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EWING TALKS: Georgetown Coach Discusses ‘Change’ and a Player Absence

A point guard is “not with the team” for “personal reasons”

2022 Big East Basketball Media Day Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

The Head Coach for the Georgetown Hoyas, Patrick Ewing, addressed the media on Wednesday and spoke candidly about several topics for the first time since the end of the dreadful season. The theme of Ewing’s answers was “change” and more particularly that things have changed on the roster, with the staff, and for himself. One piece of big news may have stolen the show as Ewing noted that Dante Harris is not with the team and is “dealing with some personal stuff.” Hoyas fans

There is no doubt that losing the former BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player is not a good thing, paired with the narratives of Georgetown’s recent roster flux, and fans will have plenty to discuss until November 8th (or later).

Here are three other key topics that Ewing discussed.

1. Coaching Staff

Ewing, again, took accountability for last season. He said he can’t ignore it. He noted that as the head coach, the buck stops with him and he has had to take a step back to review. Ewing said he reviewed last year’s game tape, as well as previous years, and he spoke with his friends and confidants about his strengths and weaknesses. The result appears to be that he is indeed relinquishing some authority. The hiring of Kevin Nickelberry was not only to fortify recruiting, but Coach Nick (who has a nickname Ewing won’t repeat in public) will also concentrate on the defense, while Ewing focuses on the offense.

Ewing went to lengths to minimize perception that he was disparaging the prior coaches, adding that he still talks to the dismissed coaches and thanks them for their work in previous years.

Talking strategy, Ewing noted that offensively they need to improve, this year, getting it into the post, pick and roll, and more. He noted that they need to be better defensively and that the coaches are still talking about different ways they want to cover things.

2. Roster

Ewing again stressed that this team has improved in the talent department (while downplaying the implication that last year lacked talent). Like BIG EAST Media Day, Ewing offered that Brandon Murray and Qudus Wahab will be key pieces.

Ewing repeated his credo that to be successful in basketball (at any level) one needs to score at all three levels. He reiterated that Wahab’s absence last year did not help and that being able to get a bucket down low will be something everyone needs.

Ewing said the Murray is someone who can score at all three levels—at a “high clip”—and has good defense. Ewing believes Murray’s defense, along with the coaches’ changes on that end, will help.

He noted that Akok Akok has pleasantly surprised the staff in practice with his energy, shot-blocking, knocking down shots, and development. Ewing also noted that Primo Spears is defending well and making every pass.

Jay Heath was mentioned, and we are all still waiting on his transfer waiver. Ewing says they will be prepared either way.

Ewing also relayed that the team is ready to compete and tired of just practicing among themselves.

3. Dikembe Mutombo is in good spirits

Ewing convened that he spoke with Dikembe and he is doing well. Ewing noted concern for Ryan and relayed that he and the team are supporting him. Of course we all are praying for a speedy recovery.