Hoyas to face new Big East teams on road trip
Georgetown starting guard Jabril Trawick will be sidelined indefinitely after breaking his jaw in Wednesday’s game against Providence, the school announced on Saturday before Butler.
The Hoyas fourth-leading scorer and defensive leader, Trawick started all 14 games this season including the last two despite having recently suffered a broken nose. The 6-foot-5 junior guard is averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 56.9 percent from the field.
“It’s a tough blow for our team because of the presence that Jabril provides for us,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “We’re hoping to have him back on the court as soon as he is cleared to play and in the meantime, some of our guys will have to step up in his place.”
The Hoyas (10-4, 2-1 Big East) were already without center Joshua Smith, who will miss his second straight game due to academic concerns.
On this gloomy day in the D.C. area, going with the "when it rain pours" line seems about right. Go back to Greg Whttington's off-season knee injury and eventual dismissal. That's three potential starters the Hoyas are now down. Even without Otto Porter, this edition figured to boast experience and depth. Now Thompson's ranks are growing smaller and younger heading Saturday's 7 p.m. tipoff at Butler (10-5, 0-3).
Georgetown will have 10 scholarship players available, though sophomore center Bradley Hayes rarely plays while sophomore forward Stephen Domingo and freshman Reggie Cameron receive only limited minutes. Leading scorers D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks are the only reliable guards, though senior swingman Aaron Bowen and former walk-on turned scholarship player John Caprio could steal minutes in the backcourt.
Instead of replacing Trawick in the lineup with another defensive-minded player like Bowen, there is merit in adding another potential scorer like Cameron. Georgetown struggled for points against the Friars without Smith and with Markel Starks having an off-shooting night. Replacing center Moses Ayegba with Mikael Hopkins (12 points versus Providence) would also help in this area. Look for Cameron and Hopkins to start against the Bulldogs.
*In late December, Trawick said on Twitter that he suffered a broken nose and would wear a protective mask. Yet he wore no shield for Georgetown's next game, a 61054 win over DePaul on Dec. 31. At the following media session, Trawick told me the mask affected his vision and decided to play without it.
"I'm still going to play the same way I usually play," said the physical defender who rarely avoids and often initiates contact. "Hopefully I don't run into any elbows or anything like that."
It might not have been an elbow, but Trawick's injury likely occurred late in the loss to Providence when he provided a hard check to a Providence player cutting around the free throw line. Trawick was called for a flagrant foul on the play.
An unsung hero in Georgetown's win at Syracuse last season, the Philadelphia native's aggressive mentality fueled Georgetown's defensive presence en route to a share of the Big East regular season championship. Same this season and holding opponents down offensively rather than trying to outscore them is how the Hoyas must win games this season.
However, Trawick has gone overboard at times with the physical style, often putting himself on the bench with avoidable fouls. Now, it appears he may have put himself out in an entirely different way. Now the Hoyas have another blow to overcome.