Georgetown fired John Thompson III Thursday, this after the Hoyas went 14-18 this past season, including 5-13 in the Big East.
Thompson went 278-151 in 13 seasons with the Hoyas but finished with a losing record each of the last two years. The Hoyas haven’t reached the Sweet 16 since 2007.
“Well, I can’t say that I was shocked just because the momentum that Georgetown had really gained under John Thompson really had shifted in the wrong direction over the last couple years,” CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein told Jody McDonald, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Ever since Georgetown lost in the NCAA Tournament to 2013 to Florida Golf Coast, the program hasn’t been the same. That was the year that Georgetown was a 2-seed in the field with Otto Porter leading the way. I think ever since that game, Georgetown hasn’t been the same. The collective effect of continuing to lose players is something that has really taken its toll on Georgetown. Right now, Georgetown, I believe, only has eight players on scholarship next season, so it was going to be an arduous task to get to the top half of the Big East again.”
Who will inherit that task is anyone’s guess.
“It seems more than likely that Georgetown is probably going to break away from the Thompson regime – and think about that,” Rothstein said. “Since 1972, whoever has coached at Georgetown from a men’s basketball perspective has had some sort of an attachment to Big John. . . . The perfect fit right there from a perspective of have you coached at high academic institutions and does he have roots in the D.C. area is Harvard’s Tommy Amaker. That makes the most sense when you look at the type of place that Georgetown is and what Amaker has done. He’s worked at Duke, he’s played at Duke, and he’s coached at Michigan and Harvard.”
That, however, does not mean Amaker would take the job.
“Tommy Amaker – and I can tell you this from spending time with him over the past couple of years – is enchanted with Harvard,” Rothstein said. “He loves Harvard. His wife has a job at Harvard, and his wife obviously is going to have to have a quality job with whatever university or college he is going to coach men’s basketball at. And he also is on the verge of really turning things around for Harvard from a talent perspective. And I know from talking to him that he dreams of taking Harvard to a Sweet 16. He’s won a game in the tournament twice in the last four years, and he dreams of playing on a night like tonight and having famous alumni from Harvard’s alumni base sit behind the bench – like Natalie Portman, Tommy Lee Jones, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates. That is Tommy Amaker’s dream. I don’t know if he’s willing to give that up to go to a place like Georgetown, but in the past, he’s already turned down SMU, Cal and Miami.”
Rothstein added that Tom Crean could be an ideal candidate for Georgetown, while Larry Brown, 76, would likely not garner much interest due to age.