Tagging Georgetown with the "Princeton offense" label is an oversimplified, Twitter-sized view of the Hoyas' offense under coach John Thompson III. There is a methodical, "take what the defense gives you element" that remains central to Thompson's ethos, but the basic attack doesn't look the same every season. Personnel dictates the plan, a plan the coach has only just begun pondering for the 2015-16 season.
"Part of what I'm going through right now is introspection," Thompson stated during a recent interview with CSNwashington.com that touched on the upcoming campaign. "In my head, breaking down players, schemes, offense, defense. Trying to in my head formulate a plan to that answer that question."
Even though the coach is bullish on his team's potential, he's still contemplating ways to use the young and athletic group. "On the surface, I'm not there yet," Thompson said.
Time is on his side. The Hoyas won't open the regular season until November. An early opportunity to test theories comes this summer when Georgetown heads overseas for games in Italy.
Those games will be the first without several from last season's senior class, including big man Joshua Smith. The matchups will also be the first with the incoming freshmen class, including center Jessie Govan, who will battle rising senior Bradley Hayes for minutes in the middle.
When the 350-pound Smith was on the court, the Hoyas tended to move at a slower pace, seeking matchup opportunities inside against smaller defenders. Smith often took advantage, shooting 62 percent from the field, but the offense was far more diversified and fluid when he sat.
In those stretches, Georgetown frequently pushed the tempo with athletic options at all five positions. Expect more of that look this season.
Some view Govan as a potential star if he sticks around the Hilltop. At 6-foot-10, 263-pounds, the four-star recruit has the strength for the interior wars, but also runs the court with ease. The New York product (Wings Academy) is comfortable away from the basket on both ends.
"He has a physical presence, but he's mobile," Thompson said of Govan. "He can score on the block, but he can also make an outside shot. He's a decent passer."
Govan's ability to hit mid-range jumpers will pull defenders away from the paint, which in turn opens driving lanes. That wasn't always the case last season with Smith bunkered down on the low block. The new look should open more interior looks for guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, swingman L.J. Peak and forward Isaac Copeland, Georgetown's leading returning scorers.
"You have to adjust and adapt a lot of things," Thompson noted. "There were times, even with all that (Josh) brought to the table, when he was in the game you're predictable. Now if you can't stop what's being predicted who cares. That's not a bad thing.
"I think we can be a little more versatile, a little more open with how we do things."