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Cut from the Same Cloth
ALEXANDER WOLFF
March 24, 2008
Nine years after his father threw in the towel as Georgetown's coach, John Thompson III has assumed his mantle and made the Hoyas once again a threat to win the national championship
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March 24, 2008

Cut From The Same Cloth

Nine years after his father threw in the towel as Georgetown's coach, John Thompson III has assumed his mantle and made the Hoyas once again a threat to win the national championship

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For one generation, three different tones of whistle; for the next, no need for a whistle at all. Or if you prefer an alternative metaphor, listen to Bill Shapland, Georgetown basketball's longtime sports information official. "Like a lighthouse," he says of the father. "He focused on a whole realm of things. Now I work for a man who's a laser beam."

A YEAR AFTER John III arrived at Georgetown, the school hired a new athletic director. The coach could be forgiven for taking it personally. Bernard Muir had played for the Brown team that beat Princeton with that halfcourt shot in 1988.

When he arrived in D.C., Muir innocently asked Thompson if he had played in that game.

"I don't recall," Thompson replied, deadpan.

Not until two years later, when together they went to Brown for Thompson to collect the Black Coaches Association's Fritz Pollard Male Coach of the Year Award, did the Georgetown coach share with his boss his central role that night.

"John," Muir told him, "you're only as good as your last game."

Of course that's the way administrators see it, and fans and media and alumni. But there's an itch at the ears of a coach who knows better. Who knows that you're only as good as your next possession.

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