The Hilltop welcomed back one of its own as Patrick Ewing was formally introduced as Georgetown’s next head coach.
The hire has received mixed reviews but there was an overriding optimistic feeling to today’s press conference. The common, yet inaccurate, comparison of the hire is Clyde Drexler getting the University of Houston job. What people fail to bring up is that Drexler retired from the Rockets to become his alma mater’s coach without any coaching experience. Ewing has been an assistant in the NBA since 2003-2004. There’s a big difference between coming in with no head coaching experience and coming in with no coaching experience.
Ewing did a good job saying things would be different without disrespecting the past. With John Thompson II and Ronnie Thompson present at the press conference, Ewing said there would be a different way of doing business.
There were a few takeaways from the press conference:
- Hiring a staff with a strong recruiting background: Ewing made it clear that he wanted to bring in a staff that could recruit. He said it was his biggest challenge. This is one of the main questions I had when Ewing’s name was first bantered around. Getting into the living room to convince a recruit to come to a program that has lost its luster is quite different than dealing with NBA players no a day to day basis. A strong recruiting staff would help Ewing bring in the right players for his vision and to hopefully keep some kids in the DMV area home.
- Different Offensive Philosophy: It’s what many fans have been calling for sometime, Ewing said he would bring in a pro style offense similar to the one that’s used in Charlotte. This could be attractive for recruits and could bridge the gap between generations. It also sends a signal that he isn’t going to try to replicate John Thompson II 80’s offensive philosophy. A strong part of having an NBA background is exposure to both American and European concepts on the highest level.
- Being a college coach wasn’t the goal: Very early in the press conference, Ewing let it be known that this was the only college job he would consider taking. You could see on his face, the hurt from not getting an opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA. Only a few big men have gotten the opportunity which was why Ewing never wanted to be a ‘big man’s coach’. But, his comments will make many wonder if he has success at Georgetown, will he jump back to the NBA if offered a head coaching job.
It’s way too early to say if this is going to succeed or fail. Ewing said he has had one meeting with the team and plans on having another to discuss his philosophy and whether that meshes with the goal of each individual player. He was very honest in saying the team underachieved last season but it was hard to tell where he thought the blame should be placed. Was it the system, the players, or both? Only time will tell.
But today was a day for unbridled optimism on the Hilltop as the bridge from the past to the future was completed.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook