To no surprise, Hollis Thompson declared for the 2012 NBA Draft. From the statement from III, it seems as if it came to no surprise to staff as well. The downside to this is obviously that next year’s team with Hollis would have likely been Top 10 good with or without Nerlens Noel. Can you imagine how good a SR year Hollis at SG flanked by SO year Greg and Otto at the 3 and 4 spots would have been? Also, selfishly it has been a bit frustrating that Jeff Green, DaJuan Summers, Greg Monroe, and now Hollis have left a season (or two) early when a return could have likely transformed the next season into a Big East Championship contending group and in some of the cases, a National Title contending group (2008, 2011).
Is there an upside to this? Potentially, yes. On paper (and Nerlens Noel notwithstanding), the year this FR group and core of the team can really make a move has and now will continue to be the 2013-2014 season. It is easy to forget that Moses Ayegba and Aaron Bowen will also be considered redshirt SO’s and make the SO class a group of 6. (A. Adams is likely to be a RS FR. B. Hey, that 2015 recruiting class better be good!). Now, with Hollis’ absence the young core will log heavy, heavy minutes by default without a senior on the roster. Greg Whittington almost certainly slides into a starting spot and Jabril Trawick or Mikael Hopkins/Moses Ayegba could be likely starters depending on which direction III would like to go. Do you go big with Greg and Otto at 2/3? Or a smaller look with Jabril/Greg/Otto playing SG-PF? Either way, there still are options just not as plentiful.
On paper, I think potential lineups are:
Starks/Trawick/Whittington/Porter/Lubick or Hopkins
Starks/Whittington/Porter/Lubick/Hopkins or Ayegba/Adams
Regardless, Georgetown is likely to be playing an 8 or 9 man rotation – all of which will return for the 2013-2014 season.
Two young men this certainly impacts directly: Devonta Pollard and Aaron Bowen. In Pollard’s case, there may have been a perceived log jam as he is a natural SF who may also be able to play PF in a squeeze. With Hollis/Greg/Otto trio, he may not have seen quite the opening for FR year minutes as available elsewhere (like Missouri, where the entire team is graduating). While III will almost certainly not guarantee playing time, much less a starting spot, there are many minutes available now for someone with his size and talent. Aaron Bowen is an interesting case. Georgetown under the III regime has not had too many players stick it out while receiving little playing time after their 2nd year in the program. Now, there appears to be an opening for Bowen depending on how spring recruiting unfolds. One can only hope he stays as he has the measurables and appears to enjoy competing while on the court.
The preseason ranking will surely be affected by this news, the end of season ranking very likely may be as well. This is not to say next year won’t be fun or successful. There is enough talent remaining to expect a top half of the Big East finish with another trip to the NCAA Tournament. However, when Georgetown suits up for the 2013-2014 it will be boasting one of the most experienced groups in the country, and hopefully with another key addition or two – one of the more talented groups.