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.