Georgetown men's basketball walk-on John Caprio is a walk-on no more. The school announced on Thursday that the guard would be on scholarship for his senior season.
Caprio and the Hoyas open the regular season on Friday against Oregon at U.S. Army base Camp Humphreys in South Korea.
During his first two seasons, the 6-foot-6 Caprio played pure mop-up duty in 15 games, serving the traditional fan favorite role as the player the home crowd called for in the final minutes of blowout victories. As a junior, the North Caldwell, New Jersey did a little more, appearing in 14 games.
Actually, Caprio did quite a bit more in one specific Big East game. With the heavily favored Hoyas unable to shake Seton Hall, coach John Thompson III sent the guard into the game - during the first half. With Caprio on the court, the Hoyas turned an uncomfortable margin into a 10-point halftime lead. He scored four points and grabbed six rebounds in 12 minutes - all career highs - as Georgetown routed the Pirates 74-52.
"No I definitely wasn’t expecting it," Caprio said following his most extensive playing time on the college level. "Coach is always telling me to be ready to contribute, so that’s what I tried to do today. I hope I did pretty well.”
Explaining his rationale for using Caprio at that stage of the game, Thompson said, "They play a zone and you're not really sure what's coming. Just in terms of understanding how to play basketball, Cap's probably one of our better guys... It was not a fluke, I don't think. I thought we needed him in there to get better flow." Thompson also added, "I probably should have been playing Cap more."
According to a release by the school's athletic department, Caprio received the good news via a text from the head coach while driving back to Georgetown with his mother for the start of the school year.
"I think it was more exciting for my mom," Caprio said. "We were driving back to campus when I got the text and she was just so excited that I had to remind her we were still driving."
Markel Starks, Jabril Trawick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera are locks for playing time out of the Hoyas backcourt this season. Beyond that, maybe sophomore Stephen Domingo, maybe senior swingman Aaron Bowen. Perhaps Caprio squeezes in more playing time this season. At least we know he's ready when needed.