Saturday, January 25, 2014

Georgetown's Josh Smith out for the season for academic reasons

Georgetown's Josh Smith might go down as one of college basketball's most puzzling players.

Smith was a talented high school player and a McDonald's All American and that netted him a scholarship to UCLA. Unfortunately for UCLA, Smith took the McDonald's billing literally and ballooned to 300+ pounds and never got into playing shape. When he was on the court he flashed the skills that made him one of the top high school players in the nation, but due to his weight issues and inability to mesh with then UCLA head coach Ben Howland, Smith often found himself on the bench.

Smith played six games for UCLA in 2012-2013 and decided to transfer to Georgetown. Hoyas coach John Thompson III was willing to grant Smith a second chance and surprisingly Smith was given immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

Smith paid immediate dividends as he reached double-digit points in seven of his first nine games. Water finally net its level regarding Smith's production as he averaged less than six in his final four games. His final game was on January 4 against St. John's as he scored six points and grabbed five rebounds.

That was his final appearance because Georgetown has ruled Smith academically ineligible for the remainder of the season.

This is a big blow to the Hoyas as a season that started as a Big East contender is now on the brink. The team released forward Greg Whittington, and starting guard Jabril Trawick is out with a broken jaw.

Coach Thompson released a statement regarding Smith's status with the team.

"It's disappointing," Thompson said. "So much was geared toward [Josh's] presence. "Now here in the middle of the season, between [Smith] and Jabril, you lose two starters," Thompson said outside the team's practice court inside McDonough Arena. "You have to reshuffle everything. But this is Georgetown. We have a set of standards here. Everyone has a responsibility above and beyond what goes on those doors right there. He let his teammates down, but the rest of the group will try to regroup here and figure it out."

Hopefully Smith sticks around and figures it out. He has a ton of talent but it has gone untapped in a big way. But knowing Smith from the outside looking in, I don't see him staying at Georgetown to fix his academic problems.

I could be wrong in this assessment on his future. I see him as a future D-League player or trying to go to Europe. Cliff notes version, he's gonna be a basketball vagabond.

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