Georgetown Basketball is swinging for the fences. And after bungling the firing of John Thompson III, and after finding out the hard way that coaches don’t view the opening like the elite job that many people still inside the program see it as — giving the gig to former great Patrick Ewing is the ultimate A or F move.

Because the shadow of Big John Thompson is still hanging over the Hoyas program. And who better to know how to operate in that shadow than the biggest player in the program’s history. So instead of running from the past, the Hoyas are embracing it. And instead of separating from the Thompson family — they’re doing the closest thing to keeping the job in the family, by bringing in Ewing.

And now you’re asking a former great — a guy with 15 years of coaching experience but NONE of it at the college level, to come in and save a program that hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 since 2007 and has finished the last two seasons UNDER .500. So welcome to the party, Pat. That big name and reputation will earn him some time, but it sure as hell won’t make the transition any easier.

But I like the hire. Because the one thing that Georgetown COULDNT do was be boring. And no he wasn’t their first choice. He may not have even been their third. Or fifth. But give them this, despite all the no’s they received, they still end up with some splash. And a guy who should at least win the presser. Because the one hire they couldn’t make was the one that lands with no reaction at all. Because even if Pat has a lot to learn — especially in a talent-rich city that’s got all sorts of pitfalls with shady AAU programs and back-room dealmakers — he’s a big enough name to operate comfortably in Big John’s shadow. Close enough to the man who built the brand that he’ll have his allegiance.

Like I say, A or F. A ton of boom or bust potential. I mean, I really like the man, but ask Clyde the Glide how things went in Houston. But if you’re going to roll the dice, better to roll it on an all-time great like Ewing, with the blessing of Big John, than anybody else.  He’s paid his dues and now he gets the shot. Let’s see if he’s up to it. And if he’ll go down as the guy who never ever said anything until he finally opened up his mouth and told the world, “Sure, we make a lot of money but we SPEND a lot of money too” or will he be the guy who restored a once epic program to his previous greatness. I have no idea.  But I’ll definitely be watching how it goes down.


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