The folks over at the Georgetown blog “Casual Hoya” reached out for a Q and A session about the Friars Tuesday night matchup with the Hoyas.
Friarblog.com: You guys could be developing a trend of amazing wins followed with games you have no business losing (although ask me how I feel about USF after losing a 9 point lead with 46 seconds to go). Do you foresee any letdown after a great game against Nova?
CH: The loss to USF was not surprising since everyone knew it was a trap game, nestled in between games against Syracuse, Duke, and Villanova. The Providence game is different, however, since I highly doubt Georgetown will be looking beyond the Friars to the highly anticipated matchup against Rutgers on Valentine’s Day. And yes, I always know what day Valentine’s Day is on my calendar because my wife constantly reminds me.
Friarblog.com: Providence struggles on defense against teams that shoot, move the ball well, and um dribble — Pretty much teams that play the sport of basketball. What part of the Hoya’s offense can lead the team to victory (other than Greg Monroe making our undersized with a lack of depth front court his biatch of course)?
CH: Before the Nova game, the only players other than Monroe that could lead the team to victory were Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Freeman willed Georgetown to victory against UConn by scoring 28 of his 33 points in the second half as they overcame a 19 point deficit. He has scored 20+ points in Georgetown’s last four games, which includes matchups against Syracuse, Duke and Nova. Wright has been key to Georgetown’s success as Georgetown was 15-0 when Wright scores in double digits, and 1-5 when he did not. That changed after the Nova game when Wright went 2 for 6 from the field and scored only 7 points, but the Hoyas still won. The reason for the win was a new comer to the mix, Jason Clark. Clark went 6-7 from beyond the arc to score a career high 24 points. So in sum, there are a lot of offensive weapons on the Georgetown squad – but if they all go cold, it is going to be a very long night for the Hoyas.
Read the rest after the jump!
Friarblog.com: What has been the main culprit of the Hoya’s five losses? Do you see anything the Friars might be able to capitalize on?
CH: The two answers are closely related: depth is the main problem and Chris Wright is the place to exploit it. Gtown has struggled to bring anyone off the bench to give much of a punch (aside from a few big shots that Hollis Thompson has hit this year) but as I reviewed the team’s play this season, one thing became clear: Chris Wright is the key to the Hoyas. Monroe is the best pro prospect and Freeman has been the most consistent and best player but the box scores don’t lie – every game where Wright lays an egg leads to a loss: Against Old Dominion, he got off 9 shots (including 1 free throw) but finished with only 4 points; Marquette saw both Monroe and Wright finish with 9 (with Monroe inexplicably only getting 6 shots in the game); the first Nova game had Wright finishing with 6 and stinking it up by going 1-7 from the floor; against Cuse, both Monroe and Wright finished in single digits at 8 and 7; and against USF, he finished with only 7.
The only game that Gtown has won with Wright in single digits is Butler and that was Monroe’s coming out party to re-establish himself as a lottery pick. I suppose it’s saying something that the team moves in the direction of the point guard but it’s pretty clear that his ability to impact the game by scoring is closely linked to the team’s W-L record. Hopefully Keno Davis doesn’t read the Global Phenomenon.
Friarblog.com: Other than producing my man Patrick Ewing (I was a huge Knicks fan back in the day, until they canceled the NBA in the late 90’s), I never really cared one way or another towards Georgetown. However, this changed after reading the “Notable List of Georgetown University alumni” and saw comedian MIKE BIRBIGLIA on there. This seriously actually made me like the Hoyas ever so slightly. I’ve actually seen his one man show “Sleepwalk with Me” in NYC. The wife and I both love him. Please tell me you have heard of him.
CH: Today is your lucky day. Members of CasualHoya were CLOSE PERSONAL FRIENDS with Mr. Birbiglia when he was a Georgetown undergraduate. By close personal friends, me mean that he certainly knew one of us on a first name basis, possibly, and during the Clinton administration one of us exchanged jokes with him about how President Clinton would give speeches endorsing things that people already like. (sample Birbiglia joke: Clinton giving speech about liking puppies. High Hilarity.) Anyways, in conclusion: 1) we know of Mike Birbiglia and 2) we agree he is awesome.
(Ed. Note, here are some Mike Birbiglia clips for your enjoyment)
Friarblog.com: Although come to think of it, I really really hated Victor Page. Discuss.
CH: Now those are some fighting words. I was a freshman at Georgetown the same year Victor was, and Page was the perfect complement to Iverson in that backcourt. A smooth southpaw who could hurt you from behind the arc or ram the ball down your throat with eye-popping hops and monster jams, Vic was primed to be an all-time Hoyas great. The only problem was that he couldn’t succeed in the classroom, which caused him to ‘declare early’ for the Draft after his sophomore year only to not get drafted. Vic then landed in the CBA (before Isiah Thomas burned it into the ground) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, where he became the Skyforce’s all-time leading scorer before the infamous ‘Christmas Day Massacre’ incident in which he attacked an opposing player with a broom. After his stint in the CBA, Page returned to DC and was unfortunately the victim of a carjacking incident in which he was shot in the eye and now has to wear an eye patch. Page still keeps a membership at the Georgetown University gym, has become a public speaker at several schools and organizations such as Urban League, and Independent filmmaker Derrick D. Price is working on a documentary about Page’s life. It’s always a treat to see Page at Hoyas games, and I am proud to say that I have fistpumped him numerous times.
Friarblog.com: In my 12 years of following PC basketball, my best memory of playing Georgetown was when the Friars manhandled them 103-79 at the DUNK thanks to a sick 14-19 from downtown. The Hoyas were ranked #15 at the time. What’s your best memory in a game versus Providence?
CH: My best memory is actually a Providence win, in 2004 when the Friars were ranked in the Top 20 and Georgetown was horrific. It was Esherick’s last year and we played at Verizon in front of a crowd of what seemed like 200 people. The game was pathetic, only two players from Georgetown reached double-digits and the team shot a woeful 34% from the field. They were close to having more turnovers than field goals. The lazy and uninspired play just added to the building momentum that a coaching change was required. And eventually it came. And then we made the Final Four three years later.
Providence and Georgetown have had a lot of memorable matchups, being two founding members of the Big East – but it hasn’t happened in a while. They two haven’t both been good at the same time for a very long time.
Friarblog.com: Has an opposing team ever tried to pull a Zack and Slater by kidnapping “Jack the Bulldog”, a la like they did to the hated Valley High and their bulldog mascot?
CH: No, you sick bastard. Why would you even suggest that? Who steals a puppy? Are you friends with Michael Vick?
Friarblog.com: If you could chose ONLY one of the following scenarios, what would it be? 1) Having both Georgetown and Syracuse both miss the NCAA Tournament. 2) Hoyas and Cuse both make it, but G’Town loses in Sweet Sixteen, but Syracuse wins the National Championship.
CH: I’d have to choose option 1. Right now both programs have one National Championship. I can’t bear to think of them getting a second one, although they look pretty poised to do it this year. I may be in the minority, but I don’t find a Sweet 16 to be all the satisfying either. I expect our program to be a top 10 program now, so ending in the Sweet 16 doesn’t do it for me anymore. Then again, we lost in the first round of the NIT last year, I may just be drunk on Georgetown love after the Villanova game. Either way, would much rather have both of us miss the tournament than see Boeheim’s bald head rise above the rim to cut down the nets.
CH: Gtown is coming off a pretty impressive victory and should be riding pretty high and confident. Combine that with a reeling Providence squad desperately in need of a win and radically different styles of play and I see Gtown winning by a nice 8 point cushion: 75-67.