In 2008 the Hoyas rode an experienced and talented roster to a No. 2 seed, only to be bounced by the No. 10 seed Davidson Wildcats in the round of 32.
Georgetown missed the NCAA tournament in 2009 but stayed consistent by losing in the second round of the NIT. It then lost in the NCAA tournament round of 64 in 2010 and 2011 and the round of 32 in 2012. Not much to speak of there—just flat-out upset by inferior teams. But a disturbing trend to be sure.
All of those upsets were pretty incredible, but none compared to the shellacking the No. 2-seeded Hoyas received from No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast in the 2013 round of 64. FGCU did it by throwing alley-oops, AND1 mix-tape moves and more swagger than the Hoyas could handle as the favored squad. A demoralized and frustrated Georgetown team promised better for the 2013-2014 season, its first in the newly revamped Big East.
In an interview last November with Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk, senior point guard Markel Starks spoke of how he wanted to leave his mark this season; how he wanted to be remembered at Georgetown:
I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’ve had fun, through the good and the bad, and I want this senior year to be a good one. But when I think of guys that I really looked up to, the guys that came before me: Roy Hibbert, out in the second round. Chris Wright, out in the first round. Not to take anything away from their career, but I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave on a positive note.
Deep in the Big Dance. That’s what it’s about.
That simply didn't happen. Navigating eligibility issues, injuries, inconsistency and an atypically porous defense, the Hoyas yet again struggled to a disappointing record at 18-15, including 8-10 in the new Big East. Despite all this, due to some important victories over Michigan State, Creighton and VCU, the Hoyas found themselves on the bubble entering the Big East tournament. That lasted all of one half.
This team showed how awful it can be by losing in the first round of the conference tournament to a DePaul Blue Demons team that had not beaten the Hoyas in 15 attempts and had won all of three Big East games during the regular season. As has been the alarming trend for the better part of six seasons, when the Hoyas needed to play their best they instead played their absolute worst.
This culminated with another early exit, but this time in the NIT tournament. The Hoyas defense made every Florida State Seminole look like Stephen Curry as FSU shot over 68 percent for the game and hung a century on the Hoyas, sending them home to chew on a 101-90 loss and one of their worst defensive performances in years.
So what does this team need to do to get back to the upper echelons of the new Big East? To regain prominence in NCAA basketball? To gain some momentum and credibility back as a storied and winning program?
There a a few things that need to be done, but fortunately, there is also some help on the way.