Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown are off and running after two lovely wins against national juggernauts St. Francis (NY) and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. More importantly, the second greatest feature on the Internet, The Casual Awards, has returned in all of its marvelous glory. Why only the second greatest feature on the Internet, you ask? If you're wondering what literary genius has eclipsed the once and powerful Casual Awards, here's a hint: it's not the Qasual Questions. The Awards feature on this blog thing is now in second place - behind only Kim K's behind. But fear not, Casual lovers, with a little bit of bronzing oil and hollandaise sauce, the Awards will soon enough resume its rightful place at the top of the Interwebs' hierarchy of terribleness. Now that that's out of the way, away we go....
Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Aaron Bowen. Who needs to start when you can come off the bench and score 21 points in just 29 minutes in the first two games? With a kind of under-the-radar performance, AB shot an efficient 9 of 13 from the floor and created a defensive spark in the second half of the second game, with a very casual five steals and no turnovers. Given our struggles to find any rhythm on offense, we'll need our defense to step up and create easy baskets. Bowen has been our best defender. When he's not forcing shots or playing out of control, he's pretty damn good. And he's got a great smile too, and that has to count for something.
Toyota Peak Performer Award:
Oh, hello L.J. Peak. We waited a long time to watch you play, Mr. Peak, and you did not disappoint. Game #1: 23 points on 9 of 9 shooting, including a dazzling display of long-range marksmanship and aggressive penetration (get your heads out of the gutter). PEAK WAS AWESOME. He set a new Georgetown freshmen record for most points in a game and looked damn impressive doing it. In just forty minutes of game time against the Barking Terriers of St. Francis, the Hoya faithful could not stop salivating. OMG, we need to buy tickets to Indy. OMG, this kid might be one and done. OMG, will he ever miss a shot? OMG, he might be the best player in the conference, or the best player in every conference, or the best player in the history of conferences. OMG, why do I keep typing OMG?!!
The kid from Gaffney, South Carolina looked good. Real good. Let's hope he keeps it up. Yes, sir! (http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2013-07-02/lj-peaks-georgetown-south-carolina-recruitment-recruiting-fake-out-hats)
He's not a Machine, He's a Man Award:
L.J. Peak. It didn't take long for our main freshman squeeze to come down to Earth. Maybe he got a little too excited by the hype, or maybe Texas A&M Corpus Christi decided to key in on Peak, or maybe I should just shut up because Peak still had a very casual 10 points in the second game. Whatever the case may be, let's not forget that the kid is a freshman. He'll have his fair share of ups and downs. Let's just hope he dazzles more than he disappoints. And oh yeah, please make your damn free throws. You're too good not to. Please.
The Ted Leonsis Award for Getting Things Done Award:
I know I'm coming in a year or two late on this one, but I have to say it was very refreshing to show up to the second game without paper tickets and not be hassled by anyone. No tickets, no problem. Give us your phone, scan your tickets in a very user-friendly way, and please have a nice day. As much as I hate the Facebooks and the Twitters and the blogs and the technology, I appreciate the casual convenience of watching some live Hoyas action with nothing more than a cell phone and a smile.
By the way, did we know that Ted Leonsis has his own blog? It's called Ted's Take, http://tedstake.monumentalnetwork.com/, and it's kind of hilarious and kind of sad. Feel free to leave a comment after one of his posts. You might be the first person to do so. I feel a little bad for him.
The Fred Schmeonsis Award for Not Getting Things Done Award:
While our old pal Ted L. is dimming lights, upgrading food options, and responding to our (sometimes overly ambitious and nonsensical) feedback, others at the Verizon Center are doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve the in-game viewing experience. This week's honor goes to the clowns who run the T-shirt toss. At the game against the Islanders, our favorite Hoya cheerleaders decided to throw five shirts to ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE COURT. There was also NO GATLING GUN. And no male cheerleaders throwing shirts. The result: T-shirts were tossed to a handful of VIPs in the first two rows. So yeah, thanks for that, T-shirt people. Let's only give shirts to the people who already have enough money to buy an entire T-shirt factory. Terrible, and very deserving of the inaugural Fred Schmeonsis Award.
Also, I accidentally left my Jack Spade light brown messenger bag in Section 121 at last night's game. I left a message for the lost and found people at the Verizon Center. Please find my damn bag. If you come through, I will shower you with praise and a shower. If you don't, I will excoriate you. Don't hate on me for having a fancy Jack Spade bag. It was a birthday present, dammit. AND I NEED THE BLACKBERRY CHARGER THAT WAS INSIDE THE BAG.
The Round Mound of Rebound Award:
Josh(ua) Smith. Your very own Joshington Monument rebounded from a subpar performance in Game #1 to deliver an impressive display of scoring and rebounding in Game #2. After only grabbing two rebounds against a team whose tallest player was only 6'-7'', Smith very calmly pulled down twelve boards against the Islanders. His stat line was solid: 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 4 of 5 free throws, in only 26 minutes of action. That's the kind of performance we love to see, big fella. We know you've got it in you. Now just please keep it up against some better and taller competition next week.
Gunnar Olafsson Award for Icelandic Weirdness:
In case you missed it, St. Francis (NY) has an Icelandic player named Gunnar Olafsson. With that kind of name, I assumed I had seen his father place third in the 1997 World's Strongest Man competition. So I googled him. Turns out, while there have been many Gunnars and many Olafssons in the competition, there have not been any Gunnar Olafssons in the event. But there is a dude named Jon Gunnar Olaffson who wrote a very bizarre dissertation examining why and how foreign nationals have been constructed as threatening stereotypes in the Icelandic mainstream discourse. Intrigued? Here's the paper: http://tedstake.monumentalnetwork.com/. Go to page 49. The title of that section is: "The other foreign rapist: Beware! He may laugh whilst he brutally rapes you." Very Icelandic, and very weird.
The Point Forward/Center Award:
Umm, last time I checked our Prince-town offense, or whatever you want to call it, relies on big men who can pass and shoot. We don't have Jeff Green or Roy Hibbert or Greg Monroe or Henry Sims or Nate Lubick or really anyone who can play the role of big man who stands at the top of the key and finds backdoor cutters. Maybe that person will be Ike Copeland (fingers crossed) or Paul White, but if it's not, will we actually need to shake things up on offense? Is that even possible? I know it's early, but right now our offense basically consists of transition points. Our guys will eventually figure out how the offense works, I hope. But who will emerge as the passing big man who is deadly as a triple threat from the top of the key? Isaac? Please?
The Reggie Cameron Award for Hitting Exactly One Three-Pointer Per Game:
Reggie Cameron. (I know he didn't hit one in the first game, but whatever. At this point, I feel like Reggie is just good for a three-pointer per game. Anything more is gravy.)
The Nathan's Hot Dog Award for Hot Dog Excellence:
As a bit of a hot dog connoisseur, I know a thing or two about tasty cured meat. After last night's game I decided it would only be fitting to get a post-game snack at Bill Cosby's favorite restaurant, Ben's Chili Bowl, on U Street. I know it would be ridiculous and unfair to criticize such a legendary DC eatery, but I have one little gripe: when I order a plain all-beef hot dog, it shouldn't cost $6.55. Just saying. I know it's a little odd for a guy with a Jack Spade bag to whine about overpriced hot dogs, but still. The fine proprietors of Papaya Dog and Gray's Papaya in New York won't charge more than $2 for their delicious dogs. And while I understand that Ben's is not exactly the same thing as Papaya Dog, give me a break with that aggressive price. It's a plain hot dog, dude. I can get a perfectly tasty all-beef dog at a Georgetown lacrosse game for a buck.
The Comrade Communications Award:
When he's not casually attacking eastern Ukraine, Mikael Hopkins is playing some tremendous interior defense. Next time you watch a Gtown game, just focus on Hopkins for a couple of plays. He calls out all the screens, he communicates well, and he's telling others how to move into position. Yes, it's frustrating when he misses dunks and is a little too soft on offense (and really, there's no excuse for not making a single basket against St. Francis). But on the defensive end, he has looked really good. There's a reason why Napoleon and Hitler found it so difficult to win a land war in Russia. And that reason is Comrade Hopkins' defense.
The Markel Starks Award for Doing Tremendous Point Guard Things Award:
Can I give this one to Kevin Braswell in 2002? He had 16 assists against Rutgers that season.
If I can't give the award to KB, I guess I'll give it to no one. Newsflash: we don't really have a point guard on this team. We won our first two games because of defense and transition baskets. Very little movement in our offensive sets, no backdoor passes, and a lot of standing around. I know we have a lot of young guys, and I know people are getting used to playing different roles, but at some point (like maybe right now), we have to start being concerned.
Before the season, we expected Jabril and DSR to share the point guard duties. Two games into the season, it's clear that Jabril will help when needed, but he's not a point guard. And while DSR played admirably in the first game, with a very balanced eight points, nine rebounds and six assists, he struggled in the second game and didn't have a single rebound or assist. In those games, DSR shot only 3 of 13, and many of these shots were towards the end of the shot clock when plays had broken down. Can DSR be the point guard we need? Will that impact his production as one of our top scorers? These are questions that could very well be the key to our entire season. Without Braswell, Wallace, Wright or Starks, who will fill the void?
The Tre Campbell is our Next Great Point Guard Award:
Tre Campbell will be our next great point guard. Whether it's this season or next season, it's going to happen. The 6'-1'' freshman went to the same high school as Chris Wright, talked to Markel at least once a week last season, and just looks the most PG-ready. He looks comfortable on the court, he's lightning quick and plays stingy defense, and he has an above-average shot. In an interview last March, when asked why he committed to Georgetown and JTIII, he said "I'm going to be his point guard." So there, it's settled.
Side note: I love watching Tre play. For me, he has been the most pleasant surprise in the first two games. I expected Peak to do Peak-like things, and I've been mildy impressed by Paul White; but after watching Tre in the Kenner League, I didn't think he would play more than a few minutes per game. Thought he was too skinny, too green, and not yet ready to contribute meaningful minutes. I was wrong. The kid can play, and he can play 20+ minutes per game. If he can make open threes and free throws on a consistent basis, he'll stick around for a bit. Please, please, please make your free throws, Tre. Please.
The Qasual Questions Award:
Dedicated to our beloved blog founder himself:
Why are we continuing with the Qasual Questions feature after the season has already begun?
Why are we still talking about sweet potato terra chips and soggy kale and other low-carb snack options when it's November?
When are you going to take a sabbatical from your new part-time job as a father?
Does Casual Jr. prefer Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, or Handy Manny?
What did you have for breakfast today?
The Keep Ya Heads Up, Freshmen Award:
Keep ya heads up, freshmen. L.J., you're as good as advertised. Stay humble, work on your free throws, and learn the offense. Tre, you're more polished than we thought. Keep working on that perimeter shot and your free throws, learn the offense, and you should get more PT. Ike: you're doing fine. You're not looking for your shot just yet, but you're also not making mistakes. Find your comfort zone, play strong defense, look for cutters, and you'll turn into that 12 point, 6 rebound, 4 assist sort-of stud that we know you can be. Paul White: you're also better than many of us thought you'd be. You and Copeland have a chance to be the best passing big men on the team. Stay focused, don't force your short, learn the system, and you'll see more action, especially when our bigs get into foul trouble. Trey: we love you; your day will come.
The Face-Off Award:
Sometimes don't you wish we could combine the best attributes of Mikael and Josh(ua) Smith and give ourselves a ridiculously dominant big man. Don't get me wrong, I kind of like our frontcourt now that the big fella is back. But wouldn't it be nice to have Mikael's speed and interior defensive play and rebounding with Smith's soft hands, big body and aggressiveness around the rim. What would we even call that hybrid big man? Comrade Joshington? The Mikael Monument? Shaquille O'Neal?
The Holy Crap! We Have a Ten-Man Rotation Award:
Holy crap! We have a ten man rotation. At least ten men. I haven't seen these herds of players since the days of my man Craig E. I like the fact that we are pressing. I like that we are using our athleticism to create turnovers and run. I like having fresh legs.
Maybe we should stop calling our subs "subs" and start calling them "reinforcements" a la Kentucky and John Calipari. We can have our own BLUE TEAM and GRAY TEAM. Eat it, Calipari. By the way, ESPN, can we please stop giving Cal far more credit than he deserves. The guy is not a basketball genius. He's a damn good recruiter who has the luxury of having very friendly boosters and Worldwide Wes. Let's not make him out to be a real tactician like Bob McKillop or Pete Carril. I'm already tired of seeing his faux-modesty. Get rid of this stupid one-and-done rule and let these NBA-caliber players go directly to the NBA. We don't need this nonsense anymore.
The Ronnie Thompson Award for Honest Journalism:
Ronnie Thompson. I love listening to Ronnie T. announce our games. You know everything he says is probably true. I mean, I assume he talks to his brother and Pops every hour of every day. So when he says Peak is going to be special, or that Tre is going to see a lot of action this year, you know it's true. If I were a fan of any other team in the Big East, I'd be annoyed that Ronnie covers these games. As a Georgetown fan, I love it more than Frank Drebin loves the smell of raw sewage.
The Same Old Beast Award:
The Big East conference is 18-1. Marquette's loss to Ohio State last night was the first Big East loss of the season. Speaking of which, that game featured Steve Wojciechowski on one bench and Greg Paulus on the other. I felt like my head was going to explode. Too much short white guy aggression for one basketball game.
I kind of want to see the Big East get five bids this year. Unlikely, yes, but still possible. Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Xavier and someone else. Is that too much to ask?
The Diabetes Award for Weekend Gluttony:
I was outside Philly last weekend. Here's what I ate on Saturday alone. I didn't document any of it because I'm a horrible person.
In no particular order:
In related news, I will be starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in his delicious sequel to "Two Guns". The film will be called "Two Poops". You should see it. You'll always flush twice.
MASN Award for Programming Excellence:
MASN. Thank you so much for airing our epic victory against North Carolina on Monday night. It was unexpected and beautiful. I recorded the game, and then I sped through the commercials. I told my roommate from college not to text me during the game because I didn't want him to ruin anything for me.
I still can't believe we were down ten points with 6:04 to go. Keep in mind that this was a team that really struggled to play from behind, and yet we did it in consecutive games, in stunning and wondrous fashion. I also can't believe how well EVERYONE on our team played in that game. Everyone. Green was a monster (22 points, nine boards), Wallace was clutch and steady (19 points, seven assists, that huge game-tying three, and backdoor layups at the start of both regulation and overtime), Summers was a man (20 points on 7 of 10 shooting, along with six boards), Hibbert was a beast (14 points, six assists, six blocks), Sapp was aggressive and awesome (15 points, eight assists), and Ewing was everyone on defense (and had that incredible rebound at the end of regulation). I loved that team.
Thank you, MASN, for giving us something better than The Vanderpump Rules.
Jim Nantz Award for In-Game Commentary:
Here are a few casual nuggets from the first two game threads. Upset that your witty posts didn't make the cut? Write something funny next time, jerks.
Reminder: Final Four is in Indianapolis this year
This offense is completely unrecognizable from anything I've ever seen from JT3
Welcome to the LJ Peak Era
Show me something
Lj looks like he is playing against a bunch of 8th graders
LJ Peak may go pro before the conference schedule even starts.
pondering additional low carb snacks
Tre Campbell looking better than expected...
look poised and polished
Paul White's the 50 year old guy in the rec league..
Still getting buckets...
THE SON OF ZO
THE SON OF REGGIE
I was taking the most important test of my life for the last game
so this is my first time to watch the LJ show. I'm excited.
With this crowd it feel like I'm watching the noon game of the Charleston Classic
this is FGCU mixed with all of last year
BURN THE VERIZON CENTER TO THE FUCKING GROUND.
Why is Josh Smith
still doing power dribbles and bringing the ball down below?
When did Aaron Bowen turn into Patrick Ewing Jr.?
Every time they show the bench, I am reminded that Tyler Adams is my favorite Hoya.
I hope he kicks the shit out of Josh Smith every time he plays lazy, because Tyler would do anything to trade places with that kid.
Well my cat just stepped in his own shit and tracked it across half of the apartment
So at least this night is evening out
so happy Bowen's back
Airbow is a master of the poke
She Hannibaled my Fabian!
Smith drawing a charge
is a little ridiculous.
Glad to see Smith Rebounded
From the last game ;)
The Kate Upton Award for Kate Upton Doing Kate Upton Things:
The Georgetown Hoyas are an undefeated juggernaut and not yet a nationally ranked powerhouse.
Robert Morris is NeXt.