger and is sure to improve his accuracy on three point attempts.
What may come to a surprise to the casual basketball fan is who played the 5th most minutes for Georgetown and posted the 3rd highest offensive rating over the span of the final 10 games (119.7 credit to HoyaProspectus). It was Greg Whittington, who did not hit a freshman wall but barged through it and thrived late. Beginning with the home date with St. John’s on February 12th – in which Greg bailed out the Hoyas – Greg was 23 for 39 from the floor (58.9%) , 10 for 18 from three (55.5%) and 12 for 15 from the free throw line (80%) throughout the final loss to North Carolina State.
The shooting should not be viewed at as a fluke. While those percentages from the field and three are not sustainable over the long haul, it should be believed that Greg will be a big time player on offense moving forward. After all, his rep coming out of High School was a sweet shooting wing who could put the ball in the basket. However, upon his arrival at Georgetown it was his defense at 6’8 on the perimeter that became the talking point as he took on defensive assignments in key moments against the likes of Tyshawn Taylor, Kyle Kuric and Darius Johnson-Odom. (his prowess in the L’Ville game seen here: (http://cuttingdownnets.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/the-value-of-greg-whittington/)
Perhaps it was freshman jitters or not being totally comfortable in a somewhat complex offensive system but Greg progressed greatly on offense and as the season wore on there became no hesitation on the offensive side of the ball. If Greg was open, he stepped in to his shots confidently, lay-ins on back-door cuts turned into dunks and Greg went from an offensive liability to a major weapon. Something to look forward to is the combo of Otto and Greg. While both on the floor, they should present a mismatch at the small-forward spot to utilize one or the other in the post. If Otto and Greg can ever be paired at SG and SF then there becomes a world of opportunity as college teams simply can not play a team with that size in man to man defense with how Georgetown likes to utilize post entry’s out of their Princeton sets.
It’s my opinion and likely others that Otto Porter is good enough to win a few games on his own this year (and likely will need to at times) but I very much believe that he has a running partner in place to create a formidable duo in the Big East.