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Bad Edgar Banished? (And Other Pregame Tales)

It's like the title of an R.A. Salvatore compilation.

Fantastic stuff from Brian Bennett on the five-month struggle between Bad Edgar and I'm Happy And Good At Basketball Edgar, which seems to be journeying towards a Hugh Grant movie ending.

Pitino had been trying to bring Sosa into the team fold all season, so much so that the sophomore estimated he sat through 15 one-on-one meetings with his coach. Sosa said the first 14 were cordial and positive. The 15th, which came right before last month's Syracuse game, had a different tone.

"He told me, 'This is the last meeting we are going to have for the rest of the year,' " Sosa said. "He said, 'I've coached some great guys, and guys that have done more than you. You know, I really don't need you.' I think that was the wake-up call for me."


But after the latest Pitino powwow, he called his mother, Maritza, back in New York. She told him that he would never beat Pitino in that battle, just as he never won the skirmishes against her while growing up.

"It was just time that I bought in," he said. "Thinking about myself is not going to get me anywhere. The team is much bigger than I am, and it's much bigger than just one player. When it's not my night, I just need to be happy that we are out there winning and shutting teams down."

In the four games since that final meeting, Sosa has averaged 10 points while dishing out six assists against just two turnovers. In the previous four games he had five assists and eight turnovers.

"I don't need you," is probably the best combination of four words that Pitino could have used to get through to Sosa. And the thing is, it's not just a motivational ploy, it's true. Is this team better when Sosa is playing well? Absolutely, but Andre McGee has proven everybody (a lump that I'm certainly a part of) who thought he couldn't be the primary floor general on a Big East title contender wrong time and time again this season. Still, I can't imagine this team getting to San Antonio without a healthy contribution from Sosa, so hearing him say these types of things is extremely refreshing.

During the Villanova game I thought that Sosa looked unhappy and frustrated when he was on the bench, and then after the game I saw him smiling during the senior speeches and giving Pitino a bear hug as the ceremony closed. I guess it's just more proof that body language isn't always an easy thing to read, and that the way a player reacts to a situation in the heat of the moment isn't always necessarily indicative of their general mindset.

The biggest X factor in Saturday's game isn't that there is a league championship and a top seed on the line, it's that the Georgetown fans are going to be saying goodbye to a senior class that meant every bit as much to its program as the Louisville seniors meant to ours.

Georgetown is prepared to celebrate perhaps the most significant Senior Day in school history.

Minutes before Saturday's Big East title showdown between No. 11 Georgetown (24-4, 14-3 Big East) and No. 12 Louisville (24-6, 14-3), John Thompson III will take center court at Verizon Center to acknowledge a group of seniors that has made a profound impact on the program.

When Jonathan Wallace, Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green and Tyler Crawford arrived on the Hilltop before the 2004-05 season as Thompson's first class of freshmen charges, Georgetown was a virtual hoops has-been. The Craig Esherick era had ended the previous season following a 13-15 campaign that was defined by a 4-12 slog through the Big East, the school's worst showing in the conference.


"Forget basketball. This group, and I am including Jeff [Green], is just an incredible group of young men," Thompson said. "They are remarkable people. They came in to an uncertain situation and gave themselves completely to the notion of team. I don't think I've ever had an entire group understand and commit themselves as selflessly from Day 1."

Hoya Saxa takes an individual look at each of the "Fantastic Four," beginning with the most well known - center Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert's development on both sides of the court was striking. In his freshman season, he failed to score in eight games, but by junior year he was second in the nation in shooting percentage, with 26 double figure scoring efforts and five straight double-doubles that powered Georgetown into the Final Four. The NCAA exposure and Hibbert's battle with NBA first rounder Greg Oden led many NBA scouts to consider Hibbert a top ten selection. Hibbert was "50/50" on the move, but announced in May, 2007 that he would return to finish his degree and complete his four years at Georgetown as so many have done before.

"I thought about it and said to myself, 'Do I really want to stay in the draft and sit on the bench?'" My heart was here," Hibbert said. "I feel like I have unfinished business here."

More pregame reads:

Washington Post
Associated Press
Random, hard to read, gambling guy