WASHINGTON D.C. — Can Rodney Pryor go from being a key contributor on a team that finished eighth in the NEC to one of the best players in the Big East?
John Thompson III thinks so.
Speaking before Thursday’s practice at Georgetown, Thompson exuded high praise on Pryor, a 6-5 graduate transfer from Robert Morris.
“He’s definitely going to be our best newcomer and have the biggest impact,” Thompson said of Pryor. “He averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds last season, but he also makes basketball plays. He can see things that other players can’t see. He’s got a feel for things and he’s going to bring some of the athleticism that was lacking with our team last season. He should be able to replace some of the scoring that we lost with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.”
Georgetown finished with a 15-18 overall record last year in what Thompson called “his toughest season as a head coach”. The Hoyas were poor defensively throughout and suffered from a severe lack of lateral quickness.
Thompson believes that will change thanks to the additions of Pryor, JUCO point guard Jonathan Mulmore, freshman Jagan Mosely, and Louisville transfer Akoy Agau, who could give the Hoyas an undersized center at 6-8 if they opt to play smaller and quicker.
Georgetown, though, still has several big men — Bradley Hayes, Jessie Govan, and Trey Mourning — on its roster along with two promising returning forwards in Isaac Copeland and Marcus Derrickson, who both averaged over 20.0 minutes last season. The Hoyas also return an all-conference caliber guard in junior L.J. Peak and Kaleb Johnson, a 6-6 sophomore who Thompson called Georgetown’s “most improved player” from last season.
How are all these guys going to get on the floor?
That’s a good question, and one the head coach still is sorting out.
“We’re a work in progress,” Thompson said. “We still don’t know how we’re going to play, but we know we can play in different ways. The good thing is now in practice the guys look around and see that the floor is filled with different guys who can really play. If you don’t play well one day, it could affect what happens the next day. That’s going to make our players and our team better.”
Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and is the lead college basketball columnist for the FanRag Sports Network. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks, which is available via iTunes. Rothstein is also a regular in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. He currently lives in Manhattan.