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The Casual Awards: Slap The Floor

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NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, hello there. Happy f*cking March. While you were bracing for some random late winter snowfall, we were slapping hardwood floors and shouting at balls and other inanimate objects. What better way to celebrate a final home game than with a little bit of hardware to those most deserving? Without further ado, or overtimes….or shot clock malfunctions….or concussion protocol tests….we bring you an intoxicating little edition of THE (WORLD FAMOUS) CASUAL AWARDS.

And away we go….

The Chris Wright Heart of a Champion Award:

Jessie Govan.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In what was easily the most glorious terrible performance, or the ugliest greatest performance, of the season, Jessie G. left the Hoya faithful alternately flustered, baffled, and eventually, elated. This was a game like no other we’d ever seen from Jessie. He started off missing his first nine shots, and then he missed a few crucial free throws, committed six turnovers, and left Mamu alone under the basket in overtime (after THAT timekeeping decision)….

and yet, somehow, he put on his rally cap and miraculously finished the contest with a team high 21 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.

With plenty of friends and family in the stands, Jessie was poised to have another breakout performance during a season in which he is bound to win all-Big East honors. But alas, by the end of regulation, it wasn’t to be. Jessie only had three buckets, a number of costly turnovers, and just didn’t seem to have it. And yet, the basketball gods at Kente One Arena smiled down on the big fella once more and propelled him to one last victory.

In the two overtime sessions, the Hoyas relentlessly fed the ball to Govan, and, in a performance that certainly cannot be described as pretty, Jessie grinded it out, didn’t allow his emotions to get him down, and ended the contest by scoring Georgetown’s FINAL FIFTEEN POINTS, scratching and clawing his way there with a deep three pointer, some post ups, some free throws, and some putbacks, including this one, which put the game out of reach

and, fittingly, corralled the final rebound when Seton Hall’s shot missed at the end of double OT, the buzzer sounding shortly thereafter, which must have felt like this:

From the Washington Post:

He scored all 11 of Georgetown’s points in the second overtime and ended up doubled over, fighting back tears before program legend Alonzo Mourning came over to say a few words.

A tip of the hat to Jessie, for a game that Patrick Ewing called “the best game of [Jessie’s] career”. He fought, he grinded, he fought some more, and eventually, he left the floor with the ball in his hands, a senior night victory, and a big goofy smile on his face. Both his first and last home games ended in double overtime, but unlike that first horror show against Radford, the big fella ensured that this one ended with the Hoyas on top.

The “What Did the 5 Fingers Say to the Face” Award for Excellence in Slapping:

Big Game James Akinjo.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ok. Let’s set the scene for everyone. It’s late in the second half of a critical game between two bubble teams and, until this point, the game has been an absolute rock fight. Enter Quincy McKnight, a 6’-4’’ combo guard who drove to the basket and scored a layup to give The Hall the lead. Important note: this was McKnight’s one and only field goal of the game. He missed his other six shots, committed four turnovers and had four fouls. Despite these facts, he took it upon himself to stare at James Akinjo, slap the floor ghoulishly like some dingus from Durham, and declare his intention to shut down our guy James.

But the thing is, it’s usually not good form to throw down the gauntlet against a guy like Big Game James Akinjo, who did a bit of fancy dribbling, stared at McKnight’s face, screamed

and took it right at McKnight. He scored off the glass, got in McKnight’s face and stared him down without drawing a technical, and then reciprocated the floor slap with a little slap of his own, electrifying the home crowd, and letting Seton Hall know he wasn’t scared of the stage:

Much has been said and written about James Akinjo this season. And he’s certainly had his ups and downs this year. Most freshmen do (see: Mac McClung’s performance in this game). Saturday night at Kente One was no different. James missed a lot of shots (he was only six of 19 from the floor and one of seven from deep), but he logged a team-high 47 minutes of action, played with poise, and produced what has thus far been the most iconic play of the season with that vicious bucket, staredown and floor slap. The Big East leader in assists, Big Game James cemented his role as floor general. And on a night that was meant to honor the seniors, it was a freshman who stole the show.

[SwordOfBrunner note: Govan was 7 of 21 for 21 points, Akinjo was 6 of 19 for 16 points. How many people would have thought Akinjo had a worse night from the field before reading that? Basketball is weird man]

The Windex Award for Cleaning Glass:

Josh LeBlanc.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dude. This kid is so fun to watch. In 46 minutes against Seton Hall, he put up 14 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. Want to know who played hard? Well, Rasheed Wallace will tell you:

But IN PARTICULAR this guy brings it every single play. His putback dunk off of the Akinjo miss at the end of regulation should’ve been a game winner.

In an otherwise lackluster and lethargic first half, LeBlanc was everywhere in that opening frame. We want his energy. We need his energy.

The Bill Swerski’s Superfans Award for Enduring Numerous Heart Attacks:

Us.

Let’s be honest. This game was hard to watch. It was painful and terrible, and yet, all that we care about is the W. Still, had we lost, there were about 750 plays that made our hearts explode. To relive some of these mini-heart attacks, we’ve jotted down some of the most trying moments in one of the most excruciatingly painful wins in Hoya history. Here we go (not in chronological order because it’s Sunday night and we’re lazy and tired):

  • When Malinowski turned the ball over on an inbounds pass at the end of the first overtime, gifting Seton Hall a chance to win the game.
  • When Mac played a little too much hero ball early in the first half.
  • When the shot clock started too early and, despite Mamu throwing a runner that failed to hit the rim, Seton Hall being awarded the ball under the basket with a full second left.
  • When Jessie fell asleep after that Mamu clock mishap and allowed the big Georgian to drill a wide open three footer with one second left.
  • When Josh LeBlanc missed the front end of a one and one late in the game.
  • When Gregg Malinowski missed a free throw in overtime.
  • All six times Jessie Govan turned the ball over...all of them.
  • When Trey Mourning bricked a wide open three that would have put us up eight points midway through the second half.
  • When Trey Mourning immediately took the next shot, a baseline jumper that rimmed out.
  • When James Akinjo and his 80%+ free throw percentage missed a foul shot early in the game, and then missed an even bigger one later in the game.
  • When Myles Powell hit what must have been his fourth absurdly deep three with a hand in his face.
  • When the refs gave Kevin Willard a warning instead of a technical foul.
  • When LeBlanc appeared to grimace with a knee injury.
  • When Kaleb was said to be out of the game with a possible concussion.
  • When Jessie missed the game-winning shot at the end of regulation.
  • When Jessie missed a huge free throw at the end of the first overtime.
  • When NYHoya chucked his daughter’s Cookie Monster across the room and thought one of its eyes had popped out.
  • Every single time they showed the Big East standings or the bubble watch and reminded us of the magnitude of this game.

Johnnie Cochran Award For Outstanding Defense:

Jagan Mosely.

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

After two games as a starter, it appears that Jagan is becoming something of a fixture in Ewing’s oft-changing lineups. And rightfully so. On Saturday night, Jersey Jagan brought his Jersey Finest against his home state team. Despite Myles Powell putting up 35 points, he needed 27 shots to get there, and Jagan was dutifully in his face for most of the game.

Nothing came easy for Powell, who barely got to the free throw line.

We’ve said it in these Awards, but we’ll say it again. In the second half of this season, Jagan seems to have identified his role (and more than likely has been employed by our staff to his strengths) and has been playing solid basketball. He’s not a great shooter, but he takes good shots. He’s not a great ball handler, but he knows when to go to the tin.

And he’s probably our best defender and sure to draw our opponent’s best wing player. Developing our rotation has been integral to turning our season around, and Mosely’s a really important part of that rotation right now. He’s Jersey Strong.

The Battle of Stalingrad Award for Winning a War of Attrition:

Us.

The Soviets vs. the Nazis. This game was a disgusting rock fight. Shots were missed. The teams combined to miss 50 three point attempts. And yet somehow, just like the Russians in 1944, the home team prevailed. #sfs

[SwordOfBrunner note:

]

The “WILSSSSOOOOON” Award for Talking to Inanimate Objects:

Jessie Govan.

Jessie’s frustration was palpable. As his usual feathery touch proved less than feathery (he missed four of five threes, 14 of 21 field goals, and three of nine foul shots), Jessie was bewildered. He repeatedly stretched his arms and shouted. He later picked up the ball, stared at it and shook it. Later, when he finally hit a big shot, he grabbed the ball, lifted it up and said “THANK YOU”.

The 1972 Munich Olympics Gold Medal Game Award for Absurdity in Timekeeping:

The Referees: Pat Driscoll, Mike Roberts, Nathan Farrell.

We just don’t understand this one. Seton Hall inbounds the ball to Mamu with four seconds left. The shot clock starts slightly early. Mamu takes a wild running one-hander that clanks off the backboard and isn’t rebounded. Somehow, after several minutes of reviewing the play, Seton Hall ends up with the ball under the basket with a full second left (which they promptly used to tie the game).

We get it, but we actually don’t. What the hell.

Tony Romo Award for Excellence in In-Game Commentary:

Lots of you (for your witty, but usually not witty comments during the game).

Here are some of our favorites:

Seton Hall? More like sit on your balls! Oooooo

Mr. Belvedere FTW. LFG!

Posted by rightsaidsead on Mar 2, 2019 | 6:25 PM

Dikumbo?

Posted by BenHoya on Mar 2, 2019 | 6:57 PM

A real fecal festival out there right now

Posted by OmaHoya on Mar 2, 2019 | 7:03 PM

Can’t score, Can’t rebound, Can’t play defense

Other than that they are playing pretty well.

Posted by SeattleBucsFan on Mar 2, 2019 | 7:15 PM

Halftime snacks

Prozac, Abilify, Ambien, Seroquel, Haldol

Posted by FiveOnDalton on Mar 2, 2019 | 7:24 PM

please trey mourning stop shooting for the love of shit

Posted by CasualHoya on Mar 2, 2019 | 8:06 PM

MAKE YOUR THROWS. THEY ARE FREE.

Posted by Peggy’s Special on Mar 2, 2019 | 8:13 PM

The Heart attack Hoyas

a tradition unlike any other.

Posted by Catcher Freeman on Mar 2, 2019 | 8:30 PM

the fucking free throws

the goddamn fucking free throws

Posted by TexaHoya on Mar 2, 2019 | 8:47 PM

My husband’s yelling just woke up the deaf cat.

This game is intense.

Posted by Peggy’s Special on Mar 2, 2019 | 8:53 PM

that game gave me spicy armpits

Posted by thehoyazete on Mar 2, 2019 | 9:12 PM

Georgetown is undefeated in double overtime in 2019

Posted by Northeast Corridor on Mar 2, 2019 | 9:19 PM

Sarcastically saying “good luck in Europe” re: Govan when he was struggling, on Senior Day no less, wins the opposite of this award. (Also, we graduated with Kevin Braswell and, man, playing basketball professionally and coaching in New Zealand sounds way better than co-managing a Soup’R Crackers in Fayetteville, North Carolina, like we do.)

The No Pain No Gain Award for Weakness in Non-Conference Scheduling:

Coach Ewing.

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

Alright, we’re gonna be Debbie Downer here for a second, but we are ACHINGLY close to an NCAA Tournament berth, with only three guaranteed games left on our schedule to bolster our resume. Know what would have helped…

Seriously. Two straight years of horrible scheduling should serve as a lesson for all future schedulers. We really should be in the tournament this year, even with all of our close losses, youth, and warts. But we likely won’t because of our atrocious non-conference strength of schedule.

THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. We know how the metrics work. We will volunteer to create the schedule for you. For free. Because we need more productive hobbies than writing these awards, and it’s really slow here at the Soup’R Crackers.

The Big Man U Award for Being the Best School in the Country for Big Men:

Georgetown University.

When Jessie was struggling in the first half, he went to the locker room to get advice from his Hall of Fame big man coach, and when he emerged from the tunnel after halftime, another Hall of Fame big man came over to talk to him.

Be aggressive and dominate. Can it be all so simple?

We’ll find out over the next two weeks as we close out regular season play and head to MSG.

The Holy Jesus Please Don’t Throw it All Away and Lose to F*cking DePaul Award:

The 2018-2019 Georgetown Hoyas.

Solid win, fellas. We needed that one to keep our tournament hopes alive. And now we control our fate. Just one more thing:

Holy Jesus. Please don’t throw it all away and lose to f*cking DePaul.

We know you beat them with relative ease last week. But it’s hard to beat a team twice in two weeks. And this game will be on DePaul’s home floor. On their senior night. (SPEAKING OF WHICH, WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE TO FACE TWO TEAMS ON THEIR RESPECTIVE SENIOR DAYS?) And just in case you needed another warning, DePaul just rolled over St. John’s. This team isn’t bad and has six wins in conference.

So bring your game faces and take care of business and don’t lose to DePaul, or else this magical win against Seton Hall will be for naught and our season will be more or less over, save a run through the BET.

In the meantime, a few more days of dreaming...

Let’s go Hoyas. Beat DePaul.