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January 27, 2012

Talking Georgetown

Filed under: Basketball,Bloggers — Chas @ 9:55 am

Haven’t done a Q&A exchange for a while with another blogger, but the folks at Casual Hoya reached out — possibly because they were bored with nearly a week off before tomorrow’s Georgetown-Pitt game. Here’s where you can find my response to their questions along with Cardiac Hill’s.

As you can imagine, this is a super-serious discussion by super-serious people.

1.Considering the raging disappointment of Georgetown since 2008, whether it was opening round flameouts or finishing 11th, 7th and 8th in the Big East. Maybe you could offer some advice to Pitt fans when you hit a rock-bottom season like this? I guess that 2008-09 season would be a close analog.

I wouldn’t really consider the Georgetown seasons post-2008 to be “raging disappointments”. 2009 was horrible, yes. But our in the last two seasons our team has been severely hampered by late illnesses and injuries. In 2010, Austin Freeman was diagnosed with diabetes, you know, real world problems. Not like Cuse where Fab Melo cheats on tests. And in 2011, Chris Wright went down with a wrist injury. Sucked. We move on. I feel like Pitt fans are already used to disappointment, just review how your last two seasons ended.

 

2. How are you feeling about the future of Georgetown and the Big East? Especially in light of renewed Big 12 raiding rumors.

I have always thought that conference expansion is far from over and that today’s movers will be the ones left standing when the music eventually stops. There is much more money to be made (they contend), and many more crappy football programs that think they are good will be lured into garbage conferences by the illusion of stability (you and Cuse). Georgetown will be fine. It won’t be like it once was but no East Coast school will be, regardless of what conference it now belongs to. And the Big East will be fine. With the emergence of NBC Sports and Turner Sports, there are now three times as many options for cable TV contracts. All this moving and shaking is happening because conference heads think distribution rights for sports will grow at exponential rates in perpetuity. They likely also bet the house on pets.com12 years ago..

3. How is it that this Hoya team actually is showing some consistency? Is it all because Chris Wright has moved on? Do you expect it to continue?

At this point last year Georgetown was on an 8 game conference winning streak. They went 1-1 in the next two and then the season ended when Chris Wright broke his hand. So I guess Georgetown will continue winning because Chris Wright is no longer on the team and therefore him breaking his hand won’t be so devastating.

4. It looks like you are getting some good minutes out of several freshmen this season. A quick look and it appears Georgetown is allocating over 30% of available game minutes to freshmen. Are you surprised by this — and how well Georgetown is doing? What’s it like?

We are definitely getting very solid minutes out of our freshmen. Otto Porter is fantastic, and even though he doesn’t start, he plays over 30 minutes a game. We knew Porter would be good, he was considered the jewel of our freshman class, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be this good. 19 games into his freshman season it is probably already fair to say he is the best rebounder that JT3 has ever had. The other two freshmen that have gotten significant minutes are Jabril Trawick and Greg Whittington. I think we’ve been surprised that they have been so good so soon, especially because they weren’t particularly highly touted out of high school. Mikael Hopkins has shown some flashes already, but is probably a year away from really contributing. The fifth freshman is Tyler Adams, who was considered the second best player out of high school, but has been sidelined by heart problems since early this year. If he is able to get healthy, he should be good in future years. All in, it is fantastic to have such a promising class, especially when coupled with sophomores Nate Lubick and Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera coming into the fold next year.

5. How are you feeling about the Big East and the future of Georgetown?

I think it will be fine. It is random as shit, especially with teams from TEXAS coming to play in the Big “East”, but with the improvements of Rutgers and Seton Hall, St. John’s becoming more relevant, and still having Villanova, Marquette, UConn, etc., we will be fine. The biggest key for Georgetown is to keep JT3, and to do that, we need to build a new practice facility. If that doesn’t happen and JT3 leaves, we may as well be Holy Cross.

6. Pitt and Syracuse heading to the ACC means they will be playing Maryland before Georgetown does. You were aware of that, right?

Not only that, Pitt will also be playing Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest! Happy travels! Here’s the thing about Maryland – we don’t care about Maryland. An annual game would be fun for the local bragging rights thing, but Georgetown is clearly a superior program. You can make an argument that Maryland is also behind UVA, Virginia Tech, and maybe even George Mason in “DMV” (DC-Maryland-Virginia) supremacy. But hey, at least they had a nice ceremony to name their court after Gary Williams.

7. Other than Hoya Paranoia, how do you think it happens that Georgetown loses to Pitt?

My biggest fear is that the Providence game was somewhat of an ‘awakening of the sleeping giant’ moment for Pitt, but I think the reality is that this is just an off-year for the Panthers. The Hoyas could lose this game if, just like last year’s epic crapfest at Verizon, Pitt gets off to a blistering start and the Hoyas simply become unglued, but I just don’t see that happening with this group. More likely, the Hoyas lose this game if they become distracted by Jamie Dixon, who is a real man and very handsome, second only in the Big East to that foppish dandy Jay Wright.

8. Your own predictions for Saturday’s game?

Unlike last season, I see Georgetown coming out strong in this one as they have had a week off to prepare for Pitt. Pitt doesn’t have an answer for Sims inside and if Georgetown’s shots are falling this one could get out of reach for the Panthers early. This never happens though, so I’ll take Georgetown in a hard-fought slugfest by a narrow margin, call it Hoyas 76 — Pitt 71.

 





Chas, are you as smug as this idiot when you answer these these exchanges?

Comment by wbb 01.27.12 @ 10:12 am

“foppish dandy”…that is some good shit right there

Comment by ECH 01.27.12 @ 10:12 am

Well, Pitt fans are used to disappointment. I’ll give him that.

Comment by TX Panther 01.27.12 @ 10:21 am

I seriously doubt the Big East will be better than the ACC after the moves. You’re replacing Pitt, Cuse, and WVU with Houston, SMU, and UCF who have a grand total of 1 NCAA Tournament appearance between them since 2005.

Comment by Greg 01.27.12 @ 10:36 am

Yeah, being “used to disappointment” isn’t the same when you’re talking about losing games in the tournament vs. 8-game losing streaks. Sure, Pitt has had some early exits, but as long as I’ve been a fan they have made EVERY tournament. so in that since, this is the only disappointing season Pitt has had.

Comment by pittbaster 01.27.12 @ 10:52 am

I tried reading the comments on the Hoya blog but I had to stop. Georgetown fans seem extremely mean spirited for no reason at all.

Comment by Patric 01.27.12 @ 10:56 am

About the attendence at the home games, I remember a few years ago when Pitt was playing in a big game at UConn. There was a big snow storm and people couldn’t make it to the game, so UConn had the season ticket holders who couldn’t make it, call in and offered up the un-used seats to the students on campus. UConn filled the building with students and it was rocking, a great atmosphere for a college game. Despite the racus crowd, the Panthers won that one.

Comment by Justinian 01.27.12 @ 11:02 am

That smug-bastard has me fired up !!! I hope PITT plays their ass off tomorrow. What the hell is a hoya. Hail to PITT

Comment by DC33 01.27.12 @ 11:18 am

What is a Hoya?
Many years ago, when all Georgetown students were required to study Greek and Latin, the University’s teams were nicknamed “The Stonewalls.” It is suggested that a student, using Greek and Latin terms, started the cheer “Hoya Saxa!”, which translates into “What Rocks!” The name proved popular and the term “Hoyas” was eventually adopted for all Georgetown teams.

Comment by TX Panther 01.27.12 @ 11:32 am

That was from the G-Town site

Comment by TX Panther 01.27.12 @ 11:33 am

I know the Q&A was all in good fun, but that is exactly what I envision all Georgetown fans sounding like.

Comment by JW 01.27.12 @ 12:13 pm

In the words of the Dude, “what’s with this f***** guy?”

Tell the blogger that Georgetown is famous for a few things–John Thompson, a good law school, being really expensive, and having extremely douchey students that are bigger snobs than even those Nova losers.

HTP

Comment by Joe 01.27.12 @ 12:15 pm

@Joe 12:15
…and the 42nd President, and Supreme Court Justices, and multiple Senators and Congressmen…and Bradley Cooper…and the guy that wrote Afternoon Delight and Country Roads (the songwriter, not John Denver), and…

Comment by PghHoyaFan 01.27.12 @ 12:27 pm

Great article, keep up the good work, Chas.

Comment by alcofan 01.27.12 @ 12:49 pm

Also, his thoughts on Maryland are just woefully inaccurate. No way is UVA or VT a better basketball program, if you ask me. George Mason I can understand the argument for but still disagree. Which of the programs has a fairly recent title banner hanging in the gym?

Comment by pittbaster 01.27.12 @ 1:27 pm

who the F is this guy?

BTW, pitt will win tomorrow…JT3 is a joke bag

Comment by Yup 01.27.12 @ 2:16 pm

This guy is a real jerkoff.

Comment by Marco 01.27.12 @ 3:17 pm

FWIW, Brandon Kinght just interviewed on the Fan. Says that Dante has been battling back and knees problems consistently over the past 2 years .. says he is great teammate who never complains.

Also said that he thinks Birch’s loss wouldn’t make that big of a difference .. “that at the end of the day, he was still averaging only 4 points and 4 rebounds in his last few games .. and if he doesn’t want to be here, he should have gone”

didn’t say it .. but my guess is that the reason that Birch’s minutes were down was because he wasn’t earning it in practice (again, just speculation)

Comment by wbb 01.27.12 @ 3:41 pm

Wow, the thin skin here. You guys are embarrassing my hometown.

Comment by PghHoyaFan 01.27.12 @ 3:45 pm

he never said those programs were better… just that a case can be made… and the author’s question about chris wright leaving thus we’re playing better- that was just stupid

Comment by hoya 01.27.12 @ 3:50 pm

don’t you think we can say the same aabout the Hiya fans on the Gtown blogs?

Comment by wbb 01.27.12 @ 4:14 pm

@wbb
Well then, it wouldn’t be casual, no?

Comment by PghHoyaFan 01.27.12 @ 4:54 pm

Actually, the Hoya term came from a shortened “Hoya doin?”

Comment by Joe 01.27.12 @ 7:03 pm

Georgetown fans are douchebags.

Comment by Tony C 01.27.12 @ 7:43 pm

The comments about Taylor’s knee problems have been noted by NBA people. As of the current time the only player on Pitt considered to be NBA caliber is Taylor. They say that his physical problems since coming to Pitt has reduced his lateral movement and his quickness off his feet that he demonstrated in high school.

However they pointed out that he has the body and rebounding ability to make it at the next level. They also pointed out that having to play the 5 in college has not helped him develop the skill set he showed in high school.

I feel for the kid he never complained about being played out of position. He has had problems, like Young did with tendenitiuos of the knees. There have been moments when his abilities show through but not enough.

I sincerely think he has taken a bad rap. He is not a center. He was not recruited to be a center and he had never played the position before. Anyone who has played organized sports, especially basketball realizes each position requires a unique set of skills that may never be learned by the time you get to college. (Blair has the height of a SF but the skills set of a center by playing the position throughtout high school). He could have nevr survived at the 4 in college.

In hind sight the problem for this season rests on the coaches and their recruiting failures. The only true center they have recruiting in four years is Gilbert. Gilbert is not Adams and needs two years before he can be factor at this level.

Three years ago or at least two they should have recruited a true center. A player who played his entire high school career with his back to the basket. Pitt is not Uconn or Syracuse that can recruit a center who can contribute as a freshman so they needed to get a 2 star center (like McGhee) and teach him the defensive skills to play at this level.

Instead they recruited 2 big SF 6’9″ with no experience playing the position. Perhaps if they had done this they could of RS Taylor who came to Pitt out of shape and not ready to play or played him into shape as a backup to Robinson.

It is quite possible he would have been much more effective being the backup at the 4, since he did score 16 points at the 4 in the McDonalds All-American game with 6 rebounds – and won the skills contest (dribbling and shooting). Those skills are gone.

Pitt now has a center who does not know how to play the 5. Who is overmatched because he never developed any power moves or the defensive skills at that position in high school. Who has most likely caused damage to his knees from having to carry more weight to play the position.

Also has become a poster boy to other top players as has Birch that Pitt coaches are dishonest (both stated they were told they would play the 4). He has been gotten the rap that he is lazy because he is struggling with injuruies and because he is droppy eyes so the cruel call him sleepy.

This years failure rests on Dixon. I feel that enough of the players who are struggling now in their first year as more then minor role players will succeed in the coming seasons (Moore, Johnson,and others). It would have been intersting to see if someone with the size and skill set shown at the highest level of high school ball, might have done if brought along (which Pitt could have done if they had recruited a legitimate center)at the position he played throughout high school. The position argument cannot be overemphazied.

The rebuttal that he cannot defense at the 5 whow could he defense at the 4 is wrong. Moving any high school player to another positon can eliminate his skills, offensively and defensively (Gibbs)

Comment by DRW 01.28.12 @ 2:42 am

Give it a rest on Taylor before someone’s head explodes.

Comment by JW 01.28.12 @ 7:21 am

Let’s hope the team and the fans show up today.

We need a breakout game from somebody unexpected.

Comment by gc 01.28.12 @ 10:00 am

Those responses remind me why, in our early days in D.C., we stopped going out in Georgetown after just a few outings. The level of douchebaggery was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Good to see that some things never change.

On a side note, DRW’s analysis of Taylor is a good one. Dixon needs to recruit guys to play the positions they are meant to play.

Comment by Carmen 01.28.12 @ 10:40 am

Many athletes in many sports are asked to change positions as the advance in levels of competition. This is so commonplace, it is ridiculous to keep complaining about it. Pitt’s problems in past years and the problem this year is very little to do with what position Dante Taylor is playing. Not sure why this topic has been resurrected as the pet theory of the week once again.?.?..I’m not as down on Dante as Omar. I hope he can get healed and contribute. He seems like a real team player.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.28.12 @ 11:23 am

Don’t know where the line came from, but I saw in my local paper today, that Pitt was favored by 3. I hope I’m disappointed, but I’ll take Georgetown and the points.

Comment by Lou 01.28.12 @ 1:48 pm

Dude is as delusional as Chinese basketball nationalist thugs picking on Geeorgetown hoops as representational of US college ball. UMd has WAY bigger local following than Gtown. Forget about their borrowed downtown arena booked between Bieber and Joel Osteen tent revivals — lets talk lack of local TV deal. The only BE games shown here are on ESPN… Even syndicated telecasts. Pitt gets equal airtime to GU locally. Neither can touch UMD on that front… or even Duke and UNC. VT is a total afterthought in hoops. GMU is on nobody’s radar, kind of like GWU and AU. Ill
grant that Gtown is ahead of these three in the pecking order, but UMD? Son? Please

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 01.28.12 @ 3:14 pm

This guy dissing Maryland is a hoot. I believe Maryland has won National Championship sometime in the last decade. Oh,,,yea that’s right 2002.

And when was the last time G-town won the National Championship, aaaa let me think ….would that be 1984. And that would be before the putz that answered those questions was even born or in his case…..hatched.

So so typical of Georgetown pukes.

Comment by Emel 01.28.12 @ 10:44 pm

Forget about their borrowed downtown arena booked between Bieber and Joel Osteen tent revivals

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 01.28.12 @ 3:14 pm

lmao….

Comment by Emel 01.28.12 @ 10:47 pm

Those responses remind me why, in our early days in D.C., we stopped going out in Georgetown after just a few outings. The level of douchebaggery was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Good to see that some things never change

Gotta say I agree, but the douchebags who populate Georgetown the neighborhood are different douchebags than the ones who populate the campus. Georgetowners hate the school and its students, while the students mostly aspire to be the average Georgetown douchebag the

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 01.29.12 @ 12:25 am

I missed the end of the game but it was nice to see that Pitt didn’t implode and won a game that should instill their confidence for the rest of the season. The Hoopie’s are next… :) HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.29.12 @ 8:01 am

It’s a shame. BE is in a down year (sign of many more to come) and even this deficient Pitt squad could have made some noise with efficient offense and sound rebounding even with deficient defense. Let’s make the Hoopies drown in a pool of their own tears, moonshine, and meth

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 01.29.12 @ 10:49 am

Whoa! Lots of gratuitous jabs at Pitt. We in big boy world call that the little penis syndrome. Oh well, you are what you eat as they say.

Comment by SFPitt 01.29.12 @ 7:03 pm

[...] exactly a lot of time to do hard-hitting questions and answers, but since the last Q&A exchange (man, I was really down on J.J. Moore at that point of the season) was followed by a Pitt [...]


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