As per tradition, I got together with Casual Hoya to preview the upcoming rivalry game but really just talk about other stuff. This year’s back and forth was handled by the not-so-bad-when-you-get-to-know-him Roey Hadar. We discussed the Villanova-Georgetown rivalry, the Ewing era thus far, and his affliction with ketchup (among other hot topics).
Hope you enjoy! Feel free to head over to Casual Hoya and chat them up. They love the banter.
Chris: You all in on the Ewing era? If not, what do you still need to see?
Roey: You bet! Ewing has proven that he is a solid in-game coach who has been able to get the most out of the talent he’s got. In practice, I think he needs to be able to convert that into recruiting success to make this a successful rebuild. So far, there seem to be good signs on that front. I’m excited to see what this team looks like with players recruited for the system Ewing is trying to build.
Chris: Did Ewing do too good of a job with Jessie Govan and how much will you miss him when he heads to the NBA this offseason?
Roey: He’s definitely done a hell of a job getting Govan to play at an elite level. There hasn’t been too much talk from the Hoya faithful about Govan as an NBA player. He’s definitely posted draft-worthy stats, but against pretty weak competition. Unless he’s being buzzed about as a first-round pick come the spring, it may help him to come back for another year & play on a better team. Save this response and rub it in my face when Govan declares this April and we have no big man on the roster.
Chris: Govan and Marcus Derrickson are having fantastic years - who else does Villanova need to watch out for?
Roey: Nobody...just guard the two of them and see what happens. Ok, fine, there are a few other guys to legitimately watch out for. After two years of languishing in JTIII’s offense, Kaleb Johnson has become a meaningful scorer, averaging double figures. Freshman guard Jahvon Blair has been known to spout off on offense occasionally. On the defensive end, Jonathan Mulmore can be pesky— he leads the team with over a steal per game.
Chris: Is JTII still pretending to be Emperor Palpatine in his suite?
Roey: First of all, JTII has no use for suites. He’s perfectly fine running the show from his big wooden courtside throne. Fortunately for the Hoyas, the elder Mr. Thompson has pulled back considerably in the Ewing era. Gone are the days when he would feed coaching directives to his son during timeouts. While nobody can be sure how much influence JTII exerts on the program as a whole (probably still a lot), he seems to have taken a step back from intervening in the team’s day-to-day affairs.
Chris: Is Villanova a game that Georgetown fans look forward to or have the beatings become numbing?
Roey: People are still excited. Student turnout is higher for this one. Alumni make a point to come back. The buzz is still greater than it is for any other game in conference play. Even the losses can be helpful. Last year’s Senior Day slaughter may have actually helped convince a fair number of people that it was time for a coaching change so we probably owe you a thank you for that one. This year expectations are really low for every game, so in terms of the expected outcome, this one won’t be much different from most of the others. Here’s hoping that it becomes a meaningful rivalry again soon.
Chris: Any inside scoop you have on the KenPom/RPI 300+ teams Ewing is scheduling in the non-con next year? Save some for the rest of us!
Roey: After this year’s elaborate cupcake feast, I imagine next season’s non-conference schedule will look a little more normal. The logic for this year seemed to be to allow Ewing to adjust to college coaching & get some wins under his belt. I would hope that’s not something that the program thinks is necessary next year. Otherwise, we might as well join the MEAC.
Chris: Are there any Casual Hoya staffers that would dare put ketchup on a hot dog?
Roey: Yes. That’s me. I see no problem with putting ketchup on a hot dog. Add some mustard and some relish too if you want. It’s better than turning the hot dog into a damn salad like those Chicagoans do. Although, for what it’s worth, people who put mayo on hot dogs are savages, as are people who put ketchup on steaks.
Chris: If you could pick one Villanova player (current or former) to have Mac McClung yam on, who would it be and why?
Roey: Might as well make it Archie. He embodied the prototype of player who you love if he plays for your team & hate if he plays against you. He tormented the Hoyas when I was in college & I would have loved to see Mac put him on a poster.
Chris: Worst Amtrak experience you’ve ever had?
Roey: Hmmm... they all blend together at this point. I just expect to never get there on time. I do remember an occasion when the train decided to stall for an hour when it was already in DC. As much as I’ve had issues with Amtrak, however, it has consistently been infinitely better than taking the bus.
Chris: Give us a prediction for Wednesday’s affair.
Roey: Not too much reason for us to be optimistic here. 84-69, with the Villains taking it.