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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Johnnies

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Thanks once again to Rumble in the Garden for keeping us entertained during these troublesome times.

So you're doing better than we are in Big East play? How did that happen? Does that speak to some substantive improvements on your end or are we just that terrible?

I feel like I should offer you all a proverbial couch and a bit of hope, a foot massage and a shot of rum.

Seriously, what the hell is going on over there? But you asked about St. John's, so here goes:

Yes. Georgetown is terrible. But consider that the Hoyas are 4-5 since the 0-4 league start?

Ok, that's not comforting, but a road win over Butler! A win over Creighton!

Meanwhile, St. John's actually took their two wins over DePaul seriously, knocked off Butler (a team that needs to play perfectly to win - and to their credit, they often pull that trick off), and then earned wins against the mid-pack hopefuls in the Big East - teams that have obvious flaws but obvious talent.

St. John's is much better. There are two guys who can score, and last year's holdover point guard often puts up goose eggs instead of leading the team. There's pep! Deflections! And when the Johnnies don't spot the opponent 10-15 points in the first 8-10 minutes, the Red Storm have put pressure on.

On Saturday, the teams COULD tie league records, by the way. So don't be so down. The highly-regarded talent of the Hoyas could be as good as an expansion team of talent from St. John's plus two star freshmen.

Do you attribute most of the up-and-down performance from the Johnnies this season to the relative youth of the team? How do you think this team will shape up in the next couple of seasons?

Kids can score and defend, despite what some people might have you think. That said, there is a youth and immaturity that the team struggles with, and it's not helped by the coaching staff trying to jumpstart the team with aggressive early (jump) shot hunting when getting the team to settle in and then attack might be a better plan.

But that comes with increased skill and quicker ability to see a "bad shot" flag when going for a jab step three pointer against an opponent who is smoking a cigarette & musing about the themes in the book "Homegoing" vs. going for the pump fake.

Ok, so here's a sort of personal question. I got into St. John's Law last week & am trying to weigh it as an option. I haven't made my final decision yet & I'll probably try to visit before I do, but can you give me a summary in a couple of sentences of what life is like on campus?

I am not the right person to answer this question - I never lived on campus. And the thing is, especially on the grad level, I don't know who else does either. All my life, St. John's has had a commuter school vibe. And having gone to a commuter school but also a residential campus, I'll say that it's really what you make of it. I can't say the area around the school is popping - it's residential in that Queens way that works better for longtime residents or recent immigrants who really want a piece of that American style pie.

But Queens has its pockets, especially for families. But you really, really want to be cognizant of what bus lines you are on so it would be one bus to the school and one bus to... things that might be amusing, like Forest Hills, Manhattan, Flushing Meadows.

We can discuss more offline.

When's the last time you played hooky from work? I don't mean calling in sick or for a commitment, but a day where you just straight up skipped because you didn't feel like going. What did you do instead?

Hm. I mean, I called in sick - I'm not an asshole. But it was before having a kid and having sick days be precious. What I did - cursed my boss's existence, had some coffee and then some tacos, took a long leisurely workday bike ride, watched some TV. Really, not anything that spectacular.

If you were the search firm in charge of finding the next coach of the Hoyas, who would be your top 3 candidates?

Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning. You're gonna need some star power to get good players to Georgetown and the Hoyas need to up their retro game. Plus you need to keep Mourning's kid happy and in the fold, he's the future.

Name a relatively mundane pet peeve you have.

A recent one: have you gone to a country where the people don't speak English, and when they do speak to you in English, they say really grating phrases like a nasally "you guys?" (say it like uu guiszz!)

Now, whenever I hear anyone say "you guys" I want to slap the hell out of them. It's the new "nails on the chalkboard."

The Academy Awards are on Sunday night. I finally saw Casual's favorite "La La Land" last week & it was pretty good. What's the last movie you've seen, either at home or in a theater, and what did you think of it?

Awards? I just follow the awards and movies in general on Twitter.

But I did see Captain America: Civil War while on vacation (in three parts, as I was convincing my kid to get to sleep) and I found it solidly enjoyable even if the fight scenes between Captain America and Iron Man were straight up ridiculous. Captain America would be dead three times over.

Final score prediction?

St. John's wins it 75-69. Why not, right?