Patrick Ewing's Monday announced that he would attend Georgetown next year will mean a lot to the Hoyas in the 1981-82 season. But Georgetown, if it hopes to see postseason action this season, can't afford to look that far ahead and will have to put aside its celebrating long enough to play Big East Conference opponent Villanova at 8 o'clock tonight (WTTG-TV-5) at McDonough Arena.
What the Ewing announcement means to Georgetown Coach John Thompson and his team is not known because an NCAA rule prohibits the coach and players from discussing the recruit.
Thompson signed the 7-footer from Cambridge, Mass., to a Big East letter of intent Monday night, which means Ewing cannot play for any other Big East school, including Villanova, one of the six schools in the final bidding for Ewing's considerable talents.
The Hoyas (13-8 overall, 3-3 in league play) will try to forget about Ewing and concentrate on defeating the Wildcats (12-6, 5-2) in order to move back into the thick of the conference title chase. Another conference loss at home (GU has already lost to Providence at McDonough) could prove disastrous for the Hoyas, who play four of their next six games on the road.
Neither center in tonight's game will be mistaken for Ewing, but each is a key figure on his team, John Pinone, the Wildcats' 6-10 pivotman, is leading the squad in scoring at 16.1 points per game and has been at his best with games hanging in the balance.
So has Hoya 7-footer Mike Frazier, who is playing the best basketball of his career and has been giving Georgetown much-needed late game rebounding off the bench. Frazier, the team's only senior, seemed to have shown more aggressiveness as the Ewing decision date approached. He may intend to demonstrate to Villanova and his own teammates that any Ewing talk, during this season, is premature.