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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Musketeers of Xavier

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After another weeklong break, your Georgetown fightin’ Hoyas get the chance to notch their third consecutive win and upset the fourth-ranked Xavier Musketeers. Here as always to give some X to us (as well as hot takes on game shows and Cincinnati chili!) are our friends over at Banners on the Parkway. Let’s do this thing!

Does Villanova just have Xavier’s number? What issues did you see crop up with Xavier in their last outing?

I mean 9 out of 10 is hard to argue with as far as Nova having our number. They always seem to have a great shooting night, they are over 40% from deep against us in those 10 games, and the most recent loss was really one of the closer games we have had against them. Our big issue recently has been defense. Seton Hall put up 65 in a half against us, followed by Nova putting up 95. You may notice those numbers are abysmal, and are part of a stretch where 4 out of 5 opponents have reached 90, but for the most part our offense has kept up in most games.

After the last OT thriller that Xavier and Georgetown played, how worried are you about an upset and what did you notice the Hoyas could take advantage of?

The big issue that game was that Georgetown was having no trouble getting Derrickson or Govan on a guard, usually Goodin or Scruggs, off of the pick and roll. It was a very simple basketball play to create a mismatch, but there is no sense in trying to reinvent the wheel if it works basically every time. That and the spirit of Tre Campbell briefly inhabiting the body of Jahvon Blair were the catalysts for Georgetown staying right in that one. I would hope we have some adjustments for the screen action you guys ran against us a lot last time, but I am not sure what we can do about any Tre Campbell related voodoo.

It’s pretty clear that Trevon Bluiett has been on fire the last couple of games. What has he been doing especially well on offense lately (and while we’re at it, do you think he has a shot at being drafted?)

Ummmm… he’s been making his shots lately. In all honesty, Bluiett has never put together a good January for some reason or another and he always seems to come out of the doldrums around this time of year. He had a frustrating trend for a while where he would not put the ball on the floor in an attempt to get to the basket, so everything he shot was going away from the hoop, which made him easier to guard. The last couple of weeks he has been back to his best and his versatility has really shown as he has turned it on lately.

Naji Marshall seems to be contributing an outsize amount as a freshman. What can you tell us about how you see him developing?

Naji draws a lot of comparisons to guys like James Posey and Derrick Brown from Xavier teams past, because he is really long and scary athletic. I think he is much more polished offensively than either of those guys were as freshmen and has become a really key part of what we do offensively, especially given the amount of attention that Bluiett has been getting from opponents.

How many Big East teams do you think make the NCAA Tournament and who are they?

I think 6 get in with X, Nova, Butler, Creighton, Seton Hall, and Providence making it. I thought Providence had crapped it away losing to DePaul, but they got a big win against Villanova that I think will get them in. I think Marquette has a shot to get in too, but they have to win out and then win at least 2 at MSG to make it happen. St. John’s is also interesting, but I don’t think they can overcome the hole they dug for themselves.

I feel like we roast you guys for this every year, but can you offer a defense of Skyline and the various other proprietors of that bizarre chili/spaghetti mix?

I can not, and I will not. That stuff is so bad I honestly think less of people who rave about it.

If you could go on one current or former game show, which one would you choose?

Jeopardy is really the only one I like to watch consistently at home, so I would say that. That being said, I typically get about 40% of the questions right, despite guessing every time, so there is a better than zero chance I would end up owing them money by the end.

How much have you been following the Winter Olympics and who has been your favorite athlete to root for?

I usually follow the winter Olympics closer than the summer, simply because there is not a Cleveland Indians game everyday during the winter. I don’t understand why figure skating is considered a primetime event, but other than that I like to watch most of the stuff NBC has on offer.

I made the shocking discovery that my wife hates Shaun White, so I went pretty bonkers when he won gold for the personal satisfaction it gave me to annoy her. Other than that, I like to watch short track speed skating and enjoyed following John Henry Krueger’s run to the silver medal.

Final score prediction?

I think X comes out trying to right the ship after a couple of pretty dismal defensive efforts. We still have a 1 seed to play for and, if Nova slips up, a chance at a conference title, so I expect we will take care of business 84-73.