Georgetown-Syracuse Basketball Deathmatch: Casual Hoya Answers Questions from TNIAAM

Mitchell Layton

It was nice of them to take a few minutes from oppressing the less fortunate to answer some questions.

You know Casual Hoya. If you don't, here's the quick and dirty: It's the other site on the SB Nation network dedicated to writing things about Syracuse basketball.

Casual Hoya -- a good egg that was smart enough to name a site after his handle -- answered some questions I had for him. We touched upon the game this weekend, his dream basketball conference, the Greg Whittington situation, and do it all while throwing passive-aggressive barbs at each other over the course of a thousand words or so. (Actually, everything in that sentence is kind of a lie except for the shots we take at each other. Reviewing the questions, I don't really ask anything about the game. I guess I don't know my blogging business.) If you'd like to see how TNIAAM responded to his questions, check it out over on the CH mothership.

1. You're still here? Do I have to build a homemade submarine, pilot it down the Potomac, and launch a sneak attack on Georgetown to get you out of my life?
No, but your effort to bounce to the ACC in order to accomplish that have been certainly appreciated. YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE, SUXA-BOY. As an aside, have you ever built a homemade submarine? That could be kinda casual.

2. Please explain to me how Victor Page managed to stay eligible while at Georgetown. (This is, after all, a guy that chased down and jabbed an opponent with a broom while balling in the CBA.)
Mr. Page and I were actually at Georgetown at the same time, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that he went to class and made an effort to succeed academically at the school. Unlike at some Big East schools (cough cough) where players can remain on teams for having papers written for them by other students or hired goats, at Georgetown we don’t play that. Since Page couldn’t cut it academically, he was forced to leave the school early and as such never fulfilled that great basketball potential. As to that incident with a broom, let’s be honest, if you had to play professionally in Sioux Falls and had to take crap from an overzealous ref, wouldn’t you reach for the nearest home appliance you could find on the court?

3. I'm assuming that Georgetown is going to pull the same bucket of bull with Syracuse down the line as they've done with Maryland, dodging a superior basketball concern under the guise of some cockamamie reason that doesn't even rise to the level of low-grade propaganda. Am I wrong in this? Is this Georgetown's last trip to the Dome?
As long as Syracuse doesn’t demand some cockamamie setup where they get two home games after playing Georgetown at a neutral site, I think this matchup should survive the destruction of the Big East, demolition of the ACC, and obliteration of whatever conference Syracuse joins in the future. I think the real question is whether the game remains a rivalry after we both leave the Big East. I propose that Georgetown and Syracuse meet on Valentine’s Day on alternating home courts starting next year. It is a winning situation for everyone. The game doesn’t disappear into the black hole of November/December basketball, Boeheim isn’t forced to leave New York before January, and the female students of Syracuse have a reprieve from dodging the felonious fists of Syracuse basketball players on the most love-filled of days.

4. Hahahaha. DePaul. Georgetown voluntarily picked to hang out with them. Twice. Explain that, egghead.
I see your DePaul and raise you with Wake Forest. You just traded casual trips to Chicago for deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs and guaranteed wins for a voyage to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Better get used to playing in North Carolina, of course. You know, because of that whole “Wait, my Conference Tourney is in bleeping Greensboro instead of Madison Square Garden?” thing.

5. Okay, serious question that I thought about for more than five seconds: Is Otto Porter the Big East Player of the Year? I guess Russ Smith is in the discussion, but Porter doesn't play like he has evil brain worms in his head. Connected question: Explain why Porter is going to be a huge pain in the ass on Saturday.
I think it depends on how far Otto Porter takes Georgetown in the Big East. Since expansion, the lowest the team of the Big East Player of the Year has finished in the regular season standings was tied for second place. If Georgetown finishes above Louisville in the standings, I think Porter is a shoe-in for the award. Don’t discount your very own MCW; that young man can certainly play. With Syracuse’s upcoming schedule, there are plenty of opportunities for him to move his name up on the list. And to think, he is only a sophomore and he has already notched his prerequisite criminal activity at Syracuse. What an over-achiever!

Porter is going to be a huge pain in the ass because he is the perfect player to defeat a zone. He can shoot from anywhere, is a great passer, and crashes the boards incredibly well for his position. I think Syracuse is actually one of the few Big East schools that has the athletes to contain Porter one on one. But thankfully, Syracuse players, as evidenced by their mediocre professional careers, aren’t taught how to play individual defense. Thanks Jim!

6. We're about the same age, what's your favorite Georgetown-Syracuse game from our era? I personally like the "McNamara Dagger" game in Verizon. That was good times.
How dare you discuss my age!

For me one of the greatest wins was back in 1996 when the Iverson-era Hoyas vanquished John Wallace and your tubby point guard Donovan McNabb at US Air arena, but the bestest of the best was in the 2010 Big East Tournament when the Greg Monroe Hoyas took out the 1 seeded Oranges in the quarterfinals. For a lot of folks on THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON however, JT3’s first win at the Carrier Dome in 2011 was special. I didn’t think we had a shot in that game with our three-guard offense but putting Chris Wright in the middle of the zone was a brilliant move. I’m skipping over the Esherick Era, because as far as I am concerned, that never happened.

7. You're king of conference realignment for a day, solely for hoops purposes. Stuff like television contracts and football concerns don't matter. There's only one rule: It kind of needs to make geographic sense unless you have a really good reason to include a school from God-knows-where. You have 12 spots. What schools make the cut as college basketball's most dominant and interesting conference? (You can exclude Georgetown as a mid-major if necessary.)
What the hell does geographic sense mean? They have airplanes in Syracuse, right? I am going to define geographic sense as roughly less than 800 miles away from each other.

  • Georgetown
  • Connecticut (assuming they are not banned by the NCAA by that point)
  • Syracuse (assuming they are not banned by the NCAA by that point)
  • St. John’s (only for MSG)
  • Duke
  • North Carolina
  • Kentucky
  • Louisville
  • Kansas
  • Michigan State
  • Indiana
  • Ohio State

After listing that, I realized it looks remarkably similar to the current Top 12 teams in the nation. I had no intention of doing that. I merely chose the best and most historically relevant schools from the top conferences. Have at it, I already see plenty of oversights.

8. So, Greg Whittington apparently killed a man in El Paso with a bolo tie in a dispute over whether a quesadilla does or does not include diced tomatoes. (I think.) Is he coming back? Does it even matter at this point?
The Great Greg Whittington Mystery of 2012-13 still continues without any real clues as to when it will reach its conclusion, and given Georgetown’s history of releasing information on a need to know basis where no one needs to know, my gut is that Whittington will not come back this season. To the question of whether it matters at this point, that answer is absolutely, as even though we’re 10-1 without Whittington (“WoW”), there’s just no telling how good we’d be with him returning to provide a spark off the bench in March.

9. Are you thinking Final Four this season (what would be only the second time since neon legwarmers were in style that the Hoyas would be relevant in March)?
Back in 2007 when Georgetown made the Final Four I fondly recall thinking that Syracuse’s last Final Four was back in 2003. And here we are in 2012 and Syracuse’s last Final Four appearance was back in 2003. This is cool because now that 2003 Final Four t-shirt that I’m sure some of your fans sleep in at night after they pet it are approaching vintage value.

10. You know you're going to miss this. Admit it. That makes March 9th kind of the most important thing ever, right?
I can’t quit you, and if the basketball Gods smile upon us and stars align such that our worlds collide on March 9th with the Big East regular season title at stake I will probably light myself on fire just to cool down.

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