I 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.