Heading into the Big East tournament, there was plenty of talk about the Georgetown basketball program.
The only problem: it didn’t have anything to do with the Hoyas making a run at Madison Square Garden. It had to do with John Thompson III and his status as head coach. For example, earlier in the week Georgetown shut down a press conference when questions were more focused on Thompson’s future than the team’s conference tournament prep.
That took a bit of a backseat on Wednesday night in the wake of St. John’s coach Chris Mullin nearly brawling with Thompson after a dust-up between players. St. John’s ended up taking the close contest 74-73.
That means the Hoyas season is over with a final record of 14-18, and the talk of Thompson’s future is sure to return.
While plenty of people associated with the program that have been critical of Thompson, one person on his side is former Hoya Allen Iverson.
During Wednesday’s tournament-opening loss to St. John’s, Iverson defended the second-generation Georgetown coach.
“I think everyone honestly is panicking,” Iverson said during Wednesday night’s 74-73 loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in the first round of the Big East tournament. “I see the future being bright for us. It’s home team for me, so I feel a lot different than everyone else. I’m going to support my team no matter what, but he’s a great coach as well. Three Big East championships.”
“I still believe he’s the right guy, I really do,” he added. “I know him. I know he knows basketball. He grew up under the greatest coach ever to me I talk basketball with him all the time. I know. Obviously, I’m optimistic about this whole deal. It’s in my blood.”
“One thing about them, I’m not talking down on my little guys, but you’ve got to be accountable,” Iverson said. “It has to show up on the floor. I’m not talking down on them. I’m here tonight and they are giving everything they have. Sometimes you come up short.”
“As long as there’s a positive environment, and you keep everything positive, I think positive things will happen,” he added. “It’s tough for me, but my support is there. Same way for the Sixers. It’s a process and we’re going to be alright. I just hope they support him like they are supposed to.”
Points to AI for a #process reference.
The talk of Thompson’s departure comes as Georgetown will miss its third postseason in the past four years.
Wednesday’s loss only makes matters worse for Thompson. He and the school better be prepared to shut down a few more press conferences.