Josh Smith enrolled at UCLA two years ago full of promise and in December quit the Bruins completely unfulfilled. Now, he has transferred across the country to Georgetown, a place he hopes is far from UCLA not only in distance, but in fulfillment, too.
The 6-foot-10- junior who weighs more than 300 pounds will be eligible to play with the Hoyas in mid-December, according to CBSSports.com. If he performs at a level even close to what was expected out of him coming out of Kentwood High in Kent, Washington, Georgetown could become a top 5 team.
This year’s Hoyas has no seniors and will be led next year by junior point guard Markel Starks, a sensational talent that has been stymied by Georgetown’s insistence on slowing down the game. Starks has flourished nonetheless, when given the freedom, earning raves from learned observers for his ball-handling skills, scoring prowess and incredible work ethic.
Forward Otto Porter has been touted by the Hoyas as their star, and it is likely he would enter the NBA Draft after this season. So, the addition of Smith would add to the frontline depth of the team, especially would lose if Porter bolts.
But much of it will depend on Smith. He had a weight problem at UCLA and it was a factor in him languishing in the Bruins’ up tempo pace. Smith watched Georgetown up close in December when Starks had 23 points in a Hoyas victory. He had to see the deliberate pace then and salivate at the chance to be a part of such a system.
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His UCLA career actually got off to an effective start. He averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds a game as a freshman, but could not put together a second season because of weight issues that impacted his stamina and getting into foul trouble.
He failed to meet coach Ben Howland’s target weight and his playing time diminished to just 13.5 minutes a game before he decided to quit the team.
Whether at UCLA or Georgetown, Smith must lose about 40 pounds to really have chance to fulfill his potential.