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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Johnnies

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Even after the worst losses, any team has to get up and keep going. For your Georgetown Hoyas, that’s still true even after a 32-point loss to Villanova. The Hoyas host St. John’s Saturday for the second time in 11 days. So we turned right back to our friends at Rumble in the Garden, SB Nation’s leading source for all things St. John’s, for another Q&A.

What’s up with St. John’s? On paper this team looks pretty good. Four guys averaging double figures and no conference wins? Who’s to blame here?

On paper, sure, this team has some talent. But the bench is... well... not productive overall, and also can’t simply hold the line. So the starters are the five people who can make positive contributions and those five players are playing over 30 minutes per game. Late in the game, you’ll notice shots suddenly not falling, defensive mistakes... the effects of fatigue. Also, the defense has been great in some aspects - cutting off shots at the rim on the drive and forcing turnovers - but completely horrendous at keeping opponents from shooting three-point shots with lots of time to set their feet.

Three-point defense may be somewhat of a myth in the minds of some of the quant-heads, but there is a difference between shooting a three with a defender nearby and shooting one in comfortable rhythm, sipping a cocktail, and waiting for a St. John’s defender to come flying by with a hand up.

How do you see the rest of this season going for the Johnnies?

Really hard to know. This team hasn’t actually cracked yet - the kind of crack where a team loses even the winnable games. So at this level of engagement, I think they could theoretically win six games in conference play. One of them could be over Seton Hall and/ or Xavier. More likely that they win maybe 4 more, probably.

What’s the deal with Marcus LoVett? He’s been injured but it seems like there’s been some drama about it.

Hey, look! A unicorn riding a rainbow, accompanied by Red Panda! Did you hear that crazy thing the President said today?

Whew, now that you’re distracted, let’s say, re: LoVett: there seems to be some difference of opinion about whether he is injured or not, which is fairly bizarre. There is a parent involved in the decision who seems to be pushing the son to go pro.

Does this team even hold together for next season or will Chris Mullin be stuck rebuilding from square one again?

There is a lot of talent coming in. I have a really hard time thinking that this team will lose much talent; going player-by-player, I don’t really see the incentive, unless the NCAA gives a one-time pass for a player to transfer who has not transferred before. Actually, even then, no.

I’ve thought about this, but haven’t gone into it on the Rumble, because I don’t want some of the more ridiculous people coming up with ideas; but there is one star, Shamorie Ponds, who loves being at home (it seems). There are two players who might be grad-transfer eligible in Clark and Owens, who both seem very engaged with their teammates and being in NYC. Justin Simon will be a junior and has already transferred once. Bryan Trimble might worry about time, but brings a skill. Kassoum Yakwe might, but has his Malian countryman as a freshman next year (who is sitting out this year).

Essentially, unless someone makes a wildly bad decision - and these players seem sane, reasonable people - this squad will be back.

These questions have been really pessimistic & I’m sorry. Have you at least found a silver lining watching this team?

This team is really something that makes a person pessimistic, and there’s been a lot of drama. I’m ok with it. There have been good performances, individually, but... I don’t really have any silver linings right now.

Ok, on a lighter note, when we did this against Villanova I got a lot of flak for admitting I put ketchup on my hot dogs. What’s your hot take on hot dog condiment usage? Is ketchup ok?

I believe in condiment freedom. I was ok with ketchup and mustard on hot dogs as a young boy, wildin’ in the NY street carts. These days, my tastes have improved and I have eaten the Chicago dog, so I think all hot dogs should have pickles, onion, chopped tomatoes. But you do you, Roey. I’m sure you will find hot dog friends one day. There is a condiment pal for everybody

What’s the most interesting or weirdest travel destination you’ve ever been to?

None of them have been weird; as an overall destination, Fes, Morocco was likely the most foreign for me, and pretty interesting, too; Mostar, Bosnia is up there too. That short trip raised so many questions about the effects of war physically and in the local psyche.

Got any suggestions for a good show to binge on Netflix or one of the other streaming services?

I have a child in the Pre-K range, so I am bingeing SuperWings.

If I was more free, I would finish Glow, or watch iZombie, Las Chicas des Cable (first episode was solid), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Santa Clarita diet. Or re-watch Insecure.

Final score prediction?

St. John’s wins, 74-71.