The Georgetown Hoyas will hire Charlotte Hornets’ assistant coach Patrick Ewing to be their new head coach. On the day of the NCAA Men’s Championship game, the Hoyas’ men’s basketball team have made a huge splash with their coaching hire. The Georgetown Hoyas’ hiring of Patrick Ewing could cause a shift in power in the NCAA landscape.
While traditional powerhouse schools North Carolina and Gonzaga prepare to square off with each other, the Georgetown Hoyas are making huge news. Ewing has been tapped to guide the Hoyas back NCAA prominence. Is the hiring of Ewing a perfect match for the Georgetown Hoyas or a step in the wrong direction?
Several news outlets are reporting the Hoyas will welcome Ewing as their new head coach. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post confirms the news about the Hoyas hiring of Patrick Ewing. An official announcement of the hiring is expected to come after the NCAA Men’s Championship game.
The Georgetown Hoyas hired Ewing after parting ways (courtesy of CBS Washington) with John Thompson III a couple of weeks ago. Thompson III, the son of former Georgetown coaching legend John Thompson II, coached the Hoyas for 13 seasons. His win-loss record of 278-151 does not fully reflect the two consecutive losing seasons by Thompson III.
The Hoyas has only been to the NCAA tournament once in the past four seasons. Georgetown was a No. 2 seed three years ago, only to be upset by Florida Gulf Coast University.
Despite finishing his final two years with a combined record of 19-36, the youngest of the Thompson coaches leaves Georgetown in high regard, according to school president Jack Degioia.
“For thirteen years, he has been one of the elite coaches in college basketball. His performance as a coach has been exceptional, and he has served our community with remarkable distinction and integrity, sustaining our commitment to the academic performance of our students and providing them with the very best preparation for their lives beyond the Hilltop.”
The Hoyas may have fired John Thompson III, whose Georgetown roots stem from his father, but the extension of the elder Thompson’s legacy continues. Patrick Ewing is a Georgetown legend in his own right.
Under the tutelage of John Thompson II, Patrick Ewing led the Georgetown Hoyas to a national championship victory in 1984, along with three Final Four appearances spanning from 1982-85. After leaving Georgetown, Ewing enjoyed a Hall of Fame NBA career, which includes an NBA Finals appearance and two Olympic gold medals.
Most of Ewing’s accolades came while he was playing for the New York Knicks. The Knicks took Ewing as the top overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft.
Ewing is 54-years-old. He comes with a bevy of coaching experience, having served as an NBA assistant coach since 2002. Ewing’s stints as an assistant coach include the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets.
With the Hornets, Patrick Ewing has served under Steve Clifford as the associate head coach. During his time as an assistant, Ewing has interviewed for several head coaching jobs prior to landing with his alma-mater of Georgetown. His success with the Hoyas will hinge more on his offensive scheme and less on his NBA connections.
One of the knocks on John Thompson III and his coaching tenure with the Georgetown Hoyas was his offense. The insistence on employing the slow-paced offense has hurt the Hoyas in terms of recruiting.
Many of the top college recruits want to play in a motion offense that requires ball movement and a quick pace. If Patrick Ewing can install a player-friendly system, he will be able to boost the Georgetown Hoyas in the eyes of potential recruits. Because Ewing has an NBA pedigree already attached to his name, coupled with the fact that he has helped a multitude of professional players over the past 15 years, everything will hinge on style.
It will take a couple of seasons for the Georgetown Hoyas to get back on track. They are trusting that one of their legendary players can help bring them back to prominence. The jury is still out on Patrick Ewing as a head coach and a college recruiter. However, he has the name recognition, the pedigree as a professional, and the backing of Georgetown University.
Is Patrick Ewing a perfect fit for the Georgetown Hoyas? Everything will come down to his coaching style.
[Featured Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]