Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown fires John Thompson III, source confirms

Georgetown fires John Thompson III, source confirms

John Thompson III is out as head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, a source close to the situation confirmed to CSN Mid-Atlantic Thursday afternoon. The news was first reported by Casual Hoya

Thompson, the son of iconic Hoya head coach John Thompson Jr., took the helm in 2004 and led the Hoyas to the 2007 NCAA Tournament Final Four, but the Hoyas had failed to make a Sweet Sixteen since then and missed out on the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons.

The Hoyas finished the 2016-17 season with a 14-18 record and finished 5-13 in the Big East, good enough for ninth place.

It was the Hoyas' worst finish since the 2003-04 season, when Craig Esherick led the team to a 13-14 record and 4-12 in the Big East.

RELATED: TEN CANDIDATES FOR THE GEORGETOWN HEAD COACHING JOB

JTIII had come under great scrutiny recently for the program's inability to advance past the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament. Coupled with an outdated offense and a slow decline on the recruiting trail, the 2016-17 season was a big one for the Hoyas. After beating USC Upstate in the season opener, the team blew a late lead against local rivals Maryland and then were defeated by Arkansas State at McDonough Gymnasium.

The Hoyas began the Big East schedule with four consecutive losses, but appeared to turn things around with consecutive wins over ranked Creighton and Butler teams. But the Hoyas finished the Big East regular season with six straight losses, including an embarrassing home loss to perennial Big East cellar dweller DePaul.

Before the season began, sources told CSN Mid-Atlantic that there were no plans to remove Thompson III as head coach as the program unveiled the brand new, $62 million John R. Thompson Jr. Athletic Center, named after his father. Even as the season took a turn for the disappointing, sources reiterated that the university did not intend to fire Thompson III before the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

However, a few days after the Hoyas' season came to a disappointing end, four-star point guard recruit Tremont Waters, the No. 33 recruit in the class of 2017, decommitted from the program and a week later, star forward L.J. Peak announced his intentions on entering the NBA Draft. 

Thompson finished his 13-year run with a 278-151 overall record, leading the Hoyas to three Big East regular season championships, one Big East Tournament championship and the 2007 Final Four. He guided the Hoyas to eight NCAA Tournaments, finishing with an 8-8 record in March Madness.

An interesting aspect of what the university does now stems from the presence of JTIII's father, who has remained a staple at practices, games and press conferences. Georgetown has a relationship with Nike because of "Big John," with the apparel company allocating funds for the Hoyas' head coaching salary.

But with Georgetown now looking for replacements for JTIII, and source told CSN Mid-Atlantic on Thursday that several coaches have inquired about just how big of a presence the elder Thompson will have. 

READ MORE: JOHN THOMPSON III ISSUES STATEMENT

Patrick Ewing released from hospital, still recovering from COVID-19

Patrick Ewing released from hospital, still recovering from COVID-19

Georgetown basketball coach and NBA legend Patrick Ewing was released from the hospital and is now recovering from COVID-19 at home, his son said in a Twitter post on Monday.

Ewing announced he had tested positive for the deadly virus and was isolating in a local hospital last week. 

“I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said in a statement at the time. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. I’ll be fine and we will all get through this.”

On Monday, Patrick Ewing Jr. gave thanks to the doctors and hospital staff who assisted his father during his stay. "My father is now home and getting better," he said. "We'll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines."

"Love this," former Georgetown player Roy Hibbert tweeted.

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How Patrick Ewing works from home as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas

How Patrick Ewing works from home as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing knows what it takes to win it all.   

April 2nd was the 26th anniversary of the Hoyas’ first national championship, an 84-75 victory over Houston.  Ewing was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.   

“You always think about it, especially now that I am back here working at Georgetown,” Ewing told NBC Sports Washington the day of the anniversary.  

This season was anything but celebratory for the Hoyas. They dealt with injuries and players transferring mid-season, but the banner hanging in the rafters at their practice facility serves as a reminder of what the program was and can be again. Georgetown has 11 Big East regular-season conference titles and seven conference tournament championships, but 1984 was their only NCAA title. Ewing went to the championship game three times during his career only to lose in 1982 to Michael Jordan and North Carolina and 1985 to Villanova. But he will always have that day in Seattle against Houston.    

“It was a great experience, a great day, and we worked really hard to achieve that and to win that title,” Ewing said.  

As Ewing reflects, it comes with a certain amount of sadness.  The 1983-84 Hoyas endured their share of suffering. Ewing, coach John Thompson, David Wingate and Ralph Dalton all lost their mothers that year. It’s a testament to what a team can overcome in the midst of adversity and was the foundation for relationships that have lasted a lifetime. Now as head coach, Ewing looks to continue building the basketball program – but, for now, must do so from home. Covid-19 is teaching us all the importance of leadership and communication. Ewing says just because the team can’t meet on the court doesn’t mean they can’t meet at all and he makes sure that happens regularly.  

“We’re talking to them, we’re Zooming them, Face-Timing them. We’re trying to do it all,” Ewing said.  

And they have to. The Hoyas have yet to make the Big Dance in three seasons under Ewing, finishing tied for 8th in the Big East this year thanks to a stretch of brutal injuries and those personnel losses early on.  You don’t need me to tell you how critical recruiting is — and how challenging — when a Hall-of-Fame legend like Ewing can’t make house calls. But he is determined to find that next generation of Hoyas who can help push the program forward.  

“We still have to try to recruit,” Ewing said. “While we can’t go out and sit in living rooms, we try to do it out other ways to get the job done...By any means necessary”   

Some of that has included giving virtual tours of the facility. In hopes of protecting recruits, the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period until May 31st. It was originally April 15th.  That timeframe could still be extended further. But what Ewing is looking forward to more than anything is being reunited with his players on the hard wood.  

“I can’t wait.  We take things for granted,” Ewing said. “Getting up, going to work or going to the gym, going to the supermarket. Things you normally would do on a regular basis and are not able to do.  It’s rough.”   

While coach and I are conducting this interview through Zoom from our couches, dreaming of basketball returning, it’s not lost on either of us the magnitude of the coronavirus.  

“This is bigger than basketball, it’s about life,” Ewing said. “There are a lot of people who are losing their life over it at this time. So even though we want to get back on the floor, we want to get back to business as usual.” 

The only way that happens, is if we all listen to what doctors and the government is asking of us.  Stay home, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and disinfect.  

“Be safe,” Ewing said. “Not only think of yourself, but others.” 

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