After playing in six games at UCLA last season, center Joshua Smith made the decision to transfer and ultimately landed at Georgetown. And in a surprising twist the NCAA granted the 6-foot-10 Smith immediate eligibility, and despite his weight issues the big man was expected to potentially help the Hoyas make a return to the NCAA tournament and contend for a Big East title.
However after playing in Georgetown’s first two conference games Smith was sidelined for academic reasons, and on Friday head coach John Thompson III announced that Smith will miss the remainder of the season as a result. While Smith did struggle in each of his final four games this season he did string together a stretch of six consecutive games in double figures, and he averaged 11.5 points per game.
Georgetown, which visits Creighton on Saturday, is also without Jabril Trawick who continues to recover from a broken jaw so the news on Smith doesn’t help matters at all.
“So much was geared toward [Josh’s] presence,” Thompson III said according to Ben Standig of CSN Washington. “Now here in the middle of the season, between him and Jabril, you lose two starters. You have to reshuffle everything.
“But this is Georgetown. We have a set of standards here. Everyone has a responsibility above and beyond what goes on those doors right there. He let his teammates down, but the rest of the group will try to regroup here and figure it out.
And that’s the most disappointing thing about this, with Smith being given a second chance to realize the talent that made him a McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior. Georgetown welcomed him into the program, and the NCAA making the confusing decision to allow him to play immediately.
But he failed to take full advantage of this opportunity, resulting in the Hoyas being shorthanded for the remainder of the season. Thompson III also said that he’s hopeful Smith will do what it takes academically to return to the program next season. For Smith’s sake, hopefully that is the case.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.