Trawick's return boosts Hoyas toughness, courage

Trawick's return boosts Hoyas toughness, courage
February 8, 2014, 12:15 am
Share This Post

Georgetown men's basketball team received more than just much needed depth with the return of guard Jabril Trawick. The players and head coach John Thompson III are clearly on the same page with what the junior adds - even if the positives lack statistical definition.

"What Jabril brings to the table more often than not does show up on the stat sheet," Thompson said on Friday from McDonough Arena where the Hoyas (13-9, 4-6 Big East) practiced for Saturday's 1 p.m. game against Butler (12-10, 2-8).

The coach's comments came minutes after Trawick, who has played three games after missing five straight with a broken jaw, said, "I think a lot of stuff I do on the court doesn't really show on the stat sheet."

Holy mind meld. Fellas, how about an example if you please.

"His toughness is contagious," Thompson said of Trawick. "When he's out there, a lot of his teammates have more courage."

[RELATED: March Madness outlook: Georgetown]

The Hoyas guard packed with Philadelphia pride concurs.

"I think my energy and effort gives my teammates a lot of courage and stuff like that."

Teammates, your thoughts?

"[Jabril] brings the energy to the team," fellow guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera said. "We definitely need him to help keep guys motivated."

Now let's try and add definition to the indefinable.

For starters, the Hoyas went 1-4 without Trawick and then lost when he returned on Jan. 27 against No. 9 Villanova despite no prior practice time with the team. Since then, wins over No. 7 Michigan State and at DePaul.

In three games with the defensive minded guard back, Georgetown forced 16, 15 and 13 turnovers. Those totals represent the team's three highest in 10 games during 2014.

After attempting fewer free throws than their opponent in seven straight games, the Hoyas aggressively flipped the script against Michigan State (24-18) and DePaul (41-26).

The four games prior to Trawick's return, foes shot 44.7 percent from the field. In three games with the chiseled 6-foot-5 guard, 38.9 percent.

Though he's not a classic scorer, Trawick does contribute with points including had 15 in Monday's 71-59 victory over DePaul. He is Georgetown's third leading scorer (7.4 ppg) now that center Joshua Smith is academically ineligible for the remainder of the season - 

Lessons learned from sitting out have helped his effort.

"I definitely learned a lot from watching," Trawick said. "I was more so like a coach. I was trying to help my team and I learned a lot so I when I get back I can improve."

One area of growth, controlling the aggression that led to unnecessary fouls and miscues before the injury. Not that his coach wants the emotion shut off.

"Does [Jabril] sometimes need to temper his emotions back, absolutely," Thompson said. "That's what makes him who he is, that's what makes him good. He needs to make smarter decisions sometimes and not get carried away. At the same time, you don't want to curtail who is too much because then you lose that fire."

[MORE: Georgetown takes down DePaul, 71-59]

Butler has lost eight of 10 games including 70-67 in overtime to Georgetown on Jan. 11 in Indianapolis, the Hoyas first game without their energy leader.

Guard Kellen Dunham, the Bulldogs leading scorer on the season (17.5) had 21 points against the Trawick-less Hoyas. No doubt, Dunham will see plenty of the defensive threat on Saturday. Though such plans were not revealed at practice, you can bet coach and player are on the same page here as well.

Notes: Georgetown enters Saturday tied for sixth in the Big East with St. John's and Seton Hall. ...Television coverage starts at 1 p.m. on CBS. ...Butler and Georgetown rank eighth and ninth respectively in Big East scoring. ...The game is the Hoyas annual "Gray Out."