Patrick Ewing And Jessie Govan on The Big Man Lineage at Georgetown And The Season Outlook For The Hoyas (Video)Read Now
Patrick Ewing begins his second season at the helm of his alma mater. The Georgetown Hoyas will tip off the season Tuesday night against The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This should be a comfortable home opener for the Hoyas, but Ewing knows after a 15-15 record in his first year including 5-13 in the Big East, nothing is a given. In year two, the Hoyas will start to look more like the team Ewing wants them to be, and a big reason for that is the return of his star center Jessie Govan. The senior averaged 17.9 ppg and 10 rpg. Govan showed tremendous improvement during his junior season, under the tutelage of Ewing who is not only the head coach but the former star center of the Hoyas in the 80s and the greatest player in school history. Govan could have entered the NBA draft in June but his decision to return was based in large part on his desire to work with Ewing for another season and help the Hoyas make the NCAA tournament and to continue the proud tradition of centers at Georgetown.
Beginning with Patrick Ewing, and continuing with Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Othello Harrington, and Roy Hibbert, the Hoyas have had excellent big men. The game has evolved and back to the basket low post threats are becoming rare. Today centers have to be able to step out and shoot it from distance, giving offenses more room to operate and flow. Ewing has said he wants his team to be able to play with pace and be multifaceted on offense. A big part of the team’s ability to do that will be the leap Govan is able to make. The Queens native was named to the preseason All-Big East team and will have to play like an All-American if the Hoyas are to make the leap towards the upper echelon of the Big East. Govan is confident and believes he can do that, which is why he embraced the challenge of coming back to school. As a big man, he knows Ewing will demand a lot out of him and be extra hard on him, given that Ewing once dominated the position was national player of the year, a three-time All American, two-time Big East Player of the Year. Govan isn’t shy about his coach’s penchant for being extra tough on him and at Big East Media Day, he opened up about what that experience is like.
It’s important to set goals and have something for the team to strive for, but Ewing knows this will be a marathon, not a sprint. Both in the macro sense of the rebuild of the program and this upcoming season. The expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” is cliche but apropos. Ewing is starting to bring in the recruits he wants to mold into his style of play. He was asked at Big East Media Day about the style of play and how he wants to coach the team. He talked about excelling in the pick and roll, catch and shoot situations, all facets of the game. Being amorphous sounds good in theory but the Hoyas will need an identity. The one area they should be able to hang their hats on is playing with the intensity and effort their head coach did when he was at Georgetown and later in the pros.
Ultimately the overall rebuild is going to be tied to Ewing’s ability to land top recruits and play a style that will attract the nation’s best prep prospects. In the short term, if they can get to .500 in league play, a winning overall record, a decent run in the conference tournament, and postseason play, that will be huge in aiding Ewing’s recruitment pitches. Ewing has wanted an opportunity to be a head coach for a very long time, spending serval years as an assistant in the NBA. He believes he is the right man to restore Georgetown to prominence and can coach winning basketball. Time will tell.
See Patrick Ewing's full Big East Media Day comments.