What does JTIII’s firing mean for George Mason and area recruiting?

GettyImages-632411596I was in the group that thought Georgetown would never fire John Thompson III, so yesterday was surprising. It’s a move that will impact DC area college basketball, especially on the recruiting scene. What does this mean for George Mason basketball and head coach Dave Paulsen? Mason has already had an uphill battle trying to get local recruits and now a new head coach in town could change the landscape a bit. Despite the program’s lack of recent success, Georgetown was still landing a lot of top local talent in the area. Will that continue with a new coach? That depends largely on the who they hire.

Mason isn’t at the point where they are in the running for the top recruits in the DC area but there are a lot of guys on the fringe that choose to be reserve players at Georgetown or Maryland. Paulsen might be able to attract more of those fringe recruits if he continues to build a winning a program and Georgetown’s new coach has a different recruiting plan or struggles in the area. Paulsen has mentioned the importance of recruiting locally here and it certainly is important to helping this team get back to the NCAA tournament. A changing of the guard at a big program like Georgetown can most likely help them win the smaller battles in this area.

Mason fans have to hope that Georgetown has a long, drawn out process of hiring a new coach or just completely botches the hire. There seems to be some uncertainty now, especially with how much the Thompson family will still be involved with whoever they bring in as next head coach. That might scare away some of the big candidates. We will have to wait and see but the Hoyas’ struggles could be a gain for Mason in the long term as they continue to build a winning program.

  • Masonfan01

    Mason needs to get that practice facility, now both Georgetown and Maryland have ridiculous ones. True that we aren’t competing for the same players but Mason has to eventually get their name in the conversation with some of these 3 and 4 star local kids.

  • Grad2003

    Seeing that they will probably go after Patrick Ewing if he is winning to leave the NBA and his goal of being a head coach there. Also saw our old pal Shaka’s name in consideration, I think that woud be devastating for everyone else trying to recruit in the DMV area.

    • dsnjd1

      Shaka will never come to Georgetown as long as he’s under contract with Texas. It would be a definite step-down in salary. Unless he’s fired, which I don’t think will happen this year. I think he’s at Texas for at least a year. Plus, Georgetown, and perhaps no other team can match what Texas can pay with its large oil funded endowment

      • Gunston98

        JT3 was making $3.6M, Shaka got a raise this year but is still lower at $3M I believe. Not saying they’d pay that much for a non-Thompson coach but they do have the funds and could be willing to spend.

        • dsnjd1

          I had no idea. I guess I should have checked. I knew that Shaka was paid well, but 3.6 M for JT III? That’s highway robbery.. Texas certainly has deeper pockets (not that Georgetown’s are shallow), and a lot more to offer in the way of amenities. (Georgetown does not even have a modern on campus arena….for years they played most games in Landover….explaining, in part, their large African-American Fan Base) Texas has some of the deepest pockets in the country….all that oil money to call upon. At 3.6 M per JT III was definitely well (over-) paid, as will the next coach. This will be Georgetown’s first coach outside of the John Thompson coaching tree. It makes you really consider how skewed college coaching salaries are skewed in favor of the big schools. But with those kind of resources, maybe they should look for a top name.

  • dsnjd1

    With this hire is bound to be very different for Georgetown, in that it will be their first real hire since the program jumped to D-I level. I can remember watching Georgetown games in the old ECAC from Mac Donough Gymnasium in the G.U campus on Cannel Five in the early seventies.. John Thompson II played as a back-up to Bill Russell in several in the pros and won by recruiting academically challenged, and let’s be honest “Criminally” challenged athletes from the D.C. Inter High League (i.e.., Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning…ect…..do you remember the famous throat cutting motion by a Georgetown player in in the eighties…..[Name?]) Thompson succeeded in virtually shutting-out Left Driesell from and U.Md all Inter High recruits. Craig Esherick was his long-time assistant and took over in the Nineties when Thompson retired, and after a half dozen or so mediocre years he has relpaced by John Thompson III. JT III came to Georgetown from Princeton where he had great success of that Ivy League School. JT III you may remember led Georgetown to the 2007 Final Four the year after Mason. But two losing seasons in a row was apparently too much even for the administration of Georgetown. This is a real critical period for the Georgetown program as they have apparently lost their pipeline supplying players from the D.C. Inter High league. I can see Georgetown as a “team of the past” moving forward, which is what JT III was hired to prevent after Esherick was fired. So if you want to be encouraged that Mason is headed in the right direction, you need look only a few miles to the Northeast to see what a “Cluster F**K” the Georgetown program has become

    • Matt_LC

      This critique of Georgetown’s program makes it sounds like other schools don’t have similar issues which is totally false. You also can’t lump every GT player into one boat. Sloppy/stereotypical take.