Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown's important offseason starts with major recruiting decommitment

Georgetown's important offseason starts with major recruiting decommitment

The Georgetown Hoyas' disappointing 2016-17 basketball season came to a disappointing end on Wednesday night with a scuffling Big East Tournament loss to St. John's.

Finishing 14-18 with just five wins in Big East play, the Hoyas officially missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.

While the lackluster season is something the entire program is looking to quickly put it in the past, the Saturday decommitment from Top 50 Class of 2017 PG Tremont Waters -- first reported by Adam Finkelstein of ESPN -- makes imminent matters much worse.

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Of the many on-court issues plaguing the Hoyas, a lack of a true point guard is one of the most significant. The 5-11 West Haven, Conn. native was the program's top recruit and was expected by many to provide the steadying hand the Hoyas have been in of for a while. 

With the growing discussion regarding the future of John Thompson III, holding a commitment from the No. 33 player in the country was one of the few remaining cards in JTIII's hand.

The addition of Waters was expected to stabilize and renew a uncertain Georgetown backcourt. Graduate transfer Rodney Pryor will be gone, and what rising senior L.J. Peak decides to do this offseason remains a topic of speculation.

Having Waters headed to The Hilltop  was also an important commitment because the program's ability to recruit was beginning to follow in the same direction as the on-court product. With Waters decommitting, three-star forward Antwan Walker is the only commit the Hoyas have in the incoming class.

It's a big loss for the Hoyas' roster. It's also a huge loss from a recruiting standpoint.

And following the season-ending loss on Wednesday, it's hardly the way Georgetown wanted to start a very important offseason.

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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