With tongues firmly in cheeks, Casual Hoya of the Global Phenomenon Casual Hoya blog and I exchanged questions and answers about the renewal of the St. John's/ Georgetown Hoya rivalry. My answers to their questions are over on that site. Below, reasons why we should care about the Team in the District, their stable of talented freshmen, and how much like House of Cards is the typical day on the Georgetown campus.
Rumble: Georgetown is 8-5 in the conference but I know next to nothing about them except that they're tall and have Joshua Smith and D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera. What are the storylines around the Hoyas?
Casual Hoya: Ooh, where to begin! Smith and DSR aside, I suppose the biggest story about this Hoyas team has been the freshmen and JT3’s tinkering with minutes in order to find the right matchups on the court given this team’s depth.
Four freshmen (Isaac Copeland, L.J. Peak, Paul White and Tre Campbell) will see heavy action against the Johnnies and if things really go our way you might see a glimpse of Trey Mourning in garbage time.
Rumble: Let's say for the sake of argument that Georgetown's terrible postseason record makes a newer casual St. John's fan think "whatever, this is Georgetown. It ain't Duke or Syracuse." Give a reason, outside of the needed win, that a St. John's fan should care about the Johnnies vs the Hoyas.
Casual Hoya: Other than that Georgetown is the premier program in the Big East and that you should be thanking us for your not being in the MEAC or whatever the hell it’s called with Iona and Manhattan?
You’re welcome, by the way.
If Johnnies fans need a reason to care about a game against Georgetown, whenever and wherever it may take place, then that Red Storm fanbase is in worse shape than I had thought.
Rumble: Who's been the best rookie for the Hoyas?
Casual Hoya: At the beginning of the season it was LJ Peak, then Paul White, but now it’s Isaac Copeland, who was Georgetown’s highest ranked recruit coming into this season and finally has found his footing and earned JT3’s trust after a slowish start.
For comparison purposes, Ike is like a more athletic Otto Porter, and he can punish opponents in the paint and on the perimeter. Copeland earned his 2nd career start against Seton Hall and my guess is he remains in the starting lineup for every game until his last as a Hoya, and we’re just hoping that’s a few years down the line from now.
I’m giddy thinking about how he’ll do in this game since Steve Lavin probably has no idea who he is.
Rumble: Georgetown's defense has been good this year. How did this happen?
Casual Hoya: Has it?
Maybe the numbers say yes, but my eyes tell me different. Perhaps that’s because I’ve grown to expect a lot out of a JT3 defense, but this group hasn’t really clicked defensively on all cylinders yet in my opinion. Josh Smith and Mikael Hopkins are beasts in the paint, but rampant foul trouble has hindered their effectiveness. DSR and Jabril Trawick are pests in the backcourt but sometimes the rotations on the perimeter haven’t been crisp, and the frosh have had their expected difficulties on the learning curve as well.
This team can be very good defensively and even better than it is now, so if someone’s fancy calculator suggests it’s already a defensive juggernaut, then I suppose that’s casual.
Rumble: Providence? Twice? WTH? You know that St. John's beat the Friars twice, which obviously means...
Casual Hoya: Yeah, those losses sting like thousand bee stings to the pupil, especially since the Hoyas were in good position to win both of those and had they done so, I’d be sipping mai tais on a beach somewhere and wondering (read: terrified of) which 13 seed we’re playing in March.
But alas, we blew them both, so now we’ve got to go something like 4-1 down the stretch I think to have at least a 6 seed in the Dance.
Which is fine, frankly.
Unlike in years past where the Hoyas can get knocked out of their game by an undisciplined squad that wants to run up and down the floor, I think this team is built pretty well for March. I guess we’ll get a nice look at an undisciplined squad on Tuesday night.
Rumble: Is every day on the Georgetown campus like a watered-down version of House of Cards? If you are familiar with the show, please draw parallels.
Casual Hoya: Intriguing. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any Frank Underwoods scheming in dark (or bright) places at Georgetown, but I can tell you without a doubt that I never encountered any Claire Underwoods during my time there, which sucks because I’d love to be manipulated by someone like that both mentally and physically.
I do think there are a lot of Zoe Barnes-type girls at Georgetown – the go-getter types that would do anything to get ahead and make a name for themselves, and for blog purposes I’d also really like to have a Doug Stamper as a guy I could count on to answer questions like this so I can free up my time here in New Orleans to, you know, ENJOY MARDI GRAS.
Also worth noting that the only character you’d probably see at a Hoyas game would be my guy Peter Russo, who seems casual enough to enjoy a hoops game and then rock a kegstand and scope chicks afterwards.