The Georgetown Hoyas put a stamp on the final home game of the season last night with a rout of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, concluding a boisterous homestand that also included a similar pasting of the Villanova Wildcats and the 3rd Annual Casual Extravaganza. Now that we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON have some time to come up for air before Georgetown's next game against Marquette on Saturday, let's get to some Casual Awards, shall we? Away we go...
The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Jason Clark. With Markel Starks on the bench and in the doghouse against Villanova, Clark took the reins at the point and guided the offense flawlessly. Against both the Wildcats and Irish, Clark finished with a total of 28 points, 12 rebounds, and an impressive 2 turnovers in 66 minutes of action. Honorable mention: Henry Sims. Both seniors rose to the occasion on the final homestand of the season, as Sims controlled the middle against Villanova and was the story against the Irish, finishing with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a get that shit out of here block.
So Many More Awards after The Jump:
Greg Whittington. Did y'all see Emma Stone present that award at the Oscars with Ben Stiller? At first I was all like "OMG I think she's wasted what she is doing no way!", but then I was all "Wait, this is brilliant!" Well, that's how I feel about Greg Whittington. Whittington hasn't been shy about launching threes all season, and against Notre Dame he showed just how effective he can be, pouring in a career-best 15 points on 5-6 shooting and a perfect 3-3 from long distance. How awesome is it that on a Senior Night when we celebrated Clark and Sims that we have all these casual freshmen? #excitedinmypants.
Stonewall Jackson Award for Excellence in Gray:
Honorable Mention to the Georgetown Hoyas, who again defended their home court. The story Saturday and again last night was the much-maligned student section, which multiplied several times over, helping fill the Verizon Center for the best crowds of the year. Hey students, good work! The Hoyas finished 15-1 at Verizon this year, and could have run the table save for the last several minutes against Cincinnati. Next season, come for the salt, stay for the hoops.
Bright Lights, Big City Award:
Speaking of Verizon, you know what would be casual? Some nice mood lighting! The place is too damned bright! Turn down the lights a bit in the upper and lower bowls, make the court the center of attention, and let's enjoy our nice Stella tallboys in style. Georgetown plays in an NBA arena, let's get the NBA treatment.
It's kind of bright in Verizon.
We Take Care Of Our Own Award:
Jason Clark. After Porter took elbow to face in the Villanova game's opening moments, Clark was clearly moved by Springsteen's new single: "When the game starts off like that -- we're a family. We have each other's back, so we're not going to let that happen to our teammate." Now THAT is fucking senior leadership.
Confidence Cures All Award:
Henry Sims. When Sims feels good, the best way you can tell is the velocity of his dribbles. Against Seton Hall, his handle was long and passive, with the ball bouncing near the middle of his chest on every dribble. Against Notre Dame? Sims was athletically pounding the ball inside, the ball hitting the ground like Hank wanted to put a hole in the floor. Now you know that the velocity of Sims' dribble will be a leading indicator for the rest of the season.
Coaching 101 Award:
John Thompson III. His benching of Markel Starks may end up being the most important coaching move of the season. For guys that were on this team before this year, it seemed like some players were able to loaf on defense because of our lack of depth. Not this year. Thompson sent the message that if you don't feel like giving an all out effort for an entire game, then he won't feel like playing you. It is no coincidence that Georgetown has been playing with a serious edge since Seton Hall.
Rock of Love Award:
Speaking of which, against Nova I watched Starks a lot on the bench trying to get a sense of what was going down, and much to my surprise he seemed really into the game, constantly talking to his teammates on the court, pointing out spots on the court for them to be on, and offering guidance during timeouts. I'll say this for Markel Starks, he may not be ‘getting it' right now for JT3, but I have the utmost confidence that he will. We'll need him next season, too. Like, badly. Not sure why I used the Rock of Love in title of the award, though since I just saw Brett Michaels during Mardi Gras and had a random encounter with that trainwreck Daisy chick a month ago in Vegas, it just kinda popped in there.
Moves Like A Gazelle Award:
Greg Whittington. My Lord, it feels like he can get down the court in about 6 steps. Otto Porter has rightfully received the lion's share of praise from the media, but Whittington is going to be a very special player. If he continues to shoot it with confidence and can knock down that corner three, our offense adds an entirely different dimension than it had before. Also, how a 6'9" shooting guard playing in the DC area went completely unnoticed by most college coaches has to be one of the strangest recruiting stories I've seen in a long time.
I Can't Believe I Am Saying This Award:
Jay Bilas is by far my favorite college basketball analyst. I think he is fair, funny, and works harder to know teams than anyone else in the game. The fact that he works for the same corporation as Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Doug Gottlieb is beyond me. That said, he kind of annoyed the crap out of me last night. Between the movie anecdote, the constant discussion over his Twitter feed, and the "Jay Bilas Goes To Work Tour", I found myself saying "Dude, shut the [expletive deleted] up and talk about the game." I know that has a lot to do with ESPN's production, but it still annoyed me. I missed JT3 hugging Sims and Clark when they came out for the last time because ESPN had that stupid "Jay Bilas Goes To Work Tour" graphic up.
How's That February Collapse Award:
Doug Gottlieb. The nasally moron predicted another February collapse for Georgetown in early January. How'd that work out for you big guy? Oh, we were 6-2, one of those losses coming against Syracuse in overtime. The lesson, as always, is Doug Gottlieb is a blowhard moron who should be flipping burgers.
This Is A New Era Award:
Georgetown's freshman class. No one will EVER accuse this group of being soft. Otto Porter got elbowed in the mouth at the beginning of the Villanova game and may have lost a tooth. Rather than sulking and playing soft for the rest of the game, Porter played with a menacing edge on his way to 15 points and 6 rebounds. Speaking of an edge...
Joe Touomou Memorial Award:
Jabril Trawick. Judging by the age of the crowd at the Casual Extravaganza, many of you wouldn't remember #4 who played lockdown defense on those Iverson squads in the mid 90s and was a huge fan favorite because of it. Jabril plays with the same sort of intensity on defense, and is just a few court slaps away from being in full on Joe Mode. Broad Street Brilly played an effective 21 minutes against Villanova, taking it upon himself to thoroughly manhandle Villanova's freshman Ty Johnson. Both are from Philadelphia, with Johnson being the prized recruit and Trawick the afterthought. If you don't think that makes Trawick hate Johnson and want to destroy him every time they play over the next four years, then you don't know Jabril Trawick at all. Speaking of Touomou, back in his day Georgetown gave out these t-shirts at a game:
Lose With Dignity Award:
Villanova. I have a lot of respect for Jay Wright, tend to think he is one of the classier coaches in the Big East, and am glad to share the conference with him. Yet, time and again, he recruits players that have a dirty edge to them. There was no greater example of this than Maurice Sutton's elbow to Porter's mouth on Saturday. Look, it's pretty clear that Villanova sucks some kind of awful this year. I know that, you know that, they know that. So how about you suck with some dignity and try not to hurt one of our best players? Thanks.
Lethal Weapon "I'm Too Old For This [Poop]" Award:
Casualties. Between the pregame drinking, the gray out, the Casual Extravaganza, and the subsequent drinking, I have still yet to recover. College is really hard, and it has very little to do with school.
Document Your Pregame Award:
The Casual Pregame was brought to you by 5-hour Energy and a nice bloody mary.
Document Your Postgame Award:
This documentation of the packed Casual Extravaganza is intentionally blurry to protect the guilty.
When are shots of Jameson ever a bad idea?.
The Tombs Is A Confusing Place Award:
The Tombs. I never know how to feel about it. It is arguably the most poorly constructed bar in the nation, nearly impossible to get a beer because of the tight space surrounding the bar area. Yet, the food is excellent, and Saturday night's dance party music was second to none. The combination of Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna could not be topped. I just wish they'd knock down that divider between the tables and bar so that I could have had an actual beer.
Stark Contrast Award:
The Seton Hall game and the Notre Dame game. For someone who just watched the Seton Hall game, you'd think Georgetown was a mediocre mid-major. For someone who just watched the Notre Dame game, you'd think Georgetown was on the short list of those who could head to New Orleans for the Final Four. For those who watched both, just another year of Georgetown basketball.
Penetration Is Always Superior Award:
Georgetown's guards. In both Saturday and Monday's games, Georgetown's guards ATTACKED the rim with a vengeance. Jason Clark, Jabril Trawick, and Markel Starks are all good athletes with quick first steps. They must continue to attack the hoop because it opens up wide open looks for Hollis Thompson, Greg Whittington, Otto Porter, and Henry Sims. Please, I am begging you, keep attacking the rim off the bounce and keep up the defensive intensity.
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It Award:
Georgetown's starting lineup. We have played our two best games of the season in the last three days. Clearly, the starting lineup of Clark, Porter, Thompson, Lubick, and Sims is suffocating defensively with four guys that stand 6'8" and up. Let's keep it the same please.
Diversification Works Award:
Hollis Thompson. Though he hasn't shot it as well as we are accustomed to over the past few games, Hollis is getting a variety of looks that need to continue. Some are designed - running off bonecrushing Nate Lubick screens - and some are because of Hollis, particularly his ability to post up. He is a mismatch for anyone who guards him, smaller guys can't defend him down low and bigger guys can't keep up with him outside. Hollis has been stellar in March during his first two seasons, and we should expect nothing less in the next month.
Forgotten Senior Award:
Nikita Mescheriakov. Thanks again for clanking that season-ending shot off the side of the backboard against St. John's in 2008-2009. That was really fun.
Contributions From Everywhere Award:
Georgetown. During the season, I'd argue that eight different players have been the best players in a game at some point. Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims, Markel Starks, Nate Lubick, Otto Porter, Greg Whittington, and Jabril Trawick have each had games in which they carried us. That is pretty cool compared to the last few seasons. Considering our track record developing big men, I'd expect Mikael Hopkins, Moses Ayegba, and Tyler Adams to join that list in some form next season.
Having A Good Time Award:
John Thompson III. This season, it is clear that he is enjoying the crap out of his team. He has been far more emotional on the sidelines, playfully engaging during press conferences, and just seems happier than he has been in a while. Two moments that stick out for me are the high five with Jabril Trawick at the end of the Marquette game and last night's playful hug with Tyler Adams after Otto Porter was called for a questionable charge. In addition, this article is an excellent read into Thompson's mind. In further addition, WE NEED A PRACTICE FACILITY MR. LEONSIS.
Hoya Paranoia Award for Settling Family Business Behind Closed Doors.
John Thompson III, who saw no need to pull a Pat Knight on Markel Starks. I don't presume to know all the facts in either situation, and at least some of what Knight spouted off about rang true. But I certainly would rather have a coach take care of issues in private than in public, and Markel's good attitude on the bench Saturday certainly suggests that he got the message.
Angelina Jolie's Right Leg Award:
Hot damn! You see that thang? Show us what your tworkin' with! Honorable mention: Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz announcing the winner for Best Whatever while turned around.
Otto Porter Award for Filling the Boxscore:
Otto Porter! Despite taking an elbow to the face against Nova early, Porter came back into the game with a vengeance, finishing with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a block for good measure. Porter's three-pointer to stem Nova's 14-2 run in the first half changed the game, and he provided problems for Nova both inside and out. Against the Irish, Porter took a backseat to the seniors and fellow freshman Whittington, yet still finished with 6 points, dished 3 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds. Developing a tad of a man-boy crush.
Oh, Man if John Caprio Made that Dunk Award:
John Caprio. With a 20+ point lead against Nova it was CaprioTime late, and the sensation did not disappoint, rising for what would have been an epic two-hand flush that would have perfectly closed the game and ushered in the Casual Extravaganza. As it turned out, he missed the dunk and the Extravaganza went off without a hitch regardless, but it would have been cool.
Salvage Your Dignity Award:
Daytona 500. What the hell was that? I'm as big as a NASCAR fan as anyone (completely false), but that race was a complete joke. Rain delays, Jimmie Johnson crashing, cars plowing into jet fuel tankers on the track, that race was like a video game being played by two kids snorting artificial sweetener. To top it off, the race was crushed in the ratings by The Voice, meaning Danica Patrick was overshadowed by a chunky Christina Aguilera. Go Daddy!
The Georgetown defense. Nearly any number (except for those taken from the Seton Hall and Pitt games) will tell you how good this defense has been. Seven Big East opponents held to 50 points or fewer, and eight held under 35 percent from the field, both including Notre Dame. The most efficient defense in the league by most measures. The innumerable extended scoreless stretches, including a nearly seven-minute Irish drought in the first half last night. Against Notre Dame, Georgetown also looked the part, swarming perimeter shooters, defending the rim, and bringing an intensity more typical of JTII's teams. Speaking of which....
Patrick Ewing Jr. is Patrick Ewing's Son, and John Thompson III is John Thompson Jr.'s Son Award for Tired Mid-Game Commentary:
Were you aware that Otto Porter DID NOT PLAY AAU BALL? By 2015, you will be.
Joseph Abboud Award for Sartorial Splendor:
Prodigal Son Award:
Markel Starks. The little guy bounced back from electoral defeat and, more importantly, benching against Villanova. Against the Irish, he was solid on offense, reining in the heat checks he jacked up against Seton Hall, and feisty on defense, an end of the floor where he's had issues in the past. With hopes of a postseason run, Georgetown needs Starks in the line-up, even as a complementary player, and he filled that role against the Irish.
Pravda Award for Journalistic Integrity:
The Notre Dame Athletic Department, for this highlight reel. Next season, they'll start doctoring the scoreboard on the bottom of the screen.
Rodney Dangerfield No Respect Award:
John Thompson III. In case there was any doubt, JTIII proved last night why he deserves to win his first Big East Coach of the Year Award, while Mike Brey has no business winning his fourth. Both coaches have skillfully incorporated new pieces and developed others en route to vastly exceeding expectations. Both teams have become much more defensive-minded, though the Hoyas much more so than the Irish. Last night, the Hoyas thoroughly dismantled the Irish, stifling Notre Dame's offense by switching on picks and cutting through the Irish defense. Faced with the need to make a tactical change, Brey instead dug deeper into his bench, while Thompson remained (at least) a move ahead.
‘The Artist' was Good But I Cried in ‘War Horse' Award:
Jim Nantz Award for In-Game Commentary:
Here are a few golden nuggets from the Casual Gamethread for the Villanova game:
Gratuitous Video Clip of Kate Upton Eating a Hamburger with Jalapenos:
The Georgetown Hoyas are a nationally ranked powerhouse.
Marquette is NeXt.