Okay, fine. Now that it's December I can no longer hold back talking about college hoops. Yes, this is when I attempt to turn this blog into one giant Hoya chatroom. So here goes:
In the first year of Coach John Thompson III, the Georgetown Hoyas, coming off their worst season since 1973, managed to win 19 games, including a couple in the Not-In-Tournament tournament. And while the two previous coaches were criticized for cupcake preseason schedules, the current coach should hear nothing of the sort. As JT3 told ESPN.com's Jeff Shelman, "The nature of our schedule is that we can have some tough times.... We realized that when we put it together. But at the end of the day, we have to be prepared for the Big East--and hopefully we will."
That preparation includes more away games in December than any other school in the Big East, a trip this Saturday to Oregon, next Thursday at no. 12 Illinois, and a game against the Duke Blue Devils in January. Thompson knows his team cannot afford to take it easy against usual suspects like Bethune-Cookman, Marymount, and St. Leo's--not in a Big East that now includes Louisville and Marquette, let alone UConn and Villanova.
"Our [long-term] goal is not to get to the tournament, it's to win the tournament. But you have to take steps along the way. It's a first step," he tells ESPN. Compare those sentiments with (now former) GU athletic director Joe Lang, who just two years ago said it was "unrealistic" to expect Georgetown to make it to the Big Dance every year.
Of course, not everyone thinks a tougher preseason is the right way to go. One former coach called Thompson "a fool." Nevertheless, says Thompson, "What other people think does not matter. It's up to that group of people that's in that gym right now."
Besides that, the former coach who called him a fool happens to be his father.
5 hours ago