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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Explorers of LaSalle

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Bienvenidos a Miami! Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown are back in ball on Saturday against the Explorers of LaSalle in something called the Hoophall Invitational, 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 expound on the Explorers are our best buddies over at Mid Major Madness! Is the A-10 a mid-major? Sure! Let’s do this!

La Salle looked pretty good against #1 Villanova. What are the expectations for the team this season? Can they hang with the likes of Dayton, URI, and GW in the A-10?

The Explorers have been an interesting team when you look at their schedule at a glance. All games within a ten point spread, so they’ve been tested and have thrown their best at teams a bit better than them.

Looking even deeper, their losses have been very good ones if that is ever such a good thing. 97-92 OT loss at Temple. 78-77 loss to a good Texas Southern team on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer. And obviously playing Villanova very tough the entire way.

Last season was extremely disappointing for LaSalle, but Syracuse transfer B.J. Johnson has been a huge addition, along with Memphis transfer Pookie Powell (has to be a candidate for First-Team All-Name team) to go along with the leading scorer from last year in Jordan Price (19.2ppg, 2nd-Team A-10) and Cleon Roberts.

Throw in South Carolina big man transfer Demetrius Henry and the Explorers certainly have the talent to hang with the big boys of the A-10 with the firepower offensively they have.

La Salle has had a lengthy basketball history, producing NBA regulars like Doug Overton, Tim Legler, and Rasual Butler. Is anybody on this year's team potentially NBA-bound? Regardless, who should Hoyas fans be on the lookout for in Sunday's matchup?

Price is a crafty player and can hurt you from the outside. Good range from the perimeter, hitting on 40% of his attempts thus far on the year. Big-time scorer in his LaSalle career and not afraid to take over games when needed. Willing playmaker that gets guys involved offensively, but can be a bit turnover prone. Fearless and he’s at the helm of this team without question.

Johnson is a lefty swingman that has also can hurt you in different ways. Top 100 recruit out of high school, a Lower Merion HS product (someone else went there that made a name for himself if I remember right….) and seems to have fit in very well at LaSalle. Red-hot from the perimeter thus far at 47%, and 93% from the foul line for the season. Knows how to score and does it from everywhere.

Have you ever been to South Beach, and if so, do you have a favorite spot to hit up there? Related, is Will Smith's 'Miami.' a great song, or the greatest song?

Have been one time that I remember. Great little pizza place I went to called Blocks Deli Pizza. Highly recommend.

‘Miami’ is pretty good. Pretty darn good. But not the greatest. That belongs to Sia. (It is called ‘The Greatest’ after all!)

Speaking of great songs, list your top 5 Christmas/holiday songs.

Already tired of the songs on the radio! They’re better with family around though to sing along and have some fun with.

Honestly, I get excited because always around holiday time, Ken Burns ‘Baseball’ always is played on PBS or MLB Network. I like that tradition.

What is the best movie you have seen recently?

Well, only seen one movie as of late and I enjoyed it being a Harry Potter fan. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was pretty cool.

Let's say you and I are going to a steakhouse for dinner. Please detail your order, and bring me from your choice of beverage all the way through dessert.

Not a huge steak guy myself, but a nice juicy burger would hit the spot. Bacon, BBQ Sauce and cheese, some fries, maybe some rolls for an appetizer? Coke for me, and anything with a brownie and some vanilla ice cream works for me!

What's your perception of this Hoyas team?

They’ve been about what most have expected. Talented and deeper than years past, but still find ways to cough up games and play down to opponents. I love Pryor and Peak in the backcourt, and Hayes, Govan and Copeland up front are formidable.

The Oregon victory will be a nice one down the road, but the game against Maryland still blows my mind how they let that one slip away. Finishing out games I suspect will be something this Hoya team will be scrutinized in conference play as they’ll get tests about every game.

I mean look at Georgetown’s first four games in Big East play: at Marquette, Xavier at home, at Providence, Butler at home. All will be dogfights and likely close throughout. How they start those first four games will be huge as they move forward.

Who would you say is LaSalle's biggest rival? Please rank the "Big 5" in the Philly area.

Well, you have to say St. Joe’s is their top rival for the Explorers with its history and ties between the schools within the city.

Top 5: Villanova, St. Joe’s, Temple, LaSalle, Penn

Final score prediction?

Could be a shootout. Actually, expect a shootout. I think this could come down to the last possession, it could be a heck of a matchup if the cards fall into place. I do like Georgetown’s depth a bit more, and I think Pryor is on such a tear, he can set up teammates because LaSalle will put a ton of attention on him defensively. The Hoya bigs could be the difference. Copeland, if he is feeling better off his injury, (only five minutes against Elon last time out) could be an X-factor.

Georgetown 85, LaSalle 78