clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LINKS: With Ewing Out, Georgetown is in the News Nonstop (UPDATED 3/17)

Is Cooley the guy? Micah? Will Georgetown reach out to Pitino?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

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

This is a new kind of mess for the Georgetown Hoyas but, frankly, we asked for it. With Thursday’s news of Patrick Ewing and Georgetown going their separate ways, the head coaching job is officially available and it feels like everyone and their mother has been linked to it in the last 48 hours. Unfortunately, the consensus appears to be that Georgetown will not even interview Rick Pitino (despite a keen interest in the job) and the school might be preparing to make a run at Providence’s Ed Cooley.

Here is a quick summary of the current news and rumors:

  • It sounds like search firm Turnkey ZRG has been retained for the hiring process
  • Director of Georgetown Athletics Lee Reed was not involved in the Ewing hiring (hence Ewing’s consistent “until the president or the Board say otherwise” comments), but “Reed and the Georgetown board are much more aligned on the next hire, and that Reed will have more power in the future of the program”
  • Dennis Gates was a possibility before got a contract extension from Missouri with a (cost-prohibitive) $25.5MM buyout.
  • Penn State’s Micah Shrewsbury is under consideration but Rick Pitino won’t even be interviewed (unless Jack DeGioia changes his mind).
  • Georgetown has not made any official contact with Providence about Cooley

Here are the links:

Patrick Ewing out as coach at Georgetown after 6 seasons | apnews

Georgetown went 7-25 this season, including 2-18 in regular-season conference play, a schedule capped by a 40-point loss to Creighton. Ewing presided over a 29-game Big East losing streak that began in March 2021 and ended this January, the most consecutive defeats in league history.

The past two seasons were particularly poor: The Hoyas won a combined 13 games while losing 50, a winning percentage of .206.

Ewing’s tenure included only one winning season, zero victories in March Madness and just one appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It’s a far cry from the sort of success Georgetown enjoyed when the 7-foot Ewing patrolled the paint as an intimidating, shot-blocking force at center decades ago.

During his four years in uniform under coach John Thompson Jr., Georgetown went 121-23, won the 1984 NCAA title and appeared in the championship game two other times. Ewing went on to become the No. 1 overall pick following the NBA’s first draft lottery and starred as a pro, mainly for the Knicks.

Georgetown, Hoyas part ways with head coach Patrick Ewing | oregonlive

The Patrick Ewing era at Georgetown University has come to an end. The Hoyas have parted ways with the head coach of mens basketball, the school announced Thursday afternoon. The school issued a press release, saying that Ewing “will no longer serve” as head basketball coach.

The school made the announcement the day after the Hoyas suffered an 80-48 loss to Villanova in the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas finished with a record of 7-25, and the Hoyas won just two games in conference competition. The record was the program’s second-worst record since 1972. The Hoyas under Ewing posted a 6-25 record overall and were winless in Big East play in 2021-2022.

Why Patrick Ewing and Georgetown didn’t work and what must come next | foxsports

It wasn’t all on the coaches, though, as Georgetown didn’t really set up Ewing to succeed. His head coach and a father figure, the late Thompson, wanted him to take over the program. The feel-good story of the prodigal son coming home, and actually getting a head coaching opportunity, instantly created a fresh buzz around the program.

But the same issues that led to the end of the John Thompson III era were still in place.

Historically, the Georgetown head coach has always answered mainly to the university president. So Ewing reported to Jack DeGioia, who has been the president at Georgetown since 2001. Athletic director Lee Reed, who’s led the Hoyas since 2010, has not really had the power to run the men’s basketball program.

Sources tell FOX Sports that Reed and the Georgetown board are much more aligned on the next hire, and that Reed will have more power in the future of the program.

That will be a big shift if it comes to fruition. The Hoyas’ issues go beyond whoever holds the head coach job, but how the program is operated. Too many people have had too much influence on decisions that have led to Georgetown basketball’s demise.

Georgetown fires Patrick Ewing as head coach | washingtonpost

Ewing responded after the loss that “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.’ ”

The Georgetown job was Ewing’s first as head coach on any level after angling for that position in the NBA for years. He was an assistant in the league for 15 years before being hired in April 2017...

The past several years were rife with issues surrounding the program, though some were beyond Ewing’s control. The 2019-20 season ended with seven consecutive losses as five players transferred between December 2019 and May 2020. Those transfers included leading scorer Mac McClung and 2018-19 Big East freshman of the year James Akinjo. The Hoyas lost top rebounder and No. 2 scorer Qudus Wahab to area rival Maryland via transfer before the 2021-22 season (he then transferred back before the start of this season).

Georgetown fires Patrick Ewing as head coach after six seasons | nypost

Sometimes you can’t go home again... Georgetown — and Knicks — legend Patrick Ewing was fired as the Hoyas head coach Thursday, a day after their season ended with a lopsided loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

“I am very proud to be a graduate of Georgetown University,” Ewing, who starred on the Hoyas from 1981-85, said in a statement.

“And I am very grateful to President [John] DeGioia for giving me the opportunity to achieve my ambition to be a head basketball coach. It is particularly meaningful to me to be in charge of the basketball program at my alma mater.

“I wish the program nothing but success. I will always be a Hoya.”

Georgetown basketball: Patrick Ewing out as head coach after 7-win season, per reports | 247sports

Georgetown basketball parted ways with coach Patrick Ewing Thursday, per Jon Rothstein. The Hoyas ended their 2022-23 season with an 80-48 loss to Villanova Wednesday evening in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Georgetown ended the year with a 7-25 record, including a 2-18 mark in Big East Conference play.

“The two seasons have been rough — disappointed in the outcomes of these last two years,” Ewing said after Georgetown’s loss to Villanova. “My future’s in the hands of our president and our A.D. and the board of directors.”

Ewing had expressed a desire to return for another year, but to no avail.

Patrick Ewing out as Georgetown basketball coach after six seasons | nydailynews

The Knicks legend spent six seasons coaching the Hoyas and was unable to achieve the success he did as a player. Ewing was 75-109 as coach with just one winning season (2018-19) during his tenure, amassing just 13 wins in his final two seasons...

Ewing got the program into the big dance for the first time since the 2014-15 season after defeating Creighton in the Big East final in the 2020-21 season. The Big East title awarded the Hoyas an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament but the team lost to Colorado in the first round.

The Hoyas only made one NCAA tournament appearance during Ewing’s tenure.

Georgetown dismisses coach Patrick Ewing | fieldlevelmedia

The Hoyas went 7-25 (2-18 Big East) in Ewing’s final season in charge. The program went a combined 75-109 under Ewing, making the NCAA Tournament just once — when Georgetown completed an improbable run through the 2021 Big East tournament as the No. 8 seed to earn the league’s automatic bid.

Ewing was hired by his alma mater in 2017 without prior head-coaching experience. It was also his first foray into coaching at the college level after serving as an assistant for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets between 2002 and 2017.

In 2021-22, the Hoyas set a new Big East record for futility by going 0-19 in conference play. They finished the season on a 21-game losing streak, but athletic director Lee Reed gave Ewing a vote of confidence in a statement released before the end of that season.

Georgetown Fires Patrick Ewing, Ending a Storied Tenure | nytimes

“I feel like our roster has the most talent to compete with everybody in this conference, and everybody in the Power 5,” said Primo Spears, a 6-foot-3 sophomore point guard who transferred from Duquesne. “But it’s a new group. We got a new group of guys. Our top seven has never played with each other.

“When you play other teams in the Power 5, it’s hard to mesh quickly in such a little time. So I think everybody just needs to get used to each other’s game, and by the time we got used to each other, I feel like it was too late.”

Ewing also wasn’t able to take advantage of the fertile recruiting ground near the university, either. The D.M.V. region — the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia — is known for its high-level basketball talent, but Georgetown hasn’t signed a D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year since Chris Wright in 2007. No Georgetown player has been drafted into the N.B.A. since 2013.

Fan discontent about the team’s struggles has made its way into the arena. In the waning moments of Georgetown’s 66-51 loss to Seton Hall on Jan. 10, the 27th of what would become 29 straight Big East losses, the Hoyas’ student section broke out a “Fire Ewing” chant.

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing out as Georgetown coach | postingandtoasting

For a short while, it seemed like Georgetown, off the back of it’s former star, was slowly becoming the glorious power house it once was. But Ewing was never able to make the jump after that. While he was able to lead the team to it’s first NCAA tournament in six years in 2021, they, a 23th seed, were knocked out in the first round by a 5th seed Colorado team. And continued to get worse after that. In the 21-22 campaign, instead of building off of Ewing’s first big dance appearance, the team went 6-25 and then followed it up by going 7-25 this season...

Hours after Ewing was let go, head coach Tom Thibodeau, who was an assistant coach during Ewing’s final seasons and worked together in Houston, weighed in on the situation, saying, “It’s unfortunate, but Patrick is, in my eyes, he’s an all-time great, if not the greatest Knick of all time. And obviously working together with him, not only is he a great coach, he’s an even better person. So it’s disappointing,”

The Knicks’ coach went on to say, “The initial disappointment of not being there anymore, that’s normal human nature. But he’ll bounce back. I know how strongly he feels about the school, how much appreciation he has for the time that he was there. And he’ll still be involved with Georgetown. It’s a great school. He’ll move forward. He’ll be fine.”

To preserve John Thompson’s legacy, Georgetown must finally move past it | washingtonpost

For some reason — perhaps nostalgia, perhaps finances, perhaps troubling laxity — the Hoyas brought Ewing back after they lost all 19 of their Big East games last season.

They improved dramatically. They won two conference games this year...

Make it stop. Please. Georgetown doesn’t have to worry about breaking from tradition anymore; there’s nothing but memories holding it together anyway. The merciful thing, for Ewing and everyone who loves him unconditionally, was to let go. The Hoyas were a year too late already. The longer they waited, the more of a joke they became. President John J. DeGioia and athletic director Lee Reed were neither honoring Big John nor respecting Ewing’s importance by holding on. They were making Hoya Paranoia obsolete.

Contrary to popular practice in college athletics, the preservation of tradition doesn’t necessitate re-creating old glory through legacy hires. Everyone seems to love the concept of these sports families, and they prefer to keep jobs in the family because of either a lack of imagination or a bizarre provincial fear that outsiders couldn’t possibly understand, let alone conjure, the magic of their programs. Those notions of coaching succession are fine as long as a plentiful family tree exists, but stubborn adherence can kill a program.

Rick Pitino is the wake-up call St. John’s needs | nypost

It is a move that makes too much sense not to happen. Yes, Pitino will be 71 years old by the time practice opens next October, but if you’ve seen him on the sidelines in New Rochelle you know he still coaches with the fire — and the fury — of a man half his age, with a quarter of the 832 college victories Pitino has piled up at Boston U., Providence, Kentucky, Louisville and Iona.

Yes, he arrives with baggage, though he avoided NCAA punishment for the way things ended for him at Louisville, and you would suspect the three years he served in the employ of the Christian Brothers will offer a necessary penance for the other sordid stories that stained his time there...

There is interest among many of the factions of the decision-makers at St. John’s to make a home-run hire and bring in a coach whose history at the college level all but guarantees a relevance for the Johnnies that they’ve only enjoyed intermittently for the past quarter-century.

Reports: Georgetown, St. John’s interested in Rick Pitino | fieldlevelmedia

Rick Pitino could be back at a power program by the end of March with strong interest from St. John’s and Georgetown, according to multiple reports.

The 70-year-old Iona head coach is viewed as a “serious candidate” if St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson is fired, the New York Post reported on Friday. CBS Sports and ESPN reported Georgetown was expected to talk to Pitino about its opening. The Hoyas are seeking a new coach after firing Patrick Ewing this week...

Pitino is 62-21 in three seasons at Iona, his first stop after being fired by Louisville — later changed in court to a resignation — with cause. The school’s national title in 2013 was vacated by the NCAA. Pitino’s career record of 709-289 includes the 1996 national championship at Kentucky, which preceded his move to the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

Georgetown coaching candidates: Could Rick Pitino or Kevin Keatts replace Patrick Ewing? | theathletic

Georgetown basketball has championship potential. The recent results don’t change that. It is the sport at the core of the school’s athletic identity. The top priority. Georgetown reported north of $14 million in men’s basketball expenses in 2019-20, according to U.S. Department of Education figures. It’s not a spare-no-expense number in the same spending stratosphere of Kentucky … but it’s $2 million more than North Carolina spent in the same period. The want-to is there. [NB: This is clearly ignoring the CapOne rent portion that drives GU spending]

The local recruiting turf teems with talent, which mitigates whatever devaluation of the brand has occurred lately; there are plenty of good players who know about Georgetown men’s basketball. And if the program can build some momentum, there’s at least the possibility it can renew its visibility on a national level. Which means, in theory, a coach can pursue whoever he wants. It’s the ideal scenario, yes, and a long way off from where Georgetown is now. But it’s plausible.

The advantages are real. How connected and competent the leadership is – well, that’s something any candidate will have to assess. But if Reed is leading the charge on the hire and has the latitude to do a proper reboot, then alignment should work itself out. Anyone he hires will understand it’s a partnership.

St. John’s fires Mike Anderson after four disappointing seasons | NYPOST

St. John’s president Fr. Brian Shanley nearly hired Pitino at Providence 12 years ago when he was in charge there. Hofstra’s Speedy Claxton, Robert Jones of Norfolk State and Matt Langel of Colgate are other potential candidates for the job, young lower-level coaches with upside.

Anderson was a surprise hire four years ago, after Chris Mullin’s dismissal. He had never coached in the northeast before, and was coming off a disappointing stint at Arkansas.

Whoever takes the job will have a lot of work to do. St. John’s last won an NCAA Tournament game in 2000. It hasn’t reached the main draw of the tournament since 2015.

Its facilities are among the worst in the Big East. It does have two quality recruits signed: Four star forward Brandon Gardner and junior college All-American Yaxel Lendeborg.

Penn State must use resources to keep Micah Shrewsberry in State College | The Athletic

The carousel has begun to spin, and the whisper of Shrewsberry’s name carries around the merry-go-round. Notre Dame seems a good fit for the man who counts the straight-shooting Matt Painter and Brad Stevens as his mentors, and who, thanks to the challenges of recruiting to a tradition-less place like Penn State appreciates player development. He could handle the constraints of South Bend. Georgetown, of similar academic aristocracy in a basketball-first Big East, would also make a lot of sense.

Having finally found itself a coach that could actually make Penn State relevant in basketball, the question is: Can the school keep him?

The short answer is: yes, if it wants to, and if it works at it. The university has long treated the program like something of an annoying kid sister, allowing it to tag along with football but not really welcoming it for the ride.

Report: Ed Cooley, Micah Shrewsberry Eyed as Georgetown HC; Rick Pitino Not in Mix

Georgetown has formed a list of at least two candidates as it begins the search for a new men’s basketball coach after Patrick Ewing was fired on Thursday.

Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry has emerged as “one of the leading candidates” for the Hoyas, but Rick Pitino isn’t currently being considered.

Goodman reported earlier in the day that Georgetown is expected to “make a run” at Providence head coach Ed Cooley, who “will listen” to the school’s offer.

Arguably the greatest player in Georgetown basketball history, Ewing was hired as head coach in April 2017. He was coming out of a long run as an assistant coach in the NBA with four different teams from 2002 to 2017.

Georgetown targeting Ed Cooley on eve of NCAA’s: Is this the job the coach will take? | Kevin Mc Sports

Asked about the truth of any connection between another school and his long-time coach, Napolillo said neither he nor PC President Rev. Kenneth Sicard has been contacted by anyone from Georgetown.

“The Big East Conference has always been built on respect and integrity,” Napolillo said. “We’ve always operated that if another institution is going to contact or speak with a coach within the conference that there would be open communication between schools. Father Sicard and I have not received any communication from Georgetown. It is our intention that Coach Cooley is going to be our coach for the foreseeable future.”

There has never been a jump between schools in the Big East by a men’s basketball coach, and for good reason. The implications are far-reaching and in this day and age of the transfer portal there are no longer barriers to inter-conference movement by student-athletes.

UPDATE 4PM: John Fanta posted these:

UPDATE 3/15: Goodman and Gottleib don’t think that Cooley is leaving his hometown team

UPDATE 3/17:

John Kurkjian of Thompson’s Towel reports that Ed Cooley is “their guy” and “locked in” while Adam Finkelstein thinks an NCAA Tournament run by Providence could affect how the “new” Providence president and AD view their commitment to Cooley.

Troy Benjamin indicates NIL might be the deal driver and John Rothstein reports that Penn State is prepared to commit to Micah Shrewsberry.