Georgetown senior guard Jabril Trawick is no stranger to adversity.
From the Hoyas’ recent postseason disappointments, to the reformation of the Big East, the departures of Otto Porter Jr. and Greg Whittington, and his own jaw injury last season, the Philadelphia native has seen his fair share of struggles. But despite all these past difficulties, Trawick is optimistic concerning the team’s chances of success this season.
“We had a lot of things going on, things that don’t usually happen in our program. I think that coming into this year we just got a fresh start from right now,” said Trawick. “We’ve had some good times and we’ve had also some disappointing times. But we’re just ready for the fresh start we have this year.”
Trawick missed five games last season due to a broken jaw, which hampered the suddenly short-handed Hoyas, especially during the middle of the team’s campaign. This year, however, Trawick feels his team learned from the past season and that they have the depth to overcome whatever adversity they will face.
“A lot of things that happened last year were unexpected and didn’t really have to do with basketball. I think that we really didn’t have that many bodies,” Trawick said. “I think that this year is going to be a totally different situation, the fact that we have the freshmen class that we have, along with the veterans. We learned a lot. Last year, there was a lot of adversity. We take that and move on for this year.”
During his five-game absence in January, both Trawick and the team learned just how important he was to to both the offensive and defensive aspects of their game. Trawick, who made a name for himself as a defensive stalwart during his sophomore season, emerged as more of a scorer when he returned. In the final seven games of the season, Trawick averaged 12.1 points per game, a dramatic increase from his career average of 5.9. Trawick also improved his 3-point shooting ability, converting 31 percent of his 3-point attempts last season as opposed to 24 percent during his freshman year.
“When I got hurt, I was able to sit out and watch and learn the different ways that I could be effective on the court,” said Trawick. “I always could shoot the ball. It’s just about confidence. At this point now, I just feel like I’m ready to do whatever Coach needs me to do on the court and ready to be effective out there.”
With the graduation of point guard and vocal leader Markel Starks, also the team’s second leading scorer last year, Trawick expects to take on even more of the team’s offensive burden, as well as ball handling responsibilities.
“This year, I will be in the 1 and 2 spot, playing that a lot more. I always can handle the ball, but it’s just about, what Coach says, doing it more and doing it more,” said Trawick. “This year I will be on the ball a lot more. I’m ready to do that.”
Along with these new responsibilities on the court, Trawick will also be asked by Head Coach John Thompson III to fill the leadership void left by Starks.
“Coach Thompson definitely stressed to me that he needs me to be a leader on the team. I’m going to try and be a leader,” Trawick said. “With the way my personality is and the kind of player I am, I’m going to be a natural, vocal person on the court, off the court, and just teach. I’m going to be a leader regardless.”
Although the Hoyas have disappointed in years past, Trawick expects that the Blue and Gray will finally meet, and even exceed, the lofty expectations set for this team.
“We want to go deep in the tournament, we want to win big. That’s what Georgetown is about. Winning is important. As you see, when we don’t go to the tournament and we lose, it’s a big problem. We just want to do what we can to win as much as possible.”