Saturday morning, the MSG Big East homestand will continue with a meeting of old rivals under the familiar Garden roof. The Georgetown Hoyas come to town sporting an 0-2 record, and I don't have any idea why...
So we asked our friends over at Casual Hoya to help explain the lackluster Hoya January, the rivalries they'd like to see continue, and why DC may be better than New York City, and damn, why the Hoyas are struggling so much.
Hashtag idea: #TheDriveTo45 - for the team that struggles to get to 50 points in a 40 minute game. Spread the word. And read the Q and A, and our preview, coming later.
Rumble: Ok, seriously. What the Hoya heck is going on with Georgetown? Or am I overreacting to a pair of losses?
Casual Hoya:/begin rant
I think we will know the answer to that question after this game. It has become apparent to anyone watching Georgetown this season that the offense is a disaster. Players are trying too hard to make the perfect pass or find the most-wide open shot. This often results in rushed shots as the shot clock expires and dangerous passes that bounce off of legs or are easily picked off.
Then there is the problem in the middle. Balls that go into the paint that are meant to be kicked out for wide open looks end up in the black hole known as Mikael Hopkins. I am not kidding when I say he has trouble hitting the backboard on layups.
This is not meant to bash the kid, he has incredible potential and is playing woefully out of position, but the lad needs to learn to pass the ball to our actual scorers. He, our least efficient player, should not be taking the majority of our shots. In an ideal world, Hopkins would have more assists than points, but he is nowhere near that status. And my patience/faith in him has run out.
The Georgetown defense remains outstanding, and despite the Pitt disaster, I stand by that claim. I just I don’t it is reasonable to expect the defense to hold opponents to less than 40 points in order to win. The offense needs to step up, and I will be FURIOUS if a starting lineup change is not made for the St. John’s game.
Rumble: I was touting Georgetown as a top-three Big East team. Is that out of reach for JTII's club?
CH: Right now, it would be awfully delusional of me to say they are a candidate for a damn first round bye in the Big East Tournament. Let’s see how the team responds to that embarrassment on Tuesday night.
Given how tough the Big East is, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that the top three teams in the Big East to finish with 5-6 losses. The Georgetown team that beat UCLA and took Indiana to OT can still finish in the top three. The Georgetown team that started the conference season 0-2 won’t finish in the top 12 of the 15 team league.
Rumble: Are there "the Drive to 45" t-shirts made for each game? And why is the Hoya offense so bad? What's missing?
CH: I ranted about part of the problem in the first question, but the missing piece is a credible center. We are not talking Greg Monroe here, we just need someone to catch, pass, and rebound. There were glimpses of hope when reserve Moses Ayegba came into the game against Pitt. The problem is that Georgetown has played so poorly in almost all of its games that there have been few chances for the bench to see any playing time.
R: The Hoyas' rebounding in the first two Big East games has been... poor. Was it the size of the opponents or something else?
CH: It was lack of positioning, lack of hustle, and the usual troubles teams have rebounding out of a zone. Rebounding has been a consistent problem for JT3. I think the team got soft playing against American and Longwood and forgot that a Big East boxout puts the opponent on the floor.
R: Jamie Dixon is pessimistic about continuing the... "rivalry" with Georgetown. a) there's a rivalry? and b) when the Hoyas and the other hoops-only schools go buy their own conference house and deck out the garden, which former BE teams would you like to see the Hoyas play?
CH: I don’t think there is a real rivalry. Despite first playing in 1911-12, and having 30 seasons of regularly scheduled games, there is nothing tying Georgetown and Pittsburgh together. The universities are different, the student bodies are different, and there is not enough proximity to make the match something that makes my blood boil. There have been some great games between the two teams, but I won’t miss playing Pitt (also because they have owned Georgetown recently).
I would love to continue the Syracuse rivalry, but am realistic about how relevant the match will be outside of a conference setting. In the end, I think the BE basketball schools should concentrate their energies on developing/re-kindling rivalries between each other and schedule the most nationally relevant out-of-conference games. And Syracuse and others will focus on their new rivalries against Wake Forest and BC, or whoever is left in the ACC after it crumbles.
R: Tell us why DC is better than New York City. We will use this against you.
CH: I grew up outside of New York City and worked in Manhattan for a few years (and will probably return at some point), so I have a lot of love for the city. But, DC is cleaner, cheaper, and has just as much to offer as New York. The restaurant scene in DC is booming, sports teams are finally competitive (except the Wizards), and new areas of the city have been developed/revitalized. New York is still, and will always be, a better place to party; DC is just a better place to wake up the next morning.
R: Otto Porter - NBA Draft pick this year, or does he wait one more season?
CH: No brainer – he follows in the footsteps of Jeff Green and Greg Monroe and takes his guaranteed millions as an NBA lottery pick. I also think he follows in Green and Monroe’s footsteps by returning to school to finish up his degree. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t go to the NBA if they are a guaranteed lottery pick. There is just so much to risk by coming back. The real question is if brutal play of the Hoyas will drop him out of the top half of the first round.
How are the freshmen, D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Stephen Domingo, doing?
DSR had a huge game in his debut against Duquesne, scoring 19 on 6-7 shooting and 4-4 from three, but has been absent since. Sharp-shooter Domingo is 2-16 from three this season, enough said. Neither have contributed much to the team so far, and I don’t know when they will have the opportunity to do so. Maybe in our CBI game against UTEP?