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The Casual Awards: The MacFlurry Game

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NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

On a night in which several hours of snowfall and the presence of a fired-up Nova team threatened to put the finishing touches on Georgetown’s season, your FIGHTING HOYAS dusted off the snow, and the Wildcats, in impressive style, with an 85-73 trouncing of the defending national champions.

As if Georgetown’s best home win since 2015 weren’t enough to whet your appetite, we bring you, fittingly, a well deserved edition of THE CASUAL AWARDS.

And away we go…

The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:

2 out of 3 ain’t bad

The Seniors: Jessie Govan, Kaleb Johnson and Trey Mourning.

In what proved to be one of Georgetown’s most balanced wins of the season, it was the seniors whose steadying presence and propensity for big plays ensured the Hoyas’ biggest win of the Patrick Ewing era. Without a doubt, these guys deserve it.

For four (or in Trey’s case, five) years, these seniors have toiled through some turbulent times. Jessie and Kaleb have still yet to enjoy a single winning season on the Hilltop. So it should surprise no one that when things started getting rocky against ‘Nova, it was the seniors who brought the Hoyas home.

For starters, Jessie played like Jessie. Bouncing back from an anomalous 0 for 9 performance in the last matchup against the ‘Cats, Govan poured in a game high 21 points (on 8 of 12 shooting) and 11 boards. He was there for a few fortuitous putbacks, knocked down his free throws, and hit a game-sealing stepback three that reminded some of us of the FU three that Jabril Trawick hit against Villanova in Georgetown’s last home win against the ‘Cats in 2015. Jessie played his game, and it was pretty.

Meanwhile, Kaleb did what Kaleb has been doing for the last five games. He scored eight points, pulled down eight boards, and played stout defense. Kaleb has been the steadying presence this team has so desperately needed, and his effort should not go unnoticed, especially on a night when LeBlanc was in foul trouble.

And finally, let’s give a shout out to Trey, whose five points and interior defense over a crucial stretch midway through the second half helped to extend the Hoyas’ lead. Once again playing in front of his legendary father, Trey delivered.

The John Hancock Award for Finally Putting his Signature on a W:

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Ewing.

Well, it took long enough, but big ups to Coach Big Pat for finally getting his first head coaching victory against a ranked opponent. This was unquestionably Ewing’s biggest win since he arrived as a coach on the Hilltop. He had a week to prepare his guys, who were coming off his self-described “worst loss of his career”. And he put the Hoyas in a position to not only beat the best team in the conference, but absolutely dominate them.

Kudos to Coach Ewing for his first signature win. Like those weird aliens in Arrival...you’ve arrived. Or something.

The Nate “Thundersnow” Lubick Award for Putting Up a Stellar Performance During a Snowstorm:

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Mac McClung.

There’s just something about these Hoyas and the snow. First we beat Duke. Then we beat Villanova. And then Nate Lubick had the game of his life during the District’s bout of thundersnow.

On Wednesday night, in THE FLURRY GAME, it was Mac’s turn to dust off the flurries by turning in a huge performance. Against ‘Nova, Mac put on a show, finishing with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. His ball handling issues aside (he had a disappointing five turnovers), Mac brought his A game to Kente One Arena. His four threes fired up the team and inspired the crowd.

And oh yeah, this kid is only a freshman. Keep it up, my guy.

The 1993-1994 Knicks Award for Playing Stifling Defense:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

During his playing career, Patrick Ewing-led teams were known for lockdown defense and grinding out wins. And inspiring jams like this:

Those of us hoping some of that tenacity would rub off had our faith repaid on Wednesday, with the 2018-2019 Georgetown Hoyas putting in perhaps their best defensive performance of the season. Excellent closeouts, hustling back in transition, and limiting second chance points.

During a season of ups and downs, the biggest disappointment has been our team’s atrocious defense. Against Villanova, it actually seemed like we played with a lot more intensity than usual. It was refreshing to see.

Huge props to our perimeter defenders for somehow keeping Scottie Reynolds scoreless. Akinjo and Mosely looked like Derek Harper and John Starks out there. Sorry, Scottie.

Speaking of which...

The John Starks Award for Improbably Bringing Down the House With a Massive Dunk Award:

Jagan Mosely.

Yeah, we know. He did it against Seton Hall. But holy hell, where did that even come from? Jagan Mosely, in his home state of New Jersey, just decided to no longer give a f*ck. And it was a thing of beauty.

(By the way, a quick word of praise for Jiggy, who has really been playing within his own in the last handful of games. By bringing his usual stout D, knocking down critical threes, and not forcing things too much, he’s really found his game.)

The “No, No, No, Yes!!!!!” Award for Unwarranted Heat Checks That Go In Anyway:

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Mourning. Again.

After Villanova cut the deficit to single digits at 60-51, Trey hit his corner triple to put the Hoyas up 63-51, and we never let the ‘Cats get it back under ten. For his second straight game against ‘Nova, Trey delivered.

The Norman Dale Award for Passing the Ball Effectively:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

While it’s unclear why Norman Dale insisted on his team passing the ball four times before each shot, one thing is certain: he hated hero ball. On Wednesday night against Nova, your Hoyas put together the most selfless performance of the season, as they assisted on 23 of 29 field goals.

Huge shout out to Young James Akinjo for dishing out nine dimes and finding open shooters all night long. It was a thing of beauty to watch.

Speaking of James Akinjo and passing...

The Jason Williams Who Didn’t Murder His Limo Driver Award For Excellence in Passing:

James Akinjo.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Providence Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

DID YOU SEE OUR GUY JAMES MAKE A DROP PASS BETWEEN HIS LEGS TO OUR OTHER GUY JESSIE GOVAN IN TRANSITION BEFORE GOVAN DRILLED A THREE? IT LOOKED LIKE THIS, ONLY OUR JAMES HAS LESS FACIAL HAIR AND ALMOST HIT HIMSELF WITH THE BALL….

The NHL ‘94 Award for Excellence in Line Changes aka the NO NO NO YES Coaching Award:

let’s go islanders

Coach Ewing Rolling Out the Mosely, Blair, Kaleb, Trey, and Malinowski/LeBlanc Lineup

We’re confused. Truly. Game after game, it seems like Coach Ewing employs this hockey-style substitution pattern. Four or five guys in, four or five guys out. Sometimes for defensive purposes (which is odd, because Pickett and LeBlanc are two of our better defenders, so it doesn’t always make sense to bench all starters). Sometimes to give guys a rest (also sometimes problematic, especially when we don’t have a point guard on the court).

Whatever the case may be, there’s certainly been a lot of trial and error in the last three months. Some have argued that these lineup experiments should have occurred earlier in the season; we tend to agree. But against ‘Nova on Wednesday night, the bizarre line changes somehow….worked?

During a key stretch midway through the second half, it looked like Ewing was looking to buy a bit of rest for his starters, so he benched all of them. And somehow, Georgetown’s bench managed not only to preserve the lead, but extend it. And then a TV timeout came...

And Ewing left the same guys on the floor.

And it worked! Our subs extended a nine point lead (with 10:51 left) to a 16 point lead after a Blair triple (with 6:23 to go). So, yeah, Ewing is a mad genius, we guess.

The Michelle Tanner Award for Saying Hilariously Cute Things Award:

NYHoya’s Daughter.

During Georgetown’s recent win at Providence (our first road win at the Dunk since 2012), this young lady screams “Can I throw up on you because this is amazing?” (Note: she did not throw up.)

Against Villanova, she was delirious. “Mom, are you watching the game? Mac just hit four threes! I’m serious! I took my shirt off.”

She’s six, and she was raised right. (When we lose to Creighton on Sunday, she will probably run to her room and make slime. Her father will say curse words and throw things.)

The Big Man U Award for Being the Best Big Man in the Big East:

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jessie Govan.

After getting blanked in our first matchup against Villanova, Govan bounced back in a huge way in the rematch tonight with 21 points and 11 boards, including back to back 3 point plays to stem the tide as Villanova came out strong in the second half.

He’s always there when we need him. He’s Mr. Reliable.

And let’s not forget that Jessie recently joined elite big man company when he became only the 6th player in Georgetown history to tally career totals of 1500 points and 750 rebounds. The others on that list? Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, Alonzo Mourning, Othella Harrington and Mike Sweetney. All of these guys played in the NBA. Hats off to the big fella from the Big Apple.

The Woody and Sid’s Misfit Toys Award for Finally Doing It:

All of us.

You guys. We did it! We beat a ranked opponent! At home! Villanova! For the first time in four years!

The George Costanza Award for Being Introduced to a Bubble Award:

Your Georgetown Hoyas.

Oh, hi Georgetown. Meet the bubble. (And it’s definitely not “Moops”, George. #sfs)

With five games left to go in conference play, followed by the Big East Tournament, your Hoyas still have a lot of work left to do if they have any intention of making a run at making their first NCAA Tourney appearance since 2015.

But after tonight’s signature win, the bubble is now at least within sight.

Following the most balanced team effort of the Ewing era, that little win against ‘Nova during THE FLURRY GAME has given us a little thing called hope. And you know what they say about hope….

(We have at least a few more days of dreaming...until we light ourselves on fire.)

The Barack Obama Inauguration Day Award for Having the Biggest Crowds Ever Award:

REUTERS

Your Hoya Faithful at Kente One Arena.

shouts to GUHoyas.com for making it impossible to download or embed this photo

This is not a joke. With the exception of our last home game against Butler, the crowds at Kente One Arena have been pretty bad. And with government offices closed and snow piling up, many expected a tepid showing. But give credit where credit is due. The crowd was massive. The building was packed. The energy was palpable. And even the students came out in droves.

Good for you, D.C. It was nice to actually have a home court advantage for a change.

Now that we’re finally feeling slightly less suicidal these days, it’s time to keep the good times rolling as we hit the road. On Sunday, your Hoyas travel to Nebraska to face one of the toughest home crowds in the country. Those of you who remember our home loss to the Blue Jays earlier this year will know that we absolutely gave that game away. It was brutal, but it is what it is. And now, despite the cold, the corn and the crowd, your BARKING BULLDOGS will be looking for one thing: PAYBACK.

Let’s go Hoyas. Beat Creighton.

PS - if you know how to get one of these shirts, tell us