It’s time for Georgetown to move on from Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing is in his third year as a head coach for the Georgetown Hoyas, and has little to show for it. Georgetown’s recruiting has regressed since Ewing took over, and the Hoyas’ win percentage has only marginally increased when the Hoyas are playing the weakest strength of schedule in the past decade. To succeed as an coach in college basketball, the coach either has to recruit well or develop players well. Ewing does neither particularly well.

Starting with Ewing’s recruiting record, Georgetown’s recruiting has been the weakest it has been in the past decade. From 247 Sports, take a look at Hoya recruiting over the last ten years.

YearNational RankBig East RankingAvg. Rating
20195540.8887
20183130.9176
20174450.8953
2016113100.8953
20152830.9402
2014810.9425
20139480.9656
20121910.9698
20111420.9384
2010810.9506

Ewing was hired in 2017, and his three recruiting classes thus far have been three of the worst four recruiting classes in the past decade as measured by average rating. The fourth of that group was John Thompson III’s final season as head coach at Georgetown.

But it makes some sense Ewing would not be a recruiting. His experience was coaching in the NBA and developing players. However, player development usually results in winning, which Ewing also has not done at Georgetown. Observe Georgetown’s record coming into this season.

SeasonWLW-L%SOS
2018-1919140.5765.31
2017-1815150.5005.29
2016-1714180.4389.31
2015-1615180.4558.49
2014-1522110.6679.81
2013-1418150.5458.27
2012-132570.7817.59
2011-122490.7277.69
2010-1121110.65610.39
2009-1023110.6769.56

Georgetown’s strength of schedule has been soft every year Ewing has been at the helm, but Georgetown certainly does not seem to be capitalizing on a schedule made up of milkmen and janitors.

One of the main distinctions between the Ewing hire at Georgetown and Chris Mullin’s hire at St. John’s was Ewing’s experience coaching in the NBA.

Prior to coaching for Georgetown, Ewing served as an assistant coach for multiple teams, including the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets. Prior to Ewing’s hire at Georgetown, he interviewed with multiple NBA teams and was never hired as an NBA head coach.

Ewing’s former coach, Jeff Van Gundy, who also hired Ewing as an assistant coach with the Rockets, said Ewing desrved an NBA head coaching job a long time ago. “I don’t think it’s unfair to say [racism played a part],” Van Gundy said in a phone interview shortly after Ewing’s hiring at Gerogetown. “Certainly, I think there’s some size bias involved. I think back when he played, some of the things that were allowed, the signs, what was said. Even when I coached in the NBA, there were some columns written that were racially tinged in all areas. I mean, I think it’s a combination of things.”

Based on Georgetown’s performance under Ewing, the NBA teams that did not hire Ewing potentially did not hire Ewing because he was not head coaching material, rather than because he is tall. When Ewing’s NBA coaching career receives closer observation, it is possible he was gifted every job he received.

First Ewing coached for the Washington Wizards in the 2002-2003 season. That was the Wizards team Michael Jordan played for in his final season. Ewing and Jordan’s friendship off the court is well documented, so it is possible Jordan wanted one of his guys working his side on the bench, not unlike LeBron getting Jason Kidd hired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ewing’s next job was with the Houston Rockets, where he was hired by the aforementioned Jeff Van Gundy. Jeff Van Gundy was Ewing’s coach for several years with the New York Knicks, so like Jordan, Van Gundy may have just wanted a guy on his bench to echo his own voice and message.

After the Rockets, Patrick joined the Orlando Magic, coached by Jeff Van Gundy’s brother, Stan Van Gundy. Jeff was on his way out in Houston, Stan was just getting started in Orlando, so Van Gundy may have been doing his former player and loyal assistant a solid in getting his brother to hire Ewing to the Orlando staff.

Finally, after Orlando, Ewing joined the Charlotte staff. Michael Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets in 2010, so when Ewing became available, it is possible the fairly new owner wanted to make sure he could pack as many of his guys into as many jobs as he could.

Now how Ewing got all these jobs mentioned above is a matter of speculation. What are facts are Ewing had these jobs, interviewed for NBA head coaching jobs, did not get any NBA head coaching jobs, and accepted a position at Georgetown. Georgetown was Ewing’s alma mater. Ewing’s former coach, John Thompson II still maintains an office on the Georgetown campus.

So is there reason to believe that Ewing’s relationships got him every job after he retired from the NBA? Well yeah, if for no other reason than the old adage that it’s not what you know, it’s who you. It certainly has to be who Ewing knows as to why he is still coach at Georgetown, because as shown above, the Georgetown results are demonstrating what Ewing knows, and that’s not much.

Cal Starts 2020 with a Bang, Plus N’Faly Commitment?

A little bit of breaking news this morning as Kentucky gets their first commitment in the 2020 class, Brandon Boston Jr. Boston is the #10 player in the class and the #2 shooting guard. He is a very versatile player who was seen as a lock to Kentucky but is also considered Duke and Auburn. He is an amazing shooter as well as a great rebounder but needs to work on his strength if he wants to make it in the long run, but Cal can bring so much out in him. Boston could be the next Eric Bledsoe for Kentucky, but he could bring a much better force in the college game than Bledsoe could have ever imagined. He is joining Wade and Bronny James this season which will give us a better idea of how he can play with some spotlight on him, but this is a HUGE get for Calipari with Coach K making a big push for Boston Jr last week.

With Boston Jr committing, our attention turns again to N’Faly Dante. Dante is a 6’11” junior from Kansas (originally Mali) and he is in the process of reclassifying but he is running short on time. Dante is said to be between Oregon, Kentucky, and LSU but if you ask me, it’s Kentucky or Oregon with LSU trending down quicker every day. With the process nearing a close, here’s what we know.

Dana Altman and the coaching staff over at Oregon have done an amazing job with their pursuit of N’Faly. They have had his visit and have visited him multiple times within the past two seasons and they were the first team that showed interest in him. I can see why N’Faly would want to go to Oregon, just because of the constant love and admiration they have shown him but look at Bol Bol…no offense, Oregon did not help him whatsoever, in fact it definitely made his situation worse. But what they do have, is success with reclassified players such as Dillon Brooks and Francis Okoro. When it comes to it, Oregon will be hard to turn down for N’Faly.

Five-star center N'Faly Dante stops and poses for a photo in New York City

With Kentucky, you know what I think. Kentucky would allow N’Faly to develop his full potential with the help of Kenny Payne and John Calipari, I mean just look at their success with the big men. Kentucky offers a challenge that any other school cannot do but it comes at a cost. Kentucky is the standard for one and dones, but with every class but a few there has always been competition that cuts playing time which means less time to showcase skill. Cal has never held back anyone (shut up Booker fans) and he always allows them to strive once they hit their peak. N’Faly would have to accept a lesser role, due to Richards, Sestina, and Montgomery but it would also allow him the opportunity to grow and fully enhance his game at an elite level, on a national stage every single night.

N’Faly would put Oregon into the top 25, would they stay there? My guess is probably. Oregon will be decent this season with or without Dante. He would force them into a conversation for the title, but most likely a Sweet 16 is the peak. He would make Kentucky a top 2 team and they’d be there all year. If he commits, he’d give Kentucky the best odds to win the tournament but there is still some waiting to be done. With the Peach Jam and the summer circuit closing shortly, N’Faly is waiting on some test results but all signs point to a reclassification. His host mom loves Kentucky, so does his AAU director…calling them “family.” I firmly believe he will be a Wildcat in due time, just be patient with the process.

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Latest on N’Faly Dante

With August approaching quickly, all eyes have shifted to N’Faly Dante and his decision that could impact a few teams and bring one to a lethal team. Dante is a 6’11” junior from Kansas (originally Mali) and he is in the process of reclassifying but he is running short on time. Dante is said to be between Oregon, Kentucky, and LSU but if you ask me, it’s Kentucky or Oregon with LSU trending down quicker every day. With the process nearing a close, here’s what we know.

Five-star center N'Faly Dante stops and poses for a photo in New York City

Dana Altman and the coaching staff over at Oregon have done an amazing job with their pursuit of N’Faly. They have had his visit and have visited him multiple times within the past two seasons and they were the first team that showed interest in him. I can see why N’Faly would want to go to Oregon, just because of the constant love and admiration they have shown him but look at Bol Bol…no offense, Oregon did not help him whatsoever, in fact it definitely made his situation worse. But what they do have, is success with reclassified players such as Dillon Brooks and Francis Okoro. When it comes to it, Oregon will be hard to turn down for N’Faly.

With Kentucky, you know what I think. Kentucky would allow N’Faly to develop his full potential with the help of Kenny Payne and John Calipari, I mean just look at their success with the big men. Kentucky offers a challenge that any other school cannot do but it comes at a cost. Kentucky is the standard for one and dones, but with every class but a few there has always been competition that cuts playing time which means less time to showcase skill. Cal has never held back anyone (shut up Booker fans) and he always allows them to strive once they hit their peak. N’Faly would have to accept a lesser role, due to Richards, Sestina, and Montgomery but it would also allow him the opportunity to grow and fully enhance his game at an elite level, on a national stage every single night.

N’Faly would put Oregon into the top 25, would they stay there? My guess is probably not. He would make Kentucky a top 2 team and they’d be there all year. If he commits, he’d give Kentucky the best odds to win the tournament but there is still some waiting to be done. With the Peach Jam and the summer circuit closing shortly, N’Faly is waiting on some test results but all signs point to a reclassification. His host mom loves Kentucky, so does his AAU director…calling them “family.” I firmly believe he will be a Wildcat in due time, just be patient with the process.

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Could 2020 be Calipari’s Best Class Yet?

With the 2019 recruiting class coming to an end with only the possible reclassification from N’Faly Dante, it’s time to starting looking at 2020 and how they team could look. With expectations high in 2019, Kentucky could possibly lose: Hagans, Quickley, Montgomery, Richards, Maxey, Brooks, Juzang…there are endless possibilities. Realistically, we lose 2 out of 3 guards (Hagans, Quickley, Maxey), probably lose both our centers (Montgomery, Richards), and either Brooks or Juzang, and Sestina for sure due to being a graduate transfer. So we could be looking at another complete rebuild down in Lexington, but with Calipari at the helm it isn’t impossible to say the least.

To start, N’Faly Dante would be a nice addition to this class if he doesn’t reclassify. I do think his recruitment opens up a ton if he doesn’t reclassify, but I like Kentucky’s chances. I’ve written a ton on him as it is, so check it out here.

Image result for brandon boston jr

Another name to keep an eye on is Brandon Boston Jr. The #10 player in the class and the #2 shooting guard, Boston is a very versatile player who many see as a lock to Kentucky but is also considering Duke and Auburn. He is an amazing shooter as well as a great rebounder but needs to work on his strength if he wants to make it in the long run, but Cal can bring so much out in him.

Jalen Green is another player Kentucky has their sights on as he is a top 5 player and would be Kentucky’s first since 2015. He is a heavy Memphis favorite but as we saw him in the Peach Jam, the dude can ball. Again, Memphis is the favorite but Calipari has been in touch with him a lot more recently so only time will tell. Penny could also fail big time this season which would lose him recruits and respect.

In terms of forwards, the class is stacked with virtually no one leaning anyway. Isaiah Todd was one that many people thought would reclassify to join Kentucky in 2019 but once he ruled that out he opened up a little bit. Many people still see Kentucky as a lock but North Carolina is also in the mix. Makur Maker is another one but with no offer from Kentucky it seems his interest will shift until he gets one. He has spoken very highly of Calipari and his staff but they’re focused more on N’Faly. Cliff Omoruyi would be a work in progress, but he’s coming from the same school Briscoe and Whitney came from so Cal has ties there.

Image result for scottie barnes

Lastly, wing Scottie Barnes. Scottie was the first one offered in 2020 from Kentucky. Cal offered him when he was a sophomore in high school which is super rare for Calipari. Barnes could be a special player and could be a (healthy) Jarred Vanderbilt when he arrives. Great rebounder, great passer, great defender, but scoring could improve. With Kenny Payne taking the helm on his recruiting, if we want him we’ll get him. Oregon is considered the favorite but with a year, so much can change.

There is still so much time to figure out the 2020 class and I’ll provide updates when I can. But with 4/5 of these guys, Calipari can bring him maybe his best class with it headlining N’Faly Dante or Scottie Barnes. I think we’ll be just fine after we win #9 this season. For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports and on Facebook.

And Now the N’Faly Dante Watch Begins

As the Peach Jam finally ends with N’Faly’s team winning it, the official watch can actually begin. The whole time we knew he’d delay his process until at least now so he could showcase his skills during this elite tournament and with it finally done…we wait. There is still so much to unwrap in his reclassification and his recruitment in general, but what I do know is that he needs to decide quickly to avoid being far behind in his conditioning because man, it was awful to watch today, but even when he’s tired he scored 22 and brought in 18 boards, so…

With the Peach Jam being essentially 8 games in three days, N’Faly is bound to be tired. But watching his game today there were multiple occasions where he couldn’t even make it across half court. Again, so many games can do that to you and he still made such an impact on the court as he led his team to the win, but he needs to decide quickly in order to ramp up his conditioning. Being a 6’11” center, N’Faly is expected to be a little behind in conditioning as it is but when you can’t make it up the court it’s just embarrassing. NCAA is a much faster, more intense game than any AAU game will ever be, especially when you get to March. I have no worries he’ll be fine once he reaches that point and I’ll tell you what…even with him out of shape at points, he controlled the game and that is who I want representing the University of Kentucky. With the game winning free throws being hit by N’Faly, I like this kid more and more.

Image result for n'faly dante

N’Faly is such an athlete and would add so much talent to this current team. With an obvious “weak” spot at the center position, N’Faly would allow EJ and Nick more rest as well as a huge defensive asset. He is going to cause so many issues inside the paint and the one thing that has come out of the Peach Jam is the dude is “100% NBA ready.” N’Faly told KSR if everything works our academically, he’ll be reclassifying but he’s waiting on a few test as well as finishing classes. He is considering Oregon, LSU, and Kentucky but honestly if he reclassified, Kentucky is the leader. He also said Calipari told him they have a spot either this year or next, meaning they want him to be a Wildcat regardless.

As a refresher, Dante is 6’11” and he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

I think he’ll be a Wildcat soon enough, especially once he gets cleared to reclassify. For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!

HUGE N’Faly Dante Updated

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we have been waiting for…N’Faly Dante wants to reclassify to the 2019 class he tells KSR. Although him saying it doesn’t mean much, we are still awaiting test results to see where he actually stands. But if this is able to happen, he is considering Kentucky, Oregon, and LSU. When asked, N’Faly said “I feel like I can play [in college right now], but it’s all about school, you know?” he said. “But I don’t even think about [my reclassification] right now.” He told KSR he’s ready, but everything is just waiting on school work as he is finishing up class online currently. According to Dante, Kentucky told him they have a spot in 2019 or 2020, whenever he is ready.

This speaks volumes to me. Calipari wants him and why wouldn’t he? Dude is an absolute beast as he has dominated the Peach Jam as well as showcasing his ability day in and day out. Tennessee is also a possibility but due to their ability to actually win or get him on national television, I think they stand no chance. I’ve said time and time again, if he reclassified Kentucky would be the choice. They offer the most for him and give him the best ability to grow.

While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.

Here are my thoughts…if and it’s about 50/50 right now, IF N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.

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N’Faly Looking Like a Cat

For weeks I have been praising N’Faly and practically speaking into existence his membership on the 2019 squad and let me tell you, it’s looking pretty damn good. We all know him as the 6’11” center from Mali, but currently living in Wichita. Dante is an absolute stud who currently plays for Willie Cauley Stein’s old team and his coach constantly says how Kenny Payne helped shaped WCS into the player he became and basically includes Kenny Payne in his family. While he sees so many comparables between the two, he thinks Dante may have the higher ceiling and I tend to agree with that.

This past week the AAU Peach Jam has been going on and N’Faly has been a dominant force for his team. The other day he scored 7 of the first 13 for his team including two dunks. He runs the floor like an animal, his body is already looking NBA ready and he has a strong interior presence on defense. This kid is ready to make the leap and this week has shown just that. The 2020 center from Mali will hopefully make the leap but it’s up to him at this point…well and if he passes some tests.

Image result for n'faly dante

While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.

Here are my thoughts…if and it’s about 50/50 right now, IF N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.