Patrick Ewing appeared on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies in his first interview since being hired as the head coach of Georgetown. He addressed his coaching staff saying his assistants will be “great recruiters” and the fact the school’s nepotism policy won’t allow him to hire his son, Patrick Ewing Jr. The elder Ewing also gave props to his predecessor, John Thompson III.
“You can’t take anything away from JTIII,” Ewing said as transcribed by Scott Allen of the Washington Post. “He had a great run there at Georgetown. For 13 years, he had a great run. Other than [John Thompson Jr.], he’s the only one that went to the Final Four, and we had some great teams here. You have to take your hats off to him. Unfortunately, he just had two bad years, and in this business, which is a cutthroat business, you know if you don’t win, something will happen, and unfortunately that’s what happened.”
While Ewing acknowledged the work Thompson III did, he intends to return Georgetown back to its prominence doing it his way. In one manner, he won’t be running the Princeton offense that Thompson III was accustomed to. Ewing, who spent nearly 15 years as an NBA assistant with four teams, intends for his system to mimic more of an NBA offense.
“My pitch is going to be a little bit of everything,” Ewing said. “We need to get the program back up and running, get the type of players that we saw this weekend on TV, try to get a few of those guys that can help jump-start the program, and also we’re going to play a style of game that’s more conducive to the NBA style. Kids are going to come and look and see and say, ‘Oh, they’re playing exactly like they play in the NBA,’ or, ‘Oh, I want to come to that program.’ That’s what I’m looking for.”
To note, Thompson III had six players drafted to the NBA in 13 seasons. Of those Otto Porter, Jr., Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, and Jeff Green are still active. L.J. Peak, who played under Thompson, declared for this year’s NBA Draft. It’s a respectable number, but it pales in comparison to his father’s NBA production.
John Thompson Jr. had 28 players drafted in the 26 seasons he was at the helm of Georgetown. His list of players featured Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Sleepy Floyd, and Allen Iverson.
It would benefit Ewing if he was able to grab from the rich D.C. Area for recruits. At times, Thompson III was unable to get the top-tier DMV talent, losing out to Mark Turgeon at Maryland and other nationally prominent programs. The one-and-done era has left the Hoyas behind mostly. Monroe and Porter have been the only significant recruits since the 2007 Final Four run. Gaining those nationally recognized NBA-talent will be a tall task for Ewing, who has no experience with recruiting. However, he feels there won’t be such a difficult task as some believe.
“I don’t see the recruiting being as difficult as people say it is, but I’m going to definitely have guys on my staff that are great recruiters and can go out and judge and pick guys that they or I think are going to help build the program, and then I’m going to be the one coming in and closing it,” Ewing said. “I’ll be out on the road with them, trying to evaluate talent, and try to close it at the end.”
There’s no question Georgetown is not consistently attracting the same level of talent that came through with Thompson Jr. or the early stages of Thompson III. The aura of the program has worn. And for Ewing to return the program to any resemblance of the 1980s and early 90s, he has to get those type of players. One way to entice recruits will be proving to be an NBA factory, by using NBA-type system.