Your UNDEFEATED Georgetown Hoyas face another challenge Wednesday evening, as they face the Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary’s. Don’t know much about the Mount? No worries! Ryan Peters of NYCBuckets.com is one of the Internet’s finest experts on all things related to NEC basketball and he has the answers to all of our questions. You can follow him on Twitter @pioneer_pride.
So to start with, tell us something fun or interesting about Mount St. Mary's University we may not know.
When I lived in Maryland, I was about an hour away from the Mount St. Mary’s campus. My location – about 40 minutes from Georgetown might I add – wasn’t exactly the epicenter of NEC basketball, but I at least attended about a half of dozen Mount games per season. I like the campus as it’s tucked away in the hills of northern Maryland, away from the bright lights of a major city. I would send my children there if they were interested and there was an academic fit, but then again I may have a bias toward private, Catholic institutions since I’m a Sacred Heart University alum.
As far as what you may not know about the university, there was an unfortunate story about a Mount president talking about drowning bunnies but he rightfully resigned amid pressure. That’s not the kind of national press you really want.
Who are the best players on the Mount's squad?
Junior Robinson, all 5-foot-5 of him, is the team’s best player by far. The four year senior – a rarity in the transfer ravaged NEC these days - is an athletic wonder with a large chip on his shoulder, hence his All-NEC preseason first team designation. He’s very quick as a combo guard, can score anywhere on the floor and will put teammates in good positions to succeed.
He does have a history of struggling against power conference teams with bigger competition, but he did tally 20 points and 6 assists in the Mount's season opening loss at Marquette. He has to be the number one concern for Patrick Ewing on Wednesday night. Robinson has been a joy to watch as a NEC fan, even if his father continues to criticize me relentlessly (and unfairly) on Twitter.
How do you see the Mountaineers fairing in the Northeast Conference? Who gets the auto-bid?
Because the league lost a majority of their all-conference recipients this offseason via graduation and transfer, the league is up for grabs. Given the Mount’s recent history, they have as good a shot as any team to win the NEC. I ranked the Mount third in my Blue Ribbon preseason standings after they lost 3 players via the up-transfer route.
Seven, maybe eight or nine teams, have a legitimate chance to land in the NEC’s top four in the regular season. And if you achieve that, you’ll get at least one home game in the critical NEC tournament, which significantly raises your chances of making a three game run to the NCAA tournament.
There was some conversation about Jamion Christian as a candidate for the Hoyas' coaching vacancy. What are your thoughts on him as a coach and the program he's built?
I’m a big fan of Jamion Christian and believe that he’ll be at a bigger program and succeed there in the future. What he has built in just five plus years at the Mount has been impressive – he’s injected excitability in the program, implemented a fan friendly Mayhem system similar to his former boss, Shaka Smart (former VCU coach, now at Texas) and has taken his program to the NCAA tournament twice. He’s young, energetic, relates with his players and relies heavily on analytics – he simply “gets it” in my humble opinion.
Perhaps he was a little green to be considered for Georgetown’s open position last spring, but maybe when Ewing leaves the Hoyas in four years to become a NBA head coach then Christian will emerge as a noteworthy candidate! He can lead my high major team any day of the week. (Are you reading this, UConn?)
Can you give us a bit of a description of the Mount's style of play? What types of teams do they match up especially well or poorly against?
I alluded to it in my last answer - the team employs a Mount Mayhem system. That sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Basically, Mount Mayhem is designed to extract turnovers by pressuring opponents, sometimes in the full court, while speeding up the game when necessary. Christian loves when his team takes a copious amount of 3s, and they won't back down from a transition opportunity. Because he asks his players to play hard all the time, Christian will typically play 9-10 guys a night, although this particular team is very young and missing its star do-everything power forward Chris Wray, so it may be difficult for the Mount to impose their will on the Hoyas.
This philosophy does well at the mid-major level and especially in their friendly confines, but if Georgetown has enough ball handlers and athletes on the floor, I don't think they'll be bothered too much by Mayhem. It'll be interesting to see.
Do you listen to podcasts at all? If so, do you have any good ones you can recommend?
I’m a fantasy baseball nerd, so I’m always downloading Fangraphs’ “Sleeper and the Bust” podcast throughout the year. When my portfolio needs an adjustment, I’ll pull up a Jim Cramer podcast of his “Mad Money” show or something from the Motley Fool, although I trust Cramer more so. (Yay, Apple stock!!) In general though, I have a short commute to work and prefer music at the gym, so I’m not listening to a lot of podcasts, especially the dense ones.
Imagine I give you a bag of tortilla chips. You get to pick any three dips for them. Which ones do you pick and why?
Is this actually a question? Why would anyone not dip a tortilla chip in salsa? It’s delicious, it can be spicy (medium or hot for me!), you can go chunky or restaurant style AND it’s low calorie! Seriously, what more would anyone want out of a dip?
I guess if your fridge isn’t stocked with salsa (you should reassess your shopping list priorities pronto) then I’d go with Sabra Hummus in a pinch. I know there was that listeria contamination a while back, but I’ll take my chances of visiting the Porcelain Gods since Sabra is far and away better than their competitors. Hummus is as versatile as a dip gets; you can dip veggies, crackers, pita chips and tortilla chips and use it as spread in your sandwich. I refuse to consider a third choice for dipping tortilla chips.
What's a relatively mundane pet peeve of yours that bothers you more than it should?
I prefer not to go into politics on this medium.
Bruce Springsteen is on Broadway. I'm giving you some space here to talk about how amazing that is.
This won’t make me popular as a New Jersey resident, but I’m not a Springsteen fan and couldn’t even name one of his songs other than “Born in the USA”. He’s really on Broadway? I had no idea. I’m sure some readers will take offense to my indifference, but I just was never exposed to his music as a kid and never made an effort to listen to it.
While I’m at it, you and your readers can hate me even more. I don’t like or care about the following: Springsteen, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, US soccer (god my Twitter timeline gets clogged up with that crap sometimes), Tool and any country music. Oh, and Tootsie Rolls. Those things are the WORST.
Final score prediction?
Christian will have his team ready to compete, but this will be the Mount’s third game in six days with the first two requiring airline travel. I can’t imagine this team is fresh, but I can see them sticking around for nearly a half. In the end though, the Hoyas pull away with a 74-55 victory.