With the departures of David Cox and Matt Henry last month, we knew that for the second year in a row, John Thompson III would be joined by new faces on the bench. Now we know who. As rumored, Darryl Prue and Robert Kirby will be joining JTIII’s staff, Georgetown announced Monday.
Prue replaces Henry, who joined former Georgetown assistant Robert Burke‘s staff at Mount St. Mary’s, as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations. Previously the Hoyas’ video coordinator, Prue continues to rise through the ranks of Thompson’s staff.
Prue spent three seasons working in Thompson’s office before picking up video duties, with a detour as an assistant at Morgan State. Now, his responsibilities will include budgeting, scheduling, and presumably being scared by JTIII. (Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of what a director of basketball operations actually does.)
Kirby represents the more intriguing hire, and not just because he’ll be heavily involved in coaching and recruiting. The veteran assistant comes to the Hilltop after 12 years at Mississippi State, which is an eternity for an assistant coach. But for Kirby that’s not even half of his coaching career, which he began full-time in 1984 at Arkansas College.
Thompson has had a lot of success with young, up-and-coming assistants, so it’ll be interesting to see how a more senior presence on the bench affects the team—including JTIII, who only got his first coaching job in 1995. At Mississippi State, Kirby specialized in the instruction of frontcourt players, a skill that he can put to good use this season at Georgetown, with the departure of Greg Monroe [Editor's Note: Good luck tonight, Greg!] and the arrival of young big men Nate Lubick and Moses Abraham.
Just as important, however, will be Kirby’s contributions off the court on the recruiting trail. He will have to fill the place of departed assistant Cox, who was poached by Rutgers due in large part to his ties to the D.C. metro area recruiting hotbed and local AAU powerhouse D.C. Assault.
Kirby won’t bring the same local connections that Cox did, but he has proven to be a more than capable recruiter in his time at Mississippi State, drawing some big names to a lower-profile location in Starkville. Of course, sometimes that meant taking risks on recruits, like last year’s highly-touted but ultimately ineligible freshman Renardo Sidney. The Hoyas are hoping Kirby can bring a different kind of recruit north with him—maybe someone like Jonathan Wallace, an Alabama product.