When Georgetown unexpectedly pulled out of the Phil Knight PK80 Invitational earlier this summer, it showed that new coach Patrick Ewing was not confident in his team’s potential, at least early in the season.
It’s hard to blame him, either. The Hoyas are coming off a 14-18 season and lose their top two scorers from last year, while not bringing in any freshmen of note (except maybe top-100 prospect Jamarko Pickett).
Not only did the decision to drop out of the PK80 leave the Hoyas without opportunities against quality competition like Michigan State, UConn, and Oregon, it also left three games on the schedule that needed to be filled late.
The expectation was that they would be filled with cupcakes, and oh boy did Ewing not disappoint.
Here’s the whole schedule:
The non-conference portion, with each team’s 2016-17 KenPom rank in parentheses:
Nov. 12: Jacksonville (275)
Nov. 15: Mount St. Mary’s (209)
Nov. 18: Maryland Eastern Shore (321)
Nov. 25: at Richmond (92)
Nov. 28: Maine (337)
Dec. 3: Coppin State (343)
Dec. 7: Howard (338)
Dec. 9: North Carolina A&T (349)
Dec. 16: Syracuse (55)
Dec. 20: North Texas (320)
Dec. 23: Alabama A&M (351)
I promise those are all real teams. I checked.
By the numbers:
I used KenPom to rank exactly how bad these teams were last year, but you can use whatever you want. BPI, RPI, or good ol’ fashioned win-loss record. It doesn’t matter.
- Out of 351 Division-I teams, Georgetown plays seven ranked 320 or worse.
- Out of 32 Division-I conferences, the MEAC ranked 31. Georgetown plays four of its 13 teams.
- Georgetown didn’t even schedule the best teams in the MEAC (best being a relative term). None of the top five MEAC teams appear on Georgetown’s schedule and only one had a winning conference record.
- Georgetown plays one road game and one game against a high-major school.
- Georgetown’s opponents went 130-231 last year, which is a .360 winning percentage.
- And a lot of those wins were against non-Division-I competition. Against D-I teams, Georgetown’s opponents went 116-230, which is a .335 winning percentage.
- Five opponents failed to win 10 games last year, another won exactly 10.
High-major teams have been putting together weak non-conference schedules for years. It’s a thing that we, as basketball fans, have to deal with. But this takes it to another level. This makes Rutgers’ slate look like a college basketball murderer’s row.
Now imagine how much fun it will be if Georgetown loses a couple of these.