Georgetown head coach John Thompson III (JTIII) has his work cut out for him this season. He lost his three starters off of last year’s team including the two leading scorers-giving his team a completely different look.

Compounding the issue for JTIII is the fact that he has to incorporate five true freshmen and one redshirt freshman into the lineup. It’s a rare occurrence, but one that Thompson says shouldn’t hinder the team’s success this season.

“Conventional wisdom says that young teams are going to be up-and-down, but I don’t plan on letting that happen,” Thompson said. “It’s a young group and they’re going through the adjustment to college life; let alone college basketball. They’re away from home for the first time and the ups-and-downs that every other student goes through they’re going through while trying to compete at a high level.”

The class itself was one of the highest ranked in the country. ESPN ranked Georgetown’s freshman class No. 14 in the nation, led by forward Otto Porter out of Sikeston, Mo., who is garnering a lot of attention from the press so far.

“Otto brings a lot of things to this team,” said junior forward Hollis Thompson. “For one he’s a good guy and I think that makes a difference. He’s long and he can do a lot of different things for this team.”

Team bonding could have been an issue bringing in so many new faces, but an unfortunate event may have expedited that process for the Hoyas. Georgetown’s brawl in China with a professional basketball team made international air waves and showed JTIII that his team will fight for each other; literally.

“Being a part of that; going through that experience I do think has helped expedite the coming together process for this team,” Thompson said.

“We came out of that with an understanding that our success and our ability to fight through any situation, we’re going to have to lean on each other,” he continued.

Thompson and his Hoyas had one last time to let their hair down before the season started with Midnight Madness on Oct. 14.

The theme this year was honoring past Hoyas with all-time greats Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe and Mark Tillmon in attendance.

The university unveiled the NBA jersey of the former Hoya and current New Orleans Hornet forward Patrick Ewing Jr. while he also competed in a slam dunk contest versus some current Hoyas.

However, the festivities were highlighted by the entrance of the players and a choreographed dance routine they did to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.”
Now the fun is over and the season begins.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO