BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Indiana was lucky they got Georgetown as early as they did.
Because this Georgetown team is not going to be the Georgetown team that teams will run into come February and March. There isn’t a single senior in the Hoya rotation. There are only two juniors that see playing time — Nate Lubick and Markel Starks — and both of those guys are playing roles that are new and expanded this season.
Everyone else in the rotation? Freshmen and sophomores.
“We’re still growing up,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said after the Hoyas lost to No. 1 Indiana 82-72 in overtime. “You hope to grow up without losses, and hopefully this will help. We had a lot of guys out there in situations they’ve never been in before.”
What’s scary about this group is that, while they are still growing and still developing, they truly do believe they are already amongst the elite. Just because they are going to get better doesn’t mean this isn’t a top 25 team right now.
“I wouldn’t say I met expectations. I can play,” Starks said, clearly perturbed by a reporter’s choice of words when asking him about the 43 points he scored this weekend. “We have a team full of guys that can play. Any given night, we have guys that can put up big numbers. We can play.”
He’s right, but what people need to realize is that this team isn’t a traditional Georgetown team. Yes, they are still going to run the same offensive system. That won’t change with JT III at the helm. And yes, they are going to be a group that keeps the game at a slower pace and that shoots a lot of threes. What’s different about them, however, is that their strength doesn’t lie at the center spot.
It’s on the wing, where Otto Porter and Greg Whittington look to be well on their way to becoming lottery picks.
On the defensive end of the floor, those two are nothing short of a nightmare. Between the two of them, they can guard anyone on the court at any given time. Porter’s a little bit better against post players and Whittington is a bit quicker laterally, but at 6-foot-8 with long arms, both make a lot of plays on the defensive end of the floor. They are still learning how to play offensively, but you got a glimpse of it the past two days. Whittington hit two threes that helped open up Georgetown’s 14 point lead against No. 11 UCLA on Monday. Porter hit a three and followed that up with a driving layup that forced overtime against Indiana on Tuesday.
“I think they’re going to get better and better,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. “They’re long and athletic. They’re young, but they don’t deviate form what John wants. They have great athletes, but they have a team of basketball players.”
The future isn’t only bright for the Hoyas, the future is now.
“It’s still early in the year,” Thompson said. “Our younger guys aren’t ready for a team of that caliber yet.”
“Yet being the operative word.”