The other shoe, a very big shoe has finally dropped on the Georgetown Hoyas: starting center Joshua Smith, who has missed the last five games due to academic issues, will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season. Coach John Thompson made the announcement during Friday's media session and before the Hoyas travel to face Creighton on Saturday night.
Smith, who transferred from UCLA to Georgetown last winter, ranked third on the Hoyas with 11.5 points and led the Big East in field goal percentage (65.5).
The 6-foot-10, 350-pound big man provided Georgetown with its lone inside scoring presence, though he struggled throughout the season with rebounding and defense. Consistent foul trouble and conditioning issues limited Smith to 20 minutes per game. However, the Hoyas' offense struggled without him over the last five games. Georgetown (11-7, 3-4) went 1-4 in that stretch, losing the last three.
"It's disappointing," Thompson said. "So much was geared toward [Josh's] presence.
After playing two full seasons with UCLA, Smith left the Bruins six games into the 2012-13 season and joined the Hoyas in January 2013. Shortly before the 2013-14 season the NCAA surprisingly ruled him immediately eligible to play for Georgetown.
He started with a bang, scoring what turned out to be a season-high 25 points in Georgetown's opener against Oregon in South Korea. After reaching double-digit points in seven of his first nine games, Smith averaged less than six in his final four games. He had five points and six rebounds against St. John's on Jan. 4, his final game. Smith did not travel with the team for the Jan. 8 matchup at Providence.
The Hoyas also remain without starting guard Jabril Trawick (broken jaw).
"Now here in the middle of the season, between [Smith] and Jabril, you lose two starters," Thompson said outside the team's practice court inside McDonough Arena. "You have to reshuffle everything. But this is Georgetown. We have a set of standards here. Everyone has a responsibility above and beyond what goes on those doors right there. He let his teammates down, but the rest of the group will try to regroup here and figure it out."
Thompson said Smith will continue practicing with the team with hopes he will be eligible for the 2014-15 season.
An all-conference Freshman selection in 2010-11, Smith played in 33 games and made 15 starts for UCLA while averaging 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. As a sophomore in 2011-12, he started nine times and appeared in 32 games, averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.