The Georgetown men’s basketball team received a boost on Wednesday when former Louisville sophomore and power forward Akoy Agau announced that he would be transferring to the Hilltop. Even in the midst of a hectic conference schedule, Head Coach John Thompson III took time to turn his attention to the more distant future of his program by bringing in the 6-foot-8-inch 230-pounder to help fill the void that will be left by the graduation of senior forward Mikael Hopkins and senior center Joshua Smith come May.
“I have chosen to commit to Georgetown University,” Agau said to Nebraska High School Hoops. “Georgetown is the best place for me both athletically and academically. The program has a history of developing big men to maximize their potential, and I feel it’s the best place for me right now. I look forward to continuing my basketball career as a Hoya.”
Agau left Louisville this past December, during the fall semester of his sophomore year. Barring any unforeseen changes in his classification when he transfers to Georgetown, he will be eligible to play for the Hoyas for two-and-a-half seasons beginning in the spring semester of 2016. The Omaha, Neb., native found himself stuck behind a talented frontcourt at Louisville and starved for playing time — he only made three appearances this season for a total of 11 minutes in blowout victories over nonconference opponents. As a freshman last season, Agau averaged 0.9 points and 1.1 rebounds while playing five minutes per game.
Although he was unable to carve out a spot in the Louisville rotation, Agau should have every opportunity to earn playing time at Georgetown if he can prove his worth on the glass. Smith, Hopkins and co-captains senior guard Jabril Trawick and junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera have pulled down 58 percent of the Hoyas’ rebounds this season, and Smith-Rivera is the only one with a chance to play with the transfer next spring.
While the Class of 2018, which Agau would be joining, has certainly proven itself to be talented and deep in the early going, the group lacks an inside presence. Unproven center Bradley Hayes will be a senior next season, and he will be joined in the frontcourt by four-star recruit Jessie Govan (Manhasset, N.Y., Wings Academy), who ESPN rates as the 10th best center in the Class of 2019. Another four-star Class of 2015 recruit, 6-foot-8-inch power forward Marcus Derrickson (Fairfax, Va., Brewster Academy), has committed to the Hoyas.
Each player fits into Head Coach John Thompson’s system differently, but it appears as though Agau would be assuming the hybrid center and forward role that is currently occupied by Hopkins. He does not have the size to be a true center, but if Agau can prove himself to be adequately coachable, there will be minutes available in the Hoyas’ frontcourt. Sophomore forward Reggie Cameron and freshmen forwards Isaac Copeland and Paul White are all similar in size, but the trio has spent most of their young Georgetown careers guarding smaller players on the perimeter.
Filling the holes left by the graduation of key players is never easy — especially when it’s a Joshua Smith-sized hole — but as Agau mentioned, Georgetown’s program has a sterling reputation for developing low-post players. Next season, Agau, Govan and Derrickson may be thrown into the fire without much experience, but the current freshman class is talented enough to carry the team, provided that these young big men arrive on the Hilltop ready to buy into Thompson’s philosophy.
Akoy Agau left Louisville in search of playing time, and if he can rebound, block shots and defend the low post, he’ll find what he is looking for in Washington.