On the final day of March Georgetown guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera made the decision to enter the 2015 NBA Draft, and it was a decision that was projected to have a major impact on the Hoyas’ chances in 2015-16. However as time passed on Smith-Rivera reconsidered his decision, and ultimately he decided that another season on The Hilltop would be best for him.
Ahead of the team’s postseason banquet Thursday Smith-Rivera spoke to local media for the first time since he decided to return to school. And according to CSNWashington.com Smith-Rivera’s reason for doing so had a lot to do with what Georgetown has accomplished during his first three seasons with the program.
Georgetown has yet to reach the second weekend of the NCAA tournament while Smith-Rivera’s been on campus, and their win over Eastern Washington is the Hoyas’ lone tournament victory during that stretch.
“I’ve been here three years. We still haven’t turned that corner,” Smith-Rivera said. “I feel like this year we had a great team, but next year we’ll have an even better team with the guys coming in and a lot of the guys that we have now.”
As far as the pro ranks, Smith-Rivera hopes another year of school will also help make him a better prospect.
With Smith-Rivera back in the fold the Hoyas are ranked 12th in our most recent Way-Too-Early Top 25, and he’ll lead the way for a talented group that includes rising sophomores Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak and adds a freshman class led by pivot Jesse Govan. There are some personnel losses to take into consideration, most notably Joshua Smith and Jabril Trawick, and the Hoyas aren’t the deepest team on the perimeter but the talent is there to contend in the Big East.
Smith-Rivera’s decision ensured that John Thompson III will have a leader to call upon. And he’ll be a motivated leader at that, as Smith-Rivera looks to leave his mark and lead Georgetown past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.