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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Orange of Syracuse

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown put its undefeated record on the line against hated rival Syracuse on Saturday, and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about our evil opponent. Here with us from from the putrid Orange site Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is @JohnCassillo, who is taking over the hot seat this year from @HoyaSuxa, who relays that he is too busy with work and as such sucks uncontrollably. Here we go!

Georgetown-Syracuse! On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you?

Not sure. Maybe a 7 at best? We’re not even going to get a quality road win out of this. If we’re going to continue this series, the least Georgetown could do is be a fringe NCAA Tournament team.

The Georgetown Hoyas are a nationally receiving votes beloved by Van Gundy undefeated powerhouse. How does it feel to neither be beloved by Van Gundy nor an undefeated powerhouse?

Coincidentally, Syracuse is ALSO receiving votes. And we didn’t need to schedule high school opponents to get there. I’d say that Syracuse could be beloved by Van Gundy as well (you don’t know him, after all). But if the only way to do so is being a Hoya, I will pass.

Did JT3 getting fired surprise you? What are your thoughts on Patrick Ewing as the coach of the Hoyas?

JT3’s firing was a shock, if only because I was pretty sure Big John owned your university. Is this not the case? The towel-draping cabal he runs just appeared like it would never willingly cede power to a non-family member again. Of course, that’s before you hired Ewing, who serves a similar function to JT3, albeit maybe as a better stand-in.

I’m torn on Ewing. As a Syracuse fan, I have animosity, obviously. But as a Knicks fan, I obviously reaped the benefits of his post-college career. Ewing probably should’ve gotten a head job long before this one. And really, I’d prefer he had any other gig except coaching the Hoyas. I think it’s going to take him some time to settle in, but this could work. And by work, I mean, you’ll be less awful than you were in the waning years of JT3.

Now that Mike Hopkins has departed for the greener pastures of Washington, who do you think will be the next coach of the Orange if Boeheim ever decides to do everyone a favor and retire?

I’m pretty sure it’s still Mike Hopkins. Once the school backed off the stop-gap “timeline” for Boeheim’s retirement, it only made sense that Mike go out and give head coaching a shot somewhere else. Now, rather than testing his abilities in the shadow of a better coach than Georgetown will ever have, he’ll get to create his own style and culture at Washington… before inevitably coming back to his alma mater as an even better coach. The buyout drops significantly after year four. As long as Hop’s successful at UW (and it seems like he will be), I’d bet on him being back.

Who are a few of the guys on this Orange team that the Hoyas need to pay particular attention to?

No one. Don’t read a scouting report at all and just wing it on Saturday…

In all seriousness, Tyus Battle’s the guy to watch out for on offense, and his success definitely increases the odds of Syracuse winning any game. The sophomore is averaging over 20 points per game right now, and if he’s allowed to drive to the basket consistently, who knows what the ceiling is for SU in this one.

He does need support, though. And that usually comes in the form of one of a couple players. Frank Howard’s turnover-prone, but seems settled in as a junior at the point guard spot. Oshae Brissett has been one of several impressive freshmen for the Orange, scoring 13.6 points per game to pair with 9.2 rebounds. He can terrorize teams that aren’t prepared for him. Ask UConn.

Where do you see Syracuse finishing in the ACC this season? Do you think Cuse will make the Dance?

As it stands right now, I’ll say yes, albeit toward the lower portion of the at-large pool. This team’s young, but they defend well inside the arc and are one of the better rebounding teams in the country. The ACC’s a tough league, however, so we’ll certainly take our lumps. Consistent scoring from a player or two beyond Battle is essential if SU wants to get back to the tournament. I do think we’re better situated to make it than we were last year at this point.

Which sequel are you more looking forward to: the lame nerd Star Wars one or the triumphant Jurassic Park one?

No, YOU’RE a lame nerd!

Probably Star Wars, though I wouldn’t consider myself the fanatic that the former editor of this site was. And while I loved the original Jurassic Park, any film in the franchise since then hasn’t really resonated with me as much.

I’m here for the Marvel movies, though. And despite it definitely being awful, I’m going to see Rampage when it comes out next year. You guys should relate to that one, since it involves bad guys (C7) destroying a city (the Big East).

A whole class of Syracuse students (or at least the relatively small percentage who could graduate in four years) has never seen Syracuse beat Georgetown. Why do you think the Hoyas have had so much recent success in the rivalry?

“SO MUCH” is a strong choice of words for a two-game winning streak, no? Though I guess that’s longer than what you guys currently hold against DePaul…

The first game was a seven-point loss in Hopkins’s first game as head coach, with only a couple days to prepare (as you may recall, the NCAA changed the timing of Jim Boeheim’s suspension at the last minute). Last year was inexcusable, though also a seven-point defeat. Tyler Lydon did whatever he wanted, but no one else played consistently. I think the problems that plagued each of the last two Orange teams on the defensive end are gone, so I wouldn’t take much from those results when looking at this one.

Should the toilet paper come from over or under the roll? Explain your answer.

Over is the only answer, because it requires fare less effort and far less contact with the portions of the paper you don’t use. Anyone who does things the other way is an animal (or a Hoya, I’m assuming).

Syracuse went 4-8 in football for the 3rd year in a row. Now that you have had 3 years to digest it, if you could do it again would you still be pro the move to the ACC or would you prefer Syracuse still be in the Big East?

In an ideal world, the Big East could’ve remained as it was with basketball and football schools coexisting with different agendas. But realistically, that was never going to happen.

No qualms about the move on this end, really. We’ve already been to a Final Four since leaving the Big East and we made a bowl (in 2013) on the football side as well. I know Georgetown fans don’t acknowledge football as a sport (and I wouldn’t either if I were you), but it’s easy to see Syracuse is improving on the field and we’re fun to watch. If you were anywhere near a computer or television on the weekend of October 13-15, you likely heard we beat the defending national champs, Clemson.

Bowling or not, people can actually see our games on ESPN and we have a lot more money to play with in terms of athletics. So easy decision to keep the ACC situation as it is.

Syracuse missed the tournament in 2015 and 2017 and, despite making a Final Four that made every Georgetown fan's skin crawl, run barely made the field in 2016. Are the last few years a temporary dip? Is Boeheim losing his nose-picking edge?

A temporary dip created by the perfect (read: bad) confluence of unexpected NBA Draft declarations, transfers and the unnecessarily heavy-handed NCAA sanctions. If you look at our current recruiting for 2018, we’re doing pretty well attracting talent. Plus, we have several quality freshmen putting in some nice work this season.

As long as we don’t have additional surprise departures, you’ll see SU right back on track under Boeheim by next year at latest. Sorry to disappoint you.

Final score prediction:

I’m very curious to see how the matchup between Jessie Govan and Syracuse’s big men shakes out. While Govan’s averaged 13 rebounds per game against scrubs, SU has displayed some impressive team rebounding on both ends. Opponents have also struggled to score in the paint all season. If the Orange can shut Govan down, this won’t be close. If they don’t, there’s an opportunity for Georgetown to win by hitting shots from the outside. Still, I have faith in the good guys getting a win. Give me Syracuse by a score of 68-62 in front of a half-empty arena of mostly Orange fans.