New Georgetown men’s basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley promised to reestablish a winning culture on campus. 10 days later, the winds of change have already swept across the Hilltop.
The Hoyas experienced considerable movement in player and staff personnel within the first days of Cooley’s tenure, signaling an organizational effort to overhaul the men’s basketball team. Cooley said he was in the process of meeting with team members individually to assess their role moving forward in his introductory press conference on March 22.
Cooley said that since players form the core of any team identity, he is focusing on retaining athletes committed to his vision.
“I’m gonna have one-on-one conversations with everyone in the organization, and ask them what they are looking for,” Cooley told The Hoya. “Are they willing to commit to being unselfish, passionate teammates? Some kids may want to stay, some kids may want to go. We, as a staff and as a head coach, have to evaluate what is best for our program as we move forward.”
Georgetown faces an exodus of players declaring for the transfer portal. Since Cooley’s arrival, sophomore guard Brandon Murray and sophomore center Bradley Ezewiro joined sophomore guard Primo Spears, first-year guard Denver Anglin, sophomore guard Jordan Riley, first-year forward D’Ante Bass and senior center Malcolm Wilson in looking for new destinations.
Although Cooley said he is open to having conversations with those already in the transfer portal, he is ultimately looking for players who are eager to stay at Georgetown.
“I want somebody who wants to be here,” Cooley said at the press conference. “I am not going to beg you to stay. If you want to roll, roll. We will figure it out.”
The search for new players is already well underway.
Georgetown has already seen results on the high school recruiting front. Shortly after Cooley’s official introduction as Georgetown’s head coach, Class of 2023 forward Drew Fielder and Class of 2024 guard Kayvaun Mulready, both considered to be four-star talents, decommitted from Providence College, Cooley’s former school, to follow him to the Hilltop. Class of 2023 guard Garwey Dual similarly decommitted from Providence, and Georgetown is a favorite to sign him.
The Hoyas are closely tied to a number of transfers, aiming to replace lost talent to quickly bolster the team’s competitiveness.
Illinois guard Jayden Epps, St. John’s guard AJ Storr, Texas Christian center Eddie Lampkin Jr., Yale forward EJ Jarvis, Providence guard Jared Bynum and other players have been linked to Georgetown since Cooley’s appointment, according to several sources.
Cooley is also revamping the coaching staff, hoping to assemble a strong foundation to help ease the administrative transition.
The Georgetown Athletics website currently lists Cooley as the sole member of the 2023-24 coaching staff with no official word about any other hire. Georgetown Athletics did not provide specific updates to The Hoya on the statuses of former staff members under Ewing and potential new hires by Cooley.
Clinton Crouch, who served as an assistant coach under Ewing for the 2022-23 season, suggested on Twitter that he will not return to Georgetown.
Associate Head Coach Kevin Nickelberry and Assistant Coach Pat Baldwin are widely expected to leave Georgetown following Ewing’s departure. Chief of Staff Ronny Thompson, who is the son of former Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson Jr., has also not announced his intentions for next season and beyond.
Cooley exclusively confirmed to The Hoya that Providence Assistant Coach Ivan Thomas will be joining him at Georgetown. The Georgetown University staff directory lists Thomas, Jeff Battle, Brian Blaney and LaDontae Henton as incoming men’s basketball assistant coaches.
All four individuals were previously part of Cooley’s coaching staff at Providence and are now expected to help Cooley foster a new culture for the team.
Cooley said he expected to bring in his previous assistant coaches, who contributed to Providence’s Big East successes over the past few years.
“Loyalty goes a long way, right? I am pretty sure we are going to have some familiar faces that sit next to me,” Cooley said at the press conference. “We are evaluating it, but I anticipate us having the same crew that got us here.”
Cooley has roughly seven months until the start of the next basketball season to finalize player and coaching changes. Until then, Cooley said he wants fans to remain patient throughout the rebuilding process.
“All I am asking this community to do is give us an opportunity to grow,” Cooley said at the press conference.
jim Seal says
Is coach Cooley aggressively recruiting Donnie Freeman from St. John’s high school in DC?