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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Bulldogs of Bryant

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown open a 7-game homestand with a tilt against Bryant, and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent. Here with us to dish on all things Bulldogs is Ryan Peters of Big Apple Buckets.  Let's do this!

Bryant! Before we get into the hoops, tell us something about Bryant, the school that we might find interesting.

Bryant University easily has the best academic profile in the Northeast Conference and could, if they wanted to, join the Patriot League. With a noteworthy business school and a modern campus, Bryant seems like a hot place to attend college in the northeast these days.

I headed over to the Bryant Wikipedia page to find some alums to tell you about, but the short list isn't terribly notable unless you're a business man or politician. Which I'm not.

Who are some of the guys on the Bulldogs that the Hoyas should watch out for?

Sophomore guard Hunter Ware has opened the 2015-16 season with five straight double-digit point efforts, including a really impressive 24-point performance in Bryant's season opener at Duke. He's a quick, shifty combo guard who can shoot the 3 and create off the bounce with the best of them. Ware, along with athletic freshman Nisre Zouzoua (I dare you to pronounce that name 5 times in a row), provide the Bulldogs with a very intriguing backcourt that should find their way onto the Hoyas' scouting report.

Down low, 6'6 forward Daniel Garvin is perceived as a potential NEC Player of the Year candidate, although he tends to struggle in non-conference play as an undersized 4 when going against high major talent. If he can get into a rhythm early, though, he has double-double potential.

Finally, Garvin's frontcourt mate, Bosco Kostur may very well be the team's best three-point threat, even if he should be in the paint more with that 6'7 frame. The Hoya bigs need to crowd him on the perimeter or else Kostur could light up the scoreboard from behind the arc.

Where do you see Bryant finishing in the Northeast Conference this season and who gets the auto-bid?

The NEC will be notoriously difficult to handicap this season, because most of the programs have struggled from the get-go. As of Friday, NEC members have compiled a measly seven Division I victories. For those of you into advanced numbers - if you aren't by now, getting with the freaking program, you dinosaur - KenPom currently projects Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart and Robert Morris as the conference's top three, despite their combined record of 1-14. Yes, you read that right, 1-14.

The currently winless Colonials of Robert Morris are my favorite to win the conference when it's all said and done - it's foolish these days to bet against head coach Andy Toole, especially fresh off a NCAA tournament appearance and a First Four victory over North Florida.

I ranked Bryant third in my unofficial preseason poll, so I do believe they'll emerge as a contender come January.

Rank the following: Kobe Bryant, Bryant 'Big Country' Reeves, Martavis Bryant, Kris Bryant, Bryant Gumbel.

Wow, that's quite a list of Bryants! In terms of likeability, I was a big fan of ‘Big Country' Reeves back in the day, mainly because he was a big, slow, lumbering white guy, so I could kind of relate! (well besides the obvious fact that he was a college hoops star, whereas I was cut from my high school team as a freshman - oh well I LIKED WRESTLING BETTER ANYWAY). Even though Bryant Gumbel comes off as a snobby elitist, his show Real Sports is one reason why I'm paying $15/month for my HBO subscription, plus those sports jackets and eye glasses get me every time! Kris Bryant will be a stud I need to target in my fantasy baseball drafts next season and he plays for the hapless Cubs, so he's all right in my book. I don't really know who Martavis is - football player, right? - but he'll get the nod over Kobe and his ball hogging and rapist (oh sorry, ALLEDGEDLY!) ways. I'm really enjoying Kobe's dreadful season, and I can only pray there are more 1 for 14 shooting performances in his future.

So in conclusion: Bryant Reeves > Bryant Gumbel > Kris Bryant > Martavis Bryant > Kobe Bryant

Tim O'Shea is entering his 8th season has head coach of Bryant, which seems like a pretty long time to me. Is he pretty much the coach until he decides to bounce? Is there any pressure on him to make the Dance?

Every coach feels pressure in his job, but Tim O'Shea is very safe in his current role at Bryant. 8 seasons ago, O'Shea led a then Division II program into an arduous transition onto the Division I landscape and had to endure four miserable seasons, which resulted in a putrid 20-99 mark. Since then, though, all O'Shea has done is guide Bryant to three straight winning seasons and a top 3 finish in the NEC regular season within the same timeframe. That, in my opinion, is a remarkable accomplishment even if it didn't yield a ticket to the Big Dance.

If he continues this rate of success, he'll eventually punch his ticket, which by the way, he's already done as the former head coach of Ohio. Bryant University is in very good hands with O'Shea at the helm.

What are your thoughts on this Hoyas team?

I don't have very many recent thoughts on the Hoyas, honestly. With an 18-month old at home, I've condensed my college basketball intake to mainly the NEC these days.

I can conger up a few thoughts, though:
1) I was at Georgetown's season opening victory last season and I'm surprised the best game of L.J. Peak's collegiate career to this point was against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers that day. Then again, it's not easy to score 23 points on an absurd nine shots.
2) I've always liked Smith-Rivera, because he's in my view a complete player.
3) The Big East appears to be Villanova's to win once again (sorry, I'm just being realistic). Plus Jay Wright deserves it - his wardrobe is always sharp.

Bryant guard Curtis Oakley, Jr. is the nephew of former Knicks star Charles Oakley. Related, how much do you despise Carmelo Anthony and by extension Syracuse, generally?

I knew it was only a matter of time before you dragged me into a forced opinion on Syracuse, so for now, I'll defer and tell you a story.

Three, possibly four years ago, two friends and I went to the Verizon Center for a late season Big East matchup between Syracuse and Georgetown. We were up in the nosebleeds (NEC blogging doesn't pay very well, you know) stuck with mostly Syracuse alums in a mini sea of orange. In the section over from us, however, there were plenty of Georgetown students, and man were they giving the Cuse fans an earful! Pleasantries like "hey enjoy your garbage degree" and "I'm going to be a lawyer, what are you going to be, a janitor?" were being hurled over to our section, which, to me as a neutral observer, was rather comical. Long story short, a fight broke out late in the second half, but it wasn't between rival fans. Rather, the scrum was between a group of Georgetown students, I assume, for reasons unbeknownst to me. Which begs the question; do you see a lot of Hoya on Hoya violence around campus?

Also, as a UConn fan and Jim Calhoun worshipper growing up, I strongly disliked both Cuse and Georgetown equally. My opinion hasn't really changed much since those days of my innocent youth - both Boeheim and Thompson are usually surly with the media, or so it appears, hence my mild distain.

Final score prediction?

It's been a rough start for Bryant this month and I'd expect more of the same on Saturday. Georgetown rolled over the NEC last season (St. Francis Brooklyn and Robert Morris), so if Bryant keeps it close after one half, I'd be very surprised. The Hoyas get back on track with an easy 91-63 victory.