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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Friars of Providence

The Hoyas are are getting ready for a battle with Big East rival Providence on Saturday and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  With us as always is @TheWarriorFriar, a casual gent who seems to know a lot about all things Friars.  Let's do this!

Friars!  Belated congrats on your Big East title last year.  How are things going so far in 2015?

Thanks! So far things are going fairly well in 2015. The Friars are more or less where I expected them to be at this point (10-3 OoC and 2-1 in BE), but they definitely took the scenic route to get there. I didn't expect losses to Brown or BC, but I also didn't anticipate us beating Notre Dame or Miami either. 

Take us back to last year's Big East Tournament.  How casual was that run to glory at MSG for the Friars and how much booze did you consume that week?

Way, way, waay too much. The first game was the roughest for me, against SJU. It was a 2pm game on a Thursday and not only was I nervous for the game (we don't have the best of luck in the BET) but I had to hold off my lunch break since I was at work, so by the time I made it to the bar for "lunch" I was starving and ready to get to the bar! We won that game and I was completely dumbfounded, but I didn't think it would last. 

Next up we had Seton Hall, who had just overcome Villanova. I wasn't sure how I felt about Seton Hall, and there was a steady lead throughout the game - I think at one point early in the second half they closed the score to be down one - but for the most part I wasn't comfortable. At any point you expect the jig to be up, reality to set in, and the Friars to come back down to earth. That may seem cynical, but that's just reality - we haven't had success in the Big East Tournament in two decades, it was just being realistic. Thankfully I at my favorite bar for away games, Snookers, so if things did go bad I'd be around plenty of beer and pool (they got 32 or 34 oz draft beers, and I think I drank a few of those during the game haha). But as the game winded down and it was clear the Friars were going to win conversations went from nervous to this kind've gitty excitement. I kept saying 'we have to go down now, we have to go down. We can't miss this.'

Sure enough, we hopped in a convoy around 2 pm Saturday and drove from Providence to NY. The whole time I was excited - not even nervous, just excited - because at that point, whatever. The Friars had given us a memorable run, and I was just glad to be enjoying this. Parked in Long Island, had a few tailgate brews, and then hopped on the subway to Stout so we could hang with Friar fans before the game. I picked up my press badge and all that jazz and - somehow - found my way down courtside with my camera where the other photographers were. So now I would have a literal courtside view to the Big East Championship - nice!

I couldn't tell you at what point I was nervous and what point I was excited during the game. The first few points yeah, I'm excited and nervous, but it wasn't like in games past. Usually once the rhythm of the game gets going you relax a bit, you breathe. Whatever happens, happens. Well I didn't feel that way at any point. Every basket was a little twist in my stomach. The game seemed to move in slow motion, and at the same time if I ever took my eyes off the court I'd miss three plays. It sounds like I'm just being poetic but it really was so surreal. And I think it was that way because we were playing Creighton - a team who absolutely massacred us a week earlier - and actually beating them. I expected the worst at points, especially towards the end when Doug McDermott drilled that three to bring them within striking distance. This is it, I thought to myself. But it wasn't. 

I remember my hands shaking around 50 seconds when Creighton started scoring. They were shaking so bad that I had a hard time changing lenses on my camera. "I'm going out there," I said to a photographer next to me. "Can I do that? I don't know if I can do that." And he shrugged and went "ask for forgiveness, not permission."

At under 10 seconds I started to stand up.
At under 5 I looked at my camera one last time to make sure.
At under 3 I slide my bag to the side.

The buzzer sounded. I went out to the court. I wasn't crying or cheering or anything. I was totally dumbfounded. How? How is this real? The team is hugging and celebrating and I'm just there taking pictures of it, capturing every moment like I'm somehow a part of it. I didn't know what to do. How do you react to this? I'm there as a journalist but I felt like I had just won the lottery. So I just took pictures. I remembered everything I could. I enjoyed it. I had craved for this to happen every season and now it was finally here - I didn't need anyone to tell me to appreciate it.

It's actually funny - there's this really famous picture of Bryce Cotton holding up the Big East Champions sign that floats around the internet. You've definitely seen it, he's smiling and looking kind've upwards. Well if you look over his shoulder to the left you can see me holding a camera up and taking a picture. I have that picture still and it makes me laugh every time I see that one online because that's this moment and I'm there - I have the evidence. 

(Casual Note: Wow, that was quite an answer.)

Who are the main dudes that the Hoyas need to worry about on this year's Friars squad?

Fear Kris Dunn. He's due up for a strong game after what happened with Marquette and, to an extent, Butler. He scored well against Butler but he turned the ball over quite a bit, something he doesn't normally do as much as he's done on this road trip. Expect Dunn (or Cupcake, as he's referred to by the Cooley World Order) to come in looking to make a statement and fired up to go. Pascal Chukwu, a freshman who just logged in a ton of second half minutes against Butler, will definitely present headaches if he plays tough. He's lanky and has a nose for blocking shots. I also want to put a dark horse vote in for Tyler Harris, who has been struggling a lot recently. I don't know if this will be the game he does it, but I have a belief that he'll rebound from the struggles he's been having and go off on a scoring rampage. If it's this game he's going to be a nightmare on the scoreboard for the Hoyas. 

How big of a home court advantage is the Dunkin' Donuts Center? Do a lot of students usually go to the games?

It's a pretty good HCA for the Friars. They play much better at home, then again who doesn't, but I think part of the reason why is because fans have really grown to be loud and supportive since Cooley has taken over four years ago. The place can get to deafening levels and, with most fans looking to March, I would expect plenty of support. Students I think are still on break so they probably won't be showing up, and I think the school is selling student section tickets as just regular tickets for G'town because they'll be gone, so thankfully that section may be full.

Did Providence capitalize enough off its run last year in recruiting?  I didn't see Cooley reeling in a lot of big names this summer - are you guys in good shape next season?

I think so. We picked up Ryan Fazekas awhile ago and I think he'll add some much needed outside scoring to this roster (no disrespect to our own Jalen Lindsey, but we do need more options, and Fazekas provides that). Our top 100 recruit, Alex Owens, should add some size that we'll be missing next season with LaDontae Henton and Carson Desroisers both graduating. We picked up another guy, Drew Edwards, who I admit I don't know much about and hasn't shown up in any top 100 lists, but if he's anything like the under-the-radar Cooley finds and develops then I'm not worried.

The Big Bang Theory beat Game of Thrones for Best TV Show at the People's Choice Awards, which is clearly absurd.  In your view, what is the awards show (if any) that actually gets it right when it comes to its winners?

The Big Bang Theory did what?! Jeez, not only can I not stand that show, I absolutely hate that it beat out Game of Thrones! 

I'm not a big award shows guy - I can't stand the whole song and dance that goes on with them - so probably a minor one like the Kid's Choice Awards on Nickelodeon. Kid's are trustworthy when it comes to awards right? They'll give Game of Thrones it's due. It's got dragons and princesses and knights, kids love that sh*t. Yeah, Kid's Choice Awards all day!

What in the blue demon hell is going on with DePaul?

I said this on Reddit after they beat Creighton to go up 3-0 in the Big East: DePaul played the long con. They made us all believe they sucked and they would be a doormat, and then struck and completely usurped the Big East standings. The Blue Demons are the master of ruses, and when they win the 2015 National Championship by blowing out Kentucky 120-43 the world will know that for a (mostly) catholic league to succeed, it needs a demon or two.

Prediction time: When it's all said and done, how many teams from the Big east make the Dance?
Five or six if we don't count DePaul (we don't). Providence, Georgetown, Nova, Xavier, and Butler. Possibly St. John's if they get it together!

Please tell me what the hell is going on here:

The Cooley World Order baby!

Final score prediction?

I took Georgetown last year and Providence won, so the superstitious side of me wants to do that again. But since superstition is a form of witchcraft and sorcery I'm going to predict Providence by 7, 71-64. Henton with 28 points, Dunn with 9 assists, Warrior with 8 Rhody IPAs. COUNT IT!