We Are Georgetown and You Aren’t: UConn Preview
This year, Vox is taking a page from Deadspin and New York’s books and giving you a guide for rooting against each of the Hoyas’ Big East opponents. In preparation for Saturday’s game against Connecticut, here are three reasons to hate the Huskies:
UConn’s coach has over 800 wins, won two national championships, and is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame. Needless to say, after coaching in the Big East for nearly 25 years, Calhoun’s teams have gotten in Georgetown’s way more than a few times. But you shouldn’t just hate Calhoun because he sometimes succeeds at Georgetown’s expense. You should hate Calhoun because he is a curmudgeon.
Calhoun’s press conference tirades are legendary (and sometimes justified). Last season, when Georgetown opened Big East play with a 74-63 drubbing of the Huskies, Calhoun was unsurprisingly not too happy at the post-game presser. Specifically, when talking about Georgetown’s play, he started talking about how “the freshman was great.” A reporter offered up Greg Monroe’s name, and Calhoun in typical fashion snapped back at him for assuming he didn’t know the name of the player he had scouted. The message he sent was clear though—Jim Calhoun does not respect the Monroe Doctrine.
As if there wasn’t enough anticipation for tomorrow’s No. 12 vs. No. 13 match-up, UConn upped the ante this afternoon, securing a verbal commitment from high school senior and top 20 prospect Roscoe Smith. The Baltimore product chose the Huskies over Georgetown (and Duke, but let’s ignore them). The 6-foot-8 wingman would have slotted nicely into a 2010 recruiting class already containing guard Markel Starks and big man Nate Lubick.
Instead, the Hoyas are going have to play against ESPN’s 16th-ranked prospect for the next four years. Normally, losing any one recruit isn’t fuel for some kind of rivalry, but the timing here can’t be coincidental. A major recruit narrows his choices down to two Big East powers and just so happens to announce his decision a day before they play? The Hoyas should show Smith the errors of his ways tomorrow.
As an actual player, Majok doesn’t really merit much hatred. He averages 1.8 points in about 15 minutes per game, and the stat line from his career-best game reads five points, four rebounds, and two blocks. But as a representation of the UConn program, it’s easy to hate the 6-foot-10 forward from Sudan (by way of Australia).
Majok represents the kind of player that a program like UConn can bring in that a program like Georgetown can’t. And by a program like UConn, I mean a program where this happens. Those allegations led to an NCAA investigation into Majok’s amateur eligibility, to go along with Majok’s academic ineligibility, which kept the member of the class 0f 2008 from playing his first game until this December.
Sure, all of Majok’s issues have been cleared up, and if he plays like he has been all season tomorrow, Georgetown shouldn’t be bothered, but Hoya fans can hold it over UConn that they don’t have any players on their roster who have had their NCAA eligibility questioned.