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Here We Go With The Georgetown Preview

The pivotal, though not quite desperately needed, Georgetown game will be upon us all tomorrow night. In an effort to give you the dedicated Bearcat fan with time on your hands a bead on this Georgetown game I have enlisted the Casual Hoya to give the low down on this edition of the Georgetown Hoyas. As ever it is quality stuff and immanently worthy of your attention and praise, perhaps praise, though I don't know how loose you guys collectively are with your praise. If you have a higher standard I think we get it. If you want more from the casual hoya follow the crew on twitter.

1 Who is this teams engine room of empire, the main cog in the machine if you will.

Next - we've batted this question around in several different forms, trying to get a good answer. There is none so we'll give the cop-out. Pretty much all Georgetown fans will agree that Chris Wright is the heart and soul of this team and at various times, he's outright carried the team. Of course, we've consistently questioned his decision making so it's touch to call him the main cog. Austin Freeman (further discussion below) is absolutely Georgetown's best player this year but has a much more restrained style of leadership. Lastly, Julian Vaughn has molded himself into a legitimate low post scoring presence while putting out maximum effort and solid defense.

So if you get to create new catchphrases, we get to punt and say that there are three players who are responsible for the Hoyas' success this year.

2 Austin Freeman was the pre season player of the year coming into the season. He has been very good this year, but he hasn't made a big jump compared to last season. His stats are basically the same as last year, and his shooting percentages are down a little compared to last season. What factors would you attribute to that?

Had to go to the tape to verify your claim and you've obviously been doing your homework. As you noted, he's been playing quite well and this will mark 2 years in a row with better than 50% from the floor, 40% from 3, and 85% from the line - pretty gaudy numbers which suggest just how difficult a player he is to guard.

Austin's had some phenomenal games (most recently dominating Nova up in Philly) but has mixed those with a few dogs (like the game against USF). Unfortunately, those dogs drag down his numbers a bit and make him look less effective than he actually is. There's been a big transition from last year's team, which was slower moving and relied extensively on Greg Monroe to catch in the post, to this year's team, which has been faster and more guard oriented. JT3's system doesn't really allow for huge individual numbers and this year, Austin's output has stayed about the same while Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark emerged as legitimate threats (throw in Julian Vaughn for good measure).

So let's chalk it up to a good thing and say that he's been willing to sacrifice his individual stats for the good of the team.

3 Georgetown has been a streaky team this year, at the new year there was the 4 losses in 5 games streak. Since then they have won 9 of 10. Was it just a tricky bit of schedule or something inherent in the make up of this team?

The first key to the turnaround was an 8-day layoff the team had after a close road win at Seton Hall to end the swing through scenic New Jersey.  During that layoff JT3 put a renewed emphasis on team defense in practice, and there has been a visible improvement on the defensive end since then.  In the first game coming out of that layoff the Hoyas pasted St. John’s by 25 points at Verizon, and it’s been off to the races ever since.  The second key to the turnaround was the insertion of freshman Nate Lubick into the starting lineup over Hollis Thompson.  Lubick is more of a natural than Thompson at the 4 spot, and Georgetown no longer has to account for Thompson matching up against a bigger player down low.  Additionally, Hollis has been somewhat of a wunderkind off the bench, providing Georgetown with consistent outside shooting and clutch play. 

But yes, it was all likely tricky scheduling.

4 Generally I am not a fan of NBA arenas that moonlight as college venues but what is the game day atmosphere like in the Verizon Center? I have been there for a Wiz game, but never for Georgetown. In the event that I make it to a Hoyas game will it dislodge the notion of on campus arenas being superior to NBA arenas for college ball?

Gamedays are great, on the weekends.  There is so much to do around the arena and Saturday afternoon games normally draw 15k+, which means that the arena is only 25% empty.  Night games blow, especially since Georgetown is almost always playing at 7pm (except against Cincy this year).  People show up late depending on when/if they get out of work and there are always Metro and traffic delays.  Only upside of having an off-campus, NBA arena is that you can buy beer at games.  That is actually a HUGE upside.  Screw on-campus arenas.

5 Any predictions?

I predict that Georgetown wins this game, because I simply do not want to fathom what the reaction will be on if they do not.  Needing to win against Syracuse on Saturday won’t be as fun coming off a loss to the Bearcats, and I hope that FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT’S HOLY the Hoyas don’t screw this one up.  Final score Georgetown 73 – Bearcats 61.  If it is any closer than that margin  after halftime I might drown myself in a urinal.

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