John Thompson III: No update on Josh Smith's availability

When Josh Smith left UCLA to transfer to Georgetown at the beginning of January last season, most signs pointed to him being eligible at the end of this year’s first semester.

Late last month, though, it was reported that the 6-foot-10 big man could be available to the Hoyas earlier than expected.

Head coach John Thompson III said Wednesday at Big East media day that he’s still waiting on a decision from the NCAA.

“We don’t know,” Thompson III said. “That’s [up to] the NCAA.”

The specifics as to why Smith could be eligible immediately are unclear.

Smith, who chose the Hoyas over Kansas when he left UCLA, would be a nice boost to Georgetown’s frontcourt if he can play right away. He has had problems with his conditioning and consistency throughout his basketball career – he’s currently listed at 350 lbs. – but a slimmed-down, in-shape version of Smith would certainly help.

Nate Lubick and Mikael Hopkins are both back as starters, but Otto Porter is off to the NBA and fellow forward Greg Whittington could miss the entire season with a knee injury. When on the court, Smith is a legitimate option with his back to the basket, capable of scoring at will around the basket.

Georgetown opens its season in South Korea against Oregon on Nov. 8.

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