It’s not as if he fell off the face of the earth, but still you had to wonder what it was like for Paul Hewitt as he went on the road recruiting at George Mason for the first time after spending 11 seasons at Georgia Tech.
Sure, George Mason beat Villanova in the NCAA tourna
ment this past season, its third tournament appearance in six years, including that Final Four appearance in 2006. And yes, Georgia Tech had struggled recently; the Yellow Jackets won just two NCAA tournament games since advancing to the title game in 2004, only once winning more than 20 games during that time.
Hewitt no longer can promise the glitz of the ACC. Now he must sell recruits on the competitiveness of the CAA.
Still, the first summer recruiting period at his new job was “no different” than it was in the past, Hewitt said.
“People have been great,” Hewitt said. “This is my 21st year on the road. We’ll see how it shakes out in the fall, but so far people have been really, really positive and excited about us recruiting their players.
“You can’t tell until they give you commitments, but I do think there are people with a very high level of interest.”
Hewitt returned to the Washington area this past Friday for the first time in nearly a month. He coached the USA Basketball under-19 team that lost in the quarterfinals of the world championships, then went straight to North Augusta, S.C., and Milwaukee for travel-team tournaments.