As the Georgetown coaching search remains in full swing, some of the BECB writers put our heads together for a roundtable regarding the situation.
The three questions we’ll be answering are:
Many people have said the Georgetown job is the best in the Big East. Agree or disagree? Why?
What does the next coach need to do to bring the program back to where it used to be?
Who would be your dream hire for the Hoyas?
- I’d argue that Georgetown has the most history of the schools in the Big East (along with Villanova, I suppose) in terms of being seen as an elite basketball program year in and year out looking back through history. Georgetown may be the closest thing the current iteration of the Big East has to a true blue-blood program, even if it’s fallen upon hard times in recent years. The elite talent that has walked the halls of Georgetown in history certainly can hold its own to many other elite programs from around the country. I have no problem with calling Georgetown the best job in the Big East.
2. The next coach needs to recruit Washington D.C. hard. The next coach needs to get back to what made Georgetown the elite program it is: incredible toughness, strong bigs, and dynamic scorers. The next coach needs to have built a program and turned losing programs around to be high-level programs, even if they are mid-majors. Georgetown only has 8 scholarship players next year; having someone to immediately attract talent for his known winning ways and ability to develop winning programs is necessary.
3. I think Georgetown should hire Danny Hurley. He’s turned Rhode Island into an A-10 power after mediocrity, and the A-10 is not exactly the worst mid-major league. He could bring winning attitude, the ability to build a program, and great recruiting chops to Georgetown.
- I’d agree. The school has so much tradition and history as one of the original Big East schools. Between the number of memorable moments and games from the program’s dominance under John Thompson Jr., especially in the 1980s, to the all-time greats that have ever donned the blue and gray--guys like Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning--this is certainly a highly coveted job. This is a program that has seen a lot of winning over the years. Sure, Georgetown only has one national title to its name, but its 30 NCAA Tournament appearances, string of Elite Eights and Sweet 16s, as well as the various conference championships, shouldn’t be ignored. The last couple of years have been rough, but outside of the recent back-to-back losing campaigns, there has only been two other seasons where the Hoyas finished below .500 since 1973. The coach that restores that high regard is a Hoya hero.
- Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, and recruiting. This past season, the Hoyas didn’t bring in a single Top 100 prospect. Also, they’ve been beat by` other programs in terms of recruiting in their own backyard. The state of Maryland produces the most Division I college basketball talent per capita, and Georgetown hasn’t had a single Marylander commit since conference realignment. Big East rival Villanova had four Maryland natives on its team going into this season (which is just one fewer than what University of Maryland had on its roster), and two of those were potentially looking at Georgetown as high schoolers--Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. Expanding beyond the borders of the Old Line State, the DMV area as a whole is just oozing with basketball talent, and it just so happens to be so close to Georgetown. It’s time for them to dominate the recruiting scene right next door, again.
- Shaka Smart would be nice but given his fairly recent signing with Texas, I’m doubtful he leaves so soon. Rhode Island’s Danny Hurley would be a great hire. He’s turned the Rams into a solid team in the Atlantic 10, and he’s primed for that rise to the bigger stage. Although I understand where the love for Patrick Ewing and Mount St. Mary’s Jamion Christian is coming from, I don’t think either of those will provide the winning solution Georgetown fans are looking for
- I would tend to agree with this statement. Georgetown has been a staple of the Big East since its creation. From old John Thompson Jr.’s feuds with Jim Boeheim, to JT3’s tournament runs in the mid 2000s, the Hoyas have seemed to almost always be atop the conference. Along with their history of winning, Georgetown has a top of the line practice facility as well as a stable athletic department. Nestled in one of the better recruiting areas in the country (DMV), this job fills all of the requirements to be considered the best in the Big East.
- Keep the elite D.C. players at home. Probably the biggest stain of John Thompson III’s coaching resume was his inability to recruit the Washington D.C. area. Almost every year, elite players like Markelle Fultz, Allonzo Trier, Victor Oladipo, etc. spurn Georgetown to attend a school outside of the area. Of course, not everyone is going to want to stay home, but Thompson consistently failed in his recruitment of the area’s best. The next coach needs to do better if they want to turn the program around.
- Gregg Marshall should be this program’s dream hire. He has turned Wichita State from a struggling Missouri Valley basketball team to a consistent powerhouse. He has achieved more within ten years at a mid-major than most do at power-5 schools. While his wife Marshall would be able to turn this program back into a powerhouse. Of course, he is probably unlikely to accept, knowing that he is content making $3 million living in Wichita and has recently turned down other prestigious jobs. Yet, Marshall would be the opportune dream hire for Georgetown.
- It’s certainly the best job in the Big East Conference when you take everything into account. Their facilities are top notch and obviously just got a big upgrade recently. They put a lot into their basketball program (even if they don’t fetch a profit) so you have to take that into account. Tradition counts for some I guess, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily the greatest thing to lean on and can tend to be a double-edged sword when it comes to pressure of the job and all that. Obviously, there are names that can pop up at kids that come into the program (Allen Iverson, most notably) that they can easily recognize. But I think that’s a little overstated. But it’s still superior to the rest in the conference because of its location, too. The DMV pumps out high-level recruits and the Hoyas certainly have a big brand down there. They’ve recently been challenged, but the next guy in won’t find it too hard to find elite prospects around him. It’s all about getting them to commit though, of course.
- I will echo the thoughts of my predecessors and say recruiting is a big focal point. But the main thing should just be to win. The Hoyas had an elite recruiting class in 2014 and proceeded to do almost nothing with it under JT3. They missed the tournament twice, only made it to the Round of 32 in 2015, and more importantly only one player from that class will be around for their senior season. Isaac Copeland, Paul White and Trey Mourning have either transferred or intend to transfer in the case of Mourning and L.J. Peak is jumping to the NBA, leaving only Tre Campbell from a class that was ranked seventh in the country and first in the Big East. Furthermore, the Hoyas’ recruiting class in 2015 was No. 2 in the conference and still ranked 26th in the country. As mentioned, the Hoyas have done all but nothing with it, missing the NCAA Tournament in the past two years. Yes, they were dead last in recruiting in the conference last year, but their recent track record with very good-to-elite recruiting classes didn’t do them wonders, either. Recruiting is one thing, but winning is another. It sounds simple and silly to say, but that’s what they need to do. In the words of Al Davis, “Just win, baby.”
- Patrick Ewing as a contemporary to Chris Mullin in the coaching world would be entertaining, wouldn’t it? I don’t think it’s going to happen (he’s likely happy where he’s at in the NBA) but given the fact that he has plenty of coaching experience and is arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for the Hoyas, that would be quite the pull for Georgetown to give the longtime fans in the fanbase some attachment and some excitement. Whatever it is, that’s the key. Someone to give the program a jolt, because since the FGCU loss in 2013, the program has seemingly been in the doldrums. They need to mix it up somehow, but my ‘dream’ hire would probably be Patrick Ewing.
- I think if you take all things into consideration (program history, location, facilities, staff budget), Georgetown is absolutely the best job in the Big East. Now, that’s not to say that if Villanova suddenly had an opening they couldn’t fetch a big name. They probably could, it’s just that Georgetown has a leg up on the rest of the conference in mostly every off-the-court department. I think the past few years have made people forget what Georgetown is capable of being.
- Recruiting is huge. Especially in a basketball-rich area like the DMV. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, for example, both came from the area. Think Georgetown would have benefitted from those two the last four years? Everyone else in this roundtable did a really good job outlining the fact that recruiting is incredibly important, so I echo their thoughts.
3. This is a tough question. I think Patrick Ewing would do a lot for the fanbase, but he’s also never coached a single college basketball game, so calling him a “dream hire” is odd to me. I don’t like Tommy Amaker as much as others, either. I think my dream would be Shaka Smart, but it’s very hard to see him leaving Texas after just two seasons, even if the Longhorns haven’t been particularly good.