We Are Georgetown and You’re Not: Duke 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 (and this special exception). In preparation for Saturday’s game against Duke, here are three reasons to hate the Blue Devils:
Duke hate is hardly unexplored territory. The Blue Devils provide plenty of fodder to make fun of, and have plenty of easy targets that have been attacked comprehensively. Much has been said both about the Cameron Crazies and the casual bandwagon Duke supporters that dot the country, but for Saturday your hate should focus on a very specific class of Dukie: the ones that some how find their way into the Verizon Center.
The hostility of Cameron Indoor Stadium is legendary, but it’s pretty easy to pack a friendly crowd into a 9,000-seat on-campus arena. Anyone who has seen the Hoyas play at Verizon know that it is not rare to see opposing fans infiltrate a building that can hold 20,000+. Saturday’s sold-out “gray out” (complete with special t-shirts on every seat) might be as close as Georgetown can get to a Cameron-like experience in the Phone Booth, but there will be at least a few Duke fans who make it in. Let them know (within reason) that they’re a long way from Tobacco Road. Bonus points if you can get them to put on the t-shirt.
Much like Georgetown, Duke’s team is based around a Big Three: Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer, and Nolan Smith. Obviously all three merit hate, but Smith gets singled out because he’s a local product from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The point guard went to high school at national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, but he played AAU ball for D.C. Assault with the likes of Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Julian Vaughn.
“That’s one of my good friends. I remember last year it was kind of weird playing against Nolan,” Wright said yesterday. “But once the game is on, we’re enemies.”
At one point Smith was actually considering Georgetown, but he betrayed his DMV roots for Tobacco Road. Although it’s possible that alongside fellow juniors Wright and Freeman, the backcourt would have been too crowded. Still, better he stayed home and took a hit to his minutes than become a Dukie.
This is more CBS’s fault than Duke’s, but it’s Coach K’s squad that is coming to play on Sunday, not Les Moonves and company. After January 1, it should be all Big East, all the time. At least that’s how JTIII would prefer it.
“In my perfect world, once the Big East starts, we’re just playing Big East games,” Thompson said.
For the fans Duke is a high point of the season regardless of the date, as a the grayed-out Verizon Center will attest. But as much as everyone would love to beat Duke, losing has the potential of derailing the Hoyas during the most important part of the season (see: January 17, 2009). Of course, no self-respecting Georgetown fan is expecting the Hoyas to lose tomorrow. But it is hard to argue Georgetown wouldn’t be better served facing Duke in December. A win against the Blue Devils then would look just as good in March, and the Hoyas could get some well-deserved rest. Then again, playing in January is acceptable if this happens.