Georgetown entered the 2013-14 season feeling optimistic about center Joshua Smith, whose career to that point was more about a talented big man failing to put it all together than anything else. And through the first 13 games of the season Smith played well for John Thompson III’s Hoyas, averaging 11.5 points in just under 20 minutes of action per night. But that’s where his season ended, as Smith was declared academically ineligible prior to the start of Big East play.
And while Smith’s ineligibility wasn’t the only reason why Georgetown missed the NCAA tournament, it certainly didn’t help matters for a team that lacked a consistent interior scoring option (Mikael Hopkins averaged 6.0 ppg). Now the former McDonald’s All-American is down to his last shot to make good on the talent that led many to label him one of the best players in the country coming out of high school.
In a story written by Ben Standig of CSN Washington, Smith discussed the way in which the 2013-14 season played out for him.
“I felt embarrassed just how that went,” Smith continued. “I’m a man, I manned up. It was a mistake that happened. I owned up to it. I had to sit out last year. It was a terrible feeling watching your teammates play at home, watching them play in the Big East and [knowing] all you can do is offer them moral support. I’m not going to let these guys down again.”
Also of note in the story is the fact that Thompson III praised Smith for the way in which he’s worked in the days leading up to the start of the 2014-15 season. However he also noted that Georgetown was in the same spot last season, with the NCAA’s decision to grant Smith immediate eligibility looking to be a major boost to the Hoyas’ hopes of making another NCAA tournament appearance.
Georgetown has some talented pieces on the perimeter led by Preseason Big East Player of the Year D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jabril Trawick and Aaron Bowen, and front court options such as junior Bradley Hayes and freshman Isaac Copeland are in position to help as well. But there’s room for Smith to step forward as well. And while the early word on his progress may sound good, Smith’s reached a point where many will want to see it consistently before they believe.