There is no denying it: Jabril Trawick might play for Georgetown, but the guard's swagger is all Philadelphia. Coming off a distracting week of conference affiliation talk, with a local rival on deck and Big East play starting soon enough, the No. 15 Hoyas could use a bit more strut in their world.
The Hoyas (9-1) host crosstown foe American Saturday at noon at the Verizon Center in their final game of 2012 and their last contest before opening Big East play. On the same court one week prior, Trawick tallied a career-best 14 points in Georgetown's 81-68 triumph over Western Carolina.
Still, forget his offense. Sure, the rotation-light Hoyas need points from all comers, but it's on the defensive end where the physical 6-foot-5 reserve guard makes his mark.
"I always played like that," Trawick said of his assertive style. "It's always something that helped me out in my career since I was a little kid. I never let anybody push me around."
"We get excited when Jabril goes in the game and we see his face light up guarding somebody," forward Nate Lubick said. "When he gets to dig in and guard the ball, it's pretty exciting."
The actual victory over Western Carolina became a secondary story. Postgame news broke about the long-time Big East program breaking away from the conference it helped found in 1979 with six other schools. Georgetown opens conference play Jan. 5 at Marquette.
Not overlooked was Trawick effort on both ends of the court. The Allen Iverson fan consistently attacked the basket and made both of his 3-point attempts against the Catamounts, scoring 11 points before halftime. Defensively he helped stifle Western Carolina's perimeter attack.
Following Georgetown's latest win coach John Thompson III said of Trawick's contribution, "His intensity on the defensive end led to some buckets on the offensive end and led to a rejuvenated energy that he always brings when he enters the game."
Along with freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Trawick is often one of only two bench players entering the game for Georgetown. Despite his reserve status Trawick played heavy minutes in games against power conference programs Indiana and Tennessee. The 5.7 points per game scorer is cool with his current role.
"Just keeping doing what I'm doing, keep coming off the bench, bringing my energy," Trawick said. " It's all about being focused, making the right plays."
When slow starts occur for the Hoyas, as was the case when Western Carolina drained a barrage of early 3-pointers, the energetic Trawick is soon to enter.
"He brings aggression and a lot of hunger," said fellow sophomore Greg Whittington. "With him in the game we play harder, we play more defense.
That's a scary thought for the Eagles (4-7), who have struggled offensively throughout the season, averaging 55.7 points per game. Despite the inside contributions from forward Stephen Lumpkins, American has lost six of eight games including Tuesday's setback at then one-win Hampton.
Lumpkins, who returned to the team after playing professional baseball last year, leads the Eagles with 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds. Point guard Daniel Munoz averages 10 points, 3.5 assists and sinks 45.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Georgetown owns a 44-8 all-time series record with eight straight wins. Markel Starks keyed last season's 81-55 victory with 18 points. By the numbers, a similar outcome could be in store, though the Hoyas are certainly not looking past the Eagles.
"They are right down the street," said Whittington, who broke out of an offensive slump with a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds against Western Carolina. "It's like a little rivalry we have in the D.C area, but we come out and play hard no matter who it is."
Feeding off Trawick's resilient vibe certainly factors into the play hard against whomever cause.
"Effort. Besides skill, effort is something that helps a team win, helps you progress as a player," Trawick said. "That's something that never leaves me."