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The Casual Awards: We’re Back

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Oh, hello. We’re back, and so, it appears, are your Georgetown University Barking Bulldogs. The winners of TWO STRAIGHT BIG EAST games, the Hoyas are now in the midst of a casual week off before grinding out the last four games of conference play. But before we look ahead to a rematch against X, it’s time to hand out hardware to all of those most deserving. Away we go...

The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Derrickson.

The Doc maintains his vice grip on this award. Mr. Derrickson’s development continues to impress. After dazzling us with 22 points and 18 rebounds against The Hall, good ol’ Doc put on a clinic against Butler, tying his career-high with 27 points on an absurdly efficient 11 of 13 field goals (including all three of his shots from beyond the arc). Marcus used to be a really good set shooter with a lot of potential. He is now one of the most versatile bigs in the conference, with a hook shot and rebounding to match his stellar outside touch.

Between Marcus and Jessie and an emerging Jamorko Pickett, do we have the best frontcourt in the conference? (This is a serious question.)

The Tre Campbell Award for Throwing Up an Anomalous Career Night to Lead the Hoyas to an Improbable Road Win Award:

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Dickerson.

Remember when Lil’ Tre Campbell put up 21 points at the Cintas Center two years ago? It was the best game of his career and he never came close to replicating that performance (which allowed us to defeat then-#5 Xavier: https://www.casualhoya.com/2016/1/20/10795938/georgetown-hoyas-xavier-musketeers-game-recap).

A different Trey, this one a fifth-year transfer from South Dakota, put up the game of his life. Our guy Dickerson contributed an improbable 18 points in 21 minutes on an efficient 7 of 8 from the floor. While at times Trey has looked out of his depth, he has all of a sudden seemed to find his groove in the last couple of games. Although he missed a bunch of free throws and still plays a little too fast for our liking, Trey has made a lot of good decisions recently. And if this continues….(we might win another game or two?)

The Patrick Ewing Award for Being a Dominant Georgetown Big Man Award:

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jessie Govan.

Rumors of his conference play demise were grossly exaggerated. Obviously. After throwing in a casual 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, Mr. Govan just did a bit more of what he does. Like Marcus, Jessie G. has improved his game tremendously this season. He runs the floor better (now that his “home run trot” is gone), plays like a man on the glass, and still has a silky smooth touch from the floor (and sometimes at the line).

Keep grinding, young fella.

The Brad Stevens Award for Excellence in Coaching:

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Ewing.

Yeah, he deserves it. Realizing our season-long tendency to surrender big leads, Coach Pat decided to put his foot on the gas pedal midway through the second half when he called for a full court press as soon as Kamar Baldwin left the game. The move paid off, sort of, as the Hoyas forced a couple of turnovers, but couldn’t convert after reciprocating in the turnover department.

Still, we salute the decision. And we appreciate the fact that our guys were prepared when Butler switched to a zone. Our offense kept purring along (hence our torrid 58% shooting from the floor).

The Jay Bilas Award for Excellent Commentary Award:

Steve Lappas.

Steve Lappas Villanova

Everyone knows that Bilas loves us. It has been well documented in these parts. But little did we know that former ‘Nova coach Steve Lappas also loves us. I mean, he does, right? But why? He’s from New York, so maybe he’s a Knicks fan and loves Ewing?

Whatever the reason, we like it, Coach Lappas. Keep loving us with your words.

Speaking of broadcasting, anyone catch JTIII during the Richmond game? It was, well, interesting. Especially to hear him announce a game featuring David Cox on the sideline (as a Rhode Island assistant). Good to hear his voice, though.

The Kids Are Alright Award for Freshmen Development:

Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair.

Pickett and Blair have improved tremendously over the course of the season. But both experienced a case of the freshmen jitters on Tuesday night, as Pickett finished with five turnovers (including a few big ones towards the end) and Blair was held scoreless (missed all five shots) in 20 minutes of action.

But it’s cool, young beasts. Jamorko- you’re a stud. You can shoot, you have a ton of natural LENGTH, and your defense has gotten much better. Since mid-January, you’ve learned to play within yourself and not force things too much--your handle and decision-making will improve with experience, my dude. Just keep grinding.

Jahvon- you’re the best pure shooter on the team and your time will come. Your game against X was wicked. Just work on your handle and stop forcing the issue. Lay off the contested perimeter shots when we have big leads in the second half. You’re better than that.

The Talented Mr. Ripley Award for Being Pretty Talented Award:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

In these parts, we don’t like being overly critical. We celebrate the players who shine and try not to get too down on the players who don’t. In seasons like this one, we just put our heads down and stay (relatively) positive. BUUUT...we gotta keep it real.

Patrick Ewing has done a lot of really good things in Year One (the players are clearly improving, our issue with fouls is gone, and our rebounding and conditioning are much better). But there are still a lot of things that give us concern (although we appreciate the new style of play, we only seem to be able to play one tempo: “extremely f*cking fast”, and, whether you want to chalk it up to the lack of a true point guard or not, our numerous second half collapses have not been pretty). Before this past week, we were also troubled by the fact that we hadn’t scored a single victory against ANY probable Tournament teams. But now, with two solid wins this week, we’re all good on that front.

What we don’t like, however, is this idea that Coach Pat has exceeded all reasonable expectations because he has led this group to a couple of Big East victories in which we were underdogs, or that talentwise we are outgunned and everything is gravy. That’s just not true. Before last week, we had only beaten STJ and DePaul in the conference, and our best non-con win was against a Richmond team that is straight-up terrible (they have 17 losses already).

But this is not meant to be an indictment of Ewing’s coaching. On the contrary, we’ve seen lots of player development and progress, and he doesn’t yet have the guys he needs for his system. That said, let’s stop saying our guys don’t have talent. They do. Outside of ‘Nova, Creighton, Xavier and Seton Hall, our talent level is on par with most of the rest of the Big East. So we can praise Ewing for the positives, and criticize him when he deserves it, but let’s stop hiding behind the “no talent” defense because we don’t buy it. [TL;DR - the inability to inbound the ball or avoid fouling on 3 pointers when we have a 4 point lead is not a talent issue]

The Patrick Ewing Does Not Care for Skyline Chili Award:

Patrick Ewing.

As we learned in our game at Xavier, good ol’ #33 from Georgetown does not abide by the cheez whiz on top of ground beef and spaghetti. And that’s good, because we’re about to dump a plate of “chili” on top of Chris Mack’s head this week. I’m tired of getting pushed around by that team. This is when it ends.

Let’s Go Hoyas. Beat Xavier.