2015 2K Classic: John Thompson

2015 2K Classic: John Thompson

September 16, 2015

When you think of college basketball’s all-time coaching royalty, you don’t need to go very deep on the list to come across the name of John Thompson.

When you think of college basketball’s current coaching royalty, you don’t need to go very deep on the list to come across the name of John Thompson III.

They may be the greatest father-son coaching tandem in history. In 27 seasons, the father won 596 games and led Georgetown to 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Final Fours and the 1984 National Championship. In 11 seasons, the son has won 249 games and led the Hoyas to the postseason every year, including eight NCAA Tournament berths and the 2007 Final Four.

In 2006, the father was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and earlier this month was selected as the first recipient of the Dean Smith Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to an individual in college basketball who embodies the spirit and values of the former North Carolina head coach. In 2007, the son was named the National Coach of the Year by the
National Association of Basketball Coaches.

But just because the son has followed the father’s career path does not mean the son has not stepped out from the shadow to make a name for himself. JTIII, as he is known, inherited a program that faltered a bit after his father left. In the six years from the time the father retired to the time the son was hired, Georgetown won just 58 percent of its games – not a bad winning percentage for most programs, but not acceptable to one which had won 71 percent of its games the preceding 27 seasons.

After the Hoyas went 13-15 in 2003-04, John Thompson III was hired from Princeton, where he played as an undergraduate for Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril and where went 68-42 in four seasons as head coach. Since then, he has brought the Hoyas back to national prominence and emerged from the shadow to become one of the best coaches in college basketball today.

Royalty indeed.

Georgetown will meet Wisconsin in the semifinals of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20. The game will be followed by Duke-VCU with the championship and consolation games being played on Nov. 22. Tickets are available at: http://bit.ly/1T10Bfn



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