What's back: No seniors, but the rising sophomore class led by the all-everything Otto Porter picked up plenty of experience during last season's 24-win campaign which ended after one victory in the NCAA Tournament. The soft-spoken Porter has a subtle style, but the versatile 6-foot-8 forward is poised for a very loud and monster of a season, which is why he's receiving plenty of preseason hype in the Big East, nationally and the highest levels of the sport. Stats alone do not define his varied skill set or impressive first season on the Hilltop, though he led the Hoyas in rebounding (6.8) and field goal percentage (52.5) while averaging 9.7 points and 1.1 steals. Except more scoring now that last year's top three scorers - Jason Clark, Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson - have moved on. Fellow sophomore Greg Whittington adds go-go-gadget arms and a confident 3-point shot to the frontcourt mix while former DeMatha star Mikael Hopkins takes over in the middle. Bouts of inconsistency have plagued power forward Nate Lubick and point guard Markel Starks, but the juniors should gain confidence as the team's elder statesmen.
What's new: On the heels of last season's five-player recruiting class, the Hoyas added four more newbies, headlined by flashy guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. The 6-foot-3 scoring threat averaged 22 points as a High School senior and is the one freshman ready to crack Georgetown coach John Thompson III's rotation. Agile 7-footer Bradley Hayes brings even more length to the frontcourt while sweet shooting wing Stephen Domingo skipped his senior season to join Georgetown for this campaign.
What's key: JTIII will need to have his young roster grow up quick with a challenging regular season slate that starts Friday on an Aircraft carrier against Florida and ends with the last scheduled game against its fiercest rival, Syracuse. Freshman needing to gain familiarity is nothing new, but the Hoyas also lack a proven high-post passer for their own offensive designs and Starks is the lone returning guard with starting experience. Georgetown's size - especially if the team starts four forwards - will limit opposing scoring and allow Thompson to use Porter and Whittington all over the court to cover up any weaknesses.