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Going to Georgetown: Former UCLA Center Joshua Smith Escapes to a Sane & Healthy Basketball Program

Good luck to former Bruin Center Joshua Smith who escaped Ben Howland’s screwed up program and is transferring to a sane one led by John Thompson III.

Good luck kid.
Good luck kid.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Earlier today arminla fanshotted a scoop from Jeff Goodman, who reported that former UCLA center Joshua Smith is headed to DC Bruins' neighborhood - out to Georgetown. The story has now been linked up in Smith's hometown paper the Seattle Times and

UCLA alum/blogger Jeff Eisenberg also wrote about this on the Dagger (Yahoo!'s college hoops blog) confirming the story from Smith's former AAU coach and calling the move "well worth a gamble" for the Hoyas (on his Twitter account). More from Eisenberg at the Dagger:

Whether taking Smith will be a good gamble for Georgetown has little to do with how he fits in the Hoyas' system or how he meshes with his teammates. It will primarily be a question of whether coach John Thompson III and his staff will have more success than UCLA did giving Smith the help he needs to get serious about basketball, to overcome his weight issues and to tap into his NBA potential.

If Smith can use his year off to shed 40 or 50 pounds so he can run the floor and play for longer than a couple minutes at a time, he could reemerge as an NBA prospect and one of the best centers in college basketball at Georgetown. If the change of scenery doesn't result in a change of habits, however, his college basketball legacy will probably be one of squandered potential.

Well, if I were a Bruin fan instead of taking cheap potshots at the kid's mindset and issues with weight, I'd wish him luck. I have a feeling Smith has a chance of flourishing in that Georgetown system under a stable and sane head coach, and he could experience the kind of success other former Bruins like Mike Moser, Chace Stanback, Matt Carlino, De'end Parker, and so on who were able to escape Howland's screwed up program, and salvage their career. Here is to Mr. Smith getting it all back together, finding happiness and success in Washington.