The Casual Awards - Happy Finals Week!
Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown may be sitting in cubicles and prepping for flash mob finals, but we continue to toil away to bring you the second greatest feature on the Internet - The Casual Awards. With only a couple of weeks to go before the start of conference play, here's a much delayed and far too long round-up of the best and worst from the last few weeks. Away we go....
Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:
Joshua Smith. At this point, we're basically just taking the big fella for granted. He's still got some defensive issues and his hands aren't as soft as Sweetney's, but his offensive production and rebounding have improved significantly. Just as the Washington Monument sits in the center of the National Mall, the Joshington Monument has become the centerpiece of our offense. Our first option usually seems to be throwing it down to the big man and letting him go to work. If he's double teamed, he is learning to casually pass the ball to open cutters. Against Bobby Morris, he had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Against Towson, he had 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in only 21 minutes. Against Kansas, he had 20 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. And he's doing it all while keeping his weight down and STAYING ELIGIBLE (fingers crossed).
Yes, he needs to cut down on those turnovers (his five against Kansas really killed us), and yes, he needs to work on that miserable 59% free throw percentage (which also killed us in games against Butler and Kansas). But the reality is that without the Joshington, we're a much worse team. Even without playing another game in college (oh please lord, let him be eligible), the big fella has more or less guaranteed that he will be drafted next June. It pains me to think about what our frontcourt will look like without Mikael and the Monument next year.
Toyota Peak Performer Award:
L.J. Peak. Obvi. Although he has been kind of up and down over the course of our first nine games, Peak came through in a very big way against Kansas. In 35 minutes of action, Peak netted 18 points and three steals. He ALMOST had his first patented L.J. four-point play (he clanked the free throw after I got excited prematurely). That little peck from Peak was pretty. And he also had a beautiful and-one play that culminated in the greatest stare-down at the camera of all time. I love Peak's energy and aggressiveness. As he learns the offense, he's only going to get better. After subpar performances in the Bahamas, it was nice to see him perform at a high level against an elite team. Keep peaking at the right time, young fella.
The Bash Brothers Award
Aaron Bowen and Jabril Trawick. Some of you may remember Fulton Reed and Dean Portman from The Mighty Ducks 2.
They were the enforcers, the guys you brought in to lay down the law and beat the shit out of the opposition. That's AB and Broad Street Brilly. The tough guys. Always ready to kick things up a notch and explode. Always ready for a fight. Needless to say, I love when they are in the game together. When they're not picking up three fouls in two minutes, they are scaring the crap out of opposing teams, stealing the ball and running and gunning. Their chemistry is way better than Harry and Sally's. They are blood brothers, and they're coming to get you next.
Ever notice how Aaron Bowen pats down Jabril during the pre-game introductions? Bowen is awesome in the Patrick Ewing Jr.-esque secret handshake role. After patting Jabril down (presumably looking for a gun), AB gives Brilly the ok before sending him off to do battle. In related news, I would NEVER hire Aaron to be my security guy. Jabril clearly has guns - TWO OF THEM! - and Aaron just lets him pass.
By the way, everyone knows that Jabril is the aggressive guy on our team. But Aaron's aggressiveness usually flies under the radar. Four years after The Great Brawl of China, we forget that Bowen was in the middle of that melee. Love Aaron Bowen.
The Inaugural Mandy Patinkin Award for Being Awesome at Acting
I could easily give this award to Colin Falls or Greg Paulus for their notorious flopping.
But for now, I want to kick things off the right way by handing this award to one of the most entertaining actors of this generation, Mandy Patinkin. We all know and love Mandy Patinkin. The star of "Homeland" and "The Princess Bride" and "Dick Tracy" (he was 88 Keys!) is awesome at acting. When he's not killing six-fingered men or conspiring with Madonna, he's trusting Carrie Mathison WAY TOO MUCH or playing with the Queen of Trash in "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland". The guy can do it all. He's more versatile than a utility infielder. He's basically a more complete version of Mike Gallego.
If I knew how to use Kickstarter, or if I had friends in The Biz, this would be my pitch for a new reality show: MANDY PATINKIN VISITS DELIS. I would watch that show every day of the week, and Mandy Patinkin would get an Oscar! Want to know what Mandy Patinkin thinks about the Russian dressing at Katz's Deli? I know I do. Want to get Mandy's quick take on Second Avenue Deli's chopped liver recipe? Yes please. Want to know what Mandy does to relieve indigestion after eating a hearty corned beef sandwich at Harold's? Yup. This show needs to happen. I will watch the shit out of it.
The John Thompson Jr. Award for Political Statements
Your 2014-15 Georgetown Hoyas, for being the first college basketball players to don the "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts. No matter your views or your political affiliation, etc., it's nice to see a bunch of college kids taking a stand on something important. The post-game press conference was pretty classy too. Read this Seth Davis article.
The John Starks Award for Shooting and Shooting and Shooting
DSR. We all remember Johnny Starks's woeful performance in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals. Unfortunately, we also remember DSR's clunker against Kansas last week. In that miserable Game 7, John Starks shot 2 for 18 from the field, including an incredible 0 for 11 from downtown. DSR shot 3 for 15, along with zero makes on five three-point attempts. But here's the thing. In what many are calling DSR's "worst game of his career," he still managed to collect ten rebounds and dish out six assists, all while making his damn free throws (and by the way, DSR is now shooting a sick-tacular 92% from the line this year).
So yes, DSR's shot was off against Kansas, and it was off against Radford too (he was 1 for 9 from the field, but made all of his free throws and had four rebounds and five assists). In fact, with the exception of our game against Wisconsin, DSR's shot has been pretty shaky. Some attribute it to tired legs; others say he's still adjusting to being this team's "point guard" (whatever that even means in a JTIII offense); still others say he's just forcing things too much.
But this is all nothing new. DSR is a streaky shooter. In two of our most gut-wrenching losses in the last decade - the loss to Syracuse in the BET in 2013 and the loss to FGCU in the NCAA Tourney - DSR disappeared. Against Syracuse, he was 1 for 6 from the field (0 for 4 from three), while against FGCU he missed all six of his three-point attempts. But it's not like he disappears in big games (see, e.g., Wisconsin). He's just streaky.
So, intrepid young Hoyas, what does all of this mean? My reservation to Indianapolis depends on DSR's sweet shooting stroke, right? Not exactly. In previous years, we had seven-man rotations (and some of those rotations included Moses Abraham/Ayegba/Abraham) and we needed DSR to play well in big games. With this team, we don't need him to score 30 per game. With his rebounding and improved passing, we can stay competitive with anyone; DSR's perimeter shooting is just the cherry on top. When he's hitting shots, we can beat any team in the country. But even when he's not hitting shots, we can stay competitive with any team in the country. That's the difference between this year's team and the ghosts of Georgetown's past. And now that I just spent time looking up box scores from those two miserable losses, I will light myself on fire.
The Reggie Cameron Award for Hitting Exactly One Three-Pointer Per Game:
Reggie Cameron. He hit one against Towson and another one against Radford! Hackensack represent.
The Reggie Cameron Award for Hitting Exactly One Three-Pointer Per Game:
Jabril Trawick? You can be that guy, Jabril! In years past, I would have told you to relax and don't force your shot. But your shot has improved over the summer and you can hit those deep, wide-open looks. Don't hesitate like you did against Kansas. You've made six of the nine three-point shots you've attempted this year. That ain't bad. I still don't think you should force your shot, but if it's there, take it! If you hit one or two threes per game, opposing teams will have to start respecting your shot, and that will open up driving lanes and make it easier for you to pass the ball to your favorite bash brother and his buddies.
The Cool Whitt Award for Nailing your Flash Mob Final
Dedicated to my main squeeze Cool Whitt, this award will hopefully go to no one this year. Please study for your exams. Please show up for your exams, even if they are flash mob finals. Please don't fail any of your exams. See you in time for conference play, young Hoya scholars.
The Morrie's Wigs Award for "Interesting" Hair Award
Basically, it looks like he is wearing a black yarmulke beanie thing on his head. I kind of like it. If it appeals to you, please attend our game this Saturday and you'll be able to get a closer look.
The Walt "Clyde" Frazier Award for Wheelin' and Dealin'
Only three players on your Hoyas have positive assist to turnover ratios. Can you guess who they are? DSR (34 assists, 15 turnovers), Jabril (25 assists, 16 turnovers), and Tre (six assists, three turnovers). I'm very impressed by DSR's ratio, but I'm really, really impressed by Jabril's numbers. Although it seems like he's turning the ball over a lot (because half of his turnovers involve bulling into defenders), he has done a pretty solid job of distributing the ball and not making too many mistakes. Yes, he still fouls too often, and yes, he still needs to work on channeling his aggression, but I like what I'm seeing from Jabril this year. I think his performance against Radford was his best of the season.
The Jafar Award for Worst Nickname Ever
Some players on the San Francisco 49ers refer to Colin Kaepernick as Jafar, either because his evil quarterbacking has really complicated my ability to march through the fantasy football playoffs, or because they are racist jerks. Either way, the nickname is pretty terrible, even though Aladdin is a fantastic movie. RIP Robin Williams.
This week's Jafar Award goes to none other than Casual Hoya himself for trying oh so hard to give Aaron Bowen the nickname "Red Bull". While it's cute and sort-of makes sense because AB can really energize our team, it's also pretty terrible, for three reasons: (1) Aaron Bowen already has an (admittedly weak) nickname (Air Bow); (2) the "red" makes no sense; and (3) the "bull" makes no sense. If we need to start a contest to determine a better nickname than Air Bow, so be it. But Red Bull is decidedly not the winner. I personally wouldn't be opposed to something like Bow and Arrow, or Aaron the Acrobat, or Ghostface Killa, or the Jacksonville Mugger, or Instant Mixtape, or just Air Bow, or whatever. Just not Red Bull.
One of my favorite quotes about Aaron Bowen after the biggest basket of his career (the Jan. 26, 2013 win over Louisville):
"Literally, the dead ball before his basket, he says, ‘I'm going to get one, coach, I'm going to get one,' and then he goes out and does it. That's pretty good." - JTIII
The "Megatron" Award for Best Nickname Ever
Speaking of nicknames, we really need one for Paul White. The dude can flat-out play, and he'll hopefully be a staple of our offense for years to come. When you look at Paul White in our offense, he just looks like he belongs out there. He's got that beautiful high-arcing mid-range jumper, he can float to the basket with ease, and he's not afraid to step back and take big shots, as he did against Florida and Kansas. He's just so SMOOTH. And yes, he may be as solid as that 50 year-old guy in your local temple's men's club league, and sure, he kind of looks like Tayshaun Prince (I guess), but the overriding characteristic in his game is how SMOOTH he is. We need a nickname for PW. I'm thinking MR. SMOOTHIE, which admittedly might earn next week's Jafar Award. MR. SMOOTHIE? The OLD MAN? OG PAUL WHITE? P. WHITTY? SAUL BERENSON (because he's the old Jewish guy in your rec league who still gets buckets AND he's versatile as hell like Mandy Patinkin)? MORRIE GOLDBLATT (because it's an even better old Jewish guy name)? JESUS QUINTANA (because you don't mess with the Jesus)? Bueller? Work with me here, people.
By the way, you should read this article about Paul White's roots in Chicago. He will instantly become one of your favorite players, if he isn't already.
The DeMarco Murray Award for Breaking Your Damn Hand and Jeopardizing my Chances of Winning a Fantasy Super Bowl Award:
The Round Mound of Rebound Award:
DSR and Comrade Hopkins. DSR is quite possibly the best rebounding guard in the country. He had ten boards against Kansas. And Hopkins is quietly doing a solid job defensively and on the glass. Hopkins leads the Hoyas in rebounding and blocks, and despite the recent collapse of the ruble, he doesn't have to wait in any bread lines before he swats the shit out of opposing players' shots.
The Markel Starks Award for Doing Tremendous Point Guard Things Award:
The Georgetown Hoyas. No point guard, no problem. We had 18 assists against Towson and 19 assists against Radford. Our offense is finally starting to look like our offense. We no longer rely exclusively on our athleticism and transition baskets. It actually looks like the pieces are finally coming together. Backdoor passes!
The Holy Crap! We Have a Nine-Man Rotation Award:
Holy crap! We have a nine man rotation. We used to have ten men, but now we appear to be down to nine. Against Kansas, we went with seven guys, plus a small dose of Aaron and Trey. Against Radford, we saw extended minutes from Bradley Hayes and a bunch of other dudes. In big games, I'd like to see us use around nine guys. Against Kansas, I really wish we had seen more of Bowen. His defense and athleticism could have helped tremendously. I also thought we could have pressed Kansas once its top guards got into foul trouble.
The Same Old Beast Award:
The Big East conference has the nation's second best conference RPI (behind only the Big 12). The ACC is currently #5 because it is basically a weak football conference. I love watching our conference mates play non-conference opponents and I get really upset when they lose. St. John's over Syracuse? Hooray! Creighton loses to St. Mary's? Dammit! I'm super excited about how well our Big East brothers are playing, but I get super agitated every time one of these squads loses to inferior competition. Providence's losses to Boston College and Brown last week were terrible. And DePaul just can't lose to teams like Illinois State anymore. These next two weeks will give us our last chance to pile on non-conference victories prior to the start of Big East play. Some key games to keep your eye on:
DePaul at Oregon State
St. Mary's at St. John's
UMass at Providence
Syracuse at Villanova
Butler v. Indiana
Xavier at Auburn
Seton Hall at Georgia
DePaul v. Colorado
North Dakota at Marquette
Providence v. Miami
DePaul v. GW/Ohio (Honolulu)
Georgetown v. Indiana
FGCU at Xavier
Belmont at Butler
One thing I love about the new conference mates (Butler, Creighton, Xavier) is that they already know how to schedule impressive non-conference games. Given their previously inferior conferences, they needed to schedule tough games in the non-conference portion of the season to inflate their RPIs. I hope this strategy doesn't change. Butler and Creighton, in particular, have cobbled together impressive schedules and victories.
The Stonewalls Award for Coolest Digital Tifo Award
For those of you who couldn't attend the Kansas game, you missed a beautiful display of art and innovation, otherwise known as a digital tifo of Jack the Bulldog chocking the Kansas Jayhawk. Thanks for all the hard work, Stonewalls. I didn't realize we had art majors at Georgetown. For this shout-out, I expect to receive a free blue scarf. I will retrieve it from your table at the Phone Booth this weekend. I will carry be carrying a rose inside a copy of Henry Kissinger's "Diplomacy". (Ok, not really, but please give me a free scarf.)
The Diabetes Award for Weekend Gluttony:
I went to the infamous Joe's Seafood in DC (yes, part of the same company that owns the restaurants in Miami and Chicago). Made sure to try some of the stone crabs and the Alaskan king crabs. The stone crabs were tasty, though I wish they were more plentiful and less expensive. The mustard dipping sauce was surprisingly casual. The Alaskan king crab was more flavorful and went well with the bowl of butter adjacent to my plate. The surprise of the night was probably the filet mignon, which was unbelievably good. I guess when the founder of Joe's in Miami partnered with those dudes in Chicago, he started making some delicious meats. It was really good, and with a side of Brussels sprouts and Jenny's mashed potatoes (with cheese!), I was pretty sated. But not sated enough to order half slices of the peanut butter pie and the Boston crème pie. Throw in a couple of old-fashioneds for the win. Ooh, an old-fashioned:
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 or insightful next time, jerks.
gus and bill
basketball is back
Maybe the Hoya Hoop Club should start putting cardboard cutouts of people on the seats instead of shirts
hello whiskey my old friend
i've come to talk with you again
A little Peck from Peak!!
i've seen enough of jabril in this game
we're better with white and cope in there
josh smith's best game as a hoya
two missed front ends
that's gonna be the difference
the ONE person you could not leave open
and he's got nobody within 10 feet of him
I think DSR might need a visit from the Big Man
I wish I did heroin
This game would tolerable.
Kansas shot 58.8% from 3. 28% from 2.
That's a kick in the balls.
DSR from 3pt:
Against Wisconsin: 5-6
Against everyone else: 5-29
This is a problem that needs to get fixed. This is the time to do it.
Jack is skating!
Ronny looks to be in much better shape this year
Low carb lifestyle?
Why the fuck didn't we play Air Bow against Kansas?
OMG we get an elbow!!!
Cameron's got the American Hustle hair already
Not sure about the sideboob though
still waiting for DSR to hit a damn shot
Can someone put DSR's shot on a fucking milk carton already?
Aaron Bowen > Michael Jordan
Dad in KFC commercial should bring tree in the other way, so door frame compresses branches
stop trying to make Red Bull happen
it's not going to happen
The Taylor Swift Award For Taylor Swift Doing Taylor Swift Things:
Let's go Hoyas. Beat Charlotte.