It's been two weeks since Georgetown was sidelined by an undisclosed COVID issue in the program. We should know a lot more about where things are headed later today.
If Georgetown has met the 14-day protocol without further infection, there will likely be some notification to the press that practices are back underway, and would be the surest sign that the Hoyas are ready to compete Saturday versus Providence. If there is a continued problem in the Georgetown program or one in Providence, some announcement would then be forthcoming on Saturday's game.
Ackerman Signs Extension As Commissioner
The Big East Conference announced a three year extension for commissioner Val Ackerman through 2024.
"In her nearly eight years at the helm of the Big East, Ackerman has presided over the rebirth of the conference following its reconfiguration in 2013 to its present basketball-centric make-up," reads a news release. "Most recently, she spearheaded the return to the conference of the University of Connecticut, a Big East charter member, effective July 1, 2020, bringing the number of current Big East schools to 11. In 2018, Ackerman led the negotiations that resulted in an extension through 2028 of the Big East's long-standing venue licensing agreement with Madison Square Garden, home of the Big East men's basketball tournament for the past 38 years."
The extension is a timely one with the Pacific-12 Conference in the market for a new commissioner. Among the possible candidates is former Georgetown athletic director Bernard Muir, now at Stanford.
The Big East Cellar
For the first time since joining the Big East in the 1979-80 season, Georgetown sits in last place at the halfway point of the season.
DePaul's upset of Marquette on Saturday elevated the Blue Demons into a tie with Georgetown, each 1-5 on the 2020-21 season. The Hoyas haven't played a Big East opponent since January 6 and are not expected to play again until Saturday versus Providence.
Adding to the Hoyas' steep climb up the standings: per Big East COVID protocols, the team has not practiced since Jan. 13 and the basketball office has not confirmed when they will receive clearance to begin practice again. If another positive test is determined in the interim, the calendar would reset again.
The current NCAA NET ratings for the conference are as follows, with Georgetown a combined 0-6 against "Quad 1" and Quad 2" opponents, or teams most likely to compete for the NCAA tournament:
Sometimes, you don't know how far you've fallen unless you've known what it's like to be on top.
As Georgetown suffers through its worst season in a half-century, with the program's diminishing status in question, it was 15 years ago today that the Hoyas rejuvenated its fans and its national reputation in an 87-84 upset of #1 Duke, only the third win over a top-ranked team in program history.
Georgetown overcame a 41 point performance from Duke All-American J.J. Redick with a last second defensive stand that sent the sold out crowd at MCI Center onto the floor and set in motion the upward velocity of the program. Just 429 days later, Georgetown was going to the Final Four.
From 2006, here's the video of the game and a popular first-person account of the hours leading up to the big game. Today's students would have no idea how big basketball can be at Georgetown, but perhaps they can someday.
Fourth Game Postponed
The Big East Conference has postponed the Jan. 26 game between Georgetown and Xavier, citing "the COVID related issue within the Georgetown program."
No date for rescheduling purpose has been announced. This marks the fourth game rescheduled for Georgetown, which has still not made a public comment beyond press releases on the scope of COVID-19 within the program.
Postponements: Can Georgetown Reschedule?
With six weeks remaining in the Big East season, the need to reschedule at least three games for the Hoyas is growing increasingly challenging.
The first constraint is obvious: DePaul, Providence, and Marquette have games to play, too. The Big East does not want to schedule back to back games for travel reasons, suggesting the opportunity of Georgetown rescheduling its two home games (DePaul, Providence) on two of four dates: Monday, Feb. 1, Monday, Feb. 15, Thursday, Feb. 25, and Thursday, Mar 4. Another, if unlikely option: a doubleheader or back to back series when the Hoyas travel to DePaul on Feb. 27.
DePaul still has two other opponent games to reschedule (at St. John's, home vs. Villanova)
The options for a game at Marquette are constrained due to dates at Fiserv Forum with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. Without scheduling back to back games, open dates include: Thursday, Feb. 11, Thursday, Feb. 25, and Thursday, Mar. 4.
If Georgetown experiences any further postponements in February, it is likely those games may need to be canceled outright.