Georgetown hasn’t had a lot of bright spots during the Big East Conference season but head coach Patrick Ewing saw something he thought he would see all season… Jalin Billingsley making an impact.
By far Billingsley had his best game in a Georgetown uniform in their 68-65 loss to DePaul.
Twice he was able to get the ball in the lane where he made big man moves to finish over contest. There was the three pointer he stepped into with the confidence of a player who hits them all the time, even though, he only has 12 three-point attempts all season.
If that wasn’t enough, Billingsley hit a step back three with the shot clock running down.
“I told him yesterday… where the hell has this dude been,” said Ewing. “I’ve been waiting for him to show up all year.”
That’s has been one of many frustrations with this season.
Georgetown has struggled all season so with a freshman class that has so much potential, the natural inclination is to say “why not play the young guys with all the stars beside their name”?
Maybe under a different coach, that would’ve been the answer and Billingsley would be further along. But, since day one, head coach Patrick Ewing has made it clear that he’s trying to win as many games as possible. So, despite having a 6-21 record, that means he’s going to continue to play the same rotations he would play if the Hoyas were in contention to win the Big East.
Aminu Mohammed is the only freshman that has received significant playing time.
It’s one of the big differences between the NBA and college basketball. In the NBA, unless the Governor you’re working for has said he wants to tank, you better be winning games.
In college basketball, there’s more of a long-term outlook unless you’ve been told that it’s win or else. There’s no indications that Ewing has been told that.
The danger in not playing a kid like Billingsley is the transfer portal. That’s something that didn’t exist when Ewing was a player. More now that ever, players look at their current situation on a year by year basis.
Georgetown has lost several players to the transfer portal during the Ewing years. It would be a shame to lose a talent like Billingsley especially when you consider that, out of the current freshman class, he could end up being the best.