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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Wildcats of Villanova

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown face its biggest test to date against the vaunted Wildcats of Villanova, 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 are our best blog bros at VU Hoops, your source for everything you need to know about Villanova.  After you're done reading this, check out my answers to their questions RIGHT HERE.  Let's do this!

VU Hoops! How are things, my dudes? You amped for a nationally televised afternoon delight on Saturday?

When I think of a Saturday afternoon delight I don't think of Villanova-Georg---wait yes I do as long as we avoid that MLK Day disaster from last year. That was literally a top 5 worst night of the year. Wife insisted we host friends. It turned ugly fast. I may have asked our guests to leave.

Other than that things are looking good. Villanova seems pretty good again, but it'd be nice if they could make some noise in March. Was looking forward to see if you followed through with your shut-down-the-blog threat but those damn Hoyas had to go and ruin it and win.


Villanova is something like 36-4 in Big East play since the new Big East started play. Can we have what you're having? What's been the key to Nova's continued success?

I think Jay Wright was a little bit ahead of his time with the 4-guard, small-ball, whatever you want to call it lineup. In today's game, spacing is so important (see: Golden State) and his offense is very similar in that he wants spacing, quick ball movement and passing and lots of shooters. I think most teams in the Big East have struggled to adapt to that style as Wright has begun to stack his team with some really, really good players once again. Georgetown recruits really well on paper, so I'm thinking it's more a problem with the system.


Who are some of the guys that the Hoyas need to watch out for on Saturday. Please don't say Josh Hart because that remains a massive thorn in the side of the eyeball of our fanbase.

Yeah, I have to bring him up again. Guy grows up a Hoya fan and you let him out of D.C.? Thank you. Thank you so much. He's been on a tear lately, and I'm sure he'll be up for a hometown return.

Daniel Ochefu is nursing an injury and his status is a bit up in the air but it'd be a surprise if he wasn't out there. Ryan Arcidiacono is having a really nice senior season and Kris Jenkins has been showing much more of an inside-game in addition to his 3-point shooting.

The new name you'll need to know is Mikal Bridges. He's a redshirt freshmen who at 6'7" looks like Mr. Fantastic. He's lightning in a bottle on defense and is great moving without the ball on offense. He's been stepping it up recently.


Please select your favorite Alan Rickman role and justify.

Hans Gruber is the correct answer, but it's also too easy. So I'll go with his role as Dr. Lazarus in Galaxy Quest. I stumbled upon this movie a few months ago after a long night out. To be clear, it's a terrible movie. But I was very drunk and enjoying Rickman's character who is just so full of disdain that he was even ever on the show and doing Comic Con-like events. It's is exactly how I imagine Rickman when his agent told him he signed him on for it for a ton of money. "I'm a Shakespearean trained actor!" It's a beautiful disaster. Just so beneath him. I'd love to know the events that unfolded that led him to that role.

When I told my wife that he passed this morning, she freaked out about "the asshole from Love, Actually" dying. So there's that too from Casa de Lane.

(Casual Note: The correct answer is The Sheriff of Nottingham in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves')


If you guys didn't cover the Villanova football program, would anyone? I mean, I loved having Brian Westbrook on my fantasy squad back in the day, but can't y'all accept that #noonereallycares about Wildcats football?

All fair points, but we all just love football and wish the school cared enough to invest in it. It's actually remarkable what the coaches and players have done there considering the support the program gets. It's essentially mission impossible, but the good press we show the football team helps us get access to other sports, basketball included.

But seriously, football is awesome. I wish both Villanova and Georgetown had viable FBS programs. Just one more Saturday each year we would get to go toe-to-toe!


Thoughts on how the Big East is unfolding this year? Apart from Nova, Xavier, Providence, and Butler, who if anyone do you think gets into the tournament?

I'm pleasantly surprised, and a little disappointing at the same time. It was obvious that Xavier was going to be really good, but I had higher hopes for your Hoyas (lotta season left!). Butler is Butler, they'll always hang around. Providence has been much better than I thought although they're a Dunn or Bentil injury away from non-relevance. Not a good way to live. Generally, I love the league and part of me hopes they figure out a way to axe DePaul and bring on a Dayton or St. Louis or God-forbid a Gonzaga and really amp it up another level.

As of tonight, I've got Nova, X, Butler, Providence as locks at this point with Seton Hall as a bubble-in team. Georgetown, Creighton and Marquette are the wildcards. I'd bet on Georgetown doing enough (based on a really strong schedule) to get in out of those 4. I don't think the Big East gets 6 in, but they will get 5. Georgetown's got a much better shot of doing enough in the conference than those other guys, based on a lot of things but mostly pedigree and talent.


Now that we are a few years in, which of the new Big East squads do you hate playing the most?

I just despise Kevin Willard and Seton Hall. He just seems like a smarmy jerk who has no control over his team. Two years in a row now our games with them have morphed in to a street fight by early second half. He's gotta go ASAP.

On a hate playing them because they're good front - Creighton. McDermott is truly a very good coach and gets so much from players that most teams wouldn't recruit. They run a very similar system to Villanova too, and it's infuriating to watch it work because we obviously face it in practice every day.


Scottie Reynolds hasn't gotten much playing time this season, logging zero minutes in any of the Wildcats games thus far. What does Georgetown have to do to contain Scottie Reynolds this Saturday?

I'm getting worried about Scottie, honestly. His token article per year count is going down. If you see him, alert us. Last I heard he was back in Europe, but for a while was playing in the Philippines I think? I always imagined him going out in a blaze of glory with Mr. Chow in Bangkok.


Seriously though, it seems like Villanova guys stay there forever (Ryan Arcidiacano is just the latest among many.) Does that have more to do with the fact that Jay Wright develops players over their full four years, is it loyalty to the program, or do you guys just tend to recruit good college players with low NBA upsides?

Jay Wright has been very vocal about recruiting guys that want to invest in the team and the program. He's stopped recruiting players who have been upfront about wanting a one-year stop en route to the NBA (not that there's anything wrong with that). Not to say he's avoiding sure-fire NBA guys, and he said that he actually told Kyle Lowry to leave once he got a first-round grade back in the day. But he does love a balanced roster with experience and youth so he can keep the core values of the program intact.

I think in the next few years you'll see more guys go early in the draft as the program's success has resulted in much more elite recruiting talent.


How has Jay Wright's suit game been this season? On par with recent years or any notable changes?

We had a pretty heated debate earlier in the year about him recycling suit combos and not keeping it fresh enough. I mean, he makes a lot of money but he buys expensive suits so I'm not expecting him to break out an entire new wardrobe each year. I think he's got a solid hold on the crown. He's like Avon Barksdale, which I guess makes Baker Dunleavy Stringer Bell and okay I'm going to stop now.

(Kevin Willard is totally Frank Sobotka)


Villanova appears to be better defensively this season. How much have they evolved from last year? Do you expect them to defend better than they did last time they were in the Verizon Center?

They've had a Top-15ish defense for the past several years, per KenPom. So I don't know how much better it actually is than years past. They seem to be passing the smell test for the fans this year more often which I suppose is good. Daniel Ochefu being one of the best rim protectors in the country has a lot to do with it - with him as a safety net the perimeter defends can get really aggressive. Guys like Hart and Bridges have just been lethal this year in starting fast breaks for easy points.

Jay Wright talked a bit about last year's Georgetown game today and gave the Hoyas a lot of credit for pressuring 'Nova in to mistakes and unnerving them. They never recovered. If they can avoid turning the ball over - they're doing it more frequently lately themselves - they can get set on defense and really lock down.


You live in Atlanta. Is that the worst sports city in America or the worst sports city in America?

It's so nice to actually hear somebody else say it. I saw Spencer Hall call it something like the best unmitigated disaster city in the world the other day and I couldn't agree more having now lived here for 18 months. Atlanta fans are pretty big bandwagoners. The Hawks are a thing now, apparently. The Braves get pretty consistent support but more because they're the South's team and people drive from all over to spend a weekend watching them play

SEC Football season is fun though. You see a bunch of drunk fights between frat douches and you can point and laugh. It's like NYC people watching for dummies.


Final score prediction?

Rivalry game baby, let's throw those records out the window! If Ochefu was healthy, I'd feel much more confident in a victory. But not knowing his status, I'm left uncertain as to how Jay Wright responds if he can't give it a go. I'm assuming he's going to be fit enough to give them 15-20 minutes, which should help Villanova escape and run their unbeaten mark in the Big East to a full calendar year. Let's call it 72-67, Wildcats.