I was disappointed to hear of Georgetown University’s decision to part ways with John Thompson III as the head coach of their men’s basketball season last week. On our “SportsTalk” program, we had a chance to talk with the Washington Post’s Gene Wang, who covered the press conference announcing the change and had very comprehensive coverage of this big news in the DMV as well as the latest on the Hoyas’ search for a new head coach…
I first met Coach Thompson while announcing basketball games at Princeton University, before John left to follow in his legendary father’s footsteps as the head coach of the Hoyas program. Coach Thompson was incredibly nice and always insightful each time I had the opportunity to speak with him and it was a tremendous experience to spend time with the son of a legend—who clearly learned a great deal from his father and was putting it to good use during his time while with the Tigers.
John Thompson Jr. put Georgetown basketball on a national stage for decades, and, initially, his son also had great success. Among John Thompson III’s achievements during the first nine seasons as head coach:
- Georgetown has been selected to the NCAA Tournament eight times
- In six of the team’s eight NCAA Tournament appearances, the Blue & Gray have been seeded among the top four teams, earning three No. 2 seeds (2007, 2008, 2013), two No. 3 seeds (2010, 2012) and a No. 4 seed (2015).
- In 2006-07, Thompson led the program to a 30-7 record as the Hoyas won the BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the NCAA East Regional and advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.
- In 2007-08, the Hoyas won back-to-back BIG EAST Regular Season titles (2006-07, 2007-08), posting a two-year record of 28-6 against conference opponents.
- In 2012-13, Georgetown won the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, winning 11-straight games at one point, and Thompson was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
- He had led the Hoyas to three appearances in the BIG EAST Tournament Championship game
As we talked about in the interview (which you can check out through RCN On-Demand), things soured greatly for Thompson during the last few years, with even some of his former players calling the program “a mess” and calling for “fresh air” for the program.
While it became a necessary change for Georgetown, I believe John Thompson III to be a great collegiate basketball coach, and I’m hoping he finds another big time coaching opportunity very soon.
Also in this week’s blog, it will be our last time showcasing HS hoops videos until the summer leagues get underway in just a few months (and if you hate the cold weather like I do—this is a very pleasant notion). We’ll already be turning the best on this Thursday’s live “SportsTalk” show, as we look ahead to the upcoming Major League Baseball Season with a live report from Florida with an update from spring training and a look at the National League East (you can hear the podcast at rcn.com/rcntv/sports-talk).
After taking some time to reflect on the new basketball classifications, the new expanded playoff seeding and a realigned format for the games, I’m going to be giving my reflections on this winter’s high school basketball season and all the changes in an upcoming blog entry. Keith Groller and myself discussed our thoughts briefly on the most recent “SportsTalk” program, but I want to take some time to “digest” all the changes and the new expanded formats and to also take some time to get feedback from local coaches and administrators—the ones that are directly involved and affected by the new policies.
Now, here’s the last round of video highlights from this winter’s high school basketball coverage on RCN-TV:
We’ll gather more thoughts from the winter sports season as well as look ahead to the upcoming Major League Baseball season, with a live report from Florida with MLB Beat Writer Steven Gross, on this Thursday’s “RCN SportsTalk presented by the Morning Call” at 7pm on RCN-TV.
Last but not least, a big shout-out to my colleagues at RCN once again for their involvement in the local community. RCN will be participating in the Pediatric Cancer Foundation 5K/8K Run held at one of my own stomping grounds—the Ironton Rail Trail in Coplay (there’s a nearby little league field in which the event benefits the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley and we would encourage people to participate and also support this very worthwhile local organization. More information about this weekend’s event can be found here: https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Coplay/RunToLive2017