clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Grading Ed Cooley’s First Day as a Georgetown Hoya

‘Game Grades’ makes a rare March appearance

Georgetown Introduces Ed Cooley Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Grades? During the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament?? For the Hoyas??? No, you’re not dreaming in some Lavender Haze, though these are not necessarily the kind of grades (read: game grades), we’re all hoping for… yet.

The Ed Cooley Era of Georgetown Hoyas basketball officially started last week. And oh, what a day it was. If you’re looking for tempered pragmatism or a post-mortem on the previous failures, find a different ship, because this one is going TO THE DAMN MOON!

Look, you can’t win any games at the introductory press conference–though if you could, I think your 2023-2024 Georgetown Hoyas would be starting their campaign at least 5-0–but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Particularly for a program and fan base that is at a low point, we needed to see and hear the right things. And not even in our Wildest Dreams could this first day have gone any better…

Lee Reed - A+
Conventional wisdom on the hilltop has been that Lee Reed has previously not had a major hand in overseeing the men’s basketball program. I am not sure anyone on the “outside” really knows the extent to which that was true, but if it was, I think the hiring of Ed Cooley is at least some small indication that Reed has a hand on the steering wheel, if not the Mastermind. And if the success of literally, every other Georgetown sport is any indication, that’s a great thing. At the press conference, Reed’s comments were brief but spoke volumes. He signaled what Hoya fans needed to hear:

Time will tell if his talk about “moving into the future,” and “reimagining and revitalizing” the program is more than just empty words. But it sure seems like this new Georgetown basketball administration is aware of the failings of the past and is making the necessary changes to step into the future.

President DeGioia - C
President John J. DeGioia’s comments in the presser were brief and forgettable. For this, he earns his highest possible grade - average. Let’s hope the new era of Georgetown basketball allows the President’s office to fade back into the background. At least for now, we no longer have Bad Blood.

Georgetown Hoyas Head Coach Ed Cooley - A+++
Still weird to say, but welcome, Coach Cooley, you are The Lucky One!! If you remain on the fence about this hire after yesterday, you might just be a permanent fence-sitter. Coach SMASHED it out of the park.

He hit every single note. It was a damn symphony! Also, extra points for excellent Style! (note the Georgetown pocket square)

Coach Cooley’s first act at the helm? Bringing up the former players who were in attendance at the presser. JYD (Jerome Williams), Robert Churchwell, Tyler Crawford, and Uncle Jeff Green (go Nuggs!) More on this below, but what a breath of fresh air it was to see our former players standing behind Coach Cooley for the duration of the presser.

He talked about “inclusivity.” from former players to fans, to media. Cooley brings with him the reputation as a program builder and someone that gets the community engaged and excited. Something that this program desperately needs. His words and actions on day one suggest that a new day has begun.

He talked about winning. There are likely a lot of reasons Ed Cooley made the move to Georgetown. Some of them are mentioned here. Perhaps the most important? Winning. And Coach was not shy about this. If you believe John Fanta, Ed Cooley is here because he thinks he can win a National Championship at Georgetown.

Look, we are nowhere near that right now. No one is kidding themselves on that point. But in his first public comments, Coach articulated a standard for Georgetown basketball that we all expect:

Finally, just to add the cherry on top. The reason for that third +, Coach Cooley dropped one of the greatest quotes in Hoya history and a rallying cry for all of us moving forward:

Ed Cooley’s Daughter - A++
Would Ed Cooley be the head coach of the men’s basketball team today if his daughter were not a Hoya? I dunno. But based on Cooley’s comments at the presser and what we’ve heard since, it seems like this factored into his decision at least somewhat. Ed Cooley’s daughter had already made the excellent decision to be a Hoya and live forever, so she already deserved an A. Bonus points for bringing the family with her and helping to secure our new head coach.

John Thompson - A+
Regardless of what you think about the legacy of John Thompson on the Hilltop, he is Georgetown Basketball. Georgetown has struggled with what that has meant since he stepped down as coach in 1999. Yesterday felt like an important, and long-overdue step into defining what that legacy means for the future. It is not a secret that Ed Cooley idolized Big John. Coach Cooley admitted that it would take “a special place” to leave his home. Georgetown was that special place, in large part because of what Big John means to Ed Cooley. He also said definitively, “I am not [Coach Thompson], I don’t want to be him.” But the legacy that Coach Thompson built will not just live on through Coach Cooley, it will be advanced. Coach Cooley represents the link between the past and the future. Something this program has struggled with and desperately needs to get right. This was the first indication in a VERY long time, that they just might.

Current Players (who aren’t soft as pillows) - A
We have absolutely no clue what the 2023-2024 Georgetown Hoyas roster is going to look like. But if you’re a current player, today had to be an encouraging day. Cooley met briefly with current players and said he would be having more conversations, including one-on-ones with them soon. As Cooley said:

While a number of players have already hit the transfer portal, there may be hope that some could stay. Denver Anglin, Wayne Bristol, Akok Akok, and Jay Heath were all in attendance at the press conference. We’ll have to wait and see. Notably, the NCAA sent around guidance on the waiver process for two-time transfers. A coaching change is no longer a valid reason (on its own) for a transfer waiver. Regardless of whether you think that’s fair (it’s not), that may have some real ramifications on who’s able to transfer.

DMV Basketball - A+
Undeniably a great day for local DMV basketball and all those clamoring for Georgetown to “Lock down the DMV.” In fact, that was a direct quote from Coach. And it sure sounds like he means it. A number of the DMV AAU coaches were in attendance and expressed optimism for the future.

Rumors have also been circling about Coach Cooley bringing on a big-time DMV recruiter to his staff. This, in addition to Ivan Thomas, who is coming over from Providence and has serious DMV cred, is a big step in the right direction.

He comes from the DMV, formerly the head coach at T.C. Williams and Edison in Alexandria, Kecoughtan in Hampton and the VA-based AAU program, Boo Williams. Welcome to the Hilltop Coach Thomas! Others may follow Coach Cooley from Providence, but so far, we’re off to a good start.

Georgetown Basketball Alums - A+
This was a great day for Georgetown Basketball alums, but there is a long way to go. As mentioned, Coach Cooley emphasized former players in his presser. He, along with Lee Reed, also organized a call for former Georgetown players.

The minimal reports we got from this call confirmed what many of us have feared - the program has failed in its relationship with former players, inexplicably.

However, it seems that Coach Cooley and Lee Reed are committed to fixing this. Let’s be clear, the strength of the Georgetown basketball program IS our alumni. It is beyond unforgivable that former players have felt rejected and shunned from the program that they built. This needs to be repaired immediately and in a big way for there to be any success at Georgetown, and yesterday was a small but important step in that direction.

Side note, can anyone confirm if this Twitter account is real? If so, I encourage you all to follow and share your love and gratitude for our alumni. If it’s not…please disregard.

Students (and Fans) - A+
What a day to be a Georgetown Hoya! Coach Cooley was not shy in talking about the role students and fans need to play in the future of this program. That inclusivity message is a massive change for the program. Cooley went beyond words, though, and sat down with student journalists as part of his media tour:

Cooley also set high expectations for students: he wants 80% of our total student enrollment at every home game. Look, that’s not going to happen at Georgetown. But hearing a clearly articulated goal and strategy to engage students and create even a mild atmosphere at home games is a refreshing change of pace.

Providence Friars Fans - L
Lower than F. Take that L on your way out! We’ll check back in with you in another decade when we’re ready to hire our next head coach (Karma is a Cat… and also a Hoya, so watch out!)

Friar fans have had a tough week. You may have even felt sorry for them after being knocked out of the tourney and losing their head coach. Until you logged on to Twitter… To say Friar fans handled themselves poorly in the wake of Coach Cooley leaving is the understatement of the century. It is inappropriate and un-casual to repeat some of the absolutely heinous things said about Coach Cooley on Twitter. I get it. Losing your hometown head coach to a Big East rival is rough, but the commentary around it is objectively nuts. Friar fans are in shambles, and Hoya faithful could not be happier. Also, he handled it fine. You Need To Calm Down

Oh, and as you can tell, we’re taking Taylor Swift* too. Not because we want to, but because we can and because, Friar Fanatics, I Bet You Think About Us, but…

Jeff Goodman - B+
Previously Jeff Goodman’s highest possible grade when it comes to anything related to the Hoyas could only be an F+, but yesterday started with perhaps one of the greatest Twitter threads of all time. That is, Jeff Goodman, dunking on noted Mean, horrible person and Providence Friar fan (apparently), Dave Portnoy, by definitively proving that Georgetown is a better job than Providence:

No one outside of the Friar lunatics debates this, and it’s important to note that there is literally nothing Providence can do to change this. They could win every head-to-head matchup against Coach Cooley’s Georgetown, and it would still be a superior job. Why? Look no further than your former head coach, who LEFT TO COME TO GEORGETOWN. And your new head coach who WOULD leave to come to Georgetown in a heartbeat.

Up Next…
A new era of Georgetown Hoyas Basketball has begun!

Well done, Coach. Welcome to the Hilltop. You’re gonna love it here.

*For those who need background on the Taylor Swift thing, here you go.