If Georgetown is up next on the schedule for YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles, that means it's time for a play date with Casual Hoya and the Casualities at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON.* Our thanks to the fellas for taking a break from the revelry of Georgetown's victory over Jim Boeheim and the Orange to answer our questions. (Brothers of the Faith that we are, we were happy to return the favor by answering Casual Hoya's questions about Marquette.)
* A quick aside: I remain upset that Casual Hoya has cornered the market on self-aggrandizing, WWE-style nicknames. If any of us tried to emulate THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON tagline, we'd look derivative and pathetic. This is the only thing I don't like about that blog.
Onto the questions:
Anonymous Eagle: Following a devastating dumptrucking by Pitt that left Georgetown languishing at 1-4 in the Big East, the Hoyas have totally redeemed themselves, grinding out seven straight wins and reclaiming their place as one of the power players in the conference. I have a question and a comment, and I'll start with the latter: I'm never one to pat myself on the back, but if you want to start printing "RUBIE WAS RIGHT" T-shirts, I'm not going to object. (I'm from Milwaukee, so I need an XL, if you're taking sizes.)
Casual Hoya: You are the man. I cannot argue that. It was soothing to hear your internet voice say "Chillax fellas, we went through this last year, you will be fine, crazier things have happened." It was extra soothing because I imagine your internet voice as one with a Barry White tone. [Rubie sez: clearly, someone hasn't listened to the podcast.]
AE: The question: what, if anything, has changed in the last month? Is this simply a matter of Georgetown getting its Big East hiccup out of the way early, or has the team changed its style of play in the last seven games?
CH: Starting Nate Lubick is what most will point to. Even though Hollis Thompson finishes close games at the four, starting Nate has set a tone on the defensive end and on the glass. More than anything though, it's been a recommitment to defense, which comes down to pride and heart. Not saying that we were lacking before in those attributes, but you could tell the team believed they could shoot themselves out of any hole because they were so hot during nonconference play. Once the shooting went cold, it became apparent we'd need to play a bit more defense to compete in the Big East.
Normally, we would tell you to JUMP, but since we're dealing with Casual Hoya today, I'm going to ask you to keep it cool. Stroll with me, won't you?
AE: Be honest: you beat 'Cuse in the Carrier Dome Wednesday night. You could give two craps about Sunday's game right now.
(But really, all Big East games count equally in the standings, and a loss to Marquette will sting. The Hoyas have come a long way from 1-4 in Conference play, and at this point a top 2 finish in the Big East is within reach. A 5th loss will push Georgetown into a mess of teams with 5 losses, and that's a mess we'd like to avoid. Like Proactiv, we seek clarity.)
AE: While we're on the topic, finish this sentence: if I found out my sister was dating a 'Cuse fan, I would ...
CH: I don't see how you can even ask that question. I might as well ask you what you would do if you found our your own grandmother was kidnapped by pirates and sold to monkeys as a sex slave. THAT IS JUST DISGUSTING. And to be honest, good sir, I can't understand how you could be so callous as to bring something like that up.
AE: Are there any holes in Austin Freeman's game? I'm searching in vain for one.
CH: Freeman has an incredibly smooth offensive game, featuring a good jumper out to 3, a nice pullup, and the ability to finish at the basket. He's also got a solid handle and rebounds well. Defensively, he could be a bit more fleet of feet but overall, an outstanding college player. And I think the second to last word is the key there. He's really effective at the college level but is pretty clearly one of those guys without the handle to be a point or the size to be an NBA 2.
But why the hell am I criticizing the guy? As it pertains to the rest of the year, he is FLAWLESS AND WILL DO NO WRONG.
AE: Freeman is probably Georgetown's best player. Is he also the most important player, or does that title go to someone else?
CH: Each game, we give out the Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award for the player who plays the hardest. Freeman is an incredible talent but is so poised that it rarely looks like he's giving full effort. Chris Wright, on the other hand is a whirling dervish and always seems to be going 100 mph.
As to the most important player, Georgetown really plays a team game and it's tough to pick one. The three most important players are Freeman, Wright, and Julian Vaughn (who has been playing great ball as an undersized center) but if we were giving out just one MVP, it would go to Austin.
AE: Jason Clark has had an up-and-down Big East season: 21 vs. DePaul, 18 crucial points in the nailbiter vs. Providence, 12 points and 5 assists vs. 'Cuse, 16 on 7-10 shooting vs. WVU ... but then just 7 points in the loss to St. John's, 2 in the win over Louisville, and just 5 in the loss to Pitt. Any rhyme or reason for the uneven play?
CH: Austin Freeman is a great shooter. Jason Clark is a streaky one. Like so many of JT3's players, Jason has a tendency to completely disappear for long stretches. Right now, when he is on from three, he will score. When he is missing shots he won't. I think he's probably become too reliant on three point shots, and my hope for him is he becomes more aggressive taking the ball to the basket and getting to the line next year, because his scoring will need to really ramp up without Freeman, Chris Wright and Julian Vaughn. For now, we can handle the streakiness because Hollis Thompson can fill it up as an alternative.
AE: Who came up with the idea for the headbands? He/she is a brilliant bastard of the highest order. Are all those photos from around the world legit? It would break my heart to learn that any of 'em were photoshopped.
CH: Well, we wanted something that we could get Georgetown fans to wear to the games that are 1) casual, 2) visible, and 3) wouldn't interfere with whatever Hoyas gear they already have. Since most fans wear some sort of shirt to Hoyas games, we felt that we really had an opportunity to corner the head market, and specifically the forehead. After consulting with our marketing team we developed the Casual Headbands, which as you referenced in your question, began to take on a life of their own. Over the summer we challenged our Casualties to bring their headbands with them wherever they went, and our Casual Headbands Summer Series became a global phenomenon, with entries flowing in from all corners of the Earth. Those pictures you saw are indeed all legit, though if Marquette wins on Sunday I will take you up on that offer to stab you through the heart.
AE: Has the dude who wrote this column in the wake of the Pitt loss penned a retraction yet?
CH: I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I do not quite understand what it is you are asking. Let me see if I can start at the beginning: there is some bald guy who writes down things and those things are then put down onto pieces of paper and sold for seventy-five cents for other people to buy and read? That doesn't make any sense. It is clear that the only method of delivering information concerning collegiate athletics, or commenting on that information, is on the internet through web sites written for free by people who live in their mother's basements.
Mike Wise is also a cockgoblin.
AE: How about the namedropper who apparently takes everything he reads on the Internet very seriously? Any word on whether he's had his Humor Meter recalibrated and realized that Casual Hoya was mocking the 'Cuse point shaving nonsense?
CH: He is likely working on his next scathing column about how it is inhumane to laugh at this picture because someone is obviously injured/DEAD as a result of it. After that he'll probably go back to yelling at his soup. In all seriousness (putting on my professional outfit), some people get it, some people don't, and some people get it but refuse to accept it (leaving "it" purposefully vague). I think he falls in the latter category. (Back in sweatpants) Screw him.
AE: What does Georgetown need to do in terms of conference wins / Big East tourney run / tournament wins for the season to qualify as a success?
CH: I have no freaking idea. One month ago I was worried about not making the tournament. Today I would be disappointed if we don't win the National Championship by a score of one billion to zero.
Finishing in the top four in the conference is a success (no idea what that means in terms of record). Getting to the BE Finals is a success. Making it to the Elite Eight is a success, but I wouldn't necessarily be satisfied. Does that make sense? Dammit, screw you too.
AE: And finally: Georgetown wins on Sunday if...
CH: ...we score more points than Marquette. Seriously, who cares? WE BEAT CUSE!