There are two games left for the Georgetown Hoyas, and the question is, “What are the University and Administration going to do at the end of the season?” For several weeks, this humble lunch blog has reiterated the uncomfortable truth that it’s time for Patrick Ewing to step down to save Georgetown Basketball. Recently, contributions about potential candidates for head coach, should the position open up, have been posted. We’ve also taken a look at some of the financial questions about the head coaching position, and relayed the feelings that—in spite of a record-smashing losing streak and historically unfathomable defensive ratings—Ewing was not showing any signs of nearing the end of his Georgetown tenure. Until now.
One thing clear from Patrick Ewing’s postgame comments yesterday is that while he certainly wants to be Georgetown’s coach next season, he hasn’t been told by the powers that be that he will return. Stay tuned.— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) February 28, 2022
In the post-game press conference, after the 86-77 loss to UConn on Sunday afternoon, questions for Patrick Ewing turned to the future of the Georgetown men’s basketball program and who would be leading it. Taken at face-value, his below-quoted comments indicate a hope to return as head coach. Reading between the lines, Ewing appears to acknowledge that the decision is not just his.
On Monday, the editor at HoyaSaxa.com wrote a post-UConn editorial saying,
Prominent voices in the sports community seem unwilling to cast light on the Hoyas’ plight in public. This past Friday, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon spoke of Georgetown the same way he would speak of a dying relative in the hospital: outwardly hopeful but visibly shaken over the words he may one day have to say. Georgetown was, to fellow ESPN observer Tony Kornheiser, “once a very, very big deal in college basketball.” But even Kornheiser, a veteran of the Washington press corps for 43 years, couldn’t say the three words to inevitably follow: “but not anymore” ...
Strong organizations regularly examine their strategic positioning. In simplest terms, it’s a study of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now is the time to build a framework for the next generation to support the Georgetown basketball brand at large, with the same passion and purpose that their fellow Hoyas did in years past.
The University and Athletic Department are likely aware of everything that’s going on. Last week, Hilltop Hoops reported on Ronny Thompson’s long-rumored position as “Chief of Staff” and provided some anonymous quotes that his continued on-campus presence has generated friction within the program more than once:
Thompson, who has an office on the fourth floor of the Thompson Athletic Center, undoubtedly does a lot for the program, but there are also stories in the program that point to a man who steps on a lot of toes and involves himself in areas of the program that wouldn’t usually require the input of someone in his position or with his background.
“Sometimes small things were blown out of proportion or exacerbated by Ronny, in my opinion,” said one source.
“There were times where he interjected his opinion that didn’t align with others who have expertise in that area, which slowed overall progress. I felt like there was some micromanaging going on with others on staff.”
One such story that paints a picture of the level of influence and control that Ronny exerts behind the scenes occurred early on in the Patrick Ewing era, between Thompson and Ewing’s original hire to be the team’s Director of Communications, Lori Hamamoto.
In return, Hilltop Hoops was shunned at the following press conference. Not unexpected from the notoriously paranoid program, but clearly more petty than practical.
Now, as more national media attention grows, the fans will watch to see how Ewing and the Georgetown program handles it. Will they turn inwards and examine what everyone else sees, or will they circle the wagons and wait until the very last season-ticket holder finally drops out?
Here are the links:
University officials, including Athletic Director Lee Reed and President John J. DeGioia, have not commented publicly about the future of the program’s most decorated player, who took over as coach in 2017. But Ewing, for the first time this season, addressed questions about his job security Sunday.
“Of course I want to be back here, but in this position, in this job, whatever happens will happen,” he said during a postgame news conference conducted via Zoom. “I’m hoping I’ll be back and doing something that I love at a place that I love and getting us back to being the king of the hill.”
“Of course we’re all disappointed in the fact that we have such a huge losing streak,” Ewing said. “This is something that I’m not accustomed to. Even in the NBA when we had poor teams, I don’t think we’ve lost this many in a row, but we have to keep fighting. We have to keep pushing.”
Georgetown finishes up the season on the road against Seton Hall and Xavier, games in which they will be heavy underdogs. Then the Hoyas will finish the season as the No. 11 season in the Big East tournament, where winning one game would feel like a major upset, let alone the four it took for the team to reach the NCAA Tournament last year.
“Keep on believing,” Ewing said. “You can never doubt yourself. That’s the mantra I’ve always had in my career, even when things are not going well for us, and that’s the thing I’m trying to preach and teach to my team. Even with this adversity, you always have to believe and always continue to do the work that it takes to break out of this.”
Georgetown has lost 18 straight games, and in danger of going winless in Big East Conference play... Patrick Ewing hopes to be back https://t.co/mAblt4Z88L— King of DC Sports (@dcsportsking) February 28, 2022
Georgetown will bring an 18-game losing streak into Wednesday’s game at Seton Hall, yet head coach Patrick Ewing said he hopes to return next season.
After losing to Dan Hurley and UConn, 86-77 on Sunday, the Hoyas (6-22, 0-17 Big East) clinched their first last-place finish in the Big East since the league began in the 1979-80 season. They are 0-17 in the conference and could become the first Big East team ever to finish 0-19 if they drop their final two to Seton Hall and Xavier...
Ewing is hoping for another dream run at this year’s Big East Tournament but it seems improbable.
“Anything is possible,” said Ewing, who is 68-81 at the helm of his alma mater and has just one winning season in his five.
What’s hurting Georgetown’s recruiting?— Talkin B. Practice (@talkinbpractice) March 1, 2022
❌ 0-17 conference record
❌ 10% full stadium
❌ national media attention on losses
✅ your tweets
The 2021-22 campaign has not been kind to Georgetown and head coach Patrick Ewing following a surprising run to the Big East Championship last year. The Hoyas are 6-22 and have not won a game in Big East play. They have lost 18 straight games dating back to Dec. 15.
Georgetown clinched its first last-place finish in the Big East since 1979-80. Despite Georgetown and Ewing reportedly agreeing to an extension last March, calls about his job security have gotten louder. The Basketball Hall of Famer was asked about his future following Sunday’s 86-77 loss to UConn in Georgetown’s season finale.
The way that the university and athletic department are going about handling this season has become embarrassing and unacceptable. While schools like Nebraska put out late-season statements announcing that their own embattled and underachieving head coach, Fred Hoiberg, will be returning, Georgetown’s leadership continues to hide and hope that it can just ride out this excruciating nightmare of a season without showing a shred of accountability or transparency to its withering fanbase.
The amount of speculation about Patrick Ewing’s job status is only going to increase in the next couple of weeks, and it’s not fair to anyone— both the fans and Patrick Ewing himself— to let this speculation continue to run rampant.
If Georgetown intends to bring Ewing back, then a simple joint statement from athletic director Lee Reed and President DeGioia would nip this all in the bud. While it would anger many fans, surely, it would also end the speculation and turn the focus to finding some way (any way) to improve this team next season.
And yet, silence.
Stat of the day: Patrick Ewing is 26-61 in Big East play as a head coach.— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) February 28, 2022
With the loss to the Huskies, the Hoyas (6-22, 0-17 Big East) remained winless in conference play, and his career record fell to 68-81. He has just one winning season in his five at the helm of his alma mater.
Those results are affecting Georgetown’s gate, as well. A crowd of just 7,114 fans watched the Hoyas lose to the Huskies, pushing Georgetown’s home-game average this season to just 5,855.
And it just goes to show how quickly fates can change in college basketball. Thirteen months ago, the Hoyas defeated Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall and Creighton at Madison Square Garden to win the conference and seal a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Hoyas lost to Colorado 96-73 in the first round, and they haven’t recovered since.
The Hoyas are just 6-22 this season with two games remaining and haven’t won a single Big East game, a shocking outcome for a proud program that developed the likes of Ewing, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Sleepy Floyd, among others.
To put this season in perspective, the Hoyas have never finished in last place in the Big East since the league was formed in 1979. They’ve already clinched last place in the conference for the year.