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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Orange of Syracuse

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Georgetown. Syracuse. Sleeping with the Enemy.

We’re back.

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown travel to the Carrier Dome to take on the evil Syracuse Orange on Saturday, and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown’s most hated opponent. Here with us to dish on all things Orange are the guys we love to hate the most over at Troy Nunes is An Absolute Magician. For Casual answers to Syracuse Qs, click this link RIGHT HERE.

Let’s do this thing!

We hate you. No real question here, but I just wanted to make that clear before we proceed.

Feeling’s mutual. Would love to see your program caught up in the Mueller investigation somehow.

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

I say this as someone that proudly watched Syracuse go 4-0 at home against Georgetown while I was at SU, and I gladly bring that up unprompted in conversations: Five, at best? We really need to move this game to February, where it used to be on the schedule. Or you guys can get respectable again. Either/or.

What’s your take on the Hoyas thus far under Patrick Ewing?

Georgetown actually seems like they have potential now, even if they’ve yet to really cash in on any of it. People want to talk about you. I’m not one of them, of course. But I guess it’s nice to be discussed by others.

At this point I’m assuming that Jim Boeheim is going to be the coach at Syracuse forever. Given the job that Mike Hopkins has done so far at Washington, is there any part of the fanbase that kinda sorta wishes that Boeheim would have stepped away a couple of years ago so that the future of the Orange would be good hands for the next 10+ years?

We still very well might be in capable hands for the next 10-plus years, and those plans could still include Mike Hopkins despite his departure to Washington last season. Hop needed to go out and create his own career apart from the legacy he’s been part of at Syracuse under Boeheim (as a player and assistant). His buyout drops considerably after year four at UW, and the end of that contract could line up well with the end of Buddy Boeheim’s career and Jim’s retirement.

And no, no one wishes Jim would’ve stepped down earlier since we’re still a team that regularly makes trips to the Sweet 16 and beyond.

How much are we going to hate Buddy Boeheim over the next 4 years?

This year, probably not much. But by all accounts, he’s a knockdown three-point shooter in the tradition of annoying (to others) white Syracuse guards before him. So prepare for some outrage his sophomore or junior season.

Let’s say you and I are going to a steakhouse together (Note: this will never ever happen despite the fact that I provide excellent company and riveting conversation). Detail your order, starting from drinks through dessert.

For as much as your treatise on legalizing war crimes, banning certain brands of khakis and how to excel at napkin folding would be thrilling, I’d probably skip that and proceed to ordering. Depending on where we are, I’ll take a glass of the local whiskey, a New York Strip and... I’m sure they have some truffle macaroni and cheese or something else legit as a side. I’m not a dessert guy, so cap it off with a barrel-aged stout.

(Casual note: “I’m not a dessert guy” = “I’m a communist”)

Carmelo Anthony has very possibly played his last game in the NBA. What are your thoughts on his precipitous fall from grace and do you think he is a Hall of Famer?

Carmelo’s game was never perfect, but it worked for what the NBA used to be. His game hasn’t declined as swiftly as it may seem. More accurately, the NBA just evolved without him into a pace-and-space game that prioritized athleticism, passing and range over his abilities to back down defenders and hit a solid mid-range shot. He tried to catch up, but it was simply too late.

I think he’s absolutely a Hall-of-Famer, and not just due to the double homerism of being both a Syracuse and Knicks fan. Melo’s an NCAA champ, NBA scoring champ, 10-time all-star and three-time gold medalist. He’s also one of the top 20 scorers in NBA history. Sure, he’s failed to find much playoff success, but he wouldn’t be the first or last Hall-of-Famer to have that issue on the resume.

Related, why is every Syracuse “alum” horrible at the next level?

I’d argue that Dion Waiters is the most immensely talented player in the NBA for convincing a team to pay him $13 million per year. Jerami Grant’s doing pretty well right now, if you’re tempted to watch the Thunder (and they’re one of the best teams in the Western Conference, so... you probably should be).

The issue for most recent Syracuse players in the NBA is that they’ve been assigned expectations they simply can’t live up to. Look, I loved everything Wes Johnson did for the Orange in his one year on campus. But he lacked much upper body strength and wasn’t a great jump-shooter. Why would a team draft him fourth overall? Dion Waiters didn’t play much defense in college, yet he was picked third. The list continues that a lot of these guys were simply drafted too early and/or put into situations where they were never given much of a shot from the NBA teams.

Grant defies all of this because as a second round pick, he had minimal expectations and it was much easier to surpass those. (but yeah, even acknowledging all of that, I’m puzzled myself as to why this doesn’t work out very often)

Why do so many people go to Syracuse games in the Carrier Dome?

Fully admit I was just a four-year resident and now live in Southern California, but the Central New York area can be a frozen hellscape in the dead of winter and it can cure you of ever wanting to see snow again. When you’re surrounded by ice, a large sweaty room of people and basketball is a welcome respite for a few hours.

Also, if you haven’t noticed, the Orange haven’t had a losing season in five decades. That sort of tradition of success is easy to sign yourself up for.

Syracuse football didn’t actually suck this past season. Any chance that Dino Babers stays in Syracuse or is he destined to accept an HC gig for a more high-profile program?

Oh, sorry, forgot Georgetown had a football program. I see you lost to (checks notes) Campbell this year. How was that?

Due to a fairly static coaching carousel this offseason due to a lot of big jobs standing pat, Dino Babers should be sticking around for season four with the Orange and that team’s likely to hang around the top 25 once again. Realistically, he probably leaves for somewhere else eventually should SU keep exceeding expectations. But given that he’s already in his late 50s, he’ll probably be aiming for the “right” job, not just one that’s perceptively bigger or better.

What is the best movie you have seen in theaters in the past few months?

In some personal news, my wife and I had a child back in September, so movies are few and far between at the moment. The last thing I saw was Infinity War earlier this year, and that was great.

(Casual note: Mazel tov! Let us know where we can send the truck full of Georgetown onesies.)

Sort of related, tell us what shows you are watching on Netflix or Amazon prime these days?

Now this I can lend some expertise to given the amount of time I’ve been able to spend on the couch of late. (Yes, Hulu, but) “The Handmaid’s Tale” was great, but also a sobering reminder of what Georgetown fans would probably do if they ran the country. “Bojack Horseman” is a favorite, and I did stick it out through the end of “House of Cards” despite my better judgment. Recently gave “the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” a shot and seemed pretty entertaining. “Wild Wild Country” was also worth a watch. Oh, and judge if you want, but “Vanderpump Rules” is back for season seven, and it’s still the only E!/Bravo reality television worth tuning into.

(Casual note: Sorry for another Casual note but it makes it very difficult to hate a Syracuse fan that shares my affinity for Vanderpump Rules. I hope Jax and Brittany have a wonderful future together.)

Now that you have been swimming in the lame ACC waters for a few years, is there any team in the ACC that conjures up the same kind of antipathy, within the fanbase or the team that Syracuse has for Georgetown?

FTFY: “Had” for Georgetown.

We’ve had some moments with Duke that have elicited some real venom from the fan base, and we’ve pissed them off pretty well, too. Virginia hates us for beating them in the Elite 8 that time. And Boeheim talks enough shit about North Carolina to get our conferencemates pretty riled at any and all junctures. But no, none of them create the same vitriol and outward anger that Georgetown did for Syracuse fans while we shared the Big East.

There hasn’t been any announcement of this series continuing past this season. How does that make you feel?

I’ve mentioned it a couple times in these responses already, but there’s not a whole lot to this series right now. We don’t recruit D.C. so much that we’re desperate for the local exposure, and the 20-game ACC schedule next year is inevitably going to cut into how much the Orange seek out challenges in non-conference play. It’s likely one of the Hoyas or UConn get the axe, or the two teams get every-other-year treatment with one another. If you want to play at MSG, it would make ti easier to legitimize (for NY exposure purposes).

Final score prediction?

I’ll go with a 77-71 win for the good guys (that’s Syracuse, obviously) on Saturday. SU’s offense isn’t quite at the level we want yet since Frank Howard’s still not 100-percent healthy. Jessie Govan probably gets his points, but the Orange defense clamps down elsewhere while Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett lead the offense. I’d prefer to win by more. These games have just been really weird the last few years.

P.S. Eat it.

The steak I brought up earlier? Happily.