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Syracuse men’s basketball vs. Georgetown preview: Q&A with Casual Hoya

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Well, well, well...

NCAA Basketball: Maryland - E. Shore at Georgetown Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you like the timing of this game or not, it’s happening on Saturday. The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team travels to Washington, D.C. to face off with the rival Georgetown Hoyas in a matchup that continues to run on hate and nostalgia. Both teams are in desperate need of a win too, after rockier starts to this season. “What could go wrong????”

As you know by now, Syracuse gets special treatment on SB Nation, getting not one, but TWO sites about the Orange. With the Georgetown game tipping off on Saturday, we had to ask the editor of said site, Casual Hoya, about this year’s team and the game ahead. His responses are below. Ours is up over there as well.

So are you guys done with Patrick Ewing? Or is this another one of those “he’s here as long as he needs to figure it out” sorta deals?

There is definitely a portion of the fanbase that has seen enough, though I’m not quite there yet. I don’t think there are many doubts that Ewing can coach – one can’t just luck into the Big East Tournament championship. I think. However, I do think the assistants generally need an upgrade, and Ewing should shoulder plenty of the blame for a relatively static staff since he arrived as he has been unwilling to make any changes. Some would give him credit for the loyalty, but something has to give.

The exodus of a number of players under his watch isn’t great, but the flip side of that is that they were mostly bad eggs that were doing more harm than good. The freshman class this year is a good one so he deserves a shot to watch them grow under his watch, but it does seems that Georgetown is spinning its wheels a bit under his regime. Let’s see how this season plays out. If the Hoyas don’t show much improvement during Big East play I think there’s a decent shot of a coaching change, but it will be on Ewing’s terms. I highly doubt Georgetown pulls the plug on him.

Related: The Hoyas made the NCAA Tournament last year, but... did they really make the tournament?

We made it and there’s a damn banner somewhere to prove it! Sure, the stay in the Dance for the defending Big East Tournament Champs wasn’t as long as we had hoped, but they were appropriately thumped by Colorado as a ‘we’re just happy to be here’ 12 seed.

This matchup’s lost its shine due to a variety of things both within and outside of each school’s respective control. Do you think there’s a shot it will ever really matter again?

Funny as I think I asked you the same question. My answer is probably not for so long as you goobers remain in the ACC for no reason. Come back to the Big East where you belong and let’s get some meaningful conference battles going again.

Speaking of replacing things: Is UConn a capable enough replacement on your annual schedule, or does it always feel like you’re missing something?

UConn coming back definitely helps. Butler, Xavier and Creighton are fine but sort of boring, and I still don’t consider them true Big East programs. Of the three Xavier is probably the closest because their fanbase is generally repugnant and filled with fans that believe that spaghetti with meat sauce and cheese qualifies as chili. If Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia wanted back in I’d take them in a heartbeat. It was all just way more fun back then.

What’s been your favorite Georgetown loss of this season so far?

If losing to an Ivy League school like Dartmouth in the opener and having your season end in soul-crushing fashion before it has even really started while facing national embarrassment on the internet can be considered a favorite loss, then yes that one was by far my favorite. To be honest I have played pick-up hoops against teams better than Dartmouth. Good times. Thanks for asking.

The Hoyas’ scoring is pretty well balanced this year, with four players averaging between 11.5 and 14 points per game. Who would you say the offense needs to run through for Georgetown to succeed?

I really have no idea how Georgetown is going to beat Syracuse. My guess is that Dante Harris will play the role of zone buster at the top of the key and asked to hit that shot or slash to the hoop and kick it out to the wings. The Hoyas don’t have any effective bigs so it will take career shooting nights/days from Aminu Mohammed, Don Carey and Kaiden Rice for Georgetown to be within sniffing distance down the stretch. This isn’t to say you guys are good because you aren’t, but it’s not as if Georgetown plays good defense either so I suspect the horrific Brothers Boeheim and that other awful guy Girard will find plenty of room and time to rain threes on our faces for 40 minutes. I’m really looking forward to it!

Thoughts on the 2-3 zone?

Thoughts on having zero Syracuse players under Boeheim that have been impact players in the NBA? Note: Carmelo doesn’t count he was there for like 3 months.

Who’s the most likely Georgetown bench player to randomly get hot from three in this game?

No one. Literally no one off the bench can hit threes. Maybe Collin Holloway hits a couple if he’s left wide open, and maybe this is the game where we finally see what the youngsters Tyler Beard and Jordan Riley can do, but I don’t think you have to worry about some flamethrower off the bench in this one even though I would most certainly love to douse everyone wearing Orange to be lit on fire.

Do Hoyas fans care about the football team? Or do they just sort of exist and everyone’s fine with that being the case?

I’m sorry but I assume by football you mean futbol! Did you know that Georgetown is a national futbol powerhouse? Two appearances in the Final Four in 3 years! Sending dudes to MLS! Unbelievable! The women’s soccer program is no joke either, currently ranked 10th in the nation! In fact, I was thinking of making ‘Soccer School’ t-shirts. Want one?

Predictions: Who wins this one? The bad guys, or the orange guys?

Every sign points to Syracuse winning this one, so naturally I’m going with Georgetown by a final score of 72-64. Love (read: hate) you! See you next year!

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Thanks, as always, to Casual Hoya for bringing his specific brand of gray-hued commentary around. You can check out the site, or follow along with meltdowns on Twitter as well.