The past week—well, the past four years—has been rough for the Georgetown men’s basketball program, which is slowly coming to terms with the fact that it will have to part ways with John Thompson III in the very-near future. While students, fans, and pundits all see the falling curtain, the Hoyas public relations team is still fighting the good fight.
Georgetown looked exceptionally lifeless in the second half of Saturday’s 81-55 loss to second-ranked Villanova, which doubled as the regular season finale and senior night for the hometown Hoyas. One Georgetown player, guard Rodney Pryor, scored in double-digits—all but one of the Wildcat starters managed to crack the 12-point mark. It wasn’t a cover-to-cover beatdown, though, as the Hoyas entered halftime trailing by 10. They even looked like they were interested enough to flirt with an upset early on in the second period, pulling within four on a pair of free throws from Akoy Agua with 16:42 remaining. Georgetown stuck around for the next six minutes; then, trailing by just six points at the 10-minute mark, the wheels fell off.
Villanova—a team that lost two of its best players from a championship lineup and yet somehow looks even better this year—proceeded to beat the brakes off Thompson III’s Hoyas over the final 10 minutes, outscoring Georgetown 32-12. In that time, Kris Jenkins scored eight points and Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson both added seven apiece, helping their team lock down a 28-3 regular season mark and head into the Big East tournament as the No. 1 seed.
The Hoyas, on the other hand, looked fairly uninterested in guarding any of the Wildcat players, and limped into the postseason at 14-17. Come the end of the game, The Hoya, the school’s student paper, reported that the third round of “Fire Thompson” chants was drowned out only by the cheers of visiting Wildcat fans.
This is a game Georgetown had every right to lose. Villanova is superior in almost every statistical facet of the game and boasts a core of experienced national champions; the Hoyas have Rodney Pryor, L.J. Peak (two points in 12 minutes today) and that’s about it. While it’s been locked up for at least a month now, this will be the third time in four years the Hoyas have missed the tournament, their worst stretch since Craig Esherick gave his “I ain’t going nowhere” speech in 2004.
And just like it was fair to expect Georgetown to lose in unspectacular fashion to one of the nation’s best teams, it was fair to expect a reporter—Ben Standig, in this case—to ask whether the recent talk of Thompson III’s soon-to-be canning distracted his team in the lead-up to the regular season finale. Thompson III was not given the opportunity to respond, though, as a “school official” instructed Standig and the press to ask only “game-related questions.”
The press conference last less than four minutes, per The Hoya.