Catching up with John Thompson III
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday night’s loss at Villanova snapped an 11-game winning streak, but Georgetown is still one of the hottest teams in college basketball at the moment. Thanks to the streak, which featured wins over four ranked opponents, the Hoyas jumped into the national spotlight.
John Thompson III’s name entered the national coach of the year discussion, and sophomore forward Otto Porter’s gained national player of the year buzz. There was talk of a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
It remains seen which parts of those possibilities become reality. But in the meantime, the fifth-ranked Hoyas are gearing up for their final regular-season game against Syracuse while both schools are members of the Big East, and then the subsequent Big East tournament — and farewell to the conference as we know it — which begins next week.
USA TODAY Sports caught up with Thompson on Thursday to discuss the end of the losing streak, the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry and the Big East Tournament.
Thompson on whether there’s any silver lining in a loss like the Villanova one, taking the pressure off a long winning streak or helping players re-focus heading into the postseason:
“I don’t think so. I’d rather that streak last through 20, or whatever the number might be that would carry us through the Big East and NCAA tournaments. A little more than 20. Winning is better than losing.”
Thompson on the final chapter of Georgetown-Syracuse, to be played Saturday:
“Without a doubt, it’ll be emotional. As much as we both plan on continuing to play, it’s going to be different. What has made these games so special, this rivalry so special – and then, in turn, made this league so special – is the Georgetown-Syracuse games. Even if we continue, they’re not going to be twice a year, three times a year, with a conference title at stake.
“It’s just going to be a team you play home-and-home with. … You don’t want to get too nostalgic, but there’s no doubt that this rivalry, Georgetown-Syracuse, is one of the most special in college basketball, and that’s going to change.”
Thompson on his introduction to the … [For more on Coach's Corner: Catching up with Georgetown's John Thompson III, click here.]