Add young to that list this year.
John Thompson III will bring 10 freshmen and sophomores to Coleman Coliseum against No. 12 Alabama. As part of the Big East/SEC Challenge, buzz surrounding a rare visit from the Hoyas had the game close to a sellout Wednesday evening.
The full house will see an unranked Georgetown (5-1) team that’s taken down big-name competition already this season. It’s only loss came to No. 14 Kansas in the Maui Invitational where the Hoyas upset then-No. 8 Memphis, 91-88 in overtime two days later.
Alabama carries a spotless 7-0 record through the early season, but it hasn’t seen a roster like Georgetown’s that features just two players shorter than 6-foot-5.
“We’re going to do what we do,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “They’re a very dangerous offensive team and they’ve got a lot of different weapons from the perimeter. In the post, they have great size at each position.”
Averaging 82 points a game, the Hoya offense will encounter an Alabama defense allowing just 52.6 a game — eighth lowest in the country.
This is also an opportunity for the Tide to make an early-season impression on the NCAA selection committee that penalized Alabama for a slow November and December last season.
And there’s that matter of a 24-game winning streak dating back to the 2009-10 season. Defending Coleman Coliseum is a particular source of pride.
“It is, because at the end of the day, the committee will probably look at that and say, ‘Well they can win at home,’” junior Tony Mitchell said. “Plus, if we can win on the road, it would be even better.”
Alabama has been winning everywhere it’s played this season. Wins over Purdue and Wichita State have the Tide ranked No. 5 in the Sagarin computer rankings that’ll make a difference by March.
Georgetown is 24th according to that calculation, but the focus remains on the day-to-day improvement at Alabama.
The four Tide freshmen seeing significant playing time have scored 34.9 percent of the team’s points. It’s their production on the other end of the floor that stood out to VCU coach Shaka Smart after Alabama’s 72-64 win Sunday.
“The thing that’s impressive with all their freshman is how much they’ve bought into coach Grant’s defensive system,” said Smart, who led the Rams to the Final Four last season. “Sometimes with freshmen, the defense comes along a little bit slower than the offense, but … they know it’s not about them. It’s about the team. So the future is bright for those guys.”
Georgetown isn’t expected to start freshmen like Alabama will with Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper. Veterans do most of its damage.
Seniors Jason Clark, and Henry Sims, along with junior Hollis Thompson score 47.5 percent of the Hoya points with freshman Otto Porter coming off the bench to add 9.7 a game.
After playing Georgetown, the Tide has just three games in the next 16 days with final exams starting Dec. 12. The Dec. 11 game with Detroit will be the only meeting in Coleman Coliseum before Jacksonville comes to town Dec. 29.