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Previewing Georgetown vs Texas with Casual Hoya

In advance of Tuesday night's basketball game between Texas and Georgetown, an intimate conversation with the Casualistas from the outstanding Georgetown blog Casual Hoya.

There aren't many bloggers I enjoy interacting with more than the proprietors of Casual Hoya, SBN's Georgetown Hoyas blog. Even if I didn't have an affinity for Georgetown's basketball team, I'd still check in on Casual Hoya just to enjoy the GLOBAL PHENOMENON.

Forty years after the first and only meeting between Georgetown and Texas in basketball, the Hoyas and Horns are set to battle on the hardwood on Tuesday night at 6:00 pm CT on ESPN as part of the Jimmy V Class in New York City. Prior to the big game, I answered Casual Hoya's questions for their outstanding "Sleeping With The Enemy" series, which you can read over at their place. We also took an hour to chat about the game, and you can read our conversation below. Enjoy, and hook 'em.

PB: Broseph?

Casual Hoya: yo yo

PB: suppy sup

Casual Hoya: BRING IT

PB: We'll keep this nice and casual, just for you.

Casual Hoya: Much appreciated, and what a treat it is to be invited to appear on Burnt Orange Nation. If there's one thing all Hoyas fans can get behind, it's an image of burnt Oranges.

PB: Enjoy it, because it'll be another 40 years before we do this again. Texas and Georgetown last played in January of '72, it appears. We won, naturally. Any lingering hangover from that loss?

Casual Hoya: Um, that would be a no. Any lingering hangover from your loss to CHAMINADE? Man, I'm sure happy I didn't travel all the way to Maui for that, huh?

PB: The only lingering hangover was having to leave Maui to return to work. I could have stayed and watched us play terrible basketball for a month straight.

Casual Hoya: If you're going to lose games, you might as well do it in Maui.

PB: Before we talk hoops, though, I have to note my surprise to see y'all move up to D1 in football. But what a way to make your debut, knocking off Tennessee 37-36. You must be proud.

Casual Hoya: I think we all were a bit surprised by the impotency of the Vols.

PB: Seriously, 37 points? Was that as bad a basketball game as I'm imagining it must have been?

Casual Hoya: That certainly was a difficult game to watch and I'm thankful Georgetown emerged with a win. From a fan's perspective though, it was quite riveting, as even though both teams were an abomination to the sport, the game itself was tight throughout and the outcome was in doubt until the final second. I wouldn't count on that kind of output from the Hoyas again, who were averaging just over 70 points per game before the Tennessee game.

PB: Well, let's talk about that. Texas is a young team that can play offense that would have fit in with your game against Tennessee, but they're playing some excellent defense in the early going, ranking 2nd in defensive efficiency and holding opponents to 30.7% shooting from the floor. This Texas team is l-o-n-g, and has been playing some zone defense that would make Jim Boeheim proud (and you vomit). So first question: zone defense, good thing or bad thing for GU to face?

Casual Hoya: The description you just used to describe the Horns can also be applied to the Hoyas, but I would offer that Georgetown is just doing it all just a bit better right now. The zone isn't something that Georgetown will be surprised by, and given the Hoyas length on the perimeter and ability to knock down shots, I think we'll be OK. Texas should expect to see a lot of Otto Porter at the top of that zone by the free throw line, where he'll be able to create looks for himself or others. Porter was particularly effective in this role against Indiana in the Legends Classic.

PB: Wait, are you suggesting your team is better than mine?

Casual Hoya: If it makes you feel better I'll give an edge to your cheerleading squad. Georgetown heads into this game as the 15th ranked team in the country, a nationally ranked powerhouse.

PB: Well thanks for acknowledging our cheerleaders have a pulse.

Casual Hoya: I vaguely recall Texas being ranked about a month ago...what happened? By the way, if you want to answer this question with "two words: Rick Barnes" - that's fine.

PB: We try to do three things every day, Andrew. We try to laugh. We try to cry. And we try to think. Unfortunately, we timed the crying part for game time with Chaminade. Must've been confused by the time zone change.

Casual Hoya: Well played. Certainly more well played than the Longhorns in Maui.

PB: We may need to pause this chat a second. John Thompson just called and is asking what it's like to win a first round Tournament game.

Casual Hoya: Whoa there, Cowboy! Don't tell me you're about to get me started on the coaching matchup, right? Remind me again how many NBA players were on that '06 team that crashed out in the 2nd round? Was it 4? One was KEVIN DURANT, right?

PB: I'll respond to that in the Q&A that you sent over. Don't try to co-opt my chat. That won't help you win an NCAA Tournament game.

Casual Hoya: By the way, that was the same Tourney that Georgetown won the East Regional over UNC in to advance to the Final Four. Since then, it has been rough sledding, no doubt. But I can attempt to justify... 2008 - Hoyas ran into the buzzsaw that was He Who Shall Not Be Named from Davidson 2009 - rebuilding year

PB: I'm all ears. Davidson, Ohio, VCU -- you guys are regular kingmakers.

Casual Hoya: 2010 - Hoyas ran into the buzzsaw that was an unconscious Ohio team. Ohio would have beaten anyone that night. 2011 - VCU! The cinderallas of America! Final Four! 2012 - We won a game! Sent Belmont home crying before losing to the buzzsaw that was NC State.

PB: In the world according to Georgetown fans, the world is a giant minefield filled with exploding buzzsaws.

Casual Hoya: It's tough.

PB: Texas is more of a garden spade this year, but those can be dangerous if you're not careful. Tell us about what makes you nervous about this year's Hoyas team. Where are they vulnerable?

Casual Hoya: A few things. First, this Georgetown varietal is very young. No seniors, two juniors, and the rest are underclassmen. Second, sophomore Mikael Hopkins, Georgetown's man in the middle, has been consistently inconsistent. We pride ourselves on our big men, and Hopkins has been asked to fill some big shoes after the departure of Henry Sims. He has the talent to be an impact player, but also makes a number of silly mistakes and misses a bunch of two footers. Third is Georgetown's depth. Only 7 guys will get any real minutes and if Hopkins gets in foul trouble the Hoyas would be vulnerable in the paint as no off the bench is going to be an impact player down low. That's all for now. I'm sure if you asked me this question again a week from now I'd have a few more things to add to the above. One of the things that doesn't make me nervous though is the prospect of losing to a Rick Barnes coached team in MSG.

PB: The last team that said that... well, they were Villanova fans so it was hard to translate whatever neanderthal they were grunting. But we sent them back to their filthy city with a loss. We own the Jimmy V Classic.

Casual Hoya: Congratulations on beating Villanova. Very difficult.

PB: And now for the converse. What does this team do well that excites you?

Casual Hoya: The Hoyas do a lot of exciting things, and their youth which some may see as a negative is perhaps the biggest driver of the excitement. Two juniors and three sophomores would usually be an issue as far as a team's chances for success, but this group plays older than their years. The game against Indiana was a great example, as the Hoyas didn't back down against the Hoosiers, even when down 7 in the game's final minutes and forced OT. Of course, the OT was a disater, but you get the point. One really exciting thing that this team does is use its length to disrupt the opposition, and Georgetown's 2-3 Zone is one of the best in the country.

PB: I would hope so. Otto is an old man's name. Greg Wittinghton is a name of English nobility. D'Vauntes is a name for the Enlightenment, if ever there was one. This is quite the sophisticated group, at least going on names alone.

Casual Hoya: Yes, though we really could use a Kabongo or two.

PB: Obviously, if either team can get some threes to fall, that would be huge, but the big worry from a Texas perspective is turnovers. I sat there patiently while you said a bunch of stuff about your team being young, but the Hoyas are a veteran squad compared to Texas. The Longhorns play zero upperclassmen, have 60% of their minutes going to six freshmen, and are by two different measures the youngest, least experienced team in the country. And they have struggled mightily to take care of the ball. Georgetown isn't forcing many turnovers so far this year, though; any thoughts that they might try to extend the zone a bit and force some turnovers?

Casual Hoya: Sorry to have bored you. The Hoyas may not force a large number of turnovers, but they don't allow opponents to take good shots. Say what you will about the atrocity of that 37-36 final score, but it's not like the Vols were missing layups all night. If the Horns are sloppy on the perimeter guys like Starks, Porter and Whittington are going to take advantage. I think the Horns could be in for a long night if they're off from the perimeter.

PB: I was really expecting you to be a lot more deferential. What's with all the swagger?

Casual Hoya: I use Old Spice 'Swagger' in the shower every morning.

PB: Interesting. And that works? I could swagger up, just like that?

Casual Hoya: #allthechicks

PB: Huh. Learn something new every day. Alright, let's move into our lightning round. You ready?

Casual Hoya: Ooh, how exciting! Is this where you quiz me on lyrics to "Deep In The Heart of Texas"?

PB: How many claps are there in "Deep in the Heart of Texas"?

Casual Hoya: 4. Four! OH, WAIT!

PB: Awwww, sorry. That's not right. There's a series of four claps many, many times over.

Casual Hoya: Let me think... /recalls "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" Eh, this is taking too long. I'll roll with 16 SIXTEEN

PB: You already lost. Moving on. In order of most to fewest mentions by Dick Vitale during the telecast, order these teams: Indiana, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Georgetown

Casual Hoya: Easy question: Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Texas.

PB: Well done.

Casual Hoya: Look, we don't run a GLOBAL PHENOMENON by not being exceptionally witty.

PB: The player from Georgetown most likely to blow up on Tuesday night with a decisive performance? The player from Texas?

Casual Hoya: Tough call since literally every starter for the Hoyas has had a good game thus far. Starks and Porter blew up in Brooklyn, Whittington has been solid throughout the season, Lubick will turn in his usual workmanlike performance...I'll go with Hopkins just for shits and giggles because he should find himself in a position to dominate underneath.

PB: And on the other side, if it's a Texas player?

Casual Hoya: Is Shelden McClellan a copout answer? I mean, if he's off you guy's have no chance right?

PB: This isn't Jeopardy! The answer will be fine, thank you.

Casual Hoya: I'll take "Snarky Texas bloggers for $400, Alex."

PB: Since JT3 arrived at GU in 2005-06, the Hoyas have made the NCAA Tournament 6 out of 7 seasons, with Texas getting an invite all 7 years. Based on their seeds, Rick Barnes and JT3 each have 12 expected wins across those NCAA Tournaments. Who has more wins, Barnes or JT3?

Casual Hoya: Is this some sort of LSAT question? If I were good at numbers I wouldn't be a lawyer

PB: The answer is a name, not a number. Hint: it's not Thompson.

Casual Hoya: BARNES Is Barnes the answer, Pedro?

PB: You did it! Barnes is 9-7 and JT3 is 8-6. Shove it, hater.

Casual Hoya: Here's a question for you: Would you rather have Rick Barnes coaching your Longhorns or JT3?

PB: Barnes, of course. Bear in mind, I'm actually a fan of the Hoyas -- Jeff Green is my all-time favorite non-Longhorns college hoops player -- and JT3 is clearly a good coach. But Barnes has a reputation that doesn't match reality. He's 'That Coach' everyone loves to pick on, and instead of a legitimate discussion about what he needs to do better, the discussion isn't even about Barnes at all, but a ridiculous caricature of him.

Alright, enough about the coaches. The kids have to put the ball in the basket. Who does more of that on Tuesday night, Georgetown or Texas, and what's your score prediction?

Casual Hoya: JT3 seemed to have a better gameplan for Chaminade when we beat them last year. And don't sleep on those Silverswords, ya know?

PB: When you can make the NCAA Tournament every year and start performing to your seed, we'll take your memos. Until then, your prediction please.

Casual Hoya: I will take that "start performing to your seed" argument from a lot of schools, but Texas ain't one of 'em. Now, for that prediction... Since these are two young squads I don't think this will be the prettiest game but it should be a fun one. The Horns will probably look to push the tempo, but these Hoyas can play that way, too. In the end I think Georgetown's defense will cause the Horns too many problems and the Hoyas win by a score of 77-68.

PB: Nothing casual about your swagger, that's for sure. I hope you're right that it's a fun, competitive game.

Casual Hoya: Indeed, and hey for what it's worth best of luck in the Alamo Bowl.

PB: Thanks. And if things go poorly and y'all wind up in the NIT again, I'll pull for y'all same as last time. Solidarity, y'know? And fingers crossed, hopefully no more buzzsaws!

Casual Hoya: Who does less with more talent: Rick Barnes or Mack brown?

PB: Guess I'll be spending the rest of my evening photoshopping Cameron Ridley with a chainsaw, huh.


PB: Just making you ask it again, in all-caps, to ensure that this post gets to 100+ comments. Commence the self-hating civil war in 3...2...1... No one self-loathes like Longhorns fans.

Casual Hoya: If it's self-hatred you seek I suggest you visit our Casual Gamethread should the Hoyas find a way to lose this game

PB: Are Hoyas fans also viciously self-critical?

Casual Hoya: The tagline for our site and the best way to describe our fanbase is "Cynical Yet Delusional" If that isn't a recipe for a psychiatrist's couch I don't know what is

PB: Sounds complicated. I suppose ours would be Arrogant, But Self-Loathing

Casual Hoya: And "Poorly Coached"

/drops mic

PB: You realize I get to edit this chat, right?

Casual Hoya: Yeah, figured you wouldn't let me end on a mic drop. I've always wanted to do that.

PB: I admit, I sort of froze for a moment there. Then realized I didn't have to allow it. Nice attempt, though. Otto Porter-ish, IMO.

Casual Hoya: Thanks. Hey, this has been great and all, but I need to flip on MNF as I need like 15 points from Pierre Garcon tonight for a win in fantasy football. You like my chances?

PB: I haven't watched a down of NFL football this year. Haven't felt this good in years. Seriously.

Casual Hoya: You probably could have dropped the mic after that one. I really don't even know how to respond.

PB: Dude, try it next year. It's liberating. You don't miss it. Tons of time freed up.

Casual Hoya: I can save you two more hours tonight: Georgetown will beat Texas.

/drops mic

PB: Alright, scram. Enjoyed it Andrew. I'll send answers to your "Sleeping with the Enemy" Q&A here after a bit. I'm about halfway through your questions so far.

Casual Hoya: Awesome, good times. And thanks.

PB: Likewise. Very glad the scheduling gods intervened to give us the opportunity.

Casual Hoya: Indeed.

PB: Since we can't count on running into you beyond the first round of the NCAAs.

/drops mic