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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Jayhawks of Kansas

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown are back in action tonight against the vaunted Kansas Jayhawks and as usual we're bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here to dish on all things Jayhawk is our buddy Rock Chalk Talk.  Let's do this!

Rock Chalk Talk!  How are you, my good man?  How are things in Lawrence these days?

I'm doing pretty good chilling down here in Florida.  From what I hear, Lawrence is much colder than where I'm at, but in terms of the atmosphere, it couldn't be any better now that basketball season is in full swing.

Before we discuss this year's matchup, let's turn the clock back to last year's showdown at the Phog.  The Hoyas did some good things out of the gate, but then a nonsensical flagrant elbow call on Josh Smith started the unraveling process, and the Jayhawks ultimately won going away.  Anything you specifically recall from that game?

I remember that game well.  That elbow to the back of Ellis' head, which knocked him out of the game.  Tarik Black having a monster game against the Georgetown zone.  The 5 post players for Georgetown having 12 fouls combined at halftime. But most of all, this:

Who has the better NBA career: Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins?

I think that is such a hard question to answer because they will play completely different styles of games.  At this point though, I'm going to have to say Wiggins, only because he doesn't have any injury concerns and he is already putting up impressive numbers considering where he is playing, although he still has a long way to go.  Once Embiid is actually able to play, we'll have a better idea of how he will do.

How far do you think Kansas could have gone last season had Embiid stayed healthy?

I really think they would have been a Final Four team at the very least.  Losing Embiid pretty much gutted the inside, as they couldn't get any sort of rotation going that was consistently able to produce, and all the defensive mistakes that were made got magnified there was no extremely talented shot-blocker at the rim to bail them out.

Bill Self isn't going anywhere (except perhaps to the buffet a bit too much as it looks like he's put on a few), but if you could hand pick his successor, who would it be and why?

This discussion actually has come up a few times in the last few years, but there never really is a consensus.  Before he jumped to the NBA, Brad Stevens was a candidate I would have made a strong play for.  Other than that, you are likely looking for a coach who has been successful at a smaller school that would be a good cultural and stylistic fit with Kansas.  I'd probably put Shaka Smart towards the top of the list, but every time I say that I start having flashbacks, and I'm not sure how his style would be accepted here. Mark Turgeon and Tad Boyle, both quality head coaches with strong ties to Kansas, would make good options.  Ultimately though, the hire depends on the time line.  If Self were to leave today, I'd likely go with Tad Boyle.  He has developed that Colorado program from a bottom-feeder in the Big 12 to a top-half contender in the Pac-12, which is actually quite an accomplishment.If we are talking 5-10 years down the road, I'm thinking there is a good chance I'd go with Danny Manning.  Obviously this pick would assume that he does a good job at Wake Forest and whatever other school he coaches at in that timeframe.  But give him that time to settle in going against the ACC and I'm sure he will have picked up enough tricks to be successful here.  And being back a legend to coach at his alma mater would be absolutely amazing.

Did you happen to see that 'Eaten Alive' show on Discovery where the dude thought it was a good idea to get eaten by an anaconda in the name of science?  If so, thoughts? If not, thoughts?

I didn't get to see it live, but I saw the majority of it online afterwards.  I pretty much figured the guy must have been a Mizzou alum though, since just like everything that comes out of that place, it was doomed to failure from the beginning. 

Who are some of the guys on this year's Jayhawks squad that the Hoyas need to watch out for?

The obvious ones are Cliff Alexander, who is an absolute beast inside that can erupt at any second, and Perry Ellis, the guy who sets the pace down low and can pretty much pull up from anywhere, allowing him to spread the floor like crazy.  Wayne Selden seemed to flip the switch in the second half of the Florida game, so if he can keep it going then the night could get very long for Hoya fans very quickly.

A lot was made of Kansas' recruiting class which included Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, but both of them have struggled to find their footing in the rotation.  Do you think this is something that will work itself out as the season rolls on or do they go to the NBA Draft next year without much playing time?

I think it will work itself out for both, but not necessarily in the way you might think.  Cliff has already started to assert himself on the floor, and he should be taking oer the starting spot for good at this point with Jamari Traylor suspended.  Self has always been slow to take away a starting spot from an upperclassman, especially if he thinks that player is going to be a extremely important role player in the future, but this suspension gives him the perfect excuse to make the switch and not look back.Oubre is another story, and while I'm sure the talent is there, he appears to be one of those freshman that just has a hard time getting it right away.  I fully expect him to develop into a star, at least at the college level, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he wasn't the one-and-done we thought he was going to be and decided to stick around another year to get his draft stock back to where it was before the season.

What is your perception of the 'new' Big East?

I love it.  The Big East never really felt like a football league at all, so while many rivalries were lost, it seemed to be a necessary split to ensure that the basketball-only schools were able to survive.  Not to mention, the old Big East was such a monstrosity that it was causing all kinds of problems in scheduling, including in the NCAA tournament.  Plus, I love the additions of Xavier, Creighton and Butler, as those are three deserving schools that got to join the big boys.

If you and I are going to a Chinese restaurant together, please detail your order.

Fairly simple, if I'm going Chinese, I'm going somewhere with a buffet and a hibachi grill.  That's about the only way to get your money's worth.  Always have to start with a plate of teriyaki chicken skewers, egg rolls, deep-fried wontons and Crab Rangoon.  Follow that up with a plate of Lo Mein, fried rice, beef and broccoli and Ling Mung Gai. Finally, head to the hibachi grill and load up with pork, rice noodles, peppers, onions, baby corn, water chestnuts and top it all off with a garlic teriyaki sauce. Then you finish off with whatever dessert they have if you still somehow manage to have any room left. Better make sure it's the only meal you plan on eating all day, but it's totally worth it.

Final score prediction?

As much as I want to pick Kansas, I'm not sure that I can do it.  This Georgetown team has come together much better than I thought it would, and with homecourt advantage and the revenge factor, Kansas has a real chance to have their struggles resurface.  I think it's extremely close, but I'll go Georgetown 79-77 in OT. Hopefully I'm wrong.