A lot of things went right at the Verizon Center last Saturday, but let’s not get carried away – there’s definitely room for improvement. I mean, this is Georgetown, isn’t it?

With three years’ worth of basketball game-attendances under my belt, it takes a savvy senior like me to have the authority to point out all the ways in which our student body and our basketball team can make our gameday experience even better.

But before I really rip into my critique, I will grant that there were some things that happened out there this weekend that were sure to lift any Hoya’s heart. Among them:

The student body arrived early, and remained actively engaged in the game for the entire afternoon. It’s mid-November, and there’s no doubt that hundreds of Hoyas woke up on Saturday morning both hungover from Friday night and harried by the pre-Thanksgiving swell of midterms and papers that descends upon Georgetown like an annual plague.

Yet many managed to shake off these pesky distractions, and by 11:30 our student sections were already absolutely packed. This is a far cry from recent years, when even during our most important matchups we still had fans trickling into the seats behind the baskets four to five minutes after the game had tipped off. I remember back when I was a freshman, we only had a single student section on one side of the arena. And even with the Pep Band taking up 15 rows, we couldn’t fill half of it.

Not only did students pack the areas closest to the court, but there were so many who wanted to come to the game that we were forced to resort to using our overflow seats up in the 400 section. It would seem logical that this would leave many Hoyas ready to riot. Surprisingly, however, the students I spoke to that were seated up there didn’t even seem to mind. They shook it off, saying that they still had a great time at the game, and they’ll just have to get there even earlier next time.

Furthermore, these students who came in droves cheered at all of the right times, conducting themselves like smart fans who were able to enjoy the game without embarrassing Georgetown. No one yelled anything tasteless during the National Anthem. All game long, each achievement received a burst of well-deserved applause. Even the referees’ occasional errors were met with an appropriate level of skepticism and booing. Despite the fact that Georgetown wasn’t getting all of the calls in its own house, no one felt compelled to ignorantly rain chants of “bulls-t” down from the rafters.

On top of that, our gameday entertainment, was, well, actually entertaining. Both before the game and during stops in play, students and fans displayed their finest dance moves, and many were highlighted on our brand-new, sparklingly crystal-clear, high-definition Jumbotron. To the cheers of many, Jack the Bulldog ripped apart William & Mary themed boxes and balloons with the fury of a Jesuit scorned. And despite the fact that half of the Pep Band’s members were performing at our final football game, the musicians were for the most part in midseason form. Thankfully, they even brought back “Rock & Roll Part II.”

As for whoever it was that came up with the idea of highlighting before the opening tip the addition of “2007” to the Georgetown Final Four banner hanging way up near Verizon’s ceiling, well, they deserve a resounding pat on the back. That’s exactly the type of detail that adds substantially to everyone’s excitement, but that would have been either overlooked or understated in the years past.

For their part, the fifth-ranked Hoyas themselves were also another reason to smile. True, they didn’t crush middling William & Mary, probably shot way too many three-pointers, and needed to get a little tougher on defense, but all of the signs of another run towards greatness were once again present. Roy demonstrated that he’s ready to lead the way; whenever Georgetown needed a big basket, he was able to deliver. Jessie Sapp showed off some sensational slices to the hoop, and Jonathan Wallace clearly hasn’t forgotten how to shoot the basketball over his summer vacation

And that – in a nutshell – is the state of Georgetown Basketball, as demonstrated during our season opener last weekend.

Like I said, we had to get those precious few good tidbits out of the way before we isolate the true problems. It’s just that all of those areas which once invited criticism have managed to turn themselves around, to the point where once we’re through talking about the good, there really isn’t much left to do except nitpick.

Come to think of it, maybe we deserve to get a little carried away after all.

Chris Seneca is a senior in the College. He can be reached at senecathehoya.com. SLOW MOTION appears every other Tuesday in HOYA SPORTS.

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