Georgetown Coaching Candidates: Could Rick Pitino or Kevin Cates Replace Patrick Ewing?

Understandably, Georgetown is beholden to its history. It’s great history. It is unprecedented history. It’s history that helped define men’s college basketball for a very long time. You must not forget that date.

You must prioritize the future. This essentially means rebooting, wiping it clean and then wiping it again, with no feelings left. Patrick Ewing should be John Thompson II’s final physical link and men’s coach chair at Georgetown, following his dismissal Thursday. It’s been a long time since the change, but it’s nonetheless well deserved.

This is a delicate thing. It may even require some institutional courage. But the free fall on the field scores should make it easy enough for athletic director Lee Reed and the rest of the school’s decision-makers. After all, Big John wants Georgetown to win. And win big. The only way to achieve this is the explicit pursuit of something new.

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Georgetown basketball has championship potential. Recent results don’t change that. It is sport at the heart of the school’s sporting identity. Top priority. Georgetown University reported $14 million in men’s basketball expenditures in 2019-20, according to US Department of Education figures. It’s not the same stratospheric overspending number as Kentucky… but it’s $2 million more than was spent in North Carolina in the same period. want exists.

The local recruiting field is teeming with talent, mitigating any recent brand depreciation; There are a lot of good players who know a thing about Georgetown men’s basketball. And if the program can build some momentum, there’s at least a chance it can make a resurgence on a national level. Which means, in theory, the coach can follow whoever he wants. It’s the perfect scenario, yeah, and a long way from where Georgetown is now. But this is reasonable.

The advantages are real. How connected and competent the leadership is – well, that’s something any candidate should assess. But if Reed is leading the charge for the hire and has the ability to make a proper restart, the alignment should work itself out. Anyone who hires him will understand that it is a partnership.

It’s a very, very big hole that Georgetown dug itself. This is no small problem in the Big East who continue to add quality coaches. But she has the means to get out.

Kevin Keats had a breakout season at NC State. (Rich Barnes / USA Today)

call list

(in alphabetical order)

Kevin Keats, NC State coach. It would be hitting both sides at the right time, with Cates winning his way off the hot seat in Raleigh and Georgetown capitalizing on a coach who had just presided over a 12-win season-improving season. The school must be willing to go north of $3 million a year to make this happen.

Mike Jones, Associate Head Coach, Virginia Tech. Want a chance to turn your DMV talent pipeline into a raging river? Hire the man who spent nearly two decades at DeMatha Catholic High School. Add in his years on the same bench as Mike Young, and Georgetown can be confident that Jones is ready. It would also likely be cheaper than some of the other leading candidates, if the Ewing acquisition thinned the coffers.

Matt Langell, Colgate coach. It would be a fairly aggressive swing and swerve, but not without merit. It’s going to be four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for Colgate—in the years it’s actually played the tournament—and it’s about as fresh a set of eyes as you can imagine. In addition, L’Engle defeated Syracuse for two consecutive years. Still to count on something in Georgetown.

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Rick Pitino, Iona coach. There’s no doubt Pitino wants an extra crack at a big job. There is no doubt that he would consider Georgetown a great job. Whether Georgetown sees fit, on multiple levels, is another matter. But victories will follow. They always do.

Micah Shrewsbury, Penn State coach. The Nittany Lions have been a bit mercurial in Shrewsberry’s sophomore year, but they may make it to the NCAA Tournament regardless. He has a player development mentality that fits in well. Will he leave the Big Ten job for Georgetown? You’d think, given the relative ceilings of both programs, that he’d leave this Big Ten job for Georgetown.

Rodney Terry, Texas acting coach. He earned Big 12 Coaches of the Year honors, but it remains unclear if he will get the permanent job. There is a lot of talk about Chris Del Conte thinking bigger. But a defensive-minded coach obsessed with recruiting? can play here.


Do it Georgetown. Shake the world. Hire Rick Pitino.

(Rick Pitino top photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

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