With Eastern Washington taking on Georgetown on Thursday, I thought it'd be a good idea to get to know a little bit about the enemy, from someone who knows a lot about them. So I sent Andrew from the blog Casual Hoya some questions (some about the game, some about other stuff), and he was gracious enough to answer them (and I answered some EWU questions for him, which you should be able to find up on that site by the time you read this - and here it is).
1. Obviously the media has been all over the Georgetown upset train, in large part it seems because of past first round Georgetown losses. First question related to that - Do you think there is a particular reason why the Hoyas have been the victim of upsets in the past? Second, do you think the current players pay even a speck of attention to that talk, with the standard college basketball roster turnover?
Upset train, nice one! Yes, there is a particular reason why the Hoyas have been the victim of upsets in the past and I think the coaching staff has done a great job in addressing those issues; mainly, recruiting athletes with size that can play both the Georgetown offense as we all push the tempo if need be. Moreover, there's more balance in this squad, as half a dozen different kids have led the team in scoring in various games this season. Georgetown teams in the past were more dependent on a lone individual to carry the team (i.e Otto Porter), and once the team fell behind and the wheels started to come off it was a tough hole to climb out from. This team more resembles in 2007 Final Four squad than later varietals that were upset victims in that there are more weapons on the floor.
As far as whether the team is paying attention to the upset talk, absolutely. Over at Casual Hoya we've had a number of compilation containing the national media's jumping on the Eastern Washington bandwagon, and I've noticed a few of the players posting similar things on social media. The seniors on this team were part of the disappointing NCAA efforts in 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2012-13, so there's definitely that motivation factor as well.
At least I hope there is.
2. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera is obviously the Hoyas best player... Can you tell us a little about his game? Also, please tell me that I can just call him DSR so I don't have to continually type D'Vauntes...
Hey, DSR works for us so feel free!
DSR was the Big East Preseason Player of the Year and with good reason, he can score from the perimeter, get into the lane, and has been Georgetown's best and most consistent player all season. You might as well get used to tweeting the following throughout the game: "Hey, is anyone going to guard this DSR guy? He's killing us!"
3. Teams have had tough sledding going into the paint against Georgetown... Obviously that's likely due to many factors, but is it more defensive philosophy or more having shot blockers like Mikael Hopkins on the back line?
It's a bit of both, but the presence of Hopkins, Josh Smith and Isaac Copeland in the paint is certainly disruptive. Hopkins is an excellent help defender and shot blocker, and though he and Smith are a bit foul prone, I don't expect the Eagles to much success inside. If you're going to beat us, it's going to be from behind the arc.
4. I think a lot of the EWU fans are optimistic in part due to the fact that they can't see Joshua Smith out on the perimeter chasing some of EWU's shooters. Does that worry you at all or is that something JTIII can easily scheme around?
EWU fans might want to find another reason to be optimistic, because in no way shape or form will Josh Smith be chasing anyone around the perimeter. In fact, there is a better chance Smith chases you down after these questions than there is of him running after some Eagles gunner running around the three point line. Smith will stay where he needs to be, and Georgetown will probably deploy some sort of zone against your beloved Tyler Harvey to stifle whatever dreams you have of reaching the Round of 32.
5. At their best, GTown obviously has shown they can beat anyone. However, when they are at their worst, what do they struggle with the most?
Georgetown has lost all three games to Xavier this season, and that's the type of team that causes us problems - size down low to avoid having to double Smith and good perimeter shooters that can take advantage of perimeter rotations. Size up front generally has been a prerequisite to success against the Hoyas this season - do y'all have that?
6. What makes this Georgetown team fun to watch and root for?
I'm biased of course, but each student athlete on this team is genuinely a good kid. That, plus the classy way the school and program carries itself under John Thompson III makes Georgetown very difficult to actually hate, unless you are a Syracuse fan that is fat, pasty and also BANNED from the postseason.
7. How did you become a Georgetown fan? And how does one become a writer on the biggest Georgetown blog on the internet?
I've been a Georgetown fan since growing up in the heyday of the Big East, and attending Georgetown in the Iverson-era didn't exactly do anything to detract from that. The next time you're in the Georgetown area, shoot me a tweet or something, we'll meet up, I'll show you campus, will drink beers and toast the end of your season.
As far as being the head of the biggest Georgetown blog on the internet, well, that's probably more a product of the lack of other competition than anything impressive that I've done, but thanks, I'll take it. If you want to submit your resume for review, I'm more than happy to check it out since we're always looking for new talent!
8. Be honest - could you have named the Eastern Washington mascot before it was announced they would be Georgetown's opponent? Did you know anything about the team?'
Absolutely. We here at Casual Hoya have been compiling a list of possible Hoyas opponents for weeks, and EWU was on that list of teams that we didn't really want to face because of the whole, "these guys can get hot from 3 and kill us" issue. The thing is, we feared the same when we played Belmont in the first round of the Dance in 2012 and the Hoyas won that game by 15.
9. During my formative years, my favorite player was Allen Iverson... he converted me to become a Philadelphia 76ers fan all by himself. For your money, has there ever been a more exciting Hoya than him?
No, and it's not even close. I was a freshman at Georgetown when Iverson was a sophomore, so he holds a special place in my cold, dark heart. You can make an argument that Iverson was one of the single-most "era" defining players of all-time, as he ushered what I guess some people might refer to as the "hip-hop era" into the NBA which has shaped how the game has been played and who it has been marketed to ever since. When Iverson came back to Georgetown's campus a few months ago for the groundbreaking of Georgetown's new athletics facility called, appropriately, The Thompson Center, it was really really really awesome and quite casual.
10. Gun to your head (held by someone else - I promise to never do that to you), if the over/under for Georgetown tourney wins is set at 1.5, what side do you take? What if it's set at 2.5?
OVER. After we dispense of you guys I think we can take it to either Utah or Stephen F. Austin, and then it's on to Houston for a likely date with Duke. Georgetown has had pretty good success against Duke in the past, so I'll go once again with OVER 2.5! This is great! We're Indianapolis bound! I need a drink.
11. Last, what is your official game prediction?
I'd love to pump a bunch more air into your already-inflated balloons of joy, but I really think this Hoyas team is different and that the Eagles are going to feel the wrath of one of the best team's in the Big East coming out with a chip on its shoulder. The Eagles have a terrible defense (I'm not trying to insult you, it's simply true), and the only team that Georgetown played this season with a remotely comparable defense was Towson. The Hoyas won that game by 32 points. Call it Hoyas 78 - Eagles 62, friendo.
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