Washington

Patrick Ewing has made up for losses on the recruiting trail

Washington

A year ago the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball program appeared to be in turmoil during Patrick Ewing's third season at the helm of his alma mater.

Players were being reprimanded for off-court misconduct, others transferring and by season's end there was a clear disconnect between the coach and the team's best player, Mac McClung, who eventually chose to play at a different school. 

All of that, though, is in the past and Ewing has quickly steered the ship for the men's basketball program in the right direction. This week the Hoyas wrapped up their 2021 recruiting class by getting the commitment of legacy recruit Ryan Mutombo.

In doing so, they have locked in the verbal commitments of one of the best-recruiting classes Ewing has brought to the Hilltop thus far. Mutombo, a four-star prospect, will join guards Tyler Beard and Jordan Riley, as well as power forward Jalin Billingsley - all three-star recruits.  

This recruiting work is comparable to Ewing's first season with Georgetown in 2018. Then the Hoyas, behind the hype of a legacy coaching hire, brought two consensus four-stars, James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc, to go with two three-stars in Mac McClung and Grayson Carter. A great class, but none of those players are with the team entering the new season for what should be their junior years. 

As things stand, the Hoyas have the 14th ranked recruiting class in 2021 according to 247 sports. Within the confines of the Big East conference, they are fourth, behind perennial national championship contender Villanova, DePaul (which is bringing in four four-star recruits) and one of the sport bluebloods in Connecticut, which has rejoined the conference. 

 

Many of these open scholarships were created by the mass exodus. Five players left the team - not due to graduation - from December to May of last season. McClung was the headliner, who left after season's end, but they also lost Akinjo, LeBlanc, Myron Gardner and Galen Alexander. Four of those five would still be on the roster when the 2021 class comes in as freshmen. 

Now, through some transfers, the Hoyas won't be down to six or seven scholarship players like they were at points during last season. But, the openings gave Ewing time to navigate the next couple of seasons to make a bigger push down the road. The result is a large class that will address every position on the roster and allows the team to build continuity with those prospects when they become sophomores and juniors.

A lot will still change in these recruiting rankings as more of the top recruits chose their destinations. Especially considering the Hoyas are now out of scholarships offers for this class, many teams will improve their rankings while not the same can't really be said about Georgetown. 

This class does break a trend in recruiting over the past few seasons. Since Ewing's first year, the team had not lured a four-star recruit until this upcoming 2020 class that features wing Jamari Sibley.

Georgetown is technically still in the running for a handful of top-ten players for the 2021 class and if one of them unexpectedly commits there would almost certainly be some roster attrition to make space. None of those players really has the Hoyas as a top option, but a five-star player would make this class even more valuable for the Hoyas. 

While the path to acquiring a class with so much potential was not ideal, Ewing has made the best of a bad situation. His work on the recruiting trail is admirable and exactly what is needed after the speedbumps over the last few years. 

In fact, the massive transfer movement directly led to the success of this class and may have set the Hoyas up for an even better future once they all step onto campus. 

The next few years will feature some young talent and maybe some growing pains early, but the future is certainly bright for the Hoyas.