The Washington Times - February 1, 2009, 02:41PM

John Thompson Jr. took over Georgetown‘s program in 1972, and it’s fair to say the Hoyas’ job was not a good one at the time.

Georgetown had two NITs and one NCAA tournament appearance (back when the NIT was a bigger deal) to its credit. The Hoyas were coming off a 3-23 season.


Yet in one of college basketball’s most impressive coaching jobs, Thompson turned it around. Fast.

There’s a national title banner (1984) hanging at Verizon Center, and the Hoyas have a few more Final Four appearances and plenty of NCAA tournament appearances to their credit.

So when they’re reeling —- as they are right now —- it’s incredibly unusual.

Georgetown lost its fifth straight game yesterday, falling at Marquette to close out a three-game road trip. It’s not a bad loss; neither was falling at Duke or at home to West Virginia.

(The road losses to Cincinnati and Seton Hall, though, should be more troubling).

It’s also just the sixth five-game losing streak in the 38 seasons since Thompson was named the head coach.

Obviously, it’s not all the big guy. He was followed by a protege (Craig Esherick) and progeny (John Thompson III) at Georgetown.

That’s still really good —- and puzzling whenever there’s an outlier.

Which leads to this rundown of those six skids while trying to see how they compare

1974-75 (6)

Coach: John Thompson Jr.
Opponents: @Randolph-Macon, @Fairfield, Seton Hall, @American, @Holy Cross, St. Peter’s
Average margin of defeat: 9.8
Final record: 18-10
Postseason: NCAA tournament first round

1992-93 (5)

Coach: John Thompson Jr.
Opponents: @Boston College, @St. John’s, Providence, @Syracuse, @Providence
Average margin of defeat: 13.8
Final record: 20-13
Postseason: NIT finalist

2002-03 (6)

Coach: Craig Esherick
Opponents: @Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, @Notre Dame, @Syracuse, UCLA, @Rutgers
Average margin of defeat: 4.7
Final record: 19-15
Postseason: NIT finalist

2003-04 (9)

Coach: Craig Esherick
Opponents: @Virginia Tech, @Temple, @St. John’s, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, @Seton Hall, @Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, vs. Boston College
Average margin of defeat: 10.8
Final record: 13-15
Postseason: None

2004-05 (5)

Coach: John Thompson III
Opponents: @Notre Dame, @St. John’s, Villanova, @Connecticut, Providence
Average margin of defeat: 9.6
Final record: 19-13
Postseason: NIT quarterfinals

2008-09 (5)

Coach: John Thompson III
Opponents: @Duke, West Virginia, @Seton Hall, @Cincinnati, @Marquette
Average margin of defeat: 10.2
Record: 12-8
Postseason: TBD

Clearly, one of the common threads is a bunch of road games. The Hoyas return home this week to play Rutgers and Cincinnati, and maybe that will be the panacea needed to right a fast-fading season.

—- Patrick Stevens