Metanoia? C’mon, man. Don’t lay that on us. Use simpler words.
First of all, words exist to be used, not perpetually kept on the shelf. Second, every day is a good day to learn something new. Third, language is colorful. Fourth, metanoia rhymes with Hoya, the nickname belonging to each individual member of the Georgetown basketball team.
Most of all, though, “metanoia” is not an accidental word. It fits perfectly at Georgetown, where the good Jesuits would love to see that word incorporated into the title of a story about their basketball program.
Metanoia refers not merely to change, but to change through spiritual conversion. Metanoia is about the transformation of individuals. The Jesuits, whose motto is “ad maiorem Dei gloriam” (to the greater glory of God), and whose emphasis as a missionary order of priests is to form men and women for the service of others, are well-acquainted with metanoia. They aim to foster it in the people they teach and preach to.
“Hoya Metanoia” is what the Jesuits should want to see in all Georgetown students, but right now, it is beginning to take root in a basketball team which is beginning to apply the lessons of GU’s most famous, accomplished and significant basketball player.
The Gospel according to Patrick is beginning to be taken seriously in Washington, D.C. You could see it on Wednesday night in Providence, Rhode Island.
Georgetown has so often blown second-half leads under Ewing, who still has to show he can get his team to execute with consistency and clarity in late-game situations. A handful of points has marked the difference between Georgetown having a murky bubble-dwelling status and NCAA lock status. The Hoyas still have a very long road to travel in the next five weeks if they want an NCAA bid. They could have made life so much easier had they not squandered late-stage advantages in a number of contests.
They are, however, beginning to demonstrate a capacity to play complete 40-minute games (or something close to it). Much as a bad red-zone offense in football can solve its red-zone woes by producing multiple 35-yard touchdown passes in a game, Georgetown is fixing its last-minute problem under Ewing by creating a healthy working margin before the last minute of a Big East game.
GU didn’t wobble down the stretch on Wednesday against the Providence Friars. It slightly enlarged its lead heading into the final two minutes and won comfortably, 76-67. Georgetown led by seven points with just over six minutes left. Past weeks and past years might have suggested that such a lead was supremely tenuous. On Wednesday, Georgetown locked down Providence’s ragged offense and pushed its advantage to 12 with 1:55 left. This comes a few weeks after the Hoyas survived a late-game road test at St. John’s, a team which stole a road win in D.C. earlier in January.
Georgetown hasn’t arrived. The program is not “back.” The corner hasn’t been turned.
However: This isn’t the same ol’ Georgetown team as we have known it the previous few years.
Hoya Metanoia is beginning to emerge. Pastor Patrick’s message is beginning to filter into the hearts of his flock. He can only hope no one will go astray — not in this next month, and not in the next few years. If “hewing to Ewing” becomes a regular part of GU basketball, this ship just might get turned around before too long.
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