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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Bulldogs of Butler

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown face the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday 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 Butler is our good buddy @ButlerVictory. Let’s do this!

Congrats on the big win against Villanova! What's it like to have a good basketball team?

It makes long, cold winters a lot easier to deal with. Especially when expectations heading into this year were more in the "above average" realm. Butler has mostly struggled against the top third of the league since joining, and that felt great to finally pick one off.

Butler has been a model of consistency in the Big East. This year's team looks better than ever, with wins over Nova, Arizona and Indiana. What improvements have you seen in this year's team?

Apparently Indiana sucks now, but that's another story. By far the biggest improvements/differences this year are Butler's depth, athleticism, and defense. Last season was virtually a complete 180 from "typical" BU teams of the past, relying on the offense to do the heavy lifting with a terrible D. While the D is back to being good, they're doing it in a little bit different way than before - creating more turnovers and disruption rather than owning the defensive glass and relying more on smarts/positioning. Freshman Kamar Baldwin has added a new dimension to the perimeter D that I'm not sure the program has ever had with his combo of foot and hand speed. Transfer Kethan Savage (George Washington) is finally healthy and doing some serious damage off the bench lately. Bringing Savage and fellow transfer guard Avery Woodson (Memphis) off the bench is a luxury that most would love to have. This team has a lot of guys that contribute.

Speaking of consistency, Roosevelt Jones finally graduated after playing for Butler since before the Shot Clock era. Who has assumed his role as Butler's star and team leader this season?

Had to take one last dig on old man Rose, I can respect that. Kelan Martin is definitely the star, but senior Andrew Chrabascz (or Chrabs, as I affectionately refer to him) is the leader. Pretty much the only thing Chrabascz doesn't do particularly well is rebound, which not coincidentally is probably BU's biggest weakness, but he does so many different things on the floor it's impossible to list. He's everything you want out of a 4-year player, and after having a tough year last year, he's the senior leader.

Chris Holtmann, wow what a find! What in your view has he done the best in order to continue the Brad Stevens tradition of excellence at Butler. Are you surprised?

Anyone outside the walls of Hinkle who tells you they are not surprised by what Holtmann has done is a liar. And frankly I can't think of a much better surprise, the guy just gets it - on the floor, off the floor, recruiting, speaking, hiring Mike Schrage as an assistant this offseason, walking on water, you name it. What has he done best? Overall, I'd say having that similar temperament of not getting too high or too low. He's a big picture guy. He understands the delicate balance of continuing the Butler culture that had been built, with growing the program into the high major world. And he's done it after taking over a program that most didn't know was kind of in turmoil after Stevens left and Brandon Miller fizzled while the conference leap(s) were happening. It's frankly mind-boggling the way he has not only smoothed everything over, but done so in spectacular fashion.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2017, personally?

I'm looking forward to my trip to Vegas for the opening weekend of the tourney, but guessing you probably meant for the team. Whoops. I think this Butler squad, as well as things have gone this season, still has a higher ceiling and room for growth. That's exciting. I'm looking forward to hopefully being in a race for the Big East crown for the first time ever, and this game against the Hoyas will go a long ways toward keeping that alive after the disappointing loss at St. John's to open.

Have you had the chance to watch the Hoyas this year? What do you think has gone wrong for us?

I watched the Hoyas in Maui and caught some glimpses here and there since then. I'm sure you are tired of everyone piling on JT3 so I'll do my best not to, and by that I mean simply stating that he has gone wrong for you guys for quite some time now. The lack of discipline and urgency on the court is startling, particularly with the effort on D and the boards. How does a team with Georgetown's size and length get killed giving up offensive rebounds? How has JT3 been able to run a program seemingly without knowing how to develop offensive sets? As a fan of one of the three new programs to join this league, I really want Georgetown to be good. The expectation was for the Hoyas to be one of the 2-3 flagship programs to lead the revamped league. I'm afraid that's not going to happen until a change is made.

Jack the Bulldog and Butler Blue III have met up at least once every year before Georgetown and Butler play. Our dog can skateboard what can yours do?

Blue III can rehab from a torn ACL to come back stronger and better than ever. True grit right there.

Bruce Springsteen is a much-beloved and much-debated topic here on CH. Are you a big Springsteen fan and if so, what is your favorite album? If you are not a Bruce fan, tell me why and then tell me what music you are listening to these days.

I'll probably get killed for this, but I have never been much of a Springsteen guy (*hides in the corner*). He has always fallen into the "I don't really get it" category for me personally. I don't hate his music by any means, it just doesn't move the needle for me. Here's a curveball for you: I have rediscovered the lure of classical music and it has been glorious. As a guy who grew up taking piano lessons for 10 years and mostly hating it, the pleasure of concert orchestra/piano has added some much-needed culture in my adult life.

What is your favorite fast-food chain and why?

Damn, this is brutal to choose. I'll pull a semi cop-out and give you a few answers. The best burger in fast food comes from Culver's, bar none. That might have something to do with it being griddle-fried in butter. When it comes to classics, nothings beats piping hot McDonald's fries. Simply the perfect combo of salt, texture, and greasy goodness. Lastly, the classic chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-a is unmatched in the poultry category, but you have to add mayo.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both marvelous in La La Land. What are your thoughts on some of the Oscar contenders?

Also probably going to get killed for this, but never been a big movie guy. I'd rather have a medium-rare filet mignon Oscar style. If I'm investing 2-3 hours of attention at the screen, it's going to be a Netflix documentary or something involving a ball and a scoreboard.

Please rank the various types of pickles in order of preference.

Famous Dave's Signature Spicy Pickle Chips, bread and butter, gherkins, dill. And never, ever put pickles on a hamburger. Talk about ruining a good thing.

Final Score prediction?

This game kinda scares the piss outta me, coming off the Nova win and heading to Omaha next week, but I think the Dawgs get it done. 71-64.