Roy Hibbert passed on the NBA for one more year at Georgetown because of some "unfinished business."
Hibbert and the fifth-ranked Hoyas get back to work Saturday when they open their season at home against William and Mary.Hibbert, a 7-foot-2 senior center who likely would have been a lottery pick if he officially entered the NBA draft after last season, is a preseason All-American and the Big East's preseason player of the year.He's looking to lead defending Big East champ Georgetown back to the Final Four after the Hoyas fell 67-60 to Ohio State in the national semifinals last season."We are proud about what happened last year, but at the same time, our guys realize that what happened last year is irrelevant this year," said coach John Thompson III, who led Georgetown to a 30-7 record in 2006-07. "What we went through last year ... helped to prepare this group for being in a similar position this year."Hibbert will have plenty of help, as the Hoyas return four of their five starters from last season -- everyone except leading scorer Jeff Green, who entered the draft after his junior year and was selected fifth overall by Boston before being traded to Seattle."It's a big loss," said senior guard Jonathan Wallace, who averaged 11.4 points per game last season. "He brought a lot to the table, but we have guys ready to step up -- Patrick Ewing Jr., Vernon Macklin, DaJuan Summers. Those guys can jump in at any point in time and get those rebounds and those defensive stops like Jeff did last year."Wallace, Summers and junior guard Jessie Sapp all return to the starting lineup. Summers, a sophomore, earned a spot on the Big East All-Rookie team last season, while Sapp played more minutes than anyone on the roster but Green.The fifth starter is expected to be Ewing, son of the former Hoyas star center who went on to an illustrious career with the New York Knicks.Now, Georgetown's star in the middle is Hibbert, who averaged 12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last season. His return to school has earned him almost every preseason honor there is."It's preseason," Hibbert said. "The end of the season -- that's what counts the most."The long road to March starts with William and Mary. Georgetown is 5-4 all-time against the Tribe, but the teams haven't met since the 1971-72 season.First-year Georgetown assistant coach David Cox was a three-year starting point guard for William and Mary in the mid-1990s.Last season, William and Mary went 15-15, but just 4-9 on the road. The Tribe bring back six of their top seven scorers, including seniors Laimis Kisielius (11.3 ppg) and Nathan Mann (9.1).Georgetown, meanwhile, was 14-3 at home last season, when it won its home opener for the first time in three years.William and Mary will be looking for its second win in as many years against a Final Four team from the previous season. The Tribe beat Colonial Athletic Association rival George Mason 67-63 last January, but the Patriots were unranked at the time.The Tribe have lost their last 28 games against ranked opponents, a streak that dates to the 1977-78 season.