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FutureStarrPatrick Ewing Out As Georgetown Men's Basketball Coach
Patrick Ewing was fired Thursday as coach of the Georgetown men's basketball team after six seasons. Despite leading his team to three Final Fours and a national title as a player, Ewing finished with an overall record of 75-109 as a coach.
On Wednesday night, after Georgetown's 80-48 loss to Villanova, President Jack DeGioia declared an international search for a new head coach. With such a wide open search underway, this will be an extensive national endeavor.
On Wednesday afternoon, Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing stepped down after their eighth consecutive loss to Villanova in the first round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. It marked Ewing's final game as a college coach - capping off his six year stint at Georgetown which culminated with an NCAA title as a player back in the 1980s.
Ewing was hired in 2017 to replace John Thompson III, who had served as the Hoyas' men's basketball coach for 27 years and was widely regarded as one of the sport's greatest coaches. While Ewing brought in some talented players, he struggled to attract and keep his top performers.
Due to this, the Hoyas haven't won a Big East title in six years and only made it to the NCAA Tournament once. Furthermore, during his tenure, they lost 29 consecutive games within the Big East - an NCAA Tournament record.
Ewing may have achieved great things as a player, but his college basketball coaching record doesn't reflect that. His teams recruited well at first but never truly excelled and weren't particularly formidable on the court. Ultimately, Ewing didn't do too well for himself in college basketball coaching either.
His style of play -- a blend of NBA-style pace and space ball with traditional college defense -- didn't meet the demands of today's college game, leaving them struggling to score and play hard.
Though Ewing may be to blame for the Hoyas' struggles, another factor has also been at play - a trend that has played out in the Big East over the last eight years.
In 2010, the Big East Conference was transformed into a 10-team league, adapting itself to fit with today's college basketball landscape. Many teams within this new conference experienced remarkable success.
Some teams, however, were less well-recruited and had poor on-court defenses. Georgetown, for example, ranked near the bottom of the Big East in scoring defense and 3-point shooting.
Unfortunately, the Hoyas were unable to capitalize on their promising starts and finished 13-13 in 2021. While they won the Big East tournament for the first time since 2007, they weren't able to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
In five years, the Hoyas have failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament - leading to widespread frustration among fans. This is especially disappointing considering they've won three Big East regular season titles and made eight trips to the tournament under coach John Thompson III (known as JTIII).
In 2017, Georgetown University began searching for a new coach after Ewing, the son of legendary NBA player Larry Ewing, took over. Although they had endured roster turnover and player controversies throughout Ewing's five years as head coach, they were willing to give him another chance at building an improved program that needed a fresh start from its past.
In six seasons as head coach, Ewing has compiled an unfavorable 75-109 record. His team has yet to win a game in conference play and they have lost more games than they have won this season.
Ewing has struggled to restore the Hoyas to glory due to a variety of reasons, the primary one being his inability to adjust his system according to NCAA regulations. As a result, Ewing has had to recruit in an unproductive manner that doesn't focus on winning games.
This has caused a flood of transfers, taking away much-needed talent from the Hoyas. Furthermore, their defense has been an issue throughout this entire period.
Due to Ewing's coaching style, the Hoyas have only scored more than 96 points once during a single game once during his tenure. They also haven't defeated a top-10 team since 2012 and their only trip to the NCAA Tournament was a 23-point defeat against Colorado in 2021.
Though there are several candidates for the job, I predict Georgetown will select Mike Jones - a Virginia Tech associate coach who has spent nearly two decades at DeMatha Catholic High School. He's an experienced coach who can attract top talent from within DMV region at lower costs than many other candidates in this market.
On Thursday, Patrick Ewing was dismissed as Georgetown men's basketball coach after a 7-25 campaign. This came one day after their disappointing 80-48 loss to Villanova at the Big East Tournament that likely marked his last day as college head coach.
In 2017, Georgetown Hoyas head coach Tom Ewing, a Georgetown legend and NBA Hall of Famer with the New York Knicks, was appointed to replace longtime coach John Thompson III.
He led Georgetown to an incredible 2021 Big East Tournament victory and earned himself an automatic NCAA berth. Unfortunately, things have since taken a dramatic turn for Georgetown.
In four years, the Hoyas haven't made the NCAA Tournament; that span includes three consecutive mediocre seasons and zero Big East victories. It is a depressing reality for both the program and its fans.
Although their record has improved, it remains to be seen if Ewing can make any meaningful change given that only twice during his six seasons as head coach have the Hoyas been among the top-10 in conference play.
He remains one of the greatest players to ever don the Blue & Gray, and deserves another chance at success at Hilltop. After all, he was once its undisputed hero.
In his prime, he won three Big East titles and twice earned the honor of being named player of the year for his efforts. It's easy to understand why he was hired as a coach; however, that doesn't guarantee any improvement from what the program currently stands.
After 15 years as an assistant coach for teams such as Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets, Ewing returned to his alma mater in 2017 to take their job. While results were mixed over his first few seasons back, things started looking up after 2021 when Georgetown won the Big East tournament and earned themselves an automatic NCAA berth.
Though Ewing's tenure at Georgetown is coming to a close, the school must move on. He's been the hero of the program and its most beloved son, yet he needs to stepping down in order to save it.
Three years are gone since the Hoyas last made the NCAA Tournament, marking their longest drought ever. It's unfortunate, as this team desperately needs a new coach to bring them back into national prominence.
Patrick Ewing took over as Georgetown men's basketball coach in 2017 after John Thompson III had served for 10 years, and many expected him to help bring back the program's glory days of the 1980s and 1990s. His hiring had the support of both fans and athletic administrators alike.
He secured top-100 recruits James Akinjo and Mac McClung, leading to incremental improvements each season. By 2021, they had won the Big East Conference and made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years.
But the following year, they finished 15-15 - their worst record in over a decade. Although not a catastrophic defeat, it served as a sign of what was to come.
Ewing's teams had a knack for taking the ball to the basket, but they also tended to turn it over frequently. In his first season as head coach of Georgetown, his teams averaged 15.1 turnovers per game - higher than any other power conference team. While those numbers deteriorated slightly in subsequent years (13.0) and (15.2) respectively, they weren't quite as bad as in the inaugural campaign.
This year, the Hoyas' defense was atrocious, ranking last in both field goal percentage and scoring defense. On offense they scored 69.5 points per game while shooting 42% from the floor - including 31% from beyond the arc.
These numbers suggest Ewing still has work to do to get his defense up to par and compete in the league. He needs to stop turning over the ball so often and become more inventive with his offensive sets.
The search for a new head coach is underway. If Georgetown wants someone who can make the program competitive again, they need to find someone quickly. Mike Jones - associate head coach at Virginia Tech and former student-athlete at DeMatha Catholic High School - would be ideal as he has experience working with players from the DMV area and may come at less expense than some of the more well-known candidates currently available.