Welcome back to our semi-regular feature Friends With Bennies, where we sit down with another Big East blogger to talk about their team. Today we have Andrew from Casual Hoya to talk about tonight's game with Georgetown. I also answered some questions for them, which you can find here.
TheUConnBlog: Georgetown seemed to have a nice little run going, so what happened against Pitt? I was getting used to them losing everything.
Casual Hoya: If that 'nice little run' included a narrow 2-point win at home against Rutgers then yes, I suppose it was a nice, little run. And thank you for the compliment. The Pitt game was more of the same that occurred in the Rutgers game - poor shooting mixed with spurts of bad defense-- that resulted in a deficit that against Rutgers the Hoyas could claw back from but at Pitt it was more difficult. The key question for Georgetown going forward is whether the team we saw against Rutgers and Pitt is the one where rolling with or whether the team we saw earlier in the non-conference and against Louisville will reappear. The good news is that if we can get a mix of both, we should be just fine.
TUB: UConn is young and mistake prone, so playing an experienced, senior-led team like Georgetown is probably going to turn out well for them right?
CH: Georgetown is one of the younger teams in the Big East, actually, as Henry Sims and Jason Clark are the only seniors on the squad. In fact, other than Sims, Clark, and junior Hollis Thompson, all of the guys you will see tonight will be sophomores and freshmen, so this may turn out to be an epic battle of the super young and mistake prone. If you'd like I can come over and we can watch together and snuggle. I make a mean 7-layer dip.
TUB: Otto Porter's new, tell me about him.
CH: And how! Otto has been perhaps the biggest and best surprise of the season for the Hoyas, which is saying a lot considering Henry Sims' evolution from being a huge disappointment to being a more than serviceable big man and someone dubbed one of the best playmaking big men in the country. Though just a freshman, Porter plays like a seasoned vet, and Georgetown fans already seem most comfortable with the ball in his hands than anyone else. I would suggest that he has been more impressive based on expectations than your prized pupil, Andre Drummond.
TUB: Georgetown seems to be back on the upswing after a few down years. Is it sustainable this time?
CH: I think so, but let me get to that after I attack the "down years" part of that question. Georgetown may have had some poor NCAA Tournament showings in the last two years, but heading into those Tournaments the Hoyas were a 3 seed and a 5 seed, and were only a 5 seed after Chris Wright's injury likely cost them one much higher. Having said that, yes, I do think Georgetown is in good hands going forward, as four of the freshmen (Porter, Greg Whittington, Jabril Trawick and Mikael Hopkins) receive playing time and freshman forward Tyler Adams will likely receive a medical redshirt and be around for the next four years. This class, coupled with a class next year that features 6'10" Brandon Bolden and an Austin Freeman-esque shooting guard in D'vauntes Smith-Rivera should maintain Georgetown's national relevance for awhile.
TUB: What's the mood toward JTIII? I know I've seen some fan frustration directed his way at the end of the last couple of seasons. Is he back in everyone's good graces?
CH: In JT3 We Trust. The first round exits in the Dance over the past few years made the banter of the JT3 Haters at least entertaining to listen to, but any suggestion that JT3 isn't the right guy for Georgetown after the job he has done this season is downright silly. The Hoyas are currently a top 15 team when heading into this season they were expected to finish 10th in the Big East alone. The bigger issue for Georgetown might be hanging on to JT3 when his contract expires at the end of next season. To that end the University has embarked on a plan to upgrade the facilities since Georgetown's are piss poor.
TUB: What's your prediction for the game?
CH: Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier have the talent to go off against ther Hoyas and bury them just like Cincy's Sean Kilpatrick and Dion Dixon did, but I'm hopeful that by now JT3 will employ some sort of zone defense to shut them down. UConn's been all over the place of late, and looked absolutely terrible against Notre Dame while putting up a measly 48 points at home. I'll roll with the Hoyas in this one, because even though both teams aren't exactly peaking, I think Georgetown's valley might be a bit higher than yours at this point. Final score Hoyas 67 - UConn 61.