WASHINGTON — Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing’s loss-filled stint at his alma mater was called a “challenging and frustrating time” by athletic director Lee Reed, who added that “no one is more committed” to turning things around than the former star center.
Hours before the Hoyas set a Big East record by accumulating their 25th consecutive regular-season conference loss, 73-57 against visiting Villanova, Reed responded to a request for an interview from The Associated Press by issuing a statement that was emailed by a spokesperson.
“We recognize this is a challenging and frustrating time for the men’s basketball team and our fans,” said Reed, who also put out a comment about Ewing before a game about 10 months ago, although that one said the school was “committed” to sticking with him. “Coach Ewing understands that it is imperative to get the program back on track and no one is more committed than he is to making that happen.”
The defeat left Georgetown with a 5-11 overall record, 0-5 in conference play. Its previous outing was an 80-51 loss to Big East opponent Butler.
After the loss to Villanova, which Georgetown President Jack DeGioia attended, Ewing was asked whether he was concerned about his future.
“I’m here to talk about the game. My future is my future,” Ewing replied. “I’ll be the head coach at Georgetown until the president or the board decides for me to move on. … You know, a friend of mine sent me a quote today: `It’s not how many times you get knocked down; it’s how many times you get up.’ We got knocked down, so all we’re going to do is keep on getting up.”
Georgetown went 0-19 in the conference last season while going 6-25 overall, including a 21-game losing streak. The Hoyas also lost their final regular-season Big East game in 2020-21, before going on a surprising four-game run at Madison Square Garden in New York to claim the conference tournament title.
That allowed the team to make its lone NCAA Tournament appearance during Ewing’s tenure; that season ended with a first-round loss to Colorado.
Ewing, who as a player helped Georgetown and coach John Thompson Jr. win the 1984 national championship and make two other appearances in NCAA finals, is in his sixth season since replacing Thompson’s son, John Thompson III, as the school’s coach.
Georgetown is 73-95 under Ewing (a .435 winning percentage), including 26-68 (.277) in the Big East.
This is Ewing’s first head coaching job at any level – he worked as an assistant in the NBA after his Hall of Fame playing career ended – and his roster has seen repeated turnover because of students transferring away from Georgetown.
Late last season, in March 2022, Reed put out a statement hours before a game against Seton Hall, acknowledging the “disappointment of a difficult season,” and saying: “In this ever evolving landscape of college athletics we are committed to Coach Ewing, and we are working with him to evaluate every aspect of the men’s basketball program and to make the necessary changes for him to put us back on the path to success for next year.”
Before the start of this season, Ewing overhauled his staff by replacing all three assistants and brought in several transfer players, including leading scorer Primo Spears, who came over from Duquesne.
“I’m a very prideful person and Georgetown is a very prideful university,” Ewing said at his postgame news conference Wednesday, “and we don’t want to be associated with a losing streak, but it is what it is.”