The Georgetown Hoyas (6-15, 0-10 BE) lost their 10th BIG EAST matchup and 11th game straight on Sunday afternoon to a 15th-ranked Providence Friars team. While not much looked vastly different in the 72-51 loss, Patrick Ewing and Georgetown’s future is again a topic of national discussion when Zach Braziller of the New York Post suggests “pull[ing] the plug.” With only nine games left in the regular season, any hope to turn-around the Georgetown program is running perilously low—and more fans may start to latch onto these types of articles.
ZACH TO SCHOOL: It's time, for Patrick Ewing and Georgetown, to think about a change. It's clearly not working. The program is in danger of its first single-digit winning season since 1971-72. https://t.co/IfT4VC5v9W #hoyasaxa— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) February 7, 2022
After the game, Ewing told the media that, “We were happy with what we played with in the first half” and “We got on them in the first half but they were able to take it to another level in the second half.” That’s a lot to ask the Hoya faithful to believe.
While the 30-27 lead at halftime was nice to see, most Hoyas fans knew that the first-half efforts would not be enough to pull out a BIG EAST win, let alone one against a ranked opponent. Georgetown was losing only 40-41 with 14 minutes left in the game when Providence went off on an 18-1 run. Unfortunately, such a large, late-game run for opposing teams has become one of the most prominent hallmarks of the Ewing era. Maybe it’s time to stop the run?
The murmurs have been growing louder. Last month, The Washington Post, after the first five losses, said that Ewing’s “look of resignation has now become routine” and noted fan “apathy.” A few days later, Tony Kornheiser suggested Georgetown firing Ewing on his podcast. ESPN wrote a piece about Ewing’s “failed launch” and even Father Raymond Kemp, a Georgetown legend himself, acknowledged that Ewing might say something like, “If we don’t have it going, maybe it’s time for me to think about doing something else.”
Tony Kornheiser on his #podcast: "Georgetown either needs to fire Patrick Ewing right now or decide to get out of the basketball business all together. The program is no longer competitive in the Big East."@CasualHoya #hoyasaxa— David Riedman (@david_riedman) January 29, 2022
Now, the louder, national calls for change are almost impossible to ignore—even inside McDonough or the Thompson Center. The momentum is building for some major change in the Georgetown program, but no one seems to know if and when a climax might come—April? Tomorrow? Next Season?
The new NYPOST piece highlights two key points: (1) this is not a Mullin-like situation where the time and effort of the head coach were not present and (2) a reported secret contract extension of Ewing last April may make the economic issues of Georgetown’s continued employment a bit more complicated. In other words, it does not sound like Ewing would want to throw in the towel, even if fans and pundits might think it’s for the best.
Here are the links:
This year was always going to be a step back, even had Wahab returned and King produced. Georgetown was rebuilding with a top-20 recruiting class. But even more has been asked of the building blocks of that class, five-star guard Aminu Mohammed and four-star center Ryan Mutombo, and the duo have not lived up to expectations. Muhammed, in particular, has struggled in the Big East, averaging 12.4 points on 38.1 percent shooting. This team is last in the Big East in field-goal percentage, last in field -goal percentage defense and last in scoring margin.
This isn’t exactly Chris Mullin’s failed tenure at St. John’s, a first-time coach who was unwilling to put in the necessary time and hire the right people. Ewing spent 15 years in the NBA as an assistant coach. He has worked hard and recruited well. But it is clearly not working. This isn’t even a conversation if not for the Hoyas’ miraculous Big East Tournament title run last March. Ewing’s record is 26-54 in league play, a dismal .325 winning percentage.
Georgetown has now lost 11 consecutive games.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 6, 2022
Unacceptable for a program the stature of Georgetown.
I hate to say it, but time to admit the Patrick Ewing Coaching Era just isn’t working. https://t.co/dscWEbtE5F
It was that kind of afternoon for the Hoyas, who collapsed after a spirited first half in a 71-52 loss Sunday at Capital One Arena that extended their program-record slide to 11 and kept them winless in Big East play.
“They got us out of our plays,” beleaguered coach Patrick Ewing said. “We weren’t able to run our plays. The first half, the intensity we played with, we didn’t play with in the second half. They did a much better job of making us work for everything” ...
Georgetown (6-15, 0-10) unraveled amid 32.7 percent shooting (including 3 for 21 on three-pointers), 19 turnovers and spotty transition defense that yielded 17 fast-break points for the Friars. After leading 30-27 at halftime, the Hoyas were outscored 44-22 in the final 20 minutes.
“They outplayed us in the second half,” Ewing said. “We were great in the first half. We fought back and got a three-point lead [at halftime], and what we talk to them about is we can’t exhale in the second half — and that’s what we did. We exhaled, and [Providence] picked it up, and we didn’t do enough things right.”
To put into perspective how far the Hoyas are from the pack, here's how far they are from Butler in various rankings:— Paint Touches (@PaintTouches) February 7, 2022
Massey Composite: 73
Massey visual below: pic.twitter.com/0SRRKtGKfq
Aminu Mohammed had 18 points for the Hoyas (6-15, 0-10). Georgetown is nine games under .500 for the first time since going 3-23 in 1971-72, the season before Hall of Fame coach John Thompson Jr. began his Hoyas career.
Georgetown’s previous record losing streak was 10, set over the final nine games of the 2003-04 season and the 2004-05 season opener.
“We’re only going to win when everybody in that room decides that whatever we’re doing right now is not working,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. “They have to decide if they’re going to listen to what we want them to do and get it done.”
It seemed the Hoyas might end their slide against an unlikely opponent when they held a lead early in the second half. But Georgetown’s sloppiness and Bynum’s slick shooting ended any chance of that.
The Friars really broke the game open midway through the second half in which they went on a 16-0 run over a four-minute stretch. During this run, Providence was able to get out in transition and score easy points—the Friars scored 15 fast-break points in the second half. Georgetown also struggled to contain Providence’s three-point shooters, a familiar issue for this Hoyas team. When the Hoyas finally put a stop to the Friars’ run, the deficit was insurmountable.
Sunday’s loss wraps up an 0-3 homestand for the Hoyas. If there was any hope left that Georgetown could turn their season around, it’s safe to say it has evaporated after several abysmal performances.
Cooley on Georgetown -- 'This team is desperate to win.'— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) February 6, 2022
'Those guys (the multiple Hoyas transfers) are great players that (Patrick Ewing) hasn't been able to retain.'
'That transition is always tough.' #pcbb
Either way, Georgetown is about to finish eighth-or-worse in the Big East for the fourth time in five years — and Ewing is currently 68-71 overall as coach of his alma mater, just 26-51 in Big East games. Georgetown is 168th at KenPom. A brand this big should never be this bad. So the administration might have to confront an uncomfortable situation come March and figure out how to address a legend struggling badly.
'Hoyas Fall to No. 15 Providence' - "Georgetown will hit the road to face DePaul on Wednesday, Feb. 9. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on FS1 with Lisa Byington calling the play-by-play and Nick Bahe providing analysis." https://t.co/xKowaQ5Njb— Georgetown Club of Philadelphia (@PhillyHoyas) February 7, 2022
Big offseason questions loom around Ewing and Mohammed. Ewing is in his fifth year as head coach and has brought experience and star power to the program. However, he has not achieved the Big East success many fans expected, attaining a Big East record of 26-52 that is on par with his recent predecessors but disappointing nonetheless. Regardless of whether Ewing stays, the program will face some serious questions about its coaching methodology.
A second question centers around Mohammed’s future with the program. Despite Georgetown’s performance, he has been a standout player and is a possible candidate for the 2022 NBA Draft. If he moves on to play professionally or transfers, the program would be without its star player next year. Coupled with Carey’s graduation, the program would lose two of its main contributors on offense.
There is still hope for Georgetown, but the next few weeks will be crucial. If the Hoyas can bounce back from their abysmal start and regain some confidence, the team will be poised to improve upon their performance next year. However, the outlook for this season is bleak.