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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Huskies of Northeastern

Your Georgetown Fighting Hoyas are en route to sunny Puerto Rico for the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here to dish on all things Northeastern Huskies is our bro Dave, a third year student at Northeastern and the voice of Northeastern men's basketball on WRBB.  Dave, this CasuALE is for you.  Let's do this.

Puerto Rico!  You excited for this Tournament?  What SPF do you plan on using?

I am extremely excited about the Puerto Rico Tipoff. Having the opportunity to escape the northeast at this time of year is amazing. I am going with the no sunblock approach, have to take advantage of the chance to not be pale in late November.

Tell us something interesting about Northeastern (the school) that we might not know

Most people would take this time to talk about Northeastern's 5-year Co-op program and the 'zany' middler year that comes with it.  But, you probably don't care. The home arena for Northeastern men's basketball and both hockey teams used to be the home of the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. And part of our campus is where the Red Sox played before Fenway (the Huntington Avenue Grounds.)

Northeastern is off to a bit of a rough start this season.  Is this going to be a down year for the Huskies or is it just going to take time for this squad to gel?

I am not ready to hit the panic button yet, not even close. This is a team that lost its two captains from last year who also were the two leading scorers. It will take this team a bit of time to find a new identity. The Huskies are moving from a team that was dominated by two senior guards, to more of a front court focussed team. They are moving the ball around phenomenally and playing really sharp basketball. It will take time for them to build chemistry. Once the backcourt starts playing at the level they are capable of, this will be a dangerous team with the potential to win some big games.

Saturday's win vs Central Connecticut displayed what this team is able to accomplish. Demetrius Pollard hit 8 out of 11 threes tying a school record. David Walker threw down a monstrous dunk (definitely watch(not WRBB audio) and this too) and the team really started to play together. I am really excited to see them continue to play at a high level and show what they can do.

Northeastern won the regular season title of the Colonial Athletic Association but lost in the Conference tourney.  How awful was that for you?

Terrible. No discredit to James Madison but Northeastern should have won that tournament. Unfortunately on any given day a team can come out flat while their opponent is playing great basketball. I was also pretty sick with the flu during the tournament which made broadcasting a tad less enjoyable, and the trip entirely miserable. And Richmond kind of sucks.

What are the chances Northeastern reclaims its CAA regular season crown this year?  Can the Huskies make it to the NCAA Tournament? If not, who is the CAA's best bet?

Northeastern has a more than a decent chance to reclaim their crown. I ranked them second after Towson to start out the year. If the Huskies are able to stay healthy they could easily be dancing into March. I placed Towson atop my rankings for a few reasons: 1) Pat Skerry has done a phenomenal job with this team. The biggest single season turnaround in NCAA history speaks for itself. 2) Jerelle Benimon is an absolute monster. You Georgetown folk should already know about him. 3) The supporting cast is not going to allow a team to consistently double up Benimon inside because they can knock down the 3, especially Four McGlynn. They have yet to truly impress me this year though, especially after the poor showing against Villanova.

Who are some of the guys Georgetown needs to be aware of?

David Walker is probably the most athletic guy on this team (seriously, watch that dunk). He creates a lot of issues when Northeastern comes out in a 1-2-2 press because of how quickly he can get into passing lanes when he is at the top of the press. He is getting better as a passer - especially in his ability to distribute in traffic.

Scott Eatherton in his first two games in a NU uniform posted back-to-back double doubles. CCSU came out and double teamed him from the tip because of what he did in the first two games. This opened up the floor for Demetrius Pollard to knock down an extremely impressive 8 threes. Eatherton is a phenomenal passer for a center which allows him to play the high post as well as pass from the wings.

Quincy Ford and Reggie Spencer are both in their third year as starters for Bill Coen and they have both been quiet to start out the year. Reggie, because he has gotten into foul trouble early and Quincy because of some lingering back issues. They have both shown what they can do before but have yet to display their full ability this season. When they are both at full strength, Northeastern could become a giant killer.

Who do you consider Northeastern's biggest rival?

Northeastern honestly does not have a true basketball rival. Fans would always get into it when VCU came to town but they have since left for greener pastures in the A-10. I would have to say Boston University. The hockey rivalry and the proximity certainly add an element to it, but in recent years both programs have been making an effort to make it a basketball rivalry too. The two teams have opened up the season against each other for the last 3 years (Northeastern is 2-1) and this year they faced off at the TD Garden in the Coaches vs Cancer Tipoff. That was a great event and I hope to see it continue to grow over the years.

True or False: Boston sports fans are boorish mongers.

I am from Albany, NY so I will have to go with true. My father is not a sports nut like I ended up, so my fandom has been shaped by an assortment of family members. Somehow my cousins got me on the Celtics bandwagon. Outside of that, the constant whining about conspiracies out to get the Patriots gets old quicker than you might expect. And I think everyone can agree that Red Sox and Cardinals fans are the worst, so that World Series was dreadful.

Many basketball fans and basically all Hoyas detested Jim Calhoun during his long, laptop-laden run at UConn. Given that he coached at Northeastern beforehand, how do you feel about him?

My grandfather had me singing 'UConn Husky' song at a young age. Jim Calhoun has done a lot of great work off the basketball court so I think it would be unfair to dislike him as a person. I can understand your annoyance at him winning three NCAA Championships however. He also brought Northeastern to D-1 basketball so that only improves my opinion of him.

Puerto Rico is known for the mojito, the sometimes too sweet rum-based cocktail.  Let's say you walk into a bar in Boston or wherever it is you are from on a Friday night, what drink are you ordering?

For the sake of saying something interesting here I will just tell you my brother likes to make a drink called the Moscow Mule. It is something your grandparents and their parents probably ordered at speakeasies. But it is pretty delicious. He also likes to make a drink called a 'ginger yum yum' and I make fun of him for that.

Final score prediction?

Georgetown's 5 players over 6'8'' will make this an extremely tough matchup for Northeastern. It is going to come down to the Huskies' ability to keep the ball out of the paint. I expect NU to press off of made baskets to try and force turnovers and get out in transition. Final Score: Georgetown 75 - Northeastern 67.