As of this afternoon, there are even more holes in the team’s early season lineup. It was announced that the Blue Demons—not the Hoyas—will be joining the Butler Bulldogs in representing the Big East conference. Georgetown had originally been selected as one of 16 power-conference teams to participate in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament celebrating the 80th birthday of Nike founder Phil Knight.
Here is the full text of the press release from tournament organizers:
ESPN Events has made team changes to PK80. DePaul will replace Georgetown in the PK80 presented by State Farm, and is slated to face Michigan State on Thursday, Nov. 23. DePaul joins the “Victory” bracket, with fellow participants Arkansas, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland and UConn.
“We are pleased that DePaul has agreed to participate in the PK80 Victory Bracket and are very appreciative of the efforts of DePaul’s leadership in making this happen,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president of ESPN Events and college sports programming. “DePaul has a rich basketball heritage and, under Coach Leitao’s direction, is a rapidly rising program that will be an excellent addition to the PK80 field.”
DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto
“DePaul is honored to be participating in the PK80. We have such great admiration for the leadership and many contributions Phil Knight has made to intercollegiate athletics and it’s a privilege as one of Nike’s schools to participate in this elite event. We’re also grateful to our colleagues at ESPN for recognizing DePaul’s place in college basketball history as a proud member of the BIG EAST Conference. It’s a compliment to Coach Leitao’s leadership and DePaul’s commitment to being Chicago’s basketball team as we return to playing in the city at the new Wintrust Arena.”
DePaul head coach Dave Leitao
“The opportunity to play in this event to celebrate Phil Knight’s 80th birthday and his impact on college basketball is a thrill and an honor. The eight-team Victory Bracket is full of great programs and we’re excited to make the trip to Portland to face the challenge that only the PK80 presents. DePaul’s basketball history, combined with the other teams competing, illustrates the magnitude of this tournament. It also provides us the great opportunity to play in front of our alumni and fans in the Pacific Northwest in one of college basketball’s signature events this season.”
The school has released this statement explaining the late change:
Statement from Georgetown AD Lee Reed on PK80 pic.twitter.com/oUg6KXpUc2— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) August 1, 2017
This is also not the worst theory in the world:
No word as to why Hoyas out of @pkinvitational, but flying to Portland to play a mid-major (UConn) in losers bracket likely a factor.— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) August 1, 2017
For those of you keeping score at home, today’s news means that the public is only aware of ONE non-conference game for the upcoming season- the matchup against Syracuse on December 16th.
As many as nine or ten openings remain on the schedule.