Ladies and gentlemen, it is officially time for another year of Georgetown Hoyas basketball! In advance of Sunday’s tip-off, it’s time to find out a little bit more about the Hoyas’ first opponent of the season. Here to reveal more about the Jacksonville Dolphins is the one and only John Dales of Mid-Major Madness, the SB Nation network’s resident Atlantic Sun Conference expert.
Welcome back to college basketball season! How excited are you for things to kick off again?
I’m psyched to get the college hoops season underway. This time of year is great for sports consumption on TV because the heart of the NFL and college football seasons are going on, and the NBA and college basketball are just getting going. The beginning of the season in college basketball always has some exciting tournaments and non-conference play, which should be fun to watch (even though we weren’t blessed with another rendition of the 24 hour ESPN tip-off marathon this year).
So tell us a bit about the Jacksonville Dolphins. Are they an actual college basketball team or have two of Florida’s NFL teams just merged?
Yes, the Jacksonville Dolphins are a real college basketball team. Believe it or not, they even went to a Final Four, and reached the championship game back in 1970 on a team led by Artis Gilmore. Obviously, they have not quite reached that level of play in the forty-seven year since. They have been somewhere between the middle of the pack and bottom of the conference in the Atlantic Sun for most of their recent seasons. As I’ll get into later, they are going to be relying on a bunch of underclassmen this season.
Who are some good players on the Dolphins who we should be aware of?
This year’s Dolphins roster is a young one. Last year’s Jacksonville team finished 17-16, with a 5-9 record in conference play, and were able to get some postseason action, playing in the CollegeInsider.com tournament. The problem with this small amount of success is that last year’s JU team really only played 11 players, and 7 of those players were seniors last season. So yeah, the Dolphins are definitely going to be relying on some young talent. A couple players to watch out for are sophomore guard Tanner Rubio, who was a member of the all-freshman Atlantic Sun team last season while shooting just under 50% from three, and junior forward Jace Hogan who sat out last season after transferring to Jacksonville from Navy, where he was a starter.
How does it look like Jacksonville will do in the Atlantic Sun Conference this season? Who will be fighting for the conference's auto-bid (and please don't say FGCU?)
Jacksonville has been stuck in mediocrity in the A-Sun for the past couple of seasons, and as mentioned before they lost many of the players that led them to their few wins because they were so senior-heavy last season. The Dolphins are probably going to struggle to compete in the A-Sun this year unless their young talent and transfer players are really impressive. I hate to bring up a bad memory, but FGCU is the team to beat in the Atlantic Sun. FGCU has won the conference the past two seasons, and return a bevy of impact players, including Brandon Goodwin who will probably be the conference player of the year.
What do you think about the Hoyas this year and about how Patrick Ewing has done so far as coach?
I think Georgetown hired the right guy for the job when in Patrick Ewing. It was time to move past the JT3 era, and Patrick Ewing finally got a head coaching job. The recruiting under Ewing is what has impressed me greatly thus far. Landing guys like Jamarko Pickett and Josh Leblanc in the first few months of being a head coach is definitely a great start to a coaching career. I think this year might be a sort of rebuilding year for the Hoyas just because Ewing is going to be coaching players that he didn’t recruit to come there. However, the middle of the pack in the Big East is wide open in my opinion, so if the Hoyas can just hover around a .500 conference record, postseason talks are definitely warranted.
What sports league do you think has the most exciting playoffs/championship system and why?
In my opinion March Madness and the NCAA Tournament is the most exciting championship system in all of sports because of the impacts of the underdogs from the one-bid leagues. Due to the fact that so many teams are in the tournament, anything can happen. A championship-caliber college basketball team losing early is much more possible than for example, the Golden State Warriors losing in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Anything can happen in March. Now, whether or not the NCAA tournament accurately crowns the best team as champion is a different discussion, but I think it’s definitely the most exciting of all championship systems.
Have you had the chance to watch Stranger Things yet? If yes, what do you think, and if not, what else have you been watching instead? (Note: skip this response if you want to avoid spoilers)
Yes, I have watched Stranger Things. (WARNING STRANGER THINGS 2 SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILER DANGER AHEAD HEED WARNING!)
Here are my takeaways from it- Bob’s death was the most predictable scene ever, but it still somehow managed to freak me out when the demidog thing tackled him like a middle linebacker. Also, Steve in season 2 is absolutely epic. Wielding a baseball bat with nails in it all the time is an alpha move, and I can’t help but respect it. Connecting it back to college basketball a little, every time there is a scene or flashback with Dr. Brenner in it, I can’t help but think he looks like former Illinois and current Kansas State basketball head coach Bruce Weber. It’s actually kind of weird, they aren’t extremely similar-looking, but I thought it once and now I can’t unsee the small resemblance.
Please rank your three favorite pizza toppings and explain your reasoning
- Pepperoni- classic topping, what I view to be the gold medal pizza. If I’m going to a new pizza place, I judge its pizza based off how a slice with pepperoni tastes.
- Bacon- little bit of a wild card here, but every once in a while a little bacon on top can be perfect.
- Sausage- Very few things should ever be put onto a pizza as a topping outside of a type of meat. I’m not a big fan of sausage, but it is far and away better than one of those pizzas where somebody puts an entire salad on top of it. Miss me with the veggies.
This is a question we often ask opposing bloggers but when you put a roll of toilet paper in its holder, should the toilet paper hang from over the roll or under it?
Over the roll, no doubt about it.
Final score prediction?
Hoyas take this one going away. 89-66 Georgetown starts off the Ewing era in style.