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Hoyas on the Best Local Team, plus Mason Nuggets

Here's something interesting; when you ask the guys on Georgetown who the best local college basketball team is, they immediately start comparing themselves to George Mason. George Mason! Then, with a little prodding, they might talk about Maryland. G-Dub never comes up. Now, this might be a special circumstance, because Georgetown and George Mason have a lot of local Maryland guys who knew each other in high school, and the Mason guys have played in open gyms at Georgetown when their gym is being repaired or occupied, and they all face each other in the Kenner League. Still, who would have envisioned the day when you would ask the top 10 team about being the best local squad, and they'd use George Mason as the measuring stick?

(Mason nugget one: in the warm-ups for Midnight Madness on Friday evening, a new manager tried to feed a ball to Jim Larranaga, but he wasn't looking and the ball slammed into the coach. "Throw at the assistants, not the head coach," assistant Chris Caputo advised the manager, as Larranaga laughed.)

(Mason nugget two: The first several hundred fans Friday night received a goody bag including a yellow-and-green wig, a piece of green chalk, a little megaphone, a face marker and a card listing the top 10 ways to prove your Mason fandom. One suggestion was to practice driving back and forth to the Pat Dome. Another was to name your pet George, or Mason, or Gunston.)

(Mason nugget three: Larranaga is a careful coach. Which is why his team practiced for the slam dunk contest and the three-point contest before Midnight Madness, while Larranaga sat on the sideline and yelled "That's good!!!" and stuff like that at his dunking players. This is called perfectionism; rehearsed slam dunk contests. C'mon.)

Anyhow, here are the Georgetown quotes:

Roy Hibbert, who's the best team in the area? We had a little Georgetown-George Mason rivalry going on in open gym, [and] they're a really good team, they work well together. Maryland's a good team, but I really don't know too much about them. I'm really focused on Georgetown, but we'd love to play those guys any time. So in the future, maybe. I'm from Maryland, I live close to Maryland's campus, it would be a great rivalry. I know they played 'em back in the 70s; I'm not sure why they don't play any more, but you know, it depends on our schedule and what's going on. Coach makes the decisions that he makes, so we move from there.

And what would happen if you played them? It would go down in history, I would say. It would be a great turnout. I know a lot of people that I know would love to see that.

Compare the Big East and the ACC: The ACC's a really tough league but I think the Big East is even better, we have top 10 teams we play every week, and I believe you get the best competition every night when you play in the Big East.

Jeff Green, who's the best team in the area? Georgetown, without a doubt. George Mason had their run last year, they're still gonna be a good team, but in my mind I feel like we're the best team, even though we might not get a chance to play each other to try to figure that out. But in my mind I feel like we've got the best talent around the area. Maryland's a great team too, it's just that all the spotlight is on George Mason because they had that great run last year. So if they do it again, more power to them, but I still feel like we're the best team.

Should Georgetown play Maryland? I mean, [fans] want to see it, but we're not trying to just go out there and figure out who the best team in the area is, we're trying to be the best team in the nation. Maryland, they're a great team, but if we play 'em we play 'em, if we don't we don't. I'm not saying that we should. It'd be a great game, two great teams going at it, but I really don't care whether we play 'em or not.

Tyler Crawford, who's the best team in the area? Um, I'll go out on a limb and say us, but at the same time, I couldn't tell you. Hopefully it'll be us in the end.

Jonathan Wallace, who's the best team in the area? I'm not even sure. You know, I'd like to view ourselves as being the best team in the area. I feel like we've put a lot of work in during the offseason, but at the same time, nothing's guaranteed. So we've got to come out every night and play as hard as we can.

Would you want to face Maryland? Hey, it's fine with me. At this point there's so much competition, you want to play the best, because that's a way of measuring yourself. So if that was to happen, so be it, but we're ready to take on any challenge that we have to face.

Kenny Izzo, who's the best team in the area? I think a lot of people [compare local teams], maybe because we don't play those guys a lot, and it's just natural to kind of compare how they would do against each other. I know our guys on the team, me in particular and individually each player, we don't really care about what they're doing. You know, they put out good teams, and if was fun for the area to have everyone playing so well last year, but really we can't waste any time or energy worrying about what they're doing during the season. You know, we're focused on what we're doing. And the more success for them, the better. It's great for the area, it's great for D.C. I wouldn't have any problem playing them, but it's not something we're worked up over. I mean, we know some of their guys over there, but it's not like we're dying to play them, we just want to do the best we can with the teams we have scheduled.

JTIII, what's the party line again? I'll give you the same answer I've given for two or three years: as you put a schedule together there are a lot of different things you look at. I have categorically said the team I don't want to play is Princeton, and with everyone else we'll see how it comes together. There are a lot of issues with playing Maryland, there's a long history there, and I can give reasons why they won't play us. But there's no one that I would say that we're not going to play.

Think you'll play Maryland before I retire? I don't know when you're going to retire.

I've got another 25 years: Hopefully.

Then a reporter older and wiser than I pointed out that bloggers must be paid pretty handsomely if I'll be able to retire in 25 years, and then I realized maybe I was overly optimistic on that front, but we'll see. I still say I retire before Georgetown plays Maryland.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 16, 2006; 6:02 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: What You Need to Know, in Fewer Than 250 Words


We'll all be about 300 years old before the Hoyas are man enough to play GW. Until then, we'll enjoy calling them cowards, which they are.

Posted by: GW Matt | October 17, 2006 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Pass the fly swatter.

Posted by: JG | October 17, 2006 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Ditto GW Matt - Hail to the Buff & Blue!

Posted by: BigColonial | October 17, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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