Oct. 22, 2014
NEW YORK - Georgetown University junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./Oak Hill Academy/North Central) was selected as the BIG EAST Conference's Preseason Player of the Year and the Hoya men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the league on Wednesday at BIG EAST Media Day at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas were picked to finish second in the league with one first place vote and 67 points overall. Villanova, with nine first place votes and 81 points, was selected to win the BIG EAST in a vote of the league's coaches.
Following Georgetown, St. John's was picked third (65 points), with Xavier fourth (52) and Providence fifth (49). Seton Hall was picked sixth (43), with Butler and Marquette tied for seventh (28), Creighton ninth (25) and DePaul 10th (12).
Smith-Rivera is the sixth Georgetown player to be named the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, joining Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, Allen Iverson, Roy Hibbert and Austin Freeman. He is the third player to earn the honor under 11th-year Head Coach John Thompson III.
The junior guard is a two-time All-BIG EAST selection, earning second team league honors in 2013-14 as a sophomore and All-Rookie honors as a freshman during the 2012-13 season.
Last year, Smith-Rivera led the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game, which ranked third in the BIG EAST Conference. He also finished second on the team in rebounding (and 18th in the league), averaging 5.0 boards per game. In addition, he contributed 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game, which ranked ninth in the league. He led the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (87.3%) and connected on 39.3 percent of his three-point field goals (66-of-168), which ranked seventh in the league. Smith-Rivera, who was selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll five times last year, had seven games with at least 20 points.
Georgetown closed out the 2013-14 season with an 18-15 record and advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, the team's 10th postseason appearance in 10 years under Thompson.
The Hoyas open the 2014-15 season on Saturday, Nov. 15, hosting St. Francis (N.Y.) at Verizon Center with a noon tipoff. The 2014-15 schedule is highlighted by a trip to the Bahamas to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City against Indiana and 16 games at Verizon Center, including one against perennial national power Kansas.