Patrick Ewing may not be originally from the DC area, but it seems like that is where he is beloved. The former big man for the Hoyas was around when Georgetown was experiencing great success when he was a part of them winning their only National and a contender for the title every year he was there. Well, now he has a chance to return back to Georgetown and get them back where they used to be.
After the Hoyas fired head coach John Thompson III, there was one name that everyone wanted to see be the coach. The calls for Patrick Ewing were coming from everyone and the Hoyas listened. Ewing has been named the head coach at his alma mater after fifteen years of being an NBA assistant. Immediately, the fan base was excited again. Maybe he has some of that Hoya tradition that he can bring back. If he is able to bring back that type of success, one thing that has to be figured out is what kind of style the team will play. With Ewing having zero coaching experience, there is not any definite pulse on what style he will use.
One guess is that Ewing will play halfcourt basketball with his first team and they will selectively run. The reason that type of style could be effective for them is the two weapons he has returning. Jessie Govan will be a junior for the Hoyas next year and the 6’10” center from Queens, New York definitely improved his scoring from his freshman to sophomore season by three points a game (from 7 points a game to ten points a game his sophomore season). With the presence of Ewing there, Govan could improve even more than he did in his two seasons at Georgetown and give the Hoyas that physical presence inside that they need. With Govan inside, hopefully rising senior guard LJ Peak will be able to get close. The talented guard has also improved each year and will be the leading returning scorer for the Hoyas next season. If both he and Govan can get that inside-outside game going, then the halfcourt game and those around him will get better and they can selectively run to get those around those two key cogs involved. The way this team looks next year, they will not be very deep. So pace will be huge for them next season.
Other than the question about the style of play, there is also the issue of recruiting. Ewing was one of many star players that played for Georgetown. But when he opens the door to the gym and starts practices, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson are not walking through that door. Georgetown needs a talent upgrade immediately and Ewing is responsible for making that happen. One good thing is that his name alone will catch the attention of many. Ewing was an outstanding pro and his name carries great weight, especially to those that are looking to become professional basketball players. Other than his name, the first-time coach also needs to be smart in how he fills out his first coaching staff. He needs coaches that know what they are doing and will help him manage the team while he maneuvers the head coaching position. But other than that, he also needs guys that are experienced in the recruiting game. Although his name carries a lot of weight, he has been absent from the college game for a while now and that means a lot of unfamiliarity to the rules and regulations the NCAA can throw at him. One missed step there could cost Georgetown things like practice time, money and games, which would be a bad thing.
The excitement of Patrick Ewing’s return is being met by many with smiles and the thoughts of Georgetown basketball returning to the glory years. But the reality is that he has a tough job ahead of him and little experience as a head coach to lean on. Will he get it done or won’t he? That is the question that many Georgetown fans are wanting Ewing to answer and they want him to answer it sooner rather than later.
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former co-host of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Cubs and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.