Your Georgetown Hoyas lost their record-breaking 25th straight BIG EAST conference game by dropping a winnable game to Villanova, 73-57. With a wavering Wildcat team still commanding solid national audience, additional attention turned to Patrick Ewing’s troublesome track record. Before the game, the Associated Press submitted a question to Athletics Director Lee Reed, who issued a response calling this a “challenging and frustrating time for the men’s basketball team and our fans.”
After the game, Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post inquired about the statement and the losing streak. Answering the question, Ewing reiterated a desire to keep coaching and closed with a motivational message he received from an unnamed friend.
Asked Patrick Ewing about the Big East record 25th straight conference loss, the statement made by athletic director Lee Reed earlier today and his future with the program. pic.twitter.com/oVaVjKRXVt— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) January 5, 2023
I’m here to talk about the game… My future is my future. I’m here to be the head coach at Georgetown until the president or the board decides for me to move on. But until that time — a friend of mine sent me a quote today: ‘It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up.’ We got knocked down. So what we’re going to do is keep on getting up.
Between Reed’s and Ewing’s statements on Wednesday, there are plenty of ways to read the tea leaves. One who fears a lifetime appointment for Coach Pat might view these messages as stubborn, out of touch, or even insulting.
However, one who believes that Ewing is certainly leaving at the end of the season (or sooner) might interpret the statements as Reed implying that Ewing knows that the inevitable must be done to “get the program back on track” because “no one is more committed than he is to making that happen.”
Still, Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas have been knocked down 25 times in a row—getting back up of the mat each time has not proven to be the best direction for the program.
Perhaps a better question for interpretation might be whether Ewing’s comment that he’s “here to be the head coach at Georgetown until the president or the board decides for me to move on” is a challenge to invoke a buyout clause from the Board … or a desperate plea for a mercy blow from his longtime friend, Jack.
Here are the links:
“I thought midway through the second half we kind of dug in defensively and that carried us,” Villanova Coach Kyle Neptune said. “Shots started falling in the second half as well. I thought we shared the ball pretty well.”
Jordan Riley led the Hoyas with 12 points and five rebounds, Akok Akok added 11 points and 10 boards, and Primo Spears handed out nine assists. Get the Post Most Newsletter The most popular and interesting stories of the day to keep you in the know. In your inbox, every day. Caleb Daniels scored a game-high 20 for Villanova. Brandon Slater and Mark Armstrong added 14 apiece.
“There’s going to be streaks in every sport,” Ewing said. “I’m a very prideful person, and Georgetown is a very prideful university. We don’t want to be associated with a losing streak, but it is what it is. All we can do is just continue to get up, continue to fight.”
But as one winless conference season bleeds into another – Ken Pomeroy predicts Georgetown to go winless from here on out — the Hoyas may not have much of a choice than to move on. As bad as the win-loss record is, the Georgetown apathy is worse. The official crowd at Wednesday’s loss to Villanova said 7,200 but crowd shots made that look generous.
What’s most vexing about Georgetown is how the Hoyas lose. The team once feared as the meanest, baddest crew in college basketball simply fades away as the game continues. Against Villanova, they were tied at 35 at the half, and wound up losing by 16. Against Butler, Georgetown trailed by eight at the break and got outscored by 21 in the second half. They were inexplicably in the game against UConn, and lost by 11.
The numbers don’t lie. Georgetown is 280th in defense per KenPom and 259th in 3-point offense.
Villanova shot 42.6% from the field and 33.3% from three, making nine from deep. Georgetown was held to 4-of-20 from three, good for only 20%. Georgetown (5-11, 0-5 Big East) only managed 22 points in the second half and became extremely sloppy on offense, forcing jump shots after finding success in the paint during the first half. After the Hoyas reached 41 points at 14:37, they only made one of their next 11 shots and did not make another shot until the 8:59 mark with a jumper from junior forward Akok Akok.
The leading scorer for Georgetown, sophomore guard Primo Spears (16.0 points per game), only managed eight points, but tallied nine assists. Their second-leading scorer, sophomore guard Brandon Murray (15.5 ppg) scored nine points before exiting early in the second half with a shoulder injury. With the loss, Georgetown sets the record for most consecutive losses in regular season Big East play at 25. The record is surprising considering the Hoyas won the 2021 Big East Tournament.
Georgetown fell to 5-11 overall, 0-5 BIG EAST. “I thought Georgetown was clicking to start the game,” said Villanova head coach Kyle Neptune. “They’ve got a lot of guys that can beat you. They got a little hot to start the game. I give credit to our guys, who were resilient. Midway through the first half I thought we kind of dug in defensively. That carried over into the second half and I thought we shared the ball well offensively in the second half.”
Before the start of this season, Ewing overhauled his staff by replacing all three assistants and brought in several transfer players, including leading scorer Primo Spears, who came over from Duquesne.
“I’m a very prideful person and Georgetown is a very prideful university,” Ewing said at his postgame news conference Wednesday, “and we don’t want to be associated with a losing streak, but it is what it is.”
Patrick Ewing was asked about his future with Georgetown after the Hoyas dropped their 25th straight Big East game https://t.co/WVwoJ6KNiv— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 5, 2023
The Georgetown loss broke a tie with DePaul for the longest regular-season losing streak in Big East Conference history. The Hoyas went 0-19 in the conference last season while going 6-25 overall, including a 21-game losing streak. The Hoyas also lost their final regular-season Big East game in 2020-21, before going on a surprising four-game run at Madison Square Garden in New York to claim the conference tournament title.
Wednesday’s game was tied at 35 in the first half. Then Daniels made three 3-pointers in the opening seven minutes of the second half to help Villanova build a 48-41 lead. Slater added another 3-pointer at 10:56 to give the Wildcats the first double-digit lead of the game at 53-43. Georgetown made just two of its first 14 shots after the break as Villanova pulled away. The Hoyas shot 21 percent from the field in the second half.
With Georgetown students still on break, Capital One Arena was about 75% empty and not even the Georgetown band was at the game. Villanova fans traveled well filling a majority of the seats that were occupied, but even still, the Wildcats had to create their own energy.
The ‘Cats came out sluggish in the first half. Their defense did not show any improvement in the even playing against the now 5-11 Hoyas. The Hoyas seemingly scored on every possession in the first half shooting 15-of-31 (48.4%) and things were tied 35-35 at the half.
Most possessions, the Hoyas set a screen with their big forcing the Wildcats to switch a guard onto their big, resulting in easy buckets around the rim. In previous years, the Wildcats have not been easily taken-advantage of like this in the post - this is a part of the Villanova basketball blueprint. “I thought they were clicking especially offensively,” Neptune said of Georgetown’s first half performance. “They got a lot of guys who can beat you and they got a little hot to start the game.”
Georgetown’s woes under sixth-year coach Patrick Ewing hit a bleak new milestone Wednesday when the Hoyas suffered a record 25th consecutive Big East loss, surpassing DePaul’s previous record during the 2010-11 season. The 73-57 home defeat against Villanova drops the Hoyas to 5-11 (0-5 Big East), adding to a historically brutal stretch that traces all the way back to March 2, 2021 against Xavier — the team’s last regular-season league win…
The problems have been too numerous to count, but defense has been the most obvious issue this season. Georgetown ranks No. 280 in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. A 3-point percentage of just 32.6% hasn’t helped things, either, and the Hoyas hit just 4 of 20 looks from beyond the arc against Villanova.
The game was tied 35-35 at halftime, but Georgetown shot just 21.4% from the floor as a team in the second half. Announced attendance for the game at Capital One Arena was 7,203 for the 20,356-seat facility.
One sign held by a fan at the game, which surfaced on social media, read “The few of us left deserve change.” How or when that change will come is a curious proposition for Georgetown because of Ewing’s status in program lore
The friend of Patrick Ewing’s who sent him the quote “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up” yesterday was:— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) January 5, 2023