Today at 5 p.m., #2 Maryland faces #3 Georgetown in the men's soccer College Cup semifinal. Without a basketball game in sight between the two teams, it's one of the bigger moments in the rivalry in recent history. We talked with Andrew Geiger of Casual Hoya, SB Nation's Georgetown blog, hoping to discuss the soccer game, but it devolved into a more interesting conversation about the two basketball programs. His responses to our questions are below, but make sure to check out our answers to his queries at their site.
TT: This is Georgetown's first time in the College Cup, do the Hoyas have enough experience on the team to handle the pressure?
AG: This is indeed the first time the Hoyas have played in the College Cup, but this group isn't just happy to be here and certainly won't be fearing any turtle. This team has plenty of veteran leadership led by senior midfielder Ian Christianson, who is a cross between Pele, Messi, Beckham, Ronaldo and Landon Donovan and senior Andy Riemer who is also a cross between Pele, Messi, Beckham, Ronaldo and Landon Donovan. Sophomore goalie Tomas Gomez is already being looked at for potential National Team consideration and freshman Brandon Allen led the nation in freshman scoring with 15 goals. The Hoya shave been handling pressure all season, and though this game is more on the national stage, are treating it as just another win they need to get to accomplish their goal of a National Championship.
What has been the strength of Georgetown's team this season?
Georgetown has great length on the perimeter, as Otto Porter, Greg Whittington and...oh, is this a soccer question? Um, I would say that the strength of Georgetown's soccer team has been the steady leadership of senior midfielder Ian Christianson, who is a cross between Pele, Messi, Beckham, Ronaldo and Landon Donovan and senior Andy Riemer who is also a cross between Pele, Messi, Beckham, Ronaldo and Landon Donovan. Don't sleep on freshman sensation Brandon Allen as he can put the ball in the back of the net, and sophomore goalie sensation Tomas Gomez is as good as any backstop on any pitch out there.
[Ed. Note: Geiger's soccer knowledge is clearly unparalleled, and if this team is anything like he says they are, Maryland should lose by approximately five hundred goals.]
In the series, Georgetown is 0-27 against Maryland, does that change Friday?
Why the hell not? And when the Hoyas improve to 1-27 against the Terps it's going to be really sweet. Are there Vegas lines for these games, by the way? Assuming there aren't I would say that the Hoyas are probably a 1.5 goal underdog to the mighty Terps, and that is a wager I would take given this team's never say die attitude they have displayed all season.
Now more importantly, on to basketball. The Hoyas have had an impressive start, is it time to think about Final Four aspirations in both sports?
Whoa, easy there, my turtle friend. If anyone should follow the 'slow and steady wins the race' wise words of advice it should be you. The Hoyas are currently ranked 15th in the country, which frankly is higher than I thought they'd be all season and we're only in early December. At the risk of jinxing the entire season, a quick look at the schedule reveals a slew of winnable games against Towson, Western Carolina, Longwood and American before Big East play begins next month, so it's possible that the Hoyas could crack the Top 10 soon which would be an enormous feat for John Thompson III as the Hoyas would continue its streak of being ranked in the Top 10 every year since 2006, a feat matched by only Duke, UNC and Pitt.
I don't think this team has the depth to make a Final Four run, but certainly a Sweet Sixteen isn't out of the question and having said that, I am now ready for the soul crushing and program ending loss to Directional School U in the 1st round.
The team seems to have a balanced scoring attack, was that expected?
Scoring was a big question mark this season after the Hoyas lost their three top scorers in Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson and Jason Clark, but the current group has really picked up the slack. On any given night Porter, Whittington, Starks, Lubick, Hopkins or even freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera could lead the team in scoring in what always is a balanced offense.
Maryland missed out on Mikael Hopkins and didn't pursue Greg Whittington hard enough, in our humble opinion. I've heard from national writers about the success of the latter, but how have the two of them looked?
Both are still sophomores and will have growing pains throughout the season, but so far, certainly so good. Hopkins has been asked to do a lot this season and fill Sims shoes as the starting center and though he can be frustrating at times, he is better as a sophomore than Sims was. Hopkins has very good footwork and gets to the hoop - the problem is that he is missing a lot of good looks. Whittington has really elevated his game this year and at The Legends Classic in Brooklyn he began to get that national attention you speak of. As a 6'8" 2 guard he causes a lot of matchup problems and has been effective both on the perimeter and in the paint. It's not a stretch to say that he has pro potential, so thanks for ignoring him when he was All-Met!
With all this conference re-alignment stuff, how much does it even affect a school without a football program? Are you worried about the future of the Big East?
Y-E-S. Georgetown is in a bad spot being a hoops only school in a world in which football rules. It doesn't do much good for us to worry about the future of the Conference because we can't do anything about it as we hold no leverage other than a vote at the Big East table. All we can do is go out and win basketball games, and we've done a pretty good job of that this season. It's difficult to predict what the landscape of the conferences will be in a couple of years with all of this realignment nonsense going on, but I will say that we're thankful to longer have to play Rutgers every season, so congrats.
Finally, when are we going to get this rivalry started up again? Is that a thing GT fans want as much as Maryland fans?
I think Hoyas fans are divided on this. There are those who are adamantly against resuming this rivalry based on the statements made in public going back to Gary Williams and even more recently by Kevin Anderson. There are others who couldn't care less about what has been said and simply want these two national powers to resume the rivalry. Personally, I would prefer Georgetown and Maryland to play one another each season while alternating between Comcast and Verizon. If the powers that be can't agree on where to have the game, we do have some time remaining on an aircraft carrier we rented off the coast of Jacksonville. You bring the mops, we'll bring the booze.
And a prediction for today's game?
3-2 Hoyas in OT.
A sincere thank you from us to the people at Casual Hoya. Go check it out, and let's hope we have some non-hypothetical basketball games to discuss in the future.