On Nov. 27, 1972, John Thompson Jr. made his coaching debut at Georgetown, where he led the program to the 1984 national title and turned the Hoyas into a college basketball powerhouse.
On Tuesday, 50 years after Thompson’s reign began, Georgetown snapped a 21-game losing streak.
Prior to Georgetown’s 99-89 overtime win against Coppin State, Patrick Ewing’s squad had not won a game in 328 days. But the win did not come without a fight.
Head coach Juan Dixon, the former Maryland star, and Coppin State — picked to finish fifth in the MEAC’s preseason poll — held a lead over Georgetown late in the game and then weathered a burst by the Hoyas down the stretch before Mike Hood hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Georgetown managed to pull away from Coppin State, which also played a game on Monday night, in overtime.
Justin Steers came off the bench to lead Coppin State with 21 points, while Primo Spears finished with a game-high 28 points for Georgetown.
Georgetown no longer resembles the program Thompson, who died in 2020, once guided during its richest years as he molded star players, such as Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson.
Following Georgetown’s 85-73 win over Howard on Dec. 15, 2021, the Hoyas lost their next 21 games. The Hoyas have not won a Big East game since March 2, 2021.
Six players entered the transfer portal after last year’s struggles and Aminu Mohammed, the team’s best player, turned pro. Ewing began this season with nine new players.
He has been the subject of rumors about his job status in recent years. While it’s difficult to envision the school firing a legend who led the team to a national title under Thompson, it’s also hard to imagine Georgetown accepting another season similar to what it endured last season.
“The great thing about this year, about now, is it’s a new year,” Ewing told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game. “We’re starting off fresh. We have to make sure that we get and stay on track from start to finish and make sure that we are positive and upbeat and all the things that we talked about from this summer.”