Close options deserve a look

Ron Bailey, Publisher
Hoya Report

It’s been less than a week, but Georgetown’s coaching search seemingly has taken multiple turns. Maybe as a result of expectations, the lack of experience handling this – G'Town has had three head coaches since 1972 – by fans/observers/stakeholders, or just possibly a trying process, many believe the school should have tabbed its next bench leader by now.

As has reported, at least 10 names have been considered, with a possible five head coaches turning down the opportunity. This information has been garnered from multiple sources.

Adding to the drama has been virtual clocks clicking; again per sources, the school supposedly wants a press conference/announcement introducing the next coach before this weekend’s NCAA Tournament Final Four. Of course that’s just a few days away.

The revelation of Korn Ferry, a big-time search outfit, being engaged to assist with the effort could illustrate the importance of securing a head coach who fits, possible trouble doing so, pressure to hire someone, or all the above.

Then there is the burgeoning NCAA basketball late signing period that begins April 12th, allowing schools to make additions to next year’s rosters by garnering letter of intent commitments. Any new staff must secure recruitable student athletes – the Hoyas have just eight of 13 possible scholarship guys expected next year. Somewhat relatedly the next coach must also ensure current Hoyas stay that way, as a number of current players are rumored to contemplate transfer.

So choosing a coach, in addition to dictating in certain measure any near and medium future of Hoya Basketball, is influenced by the timeliness of deciding who will lead. As the rap group De La Soul once said, ‘Stakes is high’.


With that in mind, a suggestion is offered; at least consider some of the last staff’s assistant coaches, for both the head and assistant jobs.


The group, including Kevin Broadus, Anthony Solomon and Akbar Waheed are not only talented coaches providing team leading, X’s/O’s and recruiting expertise, but have experience in an organization that prides itself on history; being such an outfit can establish potholes or even landmines that must be navigated. Additionally, these professionals have obvious experience with existing Hoya players, thereby possibly increasing the likelihood of current players being retained.

Who should be examined for what position?

In terms of the open head coach position, G’Town’s hired search outfit and internal committee would meet one of their charges by evaluating both Kevin Broadus and Anthony Solomon.

Both have previous head coach experience, with Broadus leading Binghamton to its first and only America East title in 2009, after leaving Georgetown and before eventually returning to it (he’s been a Hoya assistant from ’04-’07 and ’11-‘17). As Binghamton’s head guy, Broadus of course game planned, lured high school players, and managed a program, all while winning.

Along a career with stops at Bowie State, UDC, American, George Washington, Binghamton and G’Town, he’s recruited at a high level – yearly Broadus is considered one of the industry’s best recruiters, owning an impressive resume of high school athletes recruited: His player list includes Patrick Doctor and Bobby Thompson at AU, future pros Pops Mensa Bonsu, J.R. Pinnock, Mike Hall and Omar Williams, all of GW, the first three spending time in the National Basketball Association.

On The Hilltop, four McDonald All-Americans were tagged by Broadus – Vernon Macklin, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Josh Smith – joining All-Americans DaJuan Summers, L.J. Peak, JUCO AA Jon Mulmore plus last year’s highest scoring Hoya, Rodney Pryor. All except the last two are at this point professionals overseas or domestically, with Wright making the Dallas Maverick's regular season roster, the others seeing at least NBA training camp work. Many other talented guys were nabbed by Broadus at all stops over his 26 year coaching career.

As a Georgetown assistant, Broadus was also known as a player confident, allowing student-athletes to express themselves, thereby facilitating program stability. Add player development to Broadus’ wheel house; he has significant experience in developing guys, particularly scorers.

Speaking of getting players better, Solomon has excelled in that during a his 28 year career, including the likes of guard Jerian Grant, who he also lured to Notre Dame and now plays for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Demetrious Jackson, a former McDonald All-American also was recruited by Solomon, the coach improving him as well in South Bend. Jackson is a member of the Boston Celtics, on loan to the D-League, and has a good chance at sticking in the ‘L’.

Players at career stops Delaware, Bowling Green, Manhattan, Richmond, Clemson, UVA, St. Bonaventure and Georgetown have experienced his teaching ability, which extends beyond a widely known guard expertise. Zach Auguste, a forward benefiting from Solomon’s expertise, is a present international player knocking on the NBA’s door. Another Domer front court guy, VJ Beachem, will soon graduate and reportedly on senior night indicated just how much ND’s staff, including Solomon, meant to him becoming a better basketball player and person. Beachem could be drafted into the NBA this year.

Don’t think he’s just a recruiter and development guy, as Solomon not only game planned at St. Bonaventure, but did so with the Wahoos, Domers, and elsewhere, a shared experience with Broadus during his career.

Solomon has also been a head coach, leading the Bonnies from 2003 to 2007. His experience there was a struggle, but forged him for the better; inheriting a scandal-laden program, Solomon stabilized things, leaving it in much better stead than he found it.

That experience for Solomon, along with Broadus’ time at Binghamton - which was cut short by internal allegations of wrong doing, charges ultimately found to be baseless - have produced a great advantage for the pair, in that they are likely well prepared to captain Georgetown through what is pointing towards cataclysmic change: When John Thompson III, son of a Hall of Fame member and the first black head coach to win a national championship, John Thompson Jr., leaves the program, a nearly 45 year era could be ending. As such, a multi-generational culture is either altering or ceasing, producing instability, which in unsure hands can become chaos. The situation calls for a leader who has faced adversity, experienced both good and bad times, while knowing how to chart towards the former. Broadus and Solomon do.

Now, what about carrying them or fellow previous assistant Waheed over in the same capacity by G’Town’s head coach to be?

Clearly the aforementioned guys are capable. So is Waheed, a veteran of Niagara, Boston College and Hofstra. Add NBA scout work to his resume; he performed as such for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While at BC, Waheed, a 15 year, NCAA Division I coaching professional, lured and helped develop NBA players Reggie Jackson (Oklahoma City Thunder/Detroit Pistons) and Olivier Hanlan, a former standout that has spent time with the Utah Jazz (he now plays in Lithuania). Both are guards.

Considered a smart, hard worker who provides added value to any staff, including recruiting, player improvement, scouting and administration, Waheed is highly respected.

Some might say the Hoyas need a totally fresh start, eschewing any vestige of the past. That strategy has emotional appeal, but is it totally grounded in logic given the special circumstance of essentially regime change existing on The Hilltop? Think if the U.S. government purged ALL of those who worked in a former administration, both career employees or political appointees. Chaos would ensue.

A holdover, to whatever degree, of G’Town’s assistants has some merit. It should at least be rationally explored.

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