NCAA

Smith-Rivera back to help Hoyas turn the corner

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Smith-Rivera back to help Hoyas turn the corner

Georgetown's season-ending men's basketball banquet takes place Thursday night. The annual event serves as a celebration and  a chance for departing players to say goodbye to those associated with the program.

For eight days, it seemed D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera would be making a farewell speech on Thursday. In the end, the playmaking guard realized work on the Hilltop remained.

The Hoyas' leading scorer spoke with local reporters on Thursday for the first time since reversing course on his decision to enter the NBA Draft. Smith-Rivera will play his senior season with Georgetown.

"I’ve been here three years. We still haven’t turned that corner," Smith-Rivera said. "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."

As far as the pro ranks, Smith-Rivera hopes another year of school will also help make him a better prospect.

The program announced Smith-Rivera's plans to enter the NBA Draft on March 31. The news caught many off-guard. Though selected all-Big East after averaging 16.3 points as a junior, the Indianapolis native is not considered a first-round selection. DraftExpress.com, one of the leading NBA Draft evaluation sites, does not list the 6-foot-2 guard among their top 100 prospects.

"It’s a dream," Smith-Rivera said of playing in the NBA. "I didn’t really think about it too much until the season was actually over."

After primarily consulting with Georgetown head coach John Thompson III and assessing his own game, Smith-Rivera thought he was ready. "I was just comfortable with my game at the time. I felt like I had all the attributes to further push my career.

Reports surfaced eight days later that Smith-Rivera changed his mind. With their leading man back, Georgetown should land comfortably among the top 20 teams in preseason polls. Smith-Rivera is one of three returning starters, including forward Isaac Copeland and wing L.J. Peak, both rising sophomores. 

"I know we have a really good team next year. The structure of our team, we have a lot of core guys coming back. Even though we lost a lot of seniors, I think we’re going to be really good. Also, I wanted to finish school. I talked to my parents. They wanted me to have something to fall back on," he continued.

Smith-Rivera also averaged 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals while shooting 86 percent from the free throw line and 39 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Georgetown finished 22-11 this past season and tied for second in the Big East at 12-6. The Hoyas defeated Eastern Washington in NCAA Tournament before losing to Utah in the round of 32.

Tre Campbell and Smith-Rivera likely form the starting backcourt next season. Along with Copeland, Peak, forward Paul White plus three current members of the 2015 class, this roster is arguably the most athletic under coach John Thompson III. Center Jessie Govan, forward Marcus Derrickson and forward Kaleb Johnson are all four-star recruits.

Smith-Rivera will now have a chance to play against Maryland for the first time in his career. The Hoyas and Terps recently announced a home-and-home series starting this November. The matchup pits Smith-Rivera against Maryland's Melo Trimble, who was one of the top point guards in the country last season.

"Biggest game of the season for sure," he said of facing the Terps as a big smile dominated his face.

His NCAA Tournament experience has largely ended with a frown. This year's win was the first for Smith-Rivera in his three seasons. He has yet to play in a Sweet 16 game, let alone a Final Four.

"Just getting out of the corner," he said, repeating a primary team goal. "See if I can get it done."

MORE HOYAS: Virginia makes cut for heralded 2016 recruit

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

MORE HOYAS NEWS: 

West Virginia, Penn State drop in new AP top 25 poll

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West Virginia, Penn State drop in new AP top 25 poll

After four of the top eight teams lost, The Associated Press college football poll had a new look behind No. 1 Alabama, with Ohio State reaching No. 2, LSU jumping back to No. 5 and Michigan moving into the top 10 for the first time this season.

The Crimson Tide received all but one of the 61 first-place votes from the media panel Sunday, with Ohio State receiving the other. No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Notre Dame also moved up a spot. LSU jumped eight after handing Georgia its first loss of the season. The Bulldogs slipped from No. 2 to No. 8.

No. 6 Michigan has its best ranking of the season after blowing out Wisconsin and Texas is up two spots to No. 7.

No. 9 Oklahoma moved back into the top 10 while it was idle and Central Florida remained No. 10.

COMPLETE AP TOP 25 POLL

1. Alabama 7-0 (60 first-place votes, no change from last week)

2. Ohio State 7-0 (1 first-place vote, No. 3 last week)

3. Clemson 6-0 (No. 4 last week)

4. Notre Dame 7-0 (No. 5 last week)

5. LSU 6-1 (No. 13 last week)

6. Michigan 6-1 (No. 12 last week)

7. Texas 6-1 (No. 9 last week)

8. Georgia 6-1 (No. 2 last week)

9. Oklahoma 5-1 (No. 11 last week)

10. UCF 6-0 (No change from last week)

11. Florida 6-1 (No. 14 last week)

12. Oregon 5-1 (No. 17 last week)

13. West Virginia 5-1 (No. 6 last week)

14. Kentucky 5-1 (No. 18 last week)

15. Washington 5-2 (No. 7 last week)

16. NC State 5-0 (No. 20 last week)

17. Texas A&M 5-2 (No. 22 last week)

18. Penn State 4-2 (No. 8 last week)

19. Iowa 5-1 (Not ranked last week)

20. Cincinnati 6-0 (No. 25 last week)

21. South Florida 6-0 (No. 23 last week)

22. Mississippi State 4-2 (No. 24 last week)

23. Wisconsin 4-2 (No. 15 last week)

24. Michigan State 4-2 (Not ranked last week)

25. Washington State 5-1 (Not ranked last week)

Virginia and Maryland are among those that received votes, with each team getting two apiece.

POLL POINTS

Eight ranked teams overall lost Saturday, including three previously unbeaten teams. Joining Georgia among the previously undefeated on Saturday were West Virginia and Colorado.

UP

All the losses up and down the rankings meant plenty of movement. Joining LSU and Michigan as teams that gained at least four spots were:

-- No. 12 Oregon jumped five after beating Washington in overtime. The Ducks have their best ranking since September 2015.

-- No. 17 Texas A&M moved up five after edging South Carolina on the road.

-- It was a good week to be idle and watch teams plummet. No. 14 Kentucky and No. 16 North Carolina State each gained four spots in an idle week, and No. 20 Cincinnati moved up five.

DOWN

-- No. 13 West Virginia lost at Iowa State and fell seven spots after reaching a season high last week.

-- No. 15 Washington dropped eight spots after losing at Oregon.

-- No. 18 Penn State's second straight close home loss, this time to Michigan State, dropped the Nittany Lions 10 spots.

-- No. 23 Wisconsin, which started the season ranked fourth, dropped eight spots after its second loss.

OUT

-- Colorado reached No. 19, racking up wins against a weak schedule, but USC manhandled the Buffaloes in Los Angeles and now they are unranked.

-- Miami, which started the season at No. 8, is out altogether after losing at Virginia.

-- Auburn, which started the season ninth, is out and no longer receiving votes after getting beat at home by Tennessee and falling to 4-3.

IN

-- Iowa surged into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 19.

-- No. 24 Michigan State is back in after a week out.

-- No. 25 Washington State moved in just in time to host ESPN's "College GameDay" for the first time ever with Oregon coming to town. Getting to Pullman, Washington, is notable for the show because for years it has been followed around by Wazzu fans waving the `Ol Crimson school flag.

CONFERENCE CALL

A week after the Southeastern Conference placed a season-high eight teams in the poll, the SEC lost one and the Big Ten gained two. The ACC has only two ranked team for the first time since Oct. 4, 2015, when Clemson was No. 6 and Florida State was No. 12. The Tigers played for in the national championship game that season.

SEC -- 7 teams (1, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 23).

Big Ten -- 6 (2, 6, 18, 19, 22, 24).

American -- 3 (10, 20, 21).

Big 12 -- 3 (7, 9, 13).

Pac-12 -- 3 (12, 15, 25).

ACC -- 2 (3, 16).

Independent -- 1 (4).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 16 North Carolina State at No. 3 Clemson. The ACC's only ranked and unbeaten teams meet in a game that will likely go a long way toward settling the Atlantic Division.

No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU. This will be the fourth ranked team the Tigers have faced -- though two (Miami and Auburn) are no longer.

No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State. Another chance for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines to flipped the narrative.

No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington State. The Ducks look to make it an Evergreen State sweep.

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