A far, far wiser man than I once coined the epic phrase, “Don’t call it a comeback. We’ve been here for years.” With the way they have been treated by the media so far this year, Cool James might as well have been talking about the 2001 incarnation of the Hoyas.

Despite the fact that they are one of the only two unbeaten teams in Division I men’s college basketball, the Hoyas have pretty much gotten no respect from the media, or for that matter, the nation’s coaches.

Exhibit A: Broadcasting extraordinaire Dave Sims of ESPN Plus referred to at least three different players as “Victor Riley” during the team’s first win against Seton Hall. For those of you who don’t follow the team so closely, Victor Riley does not play basketball for Georgetown, he plays offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. At 328 pounds though, you have to figure he would be a pretty imposing figure in the paint. The Hoyas do have a Victor Samnick, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, and a Gerald Riley, a 6-foot-6 freshman forward, but that didn’t stop Sims, who I’m pretty sure called senior Anthony Perry “Victor Riley” as well.

Exhibit B: This one also comes from the boys up in Bristol. When ichigan State lost to Indiana, the nation’s longest winning streak became shared by Stanford and Georgetown. Well, as the punk anchor (I think it was Trey Wingo, but it doesn’t really matter) read the copy, he used the most incredulous tone I’ve ever heard on the show. He used the same tone I imagine an anchor using if Dick Trickle won the Daytona 500.

Furthermore, every damn time they show highlights (which is rare) or give the score of a Georgetown game, its almost always prefaced by the word “surprising” or “upstart” as if to imply that winning is not part of our basketball tradition. Maybe it’s just me, but when a 14-0 team wins yet another game, it’s not that surprising; it’s surprising when they lose one.

Exhibit C: The other undefeated team in Division I, Stanford, currently enjoys the number one position in both the writer’s poll and the coach’s poll. Meanwhile, the Hoyas are number 9 and number 11, respectively, in the two polls.

The main reason for this lack of respect, particularly in the polls, is the weakness of the Hoyas’ non-conference schedule, which, granted, is extremely weak. But now the Hoyas are in the middle of their conference schedule and still haven’t missed a beat. They’re unbeaten in arguably the second-best conference in the country and haven’t struggled in a single game yet. They’ve beaten Seton Hall – once ranked in the top 10 – twice in a span of 10 days. In all of their other games, they haven’t just won, they’ve dominated.

Stanford, meanwhile, hasn’t exactly had the toughest schedule in the world themselves. Outside of their monumental win over Duke, the best team in the country, the only quality wins they have are against Georgia Tech and a worse-than-expected Arizona team. Other than that, it’s mostly teams like San Francisco State and Sacred Heart that litter the Cardinal’s non-conference schedule. Have they played a slightly tougher schedule than the Hoyas? Undoubtedly. Eight spots worth? No way.

Aside from the weakness of the schedule, I just can’t figure out why the Hoyas can’t get no respect. It doesn’t make sense. We’re not San Diego State. It’s not as if Austin Peay owns the only other undefeated record in the land. These are the Hoyas, in their glory days the most feared team in the country.

In case you consider the last three years of mediocrity as indicative of the program’s history, let me disabuse you of that notion right now. The last time Georgetown didn’t make the postseason, Gerald Ford was President. In the ’80s, Georgetown made the Final Four three of four years, winning a national title once and coming within a buzzer-beater by some Jordan guy of winning another. The program has produced the likes of Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe utombo. No one should be surprised that the Hoyas are one of the top teams in the nation; just because they haven’t been for the last three years doesn’t mean they weren’t once great.

So if no one else is going to give the Hoyas the respect they deserve, the onus is on the Georgetown community to give them their due. One caveat: The best way to do so is NOT to get drunk and talk to one of the players you’ve never met at a party this weekend about how well the team is playing or how cool you think they are. Bad idea.

Instead, think about showing up tomorrow night for the Pittsburgh game at MCI Center. The game is at 7 p.m., so you can’t possibly sleep through it, and it’s early enough to get back in time to go out that night. If there isn’t a sizable student turnout tomorrow night, it would be a sad sign of our ability to support big time sports. If no one else is going to support the Hoyas, then it’s up to the students. Show up at the game tomorrow.

They’ll make it worth your while.

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