Our thanks to Casual, Hire Esherick, and the cast of thousands at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON for their quick responses to our questions.
Hit 'em up:
Anonymous Eagle: Congratulations on the arrival of Casual Jr.! I think I speak for everyone when I say I look forward to the boy leading Casual Hoya to unprecedented success in 25 years, with a massive downturn when Hire Esherick's kid takes over after that, and then renewed glory when Jr.'s son Casual III comes to power.
Casual Hoya: Thanks, my dude! Do you really speak for everyone? The ol' flux capacitor at the Casual Compound has been broken for a few months now so it's tough for me to look 25 years into the future, but Casual, Jr.'s arrival has been directly related to Georgetown's recent string of success of late as the Hoyas have gone 7-1 in his lifetime. I'm also more than happy to step aside so The Son of Hire Esherick can take over in 25 years, as Casual, Jr. has already told me he has no interest in blogging about that Dayton-Creighton Big East Championship Final.
AE: Speaking of success: in addition to being a highly renowned lunch-documentation blog and headband-distributing powerhouse, Casual Hoya now has its own T-shirts, is scoring interviews with cats like Jon Rothstein(so much Mike Wallace in Casual Hoya, BTW), and, most impressively, has its own beer. This isn't so much a question as a request: please remember us when you're hosting Casual and Trill with Jay Bilas on ESPN8 in three years.
CH: So much Mike Wallace in Casual Hoya! You so funny! As early as Saturday afternoon (before that 5OT circus) Bilas was sticking with Louisville as his National Champion pick, which is just about as ridiculous as his attempts to relate to the cool kids by quoting Lil' Wayne and Young Jeezy or whoever in his tweets. Any show that we may co-host with various luminaries is likely to be on our new home of Fox Sports by the way, so we're aiming real high for our first guest star and have sent Casual Interns to Alaska in an attempt to track down Sarah Palin.
AE: Obviously, it can't hold a candle to Georgetown-Syracuse in the old Big East, but you could get used to Marquette-Georgetown twice a year in The New Hotness Big East, right?
CH: I mean, will I have a choice? You guys are warm and fuzzy, generally likeable and we enjoy friendly blog banter with you of course, but Marquette doesn't really get my blood boiling enough to the extent that I circle the Hoyas-Golden Eagles games on the schedule once it comes out, ya know? We need some bitter blood to start spilling somewhere, whether it be on the court between the players, a kerfuffle between Buzz and JT3 or between you and I. And to that extent I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL! But to your question, yes, I could certainly get used to it.
AE: The first MU-Georgetown game marked the second-to-last appearance of suspended forward Greg Whittington, who's been on the shelf for academic reasons since the first week of January. I know Georgetown's run off a 7-1 record in his absence, but this talk about how the Hoyas might be better off without him is silly, isn't it? He was your second-leading scorer. You took Indiana to OT and went 10-1 in nonconference play with him. Losing a guy like that can't possibly help.
CH: Generally yes, it seems silly that the Hoyas could possibly be better without its second leading scorer and second leading rebounder. For further reading on the subject I refer you to this opus on THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON that goes into great statistical detail to show how Georgetown is winning without Whittington.
AE: That said: a 7-1 stretch in the Big East is impressive no matter who's on the floor or who the competition is. What's been going right for Georgetown in the last month?
CH: Wow, I guess you just don't want to click on that link, huh? DO IT AND YOU WILL FIND THE ANSWERS YOU SEEK. A lot of things have been going right, but we'd be nowhere without Otto Porter, who has stepped up his game from an already high level pre life without Whittington ("WoW") to become arguably (and it's not much of an argument to the contrary, really) the best player in the Big East. In this WoW universe, the Hoyas have achieved more balance and now everything runs through Otto Porter, and it always seems that someone has stepped up in individual games, whether it be Markel Starks, Nate Lubick, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera or even Mikael Hopkins.
AE: It goes without saying that the dream scenario for the Hoyas in the last dance of the Big East Tournament is to squash the Orange in the championship game, then have JTIII grab a microphone and announce: "The Big East is now officially closed." But what teams would make up the ideal path of destruction on the road to meeting 'Cuse in the title game?
CH: Over at Casual Hoya we've used the term "Revenge Tour" to characterize our runs through recent bashes at MSG, so our ideal path would have to include teams that we lost to earlier in the season. Guess what? THAT'S YOU, ACE! I'll take a casual double bye, then a relaxing game against Marquette, then a fuck you game against that prissy Jamie Dixon and Pitt capped off by the epic finale against the Orange, which is punctuated by that JT3 mic drop and then a guy in a suit from the NCAA handing Boeheim an envelope full of NCAA violations and other assorted parting gifts.A
AE: Bigger prize for the Hoyas this year: Big East Tournament championship or Final Four?
CH: Winning the BET would be sweet especially in this final season for Syracuse and Pitt, but I think it would be even sweeter next year in what will likely be our Last Dance. Of course, if Otto Porter leaves for the NBA that won't happen, so it's probably a more realistic goal this year. HAVING SAID THAT, I've always been a proponent of NCAA success trumping Conference success as at the end of the day it's what you do in the Dance that gets recruits to glance at TVs while not counting their bags of money with UK logos on them. I'll take a Final Four, thank you very much.
AE: Do you ever forget that West Virginia was in the Big East last year? Sometimes I see the ESPN bottom line and WVU is losing to Purdue or something by 30 and I remember the hissy fit they threw to leave the conference and it makes me smile.
CH: Totes! It's weird, it's almost as if they were never part of the Conference, huh? It's like that scene in Wayne's World where they created the set to look like Wayne's basement but that's not Wayne's basement! It's awesome that they are now Big 12 bottom feeders, by the way, and I wish nothing but similar success for Syracuse and Pitt in the ACC.
AE: I look at D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and I see Chris Wright: The 6'3" Remix. Am I wrong?
CH: My answers wouldn't be complete if I didn't toss in a Jovi reference, so "oh, you're halfway there!" DSR is part Chris Wright, part Austin Freeman in that he can handle the ball and crash the lane like our dearly departed CW (also wears t#4) but he can also shoot the rock from deep like Freeman. What DSR adds that those others didn't really have is rebounding, as he has a nose for the ball and grabs 4+ per game.
AE: Dick Vitale announced his all-time all-Big East team during the Louisville-Notre Dame game on Saturday. Apparently he picked AI, Ewing, Chris Mullin, Pearl Washington, and Ray Allen. I trust you more than I trust Vitale. Who's on your all-time Big East team?
CH: It's tough to argue with that starting five. Seeing 'All-Time' lists like that causes me to reminisce about the good old days, and when I was at Georgetown in the 90s (specifically 1996) you could argue that the Big East was never better. The Hoyas had Iverson, Jerome Williams, Othella Harrington, Jahidi White and Victor Page. UConn had Ray Allen. Villanova had Kerry Kittles. Syracuse had John Wallace and a chubby point guard on its bench named Donovan McNabb. That Big East Championship between the Hoyas and Huskies that ended with a circus shot by Ray Allen and cost the Hoyas a 1 seed in the Dance (and probably the National Championship) was one I'll never forget. I was on the other side of the court and didn't realize how much of a gimme Jerome's putback layup attempt was, and watching it since then makes me want to kill myself. So thanks for this question, jerkface.
AE: KILL BANG MARRY: Kate Upton. Derrick Coleman. Craig Esherick.
CH: I see what you're trying to do here. You are trying to confuse me and trick me into saying something that I shouldn't. But I'm not going to fall for your little reindeer games, so here goes:
KILL: Craig Esherick. Though a loyal assistant for years and a fine Hoya solider who tried his hardest, I will never neither forget nor forgive the Esherick Era and as such he must die.
BANG: Kate Upton. When I close my eyes to think about what that experience would be like all I can envision of the divine Ms. Upton is en endless spool of 5 second GIFs, which is probably appropriate given the amount of time our um, handshake, would last.
MARRY: Derrick Coleman. This was the easiest answer of all. Have you seen what DC looks like these days? Dude is large and in charge! There is nothing that I want more than to return from work each night, say wussup to Casual, Jr., walk Teddy and then indulge in a monster meal. DC looks like he knows his way around a kitchen, and the tradeoff of no sex but of eating well on foods prepped for me by Derrick fucking Coleman is one that I could live with, especially since I have WiFi at the Casual Compound and a vivid imagination that can rapidly insert me into that endless spool of Kate Upton GIFs