Saturday, November 24, 2012

Six semi-useful things to know: George Washington

1.) George Washington is 1-2, with a 72-59 win over Boston University in the Mike Jarvis Bowl sandwiched around an 80-73 loss to Youngstown State and a 65-48 loss to Notre Dame. The Colonials were 10-21 last year and were picked 13th in the 16-team Atlantic 10 (MISNOMER BIAS!) in this year’s preseason coaches poll. Their head coach is Mike Lonergan, in his second year at George Washington after six years at Vermont, where, after replacing the popular Tom Brennan, he led the Catamounts to one NCAA Tournament and two NITs.

2.) George Washington and Dutchmen have two common opponents this year: The Colonials face James Madison and Manhattan in consecutive games Nov. 28 and Dec. 2. The Colonials also visit VCU on Feb. 16. Ha ha better you than us!

3.) This is the second meeting between Hofstra and George Washington. Thirty years ago, the Flying Dutchmen—WHO WERE ACTUALLY KNOWN AS THE FLYING DUTCHMEN BACK THEN—beat the Colonials 82-67 in something called the Juice Bowl Tournament. Per GW’s game notes, the Dutchmen are the only CAA team against whom the Colonials have a losing record WHOO WHOO WE’RE NUMBER ONE! George Washington is 82-42 all-time against current members of the CAA, including 38-25 against William & Mary.

4.) The Dutchmen, meanwhile, are 32-95 all-time against current members of the A-10, with winning records against only George Washington and Duquesne (1-0). Damn! So close to Alanis-level irony. The bulk of the Dutchmen’s games against current A-10 schools have come against local rival Fordham and former ECC foes St. Joseph’s, Temple and LaSalle as well as that VCU team that used to play in the CAA. No, really, you could look it up.

5.) With three freshmen in their projected starting lineup, the Colonials have gone even younger than the Dutchmen. Like the Dutchmen with Jimmy Hall, George Washington has its conference’s reigning rookie of the week in freshman guard Joe McDonald, who is second on the Colonials in both scoring (11.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg) behind 6-foot-9 senior forward Isaiah Armwood, who is averaging 12.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg.

6.) This is a big challenge for the Dutchmen, in a figurative as well as a literal sense (that’s for loyal reader @GSorensen, who loves the correct usage of the word “literal”). Mo Cassara was decidedly displeased with how the Dutchmen’s continued road struggles during Wednesday’s loss at Manhattan. The Dutchmen didn’t win a true non-conference road game last year (their lone non-conference win was over Cleveland State at Rhode Island) and haven’t won a non-conference road game at a school south of New Jersey under Cassara. But a win here, in less-than-optimal conditions (day off Thursday, travel day Friday, back after the game today), against a school from a big-time conference, would go a long way towards restoring the good vibes the Dutchmen generated last weekend. It won’t be easy, especially if Stephen Nwaukoni didn’t travel to D.C. with the team. The Colonials have three starters who stand at least 6-foot-5, but if Nwaukoni isn’t available, the Dutchmen will have next to no depth behind starters Hall, David Imes and Moussa Kone. Regardless of Nwaukoni’s availability, the Dutchmen will need to get far better shooting performances from their guards, who are shooting just 26.2 percent in road games.

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