D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera ultimately choosing a return to Georgetown for his senior season boosted the hopes for the Hoyas men's basketball program. That's because the sweet shooting scoring threat is one of the best guards in the country. One of the nation's watch list drove home that point on Tuesday.
Smith-Rivera was among 20 Division I players selected to the watch list for the 2016 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
During his junior season, the 6-foot-3 guard finished fourth in the Big East with 16.3 points per game and was selected to the Big East first team. Following the season, Smith-Rivera surprised many by declaring for the NBA Draft before reversing course eight days later.
"I’ve been here three years. We still haven’t turned that corner," Smith-Rivera told reporters in April. "I feel like this year we had a great team, but next year we’ll have an even better team with the guys coming in and a lot of the guys that we have now."
That corner Smith-Rivera referenced involves the NCAA Tournament. Georgetown defeated Eastern Washington in the opening round of last year's event before losing to Utah. The Hoyas, a projected top 25 team for the 2015-16 season, have not advanced past the Round of 32 since reaching the 2007 Final Four. Smith-Rivera's final shot starts with the Nov. 14 season opener against Radford at Verizon Center.
He also has a realistic shot at finishing among the program's top 5 scorers of all-time. Matching his 522 points last year would move him into fifth place ahead of Othella Harrington (1839) and trailing only Alonzo Mourning (2,001), Reggie Williams, Patrick Ewing and Eric Floyd (2,304).
The winner of the 2016 Bob Cousy Award will be announced Friday, April 8, 2016.