Time to get some insight on the Hoyas from the guys who know them best.
WVUIE97: There was a lot of chatter in the wake of the ESPN 30 for 30 last night. How did Georgetown fans view WVU during our time as conference compatriots?
Casual Hoya: I always viewed West Virginia as a hated rival of Georgetown. The rivalry didn't rise to the level of Syracuse, UConn or perhaps even Pitt, but the majority of our games featured competitive, tough and hard-nosed basketball. West Virginia had a few villains as well, mainly in the form of Kevin Pittsnogle and Kevin Jones on the court, and of course Bobby Huggins on the sidelines. As far as major moments in the Hoyas-Mountaineers rivalry, I'll probably put Patrick Ewing, Jr's block at the end of the game to give the Hoyas the win in Morgantown ahead of the Georgetown - West Virginia Big East Tournament Championship in 2010.
WVUIE97: Any noticeable difference in recruiting since the breakup of the football and basketball schools? Has the new Big East noticed a difference in perception nationally from the old Big East?
Casual Hoya: Georgetown has a top 10 recruiting class coming in next season, so the immediate effects of the new Big East haven't truly been felt on the recruiting trail and the Georgetown name should still have recruits interested in the program. I do worry that if the Hoyas continue on a path of postseason failure (no Sweet Sixteens since 2007) that there will be an entire generation of kids that won't think of Georgetown the way we do, but I suppose we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. Regarding the perception of the new conference, I suppose that depends who you follow on twitter and what channel you're watching. ESPN has been slurping the ACC for years.
WVUIE97: Contrast expectations vs. reality for 2013-14. Were you expecting more of a dominant role in the new Big East?
Casual Hoya: Hoyas fans are pissed off right now because we didn't make the Dance, but the reality was that this was going to be be somewhat of a transitional year anyway. Otto Porter left to the NBA, Greg Whittington tore his ACL and then was kicked out of school, and Josh Smith was suspended for academic reasons. Those events, plus injuries to role players like Jabril Trawick, really prevented this team from gaining any momentum during the season and it was tough for JT3 to figure out his rotations. It would have been nice to win the Big East in its first year after the defectors left for greener pastures, but I can't say I'm surprised that we're playing in the NIT.
WVUIE97: How has GT fared this year with wide open 3s?
Casual Hoya: I haven't seen many Georgia Tech games this season so I couldn't tell you. Georgetown, however, is streaky at best from deep. Markel Starks, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Reggie Cameron are the guys who can knock down threes with any degree of consistency, so watch out and please leave them open!
WVUIE97: Anything about WVU's basketball team that you're leery of?
Casual Hoya: Whenever Bobby Huggins is on the other sideline, you know that you're going to get a well-coached team that is going to come in and play tough. The fact that West Virginia has won the previous five meetings against Georgetown has me scared shitless, and that you guys just beat Kansas means you certainly have the talent to pull the 'upset'.
WVUIE97: So...a circus has forced this game into the confines of McDonough Gymnasium. What kind of crowd do you guys expect? Are there tickets available?
Casual Hoya: If it wasn't the circus then it would have been a Jonas Brothers concert or Pokemon on Ice, as such is life as a 4th class tenant of the Verizon Center. That this game is now being played on campus is one of the more awesome things about it, as the students will pack the gym to its 2,500 capacity and give us a true home court advantage that is often lacking in our glitzy NBA arena. I expect a raucous crowd much like Georgetown's last NIT game at McDonough back in 2005, where a squad led by freshman Jeff Green throttled Cal State Fullerton by like 20. From what I understand tix are only available to members of the Hoya Hoop Club and are free to the students, so tell your peeps to stay away!
WVUIE97: What do we need to know about this year's version of the Hoyas?
Casual Hoya: You'll know all you need to know in the first 10 minutes of the game. If the bigs like Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick are sucking and Jabril Trawick is in early foul trouble, then this game will likely go your way. It sounds simple, but that's really been the formula for most games Georgetown has lost this season.
WVUIE97: How do you see the game playing out?
Casual Hoya: I have to think that the team is embarrassed by what happened against DePaul in the Big East Tournament and will come out guns blazing in front of a revved up home crowd. I haven't seen much of West Virginia this season, but assuming you guys haven't changed that much from when we last saw you, there's no reason not to think this game will come down to the final few possessions. I give the edge to the Hoyas since senior Markel Starks is probably the best player on the floor, and losing to West Virginia in what is likely his final game in front of his classmates on campus doesn't seem to be the right ending to his career on the Hilltop.