Georgetown is very excited about the new direction of its basketball program under coach Patrick Ewing, an NBA Hall of Famer, Dream Teamer and Hoya legend. They’re just not really interested in putting them on a huge stage just yet, apparently.
The Hoyas dropped out of the field of the PK80, the star-studded November tournament in honor of Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, on Tuesday.
“The Georgetown’s men’s basketball program is in the midst of an exciting time of rebuilding,” athletic director Lee Reed said in a statement released by the school. “Georgetown has a prominent, seasoned head coach who has begun this process, which will continue to develop in the fall. After considerable consultation with ESPN, we have reached a mutual agreement that Georgetown will not participate in the PK80 Phil Knight Invitational this November.
“The University values its longstanding partnership with ESPN and looks forward to participating in future events. We appreciate the understanding of the fans and organizations associated with this event and wish success to all involved.”
That looks a lot like the Hoyas ducking a tough – probably historic – tournament. The question would be why? The most logical answer is they’d rather face a few opponents where winning seems more likely than squaring off against the likes of Michigan State, Oregon or North Carolina. If that’s the case, that’s a bad look for the Hoyas. Even more so that DePaul, which hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, slid into their place in the field. What the Blue Demons would look to understand more than Georgetown is that being part of this field – and being associated with the game’s most powerful programs and sports’ most influential apparel company – is more important than how you actually perform in it.
Ewing is tasked with rebuilding Georgetown into a national power. The Hoyas pulling out of the PK80 is just a reminder of how far they have to go to return to their glory days. Ceding their place among the game’s greats is bad move for Georgetown, even more so if it comes from a place of fear of their ability to compete.
When Georgetown fans yearned for a return of ‘Hoya Paranoia,’ this can’t be what they had in mind.