The Friars (9-7, 1-3) visit the Nation’s capital tonight to take on the Georgetown Hoyas (11-3, 1-2). It should be a good one as both teams are looking to build momentum after snapping losing streaks with convincing road victories and log their first Big East wins. To whet your appetite for tonight’s contest, the Casual Hoya and I exchanged some questions.
Below are the questions I posed to the Casual Hoya along with his responses. Follow @CasualHoya and let him know what you think of his responses as well as tonight’s game.
FriarFrenzy: JTIII or RGIII?
Casual Hoya: RGIII is real casual and I’m proud to have been in the Superdome to witness his first ever NFL game in week 1 against the Saints, but I’m just not sure that RGIII run the Princeton offense on those knees and he’s never been to a Final Four.
FriarFrenzy: What is your take on John Thompson III’s coaching thus far and do you believe he is the guy to take the Hoyas forward?
Casual Hoya: Look, I get it that people outside the program may think of JTIII as a good regular season coach who underperforms in March and orchestrates an offense that often struggles to score 50 points. I totally get that. But he’s our coach and he is the perfect coach for Georgetown. To those that question whether he is the right guy for the Hoyas I always ask ‘If not JTIII, then who?’ Still waiting for a feasible alternative. Take away the loss to Ohio in the NCAA Tournament and there’s really not much there to argue with. I mean, it’s not like I’d trade JTIII for Ed Cooley, for example.
FriarFrenzy: Will Otto Porter win Big East player of the year? Do you think he will leave early for the NBA?
Casual Hoya: I don’t think Porter will win Big East player of the year simply because that award tends to go to the best player on the best team, and I think Louisville’s Peyton Siva or Russ Smith will probably get the nod. That’s not to say that Porter isn’t the best overall player in the Conference, because he certainly might be, and he’s a sure-fire lottery pick should he declare for the NBA Draft. Most draft insiders expect him to do so, and our coaching staff has been recruiting guys to fill his spot. It stinks to be honest, because if Porter were to return for his junior season these young Hoyas would be loaded.
FriarFrenzy: This one comes from a friend of mine who is the biggest Hoya fan this side of the Potomac. How concerned are you about Georgetown’s lack of offense, particularly given they lack a true inside presence?
Casual Hoya: Biggest Hoya fan this side of the Potomac? Is he a member of the Casual Community? Does he need a Casual Headband? Perhaps he would like a taste of CasuALE? Clearly the biggest concern with this year’s Hoya vintage is the offense, and this is indeed the first season in a long while where Georgetown hasn’t had that traditional big man through which the offense can run effectively. Sophomore Mikael Hopkins is a pretty good player, but he is playing out of position at the 5 and is being asked to do too much for a kid who hardly even saw the court last year. Unlike many of the Casual faithful, I do have faith in Hopkins going forward, and his baptism by fire this year will pay off as he develops in years to come.
FriarFrenzy: Is Georgetown’s defense good enough to overcome the offensive deficiencies and get them where they want to go?
Casual Hoya: I think the question there is where do we want to go? Expectations were low heading into this season and an NCAA Tournament bid would have been just fine. Then the Hoyas had to go and impress everyone again in its non-conference schedule and nearly beat Indiana so that bar was raised just a tad. I’m still on the NCAA bid bus, and yes, the defense is good enough for us to get there. Whether the Hoyas can advance past the 1st round or make some noise in the Dance is a different story, as what you saw in the game against Pitt was a good example of when the offense slows and the defense isn’t there to keep the game within reach.
FriarFrenzy: Providence at Georgetown on Wednesday. Break it down. Who ya got?
Casual Hoya: Break it down! Stop, Hammer time! The Hoyas will again be without sophomore Greg Whittington (suspended for undisclosed reasons) against the Friars and that’s a pretty big blow as he is our 2nd leading scorer and rebounder. Georgetown will start sophomore guard Jabril Trawick in his place, and the Hoyas responded well with Jabril in the starting lineup against St. John’s as they punished them into humiliating defeat in front of their home fans. As far as this game goes, I expect there to be a pretty decent turnout at Verizon as the students are back in session and if Otto Porter plays the way he did against the Johnnies and the Hoyas get decent contributions from the supporting cast, I suspect Georgetown to win this one with relative ease against a Friars squad still trying to find its footing. Call it Hoyas 67 – Friars 55, friendo.