The intrigue surrounding Patrick Ewing's selection as head coach at Georgetown continues to be a source of press discussion, as relayed by veteran basketball correspondent Dana O'Neil in this link to The Athletic.
In a feature on Ewing, O'Neil writes:
"Just who had the deciding final say is subject to debate. Publicly, the Georgetown search seemed a sputtering mess with a trifold of splintering factions. Korn Ferry, a national search firm charged to lead the process, put feelers out to Texas's Shaka Smart, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, Xavier's Chris Mack and Harvard's Tommy Amaker, among others. Sources and insiders say that several board members liked the idea of an outsider and were intent on a separation from the Georgetown coaching tree. School president Jack DeGioia, himself a Georgetown lifer who has spent more than four decades at the school in various positions, and [athletic director Lee] Reed liked the idea of familiarity.
Amid the discord, Thompson picked up the phone and called Ewing, who until then had no eyes on joining the college game. "He told me I needed to throw my hat in the ring," Ewing recalls. 'He said, 'We need to keep this in the family.'"
'Did I root for Patrick to get the job? You're damn right I did. Did I select him? I did not,' Thompson said. "
The entire article is as thorough a look at Ewing as any this season to date--recommended reading.
Having seen his hand-picked successor and his oldest son fired as head coaches at the University, former coach John Thompson minced no words on an episode of HBO Real Sports that aired Tuesday evening.
"Patrick will get fired if he doesn't win,", Thompson told host Bryant Gumbel, in this link to SNY TV's Zagsblog. "I would have gotten fired if I hadn't won. Oh, they talk about my graduation rate and 'Big John', communicate with the kids and all that old kind of stuff they say. But it wouldn't have meant a damn thing if I hadn't have won, here at Georgetown or any other place."
Ewing had previously sought a head coaching position in the NBA, where Thompson noted a long standing trend in how that position is hired.
"If I were to ask you right now to name the guys that are 6-10 that have ever coached as a head coach in the NBA...and you're not gonna find many of 'em," Thompson said. "Because the stereotype comes into it. The little guard is the thinker. He's the general. The 6-10 is the big dummy rebounder. Jabbar, Shaq, if you go through most of these guys, Sampson, none of these guys coach." As noted in the article, of 258 coaches in NBA history, only 15 ever played the center position.
Thompson also dismissed suggestions that he pressured the University to hire Ewing when numerous candidates dropped out or failed to express interest in the position.
"I would say that that's an insult to my intelligence," he said. "This university's too smart and too powerful to let me scare them into hiring somebody."
A segment of the interview is posted below:
Rap singer Robert Williams ("Meek Mill") was a no-show at last month's Georgetown pre-season madness event due to a court order in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On Monday, he was sentenced to 2-4 years in state prison for repeated probation violations.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Williams had scheduled a Nov. 4 concert at Syracuse University when he was not allowed to appear outside of the Philadelphia area per the terms of an August 2017 court order.
From Sports Illustrated, its picks for the 2017-18 season:
3. Seton Hall
8. St. John's
The only non-conference game of the 2017-18 not picked up on CBS or the Fox networks will instead be available online.
Stadium Sports, an online syndicator that broadcasts Georgetown football games through the Patriot League Network, will cover the Nov. 25 game at Richmond, according to a press release.
The game will also be available on a number of UHF and HD-2 stations in smaller markets as posted on its web site. A station in Washington, DC is not on its list.
Ten years ago, Jeff Green (C'12) was an NBA lottery pick en route to an All-Rookie selection with what still known as the Seattle Supersonics. Six teams and one heart surgery later, the 31 year old Green is getting another chance, this time as a backup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If Green is concerned that his career is drawing to a close as it did for fellow Hoya Roy Hibbert, Green is otherwise upbeat in this interview with Ben Standig at Fan Rag Sports.
"I'm sitting here today in front of you, so that means I'm great. I can't complain at all," Green said. "I'm thankful by the grace of God I'm able to continue to play this game. I can't do nothing but be thankful and appreciate the opportunity and stay humble, because it was almost taken away from me. At this point I'm just enjoying the games, smiling and having fun. I can't complain at all."
Green averaged a career low 9.2 points per game within his one year, $15 million contract at Orlando last season and was not retained by the Magic. Instead, he signed a one year, $2.3 million minimum offer with the Cavaliers, and is expected to play as a reserve behind the likes of Lebron James and Kevin Love.
Asked how he can help the Cavs, he told Standig "just being Jeff Green. Being versatile, being able to guard multiple positions. Being able to be a playmaker, create for others. Using my abilities on both ends of the floor and doing whatever it takes to help this team out."
Green is one of three former Georgetown players on an NBA roster this season, along with Greg Monroe and Otto Porter.
From basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy, his mathematical rankings entering the 2017-18 season places Georgetown ninth in the conference and 79th overall, down from last year's finish at #69 in his poll.
The 2017-18 list:1. Villanova
With two starters returning from its worst regular season record in 45 years, Georgetown joined DePaul at the bottom of the 2017-18 pre-season poll for Big East Media Day, held Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown received just 15 votes from the panel of coaches and sports information directors voting in the annual poll, marking its lowest pre-season standing since John Thompson III's first season in 2004-05, picked 11th of 12 schools. Last years' term was picked fourth, despite a 15-18 record from the year before. If the voters were sold on John Thompson III's exhortation of a robust comeback in 2016-17, they weren't going to be fooled again, placing the Hoyas right where they finished last season: ninth place.
Head coach Patrick Ewing made his first appearance at a pre-season media day since he joined Bill Martin as fellow seniors following the Hoyas' 1984 NCAA title season. The circumstances could not have been more different the second time around, but Ewing was nonetheless optimistic as a 55 year old rookie coach.
"It's great to be back here. This is one of the places I consider my home," Ewing said. "I spent 15 years of my life playing here, gave my blood, sweat and tears...I have my number in the rafters."
As to the task at hand, "it's a building process," Ewing said to reporters. "We're laying the foundation and I'm pushing them, trying to get the most out of them."
The media day was celebrated as an anniversary of sorts, marking the fifth year since the divorce which allowed the core Big East schools to retain its identity while ESPN led its favored programs to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The sports network hoped that the league would fade from view and allow itto claim hegemony across the Eastern landscape, but the Big East has done anything but.
"We're thriving," said Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski in a Big East news release. "There are outstanding coaches and I think the league tends to get old and stay old so you have experienced, talented players. I think the schools in our league are also recruiting at a very high level so those are all positive signs for our conference present and future."
"I would say it's back in stride and maybe even better than it used to be," said Marquette senior Andrew Rowsey. "I know the old Big East was a legendary conference...the Big East has always been a special conference and I'm glad it's back to where it used to be, maybe better."
The article never mentioned Georgetown. Yes, some have forgotten.
Villanova received eight of ten first place votes with Seton Hall and Xavier picking up the remaining votes.
1. Villanova 81 pts
2. Seton Hall 71
3. Xavier 64
4. Providence 59
5. Creighton 48
6. St. John's 36
7. Marquette 34
8. Butler 32
9. Georgetown 15
10. DePaul 12
Eight of the teams featured at least one player on the pre-season teams--neither Georgetown nor DePaul featured as few as one entrant.Preseason Player of the Year :Jalen Brunson, Villanova
The Georgetown women's team was picked fifth of ten teams, unchanged from the 2016-17 pre-season poll.
So how has Georgetown fared in pre-season polls versus the real season? Here's a view of the predicted vs. actual finishes since 2004:
Georgetown lost a rapper at its annual pre-season entertainment show but gained two members of the class of 2022, each of which made verbal commitments following the event.
An event begun in 1999 by former coach Craig Esherick, the current version is neither held at midnight nor serves to open the start of pre-season training, now that recent NCAA changes have moved this earlier in the month. Nonetheless, it has proved popular among students and particularly recruits invited to the multimedia presentation.
The first verbal commitment following the event was received from Josh LeBlanc, a 6-7 forward from Baton Rouge, LA via Madison Prep (LA) Academy. LeBlanc averaged 14.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game as a junior and chose Georgetown over offers from LSU and Texas A&M. He is ranked #98 on the 2017 ESPN 100 and #79 in the RSCI Top 100.
Blessed to say I've committed to Georgetown University pic.twitter.com/wnEpKyQSGF— Josh Leblanc (@23eraJosh) October 14, 2017
I've decided to further my career at Georgetown university! pic.twitter.com/ixcd1kFwJm— mac mcclung (@McclungMac) October 15, 2017
Former Georgetown coach John Thompson III has been named to a special NCAA commission in the wake of on ongoing Department of Justice investigation into corruption within the sport.
"The Commission on College Basketball has been established by the NCAA Board of Governors, Division I Board and President to fully examine critical aspects of Division I men's basketball" reads its charter. "The Commission is strongly encouraged to identify bold legislative, policy and structural modifications to improve the integrity of our processes and the well-being of our student athletes. Further, the Boards stand ready and are committed to implement appropriate meaningful and lasting changes."
"The recent news of a federal investigation into fraud in college basketball made it very clear the NCAA needs to make substantive changes to the way we operate, and do so quickly," said NCAA president Mark Emmert. "Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here. While I believe the vast majority of coaches follow the rules, the culture of silence in college basketball enables bad actors, and we need them out of the game. We must take decisive action."
Thompson is one of two former coaches on the 14 person committee, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Ticket sales in the non-conference often lag, and this year's schedule could be rough one for advance ticket sales. Georgetown has announced a promotion to fill the seats of Capital One Arena (nee Verizon Center) for the Hoyas' Sunday, November 12 opener, which goes head to head with a Washington Redskins home game that day.
The ticket office is promoting four tickets in the lower level for the game with Jacksonville for $30.00.
Former Georgetown All-American Alonzo Mourning (C'92) has plenty of praise for new coach and fellow alumnus Patrick Ewing (C'85), per an interview at The Post Game.
"He's got more years in basketball than I do, and I know for a fact that he is well-qualified to be a head coach," Mourning said. "Unfortunately, he didn't get a gig in the NBA, so it's time to show the world that he can be a coach at the collegiate level, and if he wants to transition back, he can. I think it's fitting that he is back at Georgetown. I hope he can bring that mystique back. Now, it's just a matter of bringing the right talent there and bringing that 'Hoya Paranoia' back."
Elsewhere in the article, Mourning referred to an injury suffered by his son, senior Alonzo (Trey) Mourning.
'He will play for [Ewing]," said Mourning. "Unfortunately, he had surgery on his hip, which set him back a bit, but he's looking forward to getting back on the court."
Head coach Patrick Ewing was interviewed as part of the Big East Shootaround online series. Check it out at this link.