Initially suspended prior to their game with St. John’s last weekend for violating team rules, Georgetown has issued a statement saying forward Greg Whittington is academically ineligible and out indefinitely.
How big an impact will this have on the Hoyas? So far they’re 2-0 without him but haven’t played the meat of their Big East schedule yet.
Whittington is averaging 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds this season but has just recently turned his game up a notch–to the tune of 17 points and 7.7 rebounds over his last three. After a close loss to Marquette and a blowout loss to Pittsburgh, Georgetown got their first win in Big East play over St. John’s. After a win tonight over Providence, the Hoyas’ conference record sits at 2-2 with the big boys on tap after a trip to South Florida Saturday–at No. 20 Notre Dame and home versus No. 1 Louisville.
Georgetown’s defense will feel the effects of Whittington’s loss but not nearly as much as their offense, which even with him struggles to consistently put points on the board. His athleticism and length helps them with their zone but losing his 12 points a night means someone else will have to step up–someone besides Otto Porter Jr. and Markel Starks–preferably someone on the perimeter. Tonight in their win against Providence, Porter and Starks accounted for nearly half their offense (36 of their 74 points). Against the defensive dynamos of the league like Syracuse and Louisville, those two had better go for 30 points each for the Hoyas to have a chance.
They evened their record in the Big East without Whittington, which bodes well for them moving forward, but Georgetown needs to get a win down in Tampa so they have some wiggle room. They also haven’t faced the cream of the crop (besides Marquette) as their opponents’ record in Big East Conference games is only 8-10.
The true test begins January 21st, when they head to South Bend.