Aw, look at the puppy.
Saturday marks the end of the regular season Big East schedule for YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles, when our brothers and sisters in the faith from Georgetown pay a visit to the Bradley Center in the return match of what probably qualifies as the most frustrating loss of the year, a 73-70 defeat on January 4 that saw MU blow a huge second-half lead and ended with Hollis Thompson delivering a scissor kick to the heart of Marquette fans everywhere.
With the Hoyas in town, that means it's time to trade questions with our best blog friends not named Voodoo Five, the cats and kittens from Casual Hoya. I'm not sure how many of the Casualties are making the trip to Milwaukee, but if you run into someone sporting a gray headband this weekend, show 'em some Midwestern hospitality and spring for the first round of Jagermeister. It's what Jesus would do.
When you get done here, be sure to drop by their site and read our answers to their questions. Without further ado:
Anonymous Eagle: Before we begin, I want you to know: Hollis Thompson haunts my dreams.
Casual Hoya: Dude, that’s just weird. You just had a kid, yet the image of Hollis Thompson occupies your mindgrapes at night? They (read: I) probably have some drugs you can take to help you.
AE: When we did this at the beginning of January, I asked you to finish this sentence: "This is the most fun I've had following a Georgetown team since ..." You said the 2006 team, if I remember right. Has your answer changed in the interim?
CH: No...(not changing it to yes in spite of the greatness of a potential Night at the Roxbury line here). In fact, this team has become even more fun to follow since JTIII benched Markel Starks in favor of Otto Porter and the team decided to be a defensive warlock. Georgetown has so much length in the starting five right now, maybe too much if that is even possible. We're blowing Jay Bilas's mind with all of our length actually.
More Qs, more As, after the jump.
AE: What's the one team that you don't want the Hoyas to face in the NCAA Tournament?
CH: Tough question, so I'm going to go with whichever team decides to start five players rather than forfeit. But seriously, the Hoyas usually fare well against teams that like to push the pace as Georgetown wears them down with its offensive sets, but Ohio and VCU in the past couple of years kinda blew that theory out of the water. The big difference this year is that this Georgetown team plays defense, so I really doubt any first round opponent will be able to pile up a bunch of points against us and dictate tempo. Then again, if we play Harvard and some kid with glasses starts raining threes, I'm moving in with you and your kid. Hopefully your sheets are up to my casual threadcount standards.
AE: Is Georgetown's season a success at this point? If it isn't, what needs to happen in March/April to qualify the season as a success (or to elevate the season to HUGE SUCCESS levels)?
CH: Is the season if it ended today a success? Sure. As we have gone over ad nauseam (don't you check your notes?), this Hoyas varietal had very little expectations heading into the season and most of us were hoping they'd be sent somewhere warm in the NIT. But now things are very different, and since with great power comes great responsibility, this group HAS TO deliver at least 1 NCAA win. The Ohio and VCU losses hurt, and I fear that at this point if another 1st round loss were to occur things would get real bad. So while at this point it has been a nice surprise, we need one win in the Dance to in a way justify it, and a berth in the Sweet Sixteen to really make it nice. Anything past the Sweet Sixteen would elevate it to HUGE SUCCESS levels, though by that time I likely will have fainted.
CH: Good question and a tough one to answer because both of them have raised their level of play so greatly this year and have been such effective leaders. Clark has been Georgetown's motor and I'd want him to be on the court at all times. Sims has been such a nice story because of the light bulb that went on this season, and the team seems to rally around him when he's playing well. The real answer here is that Georgetown will miss Clark's intangibles more next year, but we're going to miss Sims' ability as a big man more. The Hoyas look to be pretty set at the guard spot going forward, but we don't have a stud coming in to fill Sims shoes. Not until Nerlens Noel commits, but that's only going to happen if Georgetown were to change its name to Kentucky.
AE: What's up with Markel Starks and JTIII? I heard Jay Bilas say something on Monday about Starks dogging it during the last minutes of the Seton Hall game. True?
CH: Apparently at the end of the blowout JT3 ordered the team to keep hustling and Starks took exception. They were yelling at each other going into the tunnel and Starks ended up being benched for the Nova game and coming off the bench for ND. Starks had been playing like he had poop in his panties but the message seemed to dissolve any remaining feces residue from said undergarments.
AE: RANK 'EM! Otto Porter, Otto von Bismarck, Otto Octavius (that's Doc Oc, for the uninitiated), Otto the Auto Pilot (from Airplane!), Otto the Orange.
CH: Rank them in terms of what? Alphabetically? I think that goes Otto Octavius, Otto Porter, Otto the Auto Pilot, Otto the Orange, Otto von Bismarck. Special emphasis on "I think" because I am unnerved by the presence of "the" preceding Auto Pilot and Orange. In terms of syllables I guess it is Otto Porter, Otto von Bismarck, Otto the Orange, Otto Octavius, Otto the Auto Pilot. Why the hell is the Cuse mascot called Otto? So stupid. Remarkable that a whole region of Canada is still amused by alliteration.
AE: Kill - Bang - Marry: Brooklyn Decker. Jay Wright. Jim Boeheim.
CH: I would marry Jim Boeheim. I would make him miserable because I would tell him how Rick Pitino is a much better husband than him and how when I think of great husbands, he is an afterthought to John Thompson Jr., Lou Carnesecca, and Rollie Massimino. I would remind him how his children always have such potential but end up huge busts as adults because he is a horrible father, teacher, and mentor.
I would bang Brooklyn Decker. It would be short, sweet, and salty (yup, just went there).
I would kill Jay Wright. Too pretty.
AE: Semi-relatedly: it looks like Syracuse is going to be in the Big East for one more season. Are you excited to get one (or, hopefully, two) more shot(s) at the Orange before they bail for the ACC, or would you rather boot their traitorous asses to Boston College Ville as soon as possible?
CH: Honestly, I would rather just end it. This whole conference realignment thing is dragging on way too long. Let's just get it over with. Boeheim thinks the rivalry will continue. Thompson III is not so sure. That in itself tells you who needs it more.
Looking forward to continuing rivalries with more similar programs (you, Nova), rebuilding ones with old foes (St. John's, Seton Hall), and hanging on to a few that don't really make sense (Louisville, UConn).
AE: I always enjoy it when you ask us this question, so I'll put it back to you: who's the one player you'd like to swipe from another Big East team and put in a Hoya uniform?
CH: Our defense has been spectacular this year, so there is no one on the defensive end that I am pining for. Yet, there have been times that our offense gets stagnant and we need someone to barrel to the basket and make a play. With that in mind, my choice would be Kevin Jones of WVU. I have a pretty massive mancrush on Thomas Robinson, and Kevin Jones is the closest equivalent in the Big East. He is leading the league in scoring and rebounding, both of which you can never have enough of.
Last choice would be Scoop Jardine, I find him irritating and useless.
AE: JTIII's contract expires after the 2012-'13 season (unless I missed news of an extension while I was changing a diaper). Is there any realistic scenario where Coach Thompson ISN'T back on the sidelines for Georgetown? I guess I've always considered it a given that he'd be your coach for as long as Georgetown would have him.
CH: JTIII should be the coach for many more moons, and we would be happy to have him coach until he decided his son, JTIV, is ready to take over the reins. HOWEVAH, he has been very forthright about how shoddy our facilities are, saying that they are bottom two in the Big East and resemble those of a CAA team. Georgetown is currently kicking off a fundraising campaign to build him a new practice facility, and I think there is a chance that if there isn't a very clear path to that being built, he could leave after 2012-2013. Without Thompson at the helm, combined with the never-ending conference realignment, Georgetown's program could end up being Holy Cross sooner rather than later. So, yeah, that practice facility is pretty important.
If only Georgetown had a billionaire graduate who owned the Wizards and Capitals and wanted to make the donation himself for a facility called the "Ted Leonsis Practice Facility". Do I dream about a ‘Casual Food Court' at the ‘Document Your Lunch Pavilion' at said practice facility like every day? Yes.
AE: And finally: you remember the episode of Archer where the movie star is shadowing Lana to research a role as a secret agent, and then it turns out that the actress is actually a Soviet sleeper agent sent to kill the Russian premier? (This is also roughly the plot of the Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt, but that is a stupid movie and I'm boycotting Angelina Jolie movies until she eats a damn sandwich and puts some meat on her terrifying right leg.)
ANYWAY, in my mind, I figure that there's a magnificent bastard (or bastardette) Georgetown fan who worked his way up through the ranks at Nike, plugging away for years and years, before he finally got himself in a position where he could have Nike make Syracuse wear uniforms that look like this. Yes?
CH: Isn't that some cartoon on FX? Why aren't you watching more Bravo?
I think it is either your theory, which is brilliant, or another theory. Let me try my theory on for size. Maybe Jim Boeheim thought that this was Syracuse's year to win another Big East Tournament. It is understandable for the curmudgeon to think this is feasible. Syracuse is most likely going to enter the tournament 17-1, unprecedented since conference expansion. Yet, the last time they were the number 1 seed in the Big East Tournament they lost to a team in gray, the Georgetown Hoyas. The same Georgetown Hoyas that holds the most Big East Tournament Championships in the history of the conference. What I am trying to say is that Jim Boeheim wanted his team to feel like they were winners before the upcoming Big East Tournament, a tournament similar to the NCAA Tournament in which they have historically come in with big expectations and left as losers.
Well, this was fun as always. And hey, if you ever want to come over to mom's basement and hang out, I've got a bunch of oreos with your name on it.