For better or worse Georgetown’s basketball season is over, and here is a roundup of the national coverage surrounding the team’s upcoming decision regarding head coach John Thompson III. The Hoyas have become a popular talking point in sports media, and for the most part it hasn’t been pretty.
"At any other program, Thompson III would be replaced. But Georgetown is not any other program. At another school, the risk of dumping a losing coach for a new direction is low. At Georgetown, that’s not so; losing is bad, but firing Thompson III could be worse."
“Will a new coach be on the sideline when the Syracuse University basketball team renews its rivalry with Georgetown next season? John Thompson III's seat as the head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas may be too hot to sit on these days. The calls from Georgetown fans, alumni and former players are getting louder for the school to remove Thompson, or "JT3" as he is known, sooner rather than later...Attendance at Georgetown home games is declining and the Hoyas are failing to keep local prospects at home.”
"Although the Hoyas reached the Final Four in 2007 with Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green leading the charge, they haven't won more than a single tournament game in a given year since that run."
"Still, the signs are not good for JT3. Georgetown hasn’t introduced its head coach by name at home games all season. On Saturday, when the Hoyas lost to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden, students held up a ‘FireJT3’ banner. You can read about it on the Twitter account entitled, ‘Did JT3 Get Fired?’"
"But once again, this season isn’t the only reason why a change could be in the near future. It’s really the last 10 years that are in indicator of why Thompson III may be out of a job soon. As pointed out by ESPN, over the last decade Georgetown, only has three wins in the NCAA Tournament and they aren’t against big time opponents: Maryland-Baltimore County, Belmont, and Eastern Washington doesn’t exactly resemble a who’s who of college basketball."
"From 2007 (when ESPN’s recruiting database started) to 2011, Georgetown reeled in six players from Maryland, one from D.C. and two from Virginia. In that span, the Hoyas went 112-52 overall and went to two NCAA tournaments. In the five recruiting classes since then, 2012-2016, the Hoyas landed one player from D.C., two from Virginia and one from a junior college in Maryland. They are 90-51 in that span, going to two tournaments and sitting at 14-15 this season. What have been the biggest factors in Georgetown’s inability to keep the best players home in recent years?"
"In the closing minutes, the conflict re-emerged at Verizon Center with faint displays of displeasure. One student interrupted silence by yelling, 'It’s time for a change!' Another lifted a sarcastic sign that read 'Thank You JTIII.' And as the game ended, the soft chants advanced from 'You can’t silence us!' to 'We want change!' to 'Fire Thompson!'
That’s how the regular season of another lackluster Georgetown men’s basketball campaign concluded, with drama escorting the Hoyas off the court, with an overwhelming sense that an intricate and sensitive problem has only begun to disturb."
"Usually in college sports, the head coach runs his program completely, including the media relations side. That means at least one of three things happened:
1. Thompson told his sports information director (SID) that he didn’t want questions about the future.
2. The SID overstepped his job duties to shield his head coach.3. The SID was told by Georgetown’s athletics director not to allow those kinds of questions.
3. The SID was told by Georgetown’s athletics director not to allow those kinds of questions.
Now, Georgetown’s media relations department is notorious for its protective measures with players. But those are players."
"...there’s a better way to go about it than saying ‘leave it to game-related questions.’ You have to let JT3 talk here, especially when it’s talked about at a national level. Just have him give the canned answers that he’s ‘not worried about that and concentrating on the Big East Tournament.’ It’s really not that difficult.
The fact is JT2 still owns the program. He’s the reason there’s the new complex on campus. He’s the one that made Georgetown, well, Georgetown. He’s the one who is still at every game and even answers questions in the press conference. He’s the one that will say when it’s time for JT3 to move on. That’s just how it is and that’s why this is a disaster."
"Just like it was fair to expect Georgetown to lose in unspectacular fashion to one of the nation’s best teams, it was fair to expect a reporter—Ben Standig, in this case—to ask whether the recent talk of Thompson III’s soon-to-be canning distracted his team in the lead-up to the regular season finale. Thompson III was not given the opportunity to respond, though, as a “school official” instructed Standig and the press to ask only “game-related questions.”
Topics discussed starting at the 13:30 include the final home game and the state of the Hoyas. (h/t to Cuse Swallows for tracking down the audio link)
"...the Hoyas’ recent struggles and no indication that recruiting will turn the program around have to be a significant concern. Asking if the program’s future has become a distraction for the current team and the program overall is fair game. Reporters covering the team wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t ask those questions. For Georgetown to shut those questions down and act like there’s nothing to discuss is covering their eyes, ears and mouth to the issues that fans, alumni and media are talking about."
"And while JT3 won’t be answering questions publicly, there are questions that he’s going to have to answer privately. Georgetown, too. Because the bottom-line is this: The Hoya program is in as bad of shape as it’s been in since John Thompson Jr. took over and built the little private school in the richest part of Washington D.C. into a national title contender. "
“Former Georgetown star Allen Iverson told ESPN he believes John Thompson III should continue to coach the Hoyas.
‘I think everyone honestly is panicking,’ Iverson said during Wednesday night's 74-73 loss to St. John's at Madison Square Garden in the first round of the Big East Tournament.”
“These past two years aside, Georgetown is still an attractive job. The Hoyas play in the Big East — a basketball-centric conference that’s one of the best in the country. They also have a loyal fanbase, a proud tradition, and the finances to stay competitive through the changing landscape of college athletics. If they decided to make a change, they could bring in the right coach to rejuvenate the program.”
"What is the state of a proud program, in some semblance of shambles, with its first back-to-back losing seasons in more than four decades?
'After a loss like that, right now, I don’t think is the time to do that,' Thompson III said.
So, then, when is?"