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The Casual Awards: The Hoyas Are An Undefeated Powerhouse

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Richmond Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, hello. As some of you have discovered, the Georgetown basketball season has somehow begun, Patrick Ewing is roaming the sidelines like a boss, and your Barking Bulldogs are undefeated and looking to scarf on a few more (read: several more) MEAC and MEAC-style cupcakes. Hooray!

While you were eating leftover noodle pudding (without those unnecessary raisins) and scoping out the local Target for magical discounts, we were rocking the Black Friday madness at the greatest Macy’s in the world, ordering Froot Loops at a f*cking diner, crying real adult tears at Pixar’s latest offering, and sitting in six hours of traffic because Delaware sucks...

and yet somehow, some way, we found time to draft this season’s inaugural edition of THE CASUAL AWARDS. Away we go….

The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:

Kaleb Johnson.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Richmond Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

We could have gone in a few different directions with this one, but it seems fitting to give this first award to KJ2K. Just one year after JTIII announced to the world that Kaleb was looking “really, really, really, really good” prior to the start of last season, Kaleb has finally emerged as a key piece of the roster. After a foul-happy start to the season in the opener, KJ has found his groove, now averaging a cool 12.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and just over two assists. Kaleb has always had the athleticism and motor, but some combination of foul trouble, poor free throw shooting and lack of comfort with JTIII’s system seemed to push him into a lesser role.

But now, in a year in which our lack of depth means there’s nowhere to hide, Kaleb looks smooth and comfortable. He’s hitting his shots, playing solid defense and off to a good start. And while it’s too early to get excited, we’re happy for Kaleb and looking forward to watching him progress. Kenner League Kaleb has been unleashed.

In the words of Coach Ewing: “If [Kaleb’s] open and he doesn’t take it I’m going to take his butt out.” Keep doing your thang, KJ.

The Patrick Ewing Award for Being a Dominant Georgetown Big Man:

Jessie Govan.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Richmond Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

From sophomore slump to junior jump, he’s just a completely different player than he was last season. He’s stronger, leaner, more athletic and seems to have a little more fight in his bones. After four games, albeit against lesser competition, he leads your Hoyas with 19.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game. With a lethal combination of layups, hooks and threes, Go-Go-Go-Van has blossomed into THE NEXT GREAT GEORGETOWN BIG MAN. We love the hustle, the attitude, and his overall development. And with Patrick and Louis Orr on the sidelines, there aren’t two better men to coach Jessie G. into the dominant force he will become.

The Russell Westbrook Award for Fashionably Wearing Fake Glasses:

Patrick Ewing.

Dude, did you see Big Pat rocking the eyewear during the first half of our game at Richmond? He looked stylish. Not all that intimidating, but then again, he’s seven feet tall and a Hall of Famer, so he doesn’t need any accessories to intimidate people. Keep looking cool, Coach Pat. Do what you want.

The Van Gundy Award for Getting the Most out of his Players Award:

Patrick Ewing.

If JVG and SVG are going to be Georgetown’s biggest cheerleaders, then we’re going to respond in kind by naming our very first coaching award in their honor.

While it’s too early to tell much of anything, the last two weeks have at least given us a glimpse of the style of play Coach Pat wants to run. He said he wanted his guys to get in shape, rebound, defend and play hard. And he said he wanted to play a more up-tempo, NBA-style offense. So far, so good. While it hasn’t always been pretty, and we have far too many turnovers, we have a young team with players that are still trying to find their roles while identifying strengths and weaknesses. The defense needs work (Buckingham and Golden, anyone?) and we clearly need to cut down on turnovers. But everything else looks good. We like the intensity, and the players definitely seem to be responding.

The Syracuse University Award for Always Scheduling Cupcakes Award:

These aren’t even cupcakes, they’re minicupcakes

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

Much has already been said about our less-than-stellar non-con scheduling this season. It certainly is nice to be undefeated. It’s probably better to have a true road win against an A-10 team under our belt rather than two shellackings at the hands of Michigan State and Paul White’s Oregon Ducks. So, it’s fine.

But even in rebuilding years, we do not need to face NINE cupcakes. It’s ok to face a few of these bottom-feeders early in the year, especially during finals time, but it’s obviously much preferable to be in pre-season tournaments while scheduling a handful of contests against mini-cupcakes (teams ranked between #100 and #200 that won’t devastate our RPI like these sub-300 teams will inevitably do). Three games down, six more to go against THE BENIGN NINE. In the words of Bart Scott, can’t wait.

The Charles Oakley Award for Being Really Good at Cleaning Glass:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

Newsflash: after a lackluster performance on the glass against Jacksonville, your Hoyas have responded by crashing the boards. After two weeks (yes, we know this is a small sample size largely against inferior competition), Georgetown ranks 88th in defensive rebounding percentage and 14th in offensive rebounding percentage (collecting 38.1% of misses). This is good. Considering that a year ago we were totally manhandled on the glass by Wisconsin, this is a refreshing development (and yes, all of the caveats about level of competition have been noted).

The Name Your Own Award for Shot Clock Violations:

You.

We have a feeling that other teams will commit a lot of shot clock violations against Georgetown. It will hopefully become a thing. Now is your opportunity to name an award. Please post your suggestions in the comment section. For now, Georgetown has forced opponents into at least five shot clock violations. Each time it happens, we will not donate any money to charity, but we probably should.

The Gretchen Wieners Award for Coining Your Own Lousy Catchphrases:

The new Georgetown floor announcer.

As some of you know, due to Father McFadden’s retirement, Georgetown has a new floor announcer at The Phone Booth Vault. It seems that he likes Jessie Govan.

During pre-game intros, he refers to him as Jessie Go-go-go-van, like he’s Inspector Gadget or something.

After Jessie makes a few shots, he throws in a “that was GoVan-tastic” line or two.

We can’t decide if these are catchy or terrible. We’ll go with terrible.

Stop trying to make “fetch” happen. It’s not going to happen, new announcer guy.

The Trent Tucker Award for Being Really Good at Hitting Perimeter Shots:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

Only four games. Against relatively small teams. But we’re 4th in the country in three-point FG%, 14th in the country in FG% and 14th in the country in FT%. In the season preview we penned just a couple of weeks ago, we asked whether anyone on this team can shoot. The answer, so far, is yes. And while this trend may not continue, it’s both surprising and reassuring that we are off to such a promising start.

The “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah” Award for Catchy Made-Up Tunes:

The Jiggy Juggy Jessie Jam.

If you saw the game against Mount St. Mary’s, you probably got excited. It was our most complete game of the season and we just dominated those cats from start to finish. The best part was how assertive and fluid Jagan Mosely and Jahvon Blair looked. Jiggy had 15 points, five boards and five assists in only 28 minutes. Juggy had 19 points and five assists in 27 minutes. With those two on the court together, along with a healthy dose of Jessie (20 points, 14 boards) and Jamorko (14 points, seven boards), we looked really good. There was one stretch in the first half where it all came together. Jagan made a driving shot. Blair hit a jumper. Jagan made a three. Then Jamorko connected from deep.

It was the Jiggy Juggy Jam. And when Govan re-entered the game, we saw a little bit of the Jiggy Juggy Jessie Jam. It’s corny and terrible, but so damn smooth.

Eep Opp Ork means I love you. And if you’re too young to remember The Jetsons, you can create an app to kill yourself.

The Derek Harper Award for being the Floor General on Patrick Ewing’s Team:

Jonny Mulmore.

With room to run, Jonny has been giving us his Mul-MOST in the early days of this season. Averaging 8.8 points and a cool 5.5 assists, Mulmore has penetrated well and done an admirable job of finding gaps and dishing to open shooters. His drive and kick to Pickett in the final minute of the game at Richmond was one of the more clutch plays of that contest. While Mulmore still needs to do a better job of playing under control, he’s off to a promising start.

Speaking of assists, if you look at our proportion of assists per field goals made, we rank sixth nationally. And despite our dreadful turnover percentage (16.2/game, #295 in the country), our assist to turnover ratio is surprisingly solid (1.262). A sign of good coaching?

With four games down, your Hoyas have done what they needed to do. After beating Jacksonville by 16, they walloped The Mount by 34, pounded UMES by 26, and then escaped Richmond with a casual six point victory. And while none of these wins have necessarily been “resume builders”, it’s at least promising that Georgetown has relatively effortlessly taken care of business, especially after our fair share of losses to inferior teams in recent years.

We have a lot of work to do, and we’ll probably be in for a rude awakening once conference play begins, but for now, let’s keep the juju going and TCB against the next cupcake du jour. Black Bears, you’re next.

Let’s go Hoyas. Beat Maine.