The Georgetown Hoyas barely received a trip to the 2015 NCAA Tournament thanks to a late season push, despite boasting some of the premier players in the Big East. A lack of consistency and depth hindered any chance that they had at winning the regular season conference title, but that should change in the 2015-16 season, as Georgetown competes with the Villanova Wildcats.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can a team that struggled with consistency so much last season possibly compete with a team that boasted a No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA tournament? The answer is simple, and it starts with returning lead scorer D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
Smith-Rivera led this team with 16.2 points per game, but his leadership is really what set them on a path towards making the Big Dance. He shot 1.4 PPG less than he did the previous season, which can be traced to his decline in field goal percentage as well. He has the talent to be a premier player in college basketball, but needs to focus this offseason.
On top of Smith-Rivera’s return, the Hoyas return several elite freshmen from the previous season. As if the returning youth isn’t enough, Georgetown also has three 4-star recruits on their way into the squad. The Hoyas, who struggled with depth and consistency in the 2014-15 season, boast one of deepest and strongest young talent pools in all of college basketball for the 2015-16 season.
Smith-Rivera’s return may have initially solidified this team’s place in the preseason top 25. Considering the rest of the roster, his return may have made the legitimate national championship contenders.