Amidst all the excitement about the return of Patrick Ewing, it's easy to lose sight of the uphill battle that Ewing faces in the short term. As of now, there are only eight basketball players under scholarship at Georgetown, and Ewing has said that some of those eight may be considering transferring.
Ewing acknowledged the rebuilding process that he faces and expressed a willingness to explore all options when he looks to fill out next season's roster. To that end, here are a few speculative options for players who might make sense for some of the Hoyas' open scholarship slots, divided into a few categories. In today's college basketball landscape, there are literally hundreds of players moving between schools every year for one reason or another, so I picked a few that I thought would be intriguing. I don't have any inside information, but these are a few of the names to watch as Ewing fills out his roster.
The First Call
Tremont Waters, 5'11" guard, Class of 2017 recruit, Notre Dame High School (CT)
As we all know by now, Waters is Ewing’s #1 priority and per reports he is on a plane to visit Waters today. According to Tremont’s instagram, he was granted his release from his Letter of Intent to Georgetown last night, somewhat oddly on the eve of Ewing’s visit. Ewing has expressed his desire to run a pro-style offense that might be better suited for Waters' game, and getting his re-commitment would be a great start to the Ewing era.
The “Family Program” Options
Dedric Lawson, 6’9” sophomore forward, and K.J. Lawson, 6’7” freshman forward, Memphis
The Lawson brothers sent shockwaves through the Memphis program by announcing their transfer this week. Dedric averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last year, while K.J. posted 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Both Lawson brothers were highly touted recruits coming out of high school. The catch here is that their father, Keelon Lawson, took an assistant coaching job at Memphis alongside the brothers and might be looking for another spot as a coach at their next destination. Given Ewing’s need for an experienced staff, this move might not make much sense if Keelon wants another job, even with ethical implications aside. K.J. Lawson (the older brother) is actually a freshman forward because of a redshirt year. Dedric, the younger brother, is a sophomore.
Michael Weathers, 6’2” freshman guard, and Marcus Weathers, 6’5” freshman forward, Miami (Ohio)
Another pair of brothers, the Weathers twins have expressed a desire to play together, but have left open the possibility of going their separate ways depending on the circumstances. Michael, a point guard, posted 16.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game as a freshman, while Marcus averaged 9.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Michael in particular might make sense given the Hoyas’ need for a point guard.
Other Transfer Options:
Noah Dickerson, 6’8” sophomore forward, Washington
Dickerson, a former Georgetown commit during his high school days, scored 12.5 points and grabbed 8.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore alongside Markelle Fultz before announcing his intention to transfer. Dickerson clearly had some level of interest in Georgetown at one point and might be intrigued by the idea of playing for Ewing.
James Daniel, 6’0” and J.T. Miller, 6’4” junior (grad transfer) guards, Howard
As we saw with Rodney Pryor last season, the grad transfer route is becoming increasingly popular and viable for programs looking to fill out their rosters. While Daniel and Miller are almost certainly not up to Pryor's level, they have had success in a smaller conference and would have a very easy geographic transition from Howard to Georgetown. Daniel averaged 27.1 points per game as a junior in 2015-16 before missing most of this season with an injury, while Miller sat for most of 2015-16 before returning to score 14.7 points per game this season.
Even for a mediocre team in the MEAC, neither Daniel nor Miller excelled in terms of efficiency, passing, or rebounding, but at this point, beggars can’t be choosers, and Ewing and his staff will be able to easily contact these players just across town.
Jarred Reuter, 6’7” sophomore forward, Marial Shayok, 6’5” junior guard, and Darius Thompson, 6’4” junior (grad transfer) guard, Virginia
Tony Bennett is losing all three of these guys to transfers, and each presents some level of intrigue. Thompson is an experienced combo guard who has played for both Tennessee and Virginia. He would be immediately eligible as a grad transfer. Shayok has played a key role for the Cavaliers and is a solid two-way wing. Reuter has played a smaller role, but he’s a big forward who was highly regarded coming out of Brewster Academy. It could make sense for Ewing to try to keep one or two of these players in the DMV area.
Cameron Johnson, 6’8” sophomore (grad transfer) guard, Corey Manigault, 6’8” freshman forward, and Damon Wilson, 6’5” sophomore guard
Johnson is the interesting name here. From what I can tell, he is a rare graduate transfer who could have two years of eligible should he choose. This season, he scored 11.9 points per game along with 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. He shot the three at a 41.5 percent clip on fairly high volume, and would clearly be a solid option for a team desperate for wing depth. Manigault and Wilson are two more of the five players transferring out of Kevin Stallings’ program, and while neither played much this season, both were four-star recruits coming out of high school, and Manigault had some interest in Georgetown as a recruit.
The Creative Option
Mitchell Robinson, 7'0" center, Class of 2017 recruit, Chalmette High School
Rumors have circulated about Shammond Williams, Robinson's godfather and a current assistant coach at Western Kentucky (where Robinson is currently committed), as a possible candidate for Ewing's coaching staff. Normally I'm opposed to the idea of hiring family members or close family friends in order to land an accompanying recruit. However, Williams, a former star point guard at UNC, was Ewing's teammate in the NBA and has five years of experience coaching at the Division I level. His status and knowledge as a former NBA point guard would also go well alongside Ewing's experience developing big men, as there has been a lot of hand-wringing about Ewing's ability to recruit and coach guards.
It's worth noting that Williams has also recruited a top-100 Class of 2017 shooting guard named Josh Anderson to WKU for next season, both proving Williams' chops as a recruiter and raising the possibility, however slight, that Anderson could also follow Williams should he leave WKU.
Forgive me for the irresponsible speculation, but it's hard not to dream about this, particularly because after a season or two working with Ewing, Robinson, a consensus top-10 recruit in his class, would probably resemble the basketball equivalent of a fire-breathing dragon. Not to mention the fact that it would be incomparably epic if Ewing's first recruit was a hyper-athletic 7-foot shot-blocking center who ranks in the top 10 of his class.
We can always dream.