CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Heartbreaking Photo Award: This. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
In the immortal words of the great Nancy Kerrigan: WHY WHY WHY? Why does this sort of thing keep happening to Georgetown? In the wake of Georgetown's disappointing loss to VCU, the Hoya faithful will undoubtedly begin to question whether it's John Thompson III's system that has resulted in the crushing early departures from the NCAA Tournament in the past two seasons or whether it was simply this crop of players that when push came to shove were unable to get it done. But since we have the better part of the next SEVEN MONTHS to debate such things, for now we'll do our best to pick ourselves off the floor and hand out hardware to those most deserving. In the words of Celine Dion, our hearts will go on. To quote the Grateful Dead, we will get by. And in the spirit of the Civil Rights movement, we shall overcome. Away we go...
The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Chris Wright. Despite shooting 3-13 from the floor, after all Lumpy went through to come back from his broken left hand in a heroic effort to save the Hoyas season there was no chance he wasn't winning this award in what was his final appearance in a Hoyas uniform. Despite the result, Wright's mere presence on the court gave Hoyas fans a reason for hope, and even though the end result sucked, he has forever earned his 'heart of a champion' billing. Honorable mention to Hollis Thompson, whose excellent play on the wing gives us all a reason for optimism heading into next season.
More Awards after The Jump:
There was a twinge of jealousy mixed with happiness watching Vernon Macklin help take Florida to the Sweet 16 yesterday. Then there was regret. It's hard to be a Georgetown fan and not wonder what could have been in 2008-2009 and especially in 2009-2010. What would last year's team have done if Macklin started instead of Julian Vaughn? Then again, who knows how Macklin would have reacted having to play with a younger, more skilled Greg Monroe. It's all moot, but still interesting to think about, especially now that Georgetown hasn't won an NCAA tournament game since March 21, 2008.
Groundhog Day Award:
Was there a single Georgetown fan out there that couldn't see Friday night's result coming? Watching VCU for the first time on Wednesday beating USC, they appeared to be the exact type of team that has given Georgetown fits over the past few years. Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. What was nice to see was the intricate and imaginative game planning by the coaching staff to try to change VCU's style of play and get them out of their comfort zone. Just kidding.
Anti Michael Jordan Award:
Austin Freeman was Georgetown's leading scorer both last year and this year, averaging 16.5 ppg and 17.6 ppg while shooting around 50% from the field in during that two year run. In season ending losses, the numbers are less impressive. On Friday night he shot 3-14 (21%) for 10 points. Against Ohio he shot 4-11 (36%) for 9 points. Ouchies.
Is it just me, or do we play like we have a gambling problem? We walk into the casino with a game plan - play smart, methodical, stingy - yet the second we fall into the red we jump ship. We heave up three after three to compensate for our losses (Hey, we shoot 40% from beyond the arc - mathematically speaking, one of these has to go in.) thus digging a deeper hole for ourselves. We never adjust defensively, and refuse to call a quick timeout to walk away from the table and regroup. If we aren't winning, we're in panic mode. We leave, fully aware that losing by 20, as opposed to say 6, is an absolute momentum killer. We vow to never play like that again. Yet, here we are year after year, driving home on the Garden State Parkway broke, smelling like Red Bull Vodkas and self-loathing, wondering why we even bother...
Tim Gunn Award:
Hire Esherick Depression Award:
Edward Nigma Award:
Can someone please help explain to me what happened to Jason Clark this season? After the wunderkind performance against Missouri in that overtime period I was certain this would be the breakout season Hoyas fans had hoped for, and that Clark would provide that massively important third option behind Freeman and Wright. But despite showing glimpses of potential at various points this season, Clark was maddeningly inconsistent, and I can't help but wonder how much Georgetown will be able to lean on him next season.
The Award for Clearly Being the Greatest Basketball Team in the History of Basketball:
VCU. They kicked the crap out of Purdue. THE CRAP. I feel better already.
Big Man U Reputation Took A Vacation Award:
Document Your Postgame Remedy Award:
I can verify that the pickle juice resembles urine in appearance, only.
Somewhat Surprising Stat Award:
Please Come To Georgetown Please Please Please Award:
You Also Please Come To Georgetown Please Please Please Award:
Otto Porter. If you are reading this, please, we're begging you, come to Georgetown. DC is way more fun than Missouri, and remember that time when Georgetown played Mizzou this season? Georgetown won! No-brainer!
Guy I Wish Went To Georgetown Award:
Guy I'm Glad Did Not Go To Georgetown Award:
Charlie Sheen. That ship sailed pretty fast, didn't it?
Addition Is Not By Subtraction Award:
We all seem to get caught up with one magic word every time a season flames out spectacularly in March - chemistry. Look, when a team wins, they usually just are better basketball players, it has nothing to do with chemistry. We've blamed Jessie Sapp, DaJuan Summers, and even Greg Monroe in recent years. The reality is that is stupid. Good teams win because they are good at basketball, not because they love one another so much. Here's a little secret - Roy Hibbert wasn't all that close with Jeff Green or Jonathan Wallace. But you know what? They were all really good at basketball and got to the Final Four. It will be very upsetting if people try to blame Wright and Freeman throughout this off season and try to claim it will be addition by subtraction when they are gone. It won't be addition by subtraction, and we are really going to miss both of them on the court next year.
The One That Got Away Award:
I still can't help but wonder if Jeff Green's early departure to the NBA cost Georgetown a National Championship.
Jim Nantz Comments of the Game Award:
WAY TOO MANY casual offerings to include here and I suggest that if you have yet to check out the gamethread from the VCU game because either you were too pissed off or too scared, go ahead and check it out immediately. It's an oddly cathartic experience:
Big East Is Not The Best Conference In America Award:
All Pundits are Geniuses Award:
Remember all that talk about how the Big East wouldn't do well in the tournament, despite the record amount of conference teams that received spots? Well, after Louisville, Villanova, St. John's, Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Notre Dame all laid eggs, I think it might be a good time to nod our heads in angry respect. The Big East's day in the sun is over. For those avid and stalkerish readers, you might notice this award is VERY SIMILAR to an award we wrote last year, but this time the pundits got it right, and the fans are still in disbelief.
"You Win With Guards In The NCAAs" Award:
True, but I suppose it's more difficult when your starting guards shoot a combined 0-16 from three. JESUS CHRIST. I've known intrepid Casualhoya.com editor lordnick for many years, and I can say without a doubt that he stinks in most things relating to life and is terrible at basketball. I was going to write something to the effect that I'm sure he would be able to maybe knock down at least one three, but now that I think about it he wouldn't be able to. He is really bad at basketball.
Bringing A Knife To A Gun Fight Award:
Since March 25 2007, Georgetown has won one postseason game, a thrilling beatdown of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. In 2006-2007, the year in which we went to the Final Four, we started five guys in their five natural positions. Since then, we have started three guards and have been unable to stop three pointers from hot shooting teams. It is tactical. Our defense struggles because we have players playing out of position, forcing too much help defense, and allowing an exposed three point line. It's not luck, chemistry, or lack of heart. It is tactical and it is simple. Austin Freeman is not a small forward, Hollis Thompson is not a power forward. If you don't use full court pressure and expect to stop teams in half court defense, you can't start three guys under 6'4" for four straight years and expect great results.
Something I've Been Wondering Award:
So you know The Black Eyed Peas? That American hip hop band formed in Los Angeles in 1995? The guys in the band have names like will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and taboo or whatever, and I'm wondering what they tell chicks what their names are when they're trying to pick them up in bars. Is there any way apl.de.ap actually introduces himself that way? Or does he say something like, "Hi, my name is Richard. It is very nice to meet you"?
Doug Gottlieb Award:
Bob Wenzel. Yes, it was Friday but this dude's vocal stylings are just as bad as Justin Bieber's. For those of you fortunate enough to watch at a bar, hopefully it was too loud to hear. Wenzel had little to say and apparently has never watched basketball, interspersing long moments of silence with inane observations and the hard hitting 'clang' analysis of Georgetown's first half.
HoyaTalk. After the game ended, let's just say you needed an ample supply of iodine before checking out the world's finest Georgetown hoops message board.
Worst Place to Watch the Game Award:
An airplane. Oh the magic of DirectTV that let's people somehow watch sporting events while hurtling through the air. Well, that's all well and good until the sporting event turns into an unholy debacle and you want to stretch your legs and maybe get some fresh air. WELL GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. You are stuck in a metal tube with a bunch of walking mozzarella sticks and the only doors are pretty damn well locked. Which was a shame, because that first 30,000 foot step would have solved a hell of a lot of problems.
Old Balls Award:
Pitt Panthers. If you think we have it bad, at least we're not Pitt. My initial reaction after seeing how that game ended was that if it had happened to Georgetown I would have set myself on fire, and here we are days later and I still can't believe how that game ended. Whether the refs should have swallowed their whistles or not, can you imagine the rollercoaster of emotions that Pitt fans went through? Up 1 with 7 seconds, left, then down 1 with the season basically over with only a prayer to save you and then having that prayer answered and getting 2 free throws and then making the first and then thinking 'OK, well worse case scenario he misses the 2nd and we go to overtime' and then missing the 2nd and then WAIT WHAT WE FOULED THEM? HOLY CRAPNOIDS! and then Butler making the 1st free throw to crush your skull and then having that last second nearly full court heave that wouldn't have counted anyway almost go in? Remarkable ending. March Madness is the best.
Searching For Meaning Award:
The weather was glorious in New Orleans this weekend, so I decided to emerge from the closet I had locked myself in on Friday night just to see what was out there. On Saturday I talked to my wife for the first time since November, which was nice. And on Sunday I went to the plant store and purchased some petunias which I then planted in some planters in front of the house. This was also nice. Then I took Teddy on a long walk and on the way back I bought a cup of lemonade from two girls trying to raise money for their school and I even let them keep the change. And Sunday night I BBQ'd some hamburgers, which was also very pleasant. Kill me now.
I went on a long walk on Sunday and I also like bacon.
Hope Springs Eternal Award:
It was hard not to like how the freshmen and sophomores played on Friday night. Hollis Thompson scored 26 points and seemed like the only major contributor who realized there was a game going on. Markel Starks, Nate Lubick and Vee Sanford are all going to be really good next year. Combine that with four freshmen, another year of Moses Ayegba, and next year should be a lot of fun, albeit with lower expectations. I'm excited.
It's So Hard To Say Good-Bye Award:
This is the most difficult award to write each season, because well, it is the last. On a personal note I'd like to say a few thank-yous. To the editorial staff of Casualhoya.com, thank you for your tireless efforts this season. You guys are the best (except for lordnick, who is the worst) and I don't know what I would do without you. To the readers of this site, whether you are a lurker or an avid commenter, THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON is what it is today because of you. A sincere thank you for your continued readership, though you really ought to find something better to do with your lives. And finally, to the Georgetown Hoyas, and especially seniors Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Julian Vaughn and Ryan Dougherty, thank you for a fantastic ride. Win or lose, at the end of the day, we all bleed Hoya Blue, we all thank you for the memories, and we look forward to the future. Best of luck. We Are Georgetown.
Gratuitous Picture of Smokin' Babe Who Could Use Some Consoling:
Midnight Madness is NeXt.