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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Huskies of UConn

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown take on old rival UConn 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 Huskies are are long lost blog buddies at The UConn Blog, your source for all of your UConn needs. Let's do this!

UConn! Good to have you back on the schedule, my dudes! Can I have my laptop back?

Nice to have you on the schedule as well! That joke is really, really old, but not nearly as old as your only championship banner.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of this year's Huskies? Who should Georgetown fans watch out for on this team?

This UConn team has looked and played differently at different points in the season (I'm sure you can relate) so it's hard to pin down any major trends, but our perimeter defense is really strong. We've kept our last three opponents under 35% shooting from the field and Ollie is working hard to make sure the team takes pride in its defense.

Offensively, this team can really get the ball up the court and score. Sometimes, in the half-court game, they move the ball well and find good shots, but when those shots don't go in they start trying other things, it seems. If the guards start off shooting well, the offense can usually find a nice rhythm, but shooting has been streaky.

The Huskies have a lot of talent at the guard positions, with Jalen Adams, Rodney Purvis, Sterling Gibbs and even Omar Calhoun all capable of having big nights.

I would normally say watch out for Daniel Hamilton, a 6-foot-7 Swiss Army Knife who had looked like our best player by far to start the season. Unfortunately he is in a bit of a cold streak, but to his credit he is still playing hard and still taking good looks when he has them.

Given his recent success and strong start to the season I'll say to watch out for Shonn Miller, a graduate transfer from Cornell who has been really great at the power forward position.

So how's AAC life treating you? I assume you have one foot in and one foot out searching for a Power 5 home? What's your prediction of where UConn will be in the next couple of years?

I've been in the camp of being patient with the American, believing that it isn't as bad as most people think and if it sticks together it could be pretty good. Many of those teams have made significant upgrades at head coach and are now able to afford better facilities as well. Improvement will come with time.

That said, it is obviously upsetting to see two games against East Carolina, Central Florida, etc. on the schedule after the glory days of the O.G. Big East.

Unfortunately, football drives the bus and back in 1999 we made some bets on football that we now have to see through even after being royally fucked by the people who told us to make that bet, so here we are...

I think UConn will eventually end up in a power conference. It belongs in one. Eventually someone will see the value of a dominant basketball program, solid overall athletic department, great TV market, promising football program, and a top-20 public school with a strong (and growing) academic reputation. It may take five or 10 years, but I think it happens.

Do you think Kevin Ollie capitalized on the recruiting front after UConn's recent National Championship? I would think the Huskies would have landed a bunch of top recruits and be a consistent Top 10 program after that win but it seems that hasn't happened.

We did have some misses in 2015 recruiting, most notably with Diamond Stone, but I think Ollie is doing really well. Though our incoming class didn't make national headlines, Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch are definitely two very talented players to be excited about—Adams is now the starter at point guard—and we've never really been about that blue-chip life.

It should be noted, however, that this offseason Ollie did recruit graduate transfers Sterling Gibbs and Shonn Miller as well as VCU transfer Terry Larrier, who was a top-50 prospect in 2014. Those guys don't get counted in recruiting class ratings, but Gibbs and Miller are key contributors this year who we would be lost without.

Additionally, the 2016 class is currently a top-10 or top-5 class depending on your source and the 2017 class just got off to a great start with the commitment of a 5-star, top-20 center. We still have a lot of negative recruiting going on with the American conference and annual rumors of Kevin Ollie to the NBA, but Ollie's stellar reputation, paired with UConn's rich history of success seem to be shining through in the recruiting results.

Thoughts on the new, post-realignment Big East? Do you want to drop your football program & come join us?

I'm sorry but I don't think much of the new Big East. Admittedly, part of that is always going to be bitterness about the Catholic 7's role in fracturing the original one and then departing as things got bad. But the other part is that I'm not so sure what all the fuss is about.

Villanova and Georgetown are pretty good. I enjoyed the games against those schools and miss those matchups for sure, but after that there really isn't anyone too special. I'm not losing any sleep over not playing Marquette, Providence or St. John's anymore.

In a vacuum today would I prefer that UConn play men's basketball in the new big east over the goblins in the American? Absolutely. But I would not drop the football program and I don't think anyone is too interested in having UConn as a football-only member. I also think in the long-run you need to be making that football money to sustain a top-tier athletic department.

Also, the current version of Big East basketball isn't making it into too many households on Fox Sports One. The American, for all its warts, has UConn on the ESPN family for most games. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that matters a lot.

Connecticut is a notoriously boring state. Enlighten me by telling me about something interesting I can do there (anything UConn affiliated doesn't count.)

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos. I'm not into card games or any of that stuff, but it's probably the best form of entertainment we have in the state. Concerts, clubs, restaurants, a WNBA team, it's got it all!

Settle a debate for us. Best burger chain of the following: In-N-Out, Five Guys, Shake Shack and justify your answer.

That's a tough one but I'll take In-N-Out. Animal style is a special, special thing. They have a certain "it" factor that comes with the limited locations and crazy hype, so that may be swaying me as well. I've only had it a handful of times compared to the others.

I appreciate Shake Shack's late-night hours and menu diversity and Five Guys is rock solid as well.

I also lived in DC for five years, can I share my DC-area non-sit-down restaurant top five?

1) Fast Gourmet - U Street
2) Donburi - Adams Morgan
3) Kabob Palace - Crystal City (trust me)
4) The silver kabob truck in Rosslyn
5) Mediterranean Spot (15th and U)

Seen any of the Academy Award nominees yet? Do you have a pick for Best Picture?

Sorry I have to pass on this. No idea.

When you look at the schedule, which of UConn's new AAC "rivals" makes you just rub your eyes and say "What the F?" East Carolina? Central Florida? (Ed. note: Georgetown's is still DePaul, even though they're not new.)

For me it's an unfair one because they're actually pretty good (and beat UConn last week), but it's Tulsa. There's just something about thinking of Tulsa, Oklahoma and our guys going there that just makes me very unhappy. East Carolina is definitely up there though.

The Huskies have been without starting center and shot-blocker extraordinaire Amidah Brimah for a month or so now. When is he coming back, and how has his absence affected UConn?

Opposing teams have had a much easier time getting to the rim, as you can imagine. For a team looking to be defense-oriented, taking away someone who blocked and altered so many shots has caused some problems. Guards used to be able to play real tight and aggressive on the perimeter but now they can't.

He's expected back in early-February.

What's the ceiling on this year's Huskies? Where do you realistically see them finishing?

This team could win the national championship. It's a wide open year and we've seen UConn do it recently with flawed or non-dominant teams twice in the past five years.

But those teams were blessed with Kemba Walker and/or Shabazz Napier, and I don't think anyone on this team has that ability to carry a team the way those guys did. I would consider this a successful season if UConn made the Sweet 16.

How would you rank these former UConnvicts in terms of their current NBA play: Rudy Gay, Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond? Bonus question: What do you think Jake Voskuhl is doing at this very moment?

Drummond, Walker, Gay.

At the moment it is 1am ET so I hope Jake Voskuhl is sleeping, but you never know.

Syracuse still sucks. No question here.

Agreed. I couldn't imagine rooting for a school with only one men's basketball championship. That would be terrible. The worst, really.

Final score prediction?

70-67 UConn wins. Should be a hell of a game and a lot of fun to see these teams back on the court together. Good luck!