Hoyas' Smith doesn't make Providence trip

Hoyas' Smith doesn't make Providence trip
January 8, 2014, 6:30 pm
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Hoyas to face new Big East teams on road trip

Georgetown Hoyas center Joshua Smith (24) shoots the ball over Elon Phoenix forward Brian Dawkins (00) in the second half at Verizon Center. Georgetown won 85-76.

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgetown starting center Joshua Smith did not travel with the Hoyas to Providence for their Big East matchup due to an academic issue, an athletic department official confirmed to CSN before tip-off on Wednesday.

In his first season with Georgetown, the former UCLA transfer leads the Big East in field goal percentage (65.5 percent) and ranks third among the Hoyas in scoring (11.5).

Though a force offensively on the low block, the 6-foot-10, 350-pounder has struggled with rebounding (3.4) and defense while averaging only 20 minutes per game. Georgetown coach John Thompson III benched the junior opening the second half against DePaul on December in favor of backup Moses Ayegba. Smith responded with a more well-rounded performance in Saturday's 77-60 win over St. John's, tallying six rebounds and four steals.

"I think Josh's effort was much better today," Thompson said following Georgetown's ninth win in 10 games. "Unfortunately its atypical, but he has to do that, he has to give that effort, give that energy for as long as he can. Then we'll take him out. ...The rebounds finally fell in his hands. ...We need him to be a presence not just on the block offensively. We need him to be a presence on the court."

Ayegba replaced Smith for the Hoyas (10-3) against the Friars (10-5).