College Hoops Preview: New faces, fresh starts

College Hoops Preview: New faces, fresh starts
October 30, 2013, 4:45 pm
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We continue CSNwashington's formal college basketball preview with a look at those new faces in the DMV for the 2013-14 season*. Click here for a look at those key returning players and check back throughout the week as we highlight the top storylines and provide a fan's guide to the DMV college basketball calendar.

(*) Check out CSNbaltimore for all things Maryland

Georgetown - Josh Smith, C, Jr.; Reggie Cameron, F, Fr.

Simplistic or not, there is one word that neatly sums up everything about the 6-foot-10, 350-pound Josh Smith and his potential impact for the Hoyas: big. The size reference is obvious. For those familiar with last season's Hoyas or the returning roster, adding a true interior threat is as well. The former UCLA transfer joined the program last January, but only recently received NCAA clearance to play immediately. Whether he starts for John Thompson III immediately or not, Smith's low post presence will help balance out the court for a team otherwise receiving its scoring punch from the backcourt. Cameron, the only member of the 2013 freshman class, adds another perimeter shooter to the mix. No assuming the 6-foot-7, four-star recruit immediately joins the rotation (certainly not after Steven Domingo sat almost all last season) but there are wing minutes (don't you dare say small forward) available. And don't fret about a single player class. Plenty of help is coming in 2014.

George Mason - Marquise Moore, G, Fr.; Julian Royal, F, Jr.

The Patriots didn't need major reinforcements this summer considering nine of its top 10 scorers returned from the previous season. Moore provides additional point guard depth behind Corey Edwards and Bryon Allen - and coach Paul Hewitt with another penetrator. Royal, a Georgia Tech transfer, is eligible to play beginning in the 2014-15 season.

George Washington - Maurice Creek, Sr, G; Nick Griffin, G, Fr; Miguel Cartagena, G, Fr.; Skyler White, F, Fr.

In one June move, the Colonials landed themselves one of those trendy graduate transfers who also helps solve GW's perimeter shooting woes. Injuries and surgeries derailed Creek's promising career at Indiana, but the 6-foot-5 guard says he's all kinds of healthy now. Expect him to enter the Colonials starting lineup from the jump. Griffin (Magruder) and Cartagena also offer perimeter help and backcourt depth to a unit that lost Bryan Bynes (graduation) and Lasan Kromah (transfer/UConn).

American - Darius Gardner, G, Jr.; Yilrep Yiljep, F, Fr.; Justice Montgomery, G, Fr; Jalen Rhea, G, Fr.; Kade Kager, F, Fr.

Gardner landed on the Ward Circle campus last season following a stint at Stephen F. Austin. Having that extra year of practice time with the Eagles gives the 5-foot-9 point guard a flying start into replacing Daniel Munoz as AU's starting point guard. Of the true freshman, expect the 6-foot-7 Yilrep, a previous member of Nigeria's U16 national team, and Montgomery to be part of new coach Mike Brennan's playing rotation.

Virginia - Anthony Gill, F, So.; London Perrantes, G, Fr.; Devon Hall, G, Fr.

Already boasting a strong frontcourt led by All-American candidate Joe Harris, now the Cavaliers add Gill after the former South Carolina transfer sat out last season. As a freshman, the 6-foot-8 forward played in all 31 games, averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds. As for the backcourt, sophomore Teven Jones replaces point guard Jontel Evans at point guard, but coach Tony Bennett added more floor leader options with the 6-foot-1 Perrantes, a four-star recruit, and Hall.

Virginia Tech - Adam Smith, G, So.; Trevor Thompson, C, Fr.; Ben Emelogu, G, Fr.; Maurice Kirby, C, Fr.; Devin Wilson, G, Fr.; Malik Mueller, G, Fr.

Best of luck to coach James Johnson when it comes to replacing Erick Green, the Hokies all everything guard who led the nation in scoring as a senior. Certainly no player will get the job done single handily, but having Smith available this season helps the cause. The 6-foot-1 guard sat out last season following a freshman season where he averaged over 13 points per game, scored 23 against Maryland in his college debut and later 32 versus Wake Forest. The six-player freshman class enters the season as a quartet as Donte Clark ended up at UMass and Mueller ended up being ruled ineligible for 2013-14. The 6-foot-10 Thompson and Emelogu, both three-star recruits, have the best chance for early minutes.

VCU - Jordan Burgess, G, Fr.; Mo Alie-Cox, F, Fr.; JeQuan Lewis, G, Fr.; Douglas Brooks, G, Fr.; Jarius Lyles, G, Fr.; Antravious Simmons, C, Fr.

Pundits from all over have projected the Rams to win the Atlantic 10. That's based largely on what Shake Smart has returning, but the coach fortified his ranks with a potent recruiting class plus redshirt freshmen Burgess and Alie-Cox, who could easily muscle his 6-foot-6 frame high into the rotation. Brooks and Lewis, a four-star recruit, have the makings of classic  full-court disruptors Smart's system deploys. Lyles (DeMatha) and Burgess, the younger brother of former VCU star Bradford Burgess, provide more wing options. No blue chippers in the bunch, but no reason for Smart to take just any power conference job if he can recruit like this in Richmond.