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Something very good is happening under Mike Lonergan at GW. The Colonials got off to a rough start, but ever since Mike Lonergan decided to start 4 freshmen (along with the transfer, Armwood), the Colonials are playing very well.

I assume the 28 point smack down of then 16-3 Charlotte, made some take notice, but since there are few GW posters here I thought I would start a thread. In fact, GW is a few blown calls at the end of the Temple game from 5-1 and sole possession of first place in the A-10.

Here's why GW is suddenly a team no one in the A-10 should want to play right now:

- One of the better front courts in the league. Armwood and Larsen give GW a big, quality front court and they have overpowered some of their smaller oppoenents inside. Armwood is playing like an all-league player, Larsen can not only score, but his defense is improving and he's a surprisingly
good passer. He could become Kevin Lyde in a couple of years. It's also a very solid rebounding team, and not just from the front court.

- Patricio Garino is a lockdown defender on the wing. Despite being a freshman, he usually guards the opponent's best player, and most nights has gotten it done. He can score a bit too (10.8 ppg in conference games). Future star, but I'd already put him on the all-defense and all-freshmen teams.

- GW's bench has embraced their new role and provided quality depth. Lasan Kromah is still maddeningly inconsistent, but when he's on, he's one of the better 6th men in the league (since his demotion to the bench). Dwayne Smith is chipping in about 8 a game off the bench. Bryan Bynes is starting to connect on his shots (he's already almost matched his OOC scoring total) and he had a better than 2:1 A:TO ratio, Nemanja Mikic has rediscovered his three point shot (7-13 in conf play) and John Kopriva has given some productive front court minutes.

- Joe MacDonald struggled early at the point, but he's now playing great with 30 assists to 8 TOs in A-10 games. And he hit the game winner against URI and the game-sealer against UMASS. He has good size, runs an offense well, and can make clutch shots. He's already a solid A-10 PG, but he'll be a very good one before too long.


- And lastly, Kethan Savage, now starting, shows very good all around potential. He seems to defend, rebound, get to the rim, and make jumpers all reasonably well - but he needs more seasoning.


The team struggled early in the season, with a couple of bad losses and some struggling play. But they took Kansas St. to the wire and then did the same at Rutgers before losing - and even though they couldn't finish off either game, you could see that GW was finding and identity and figuring out how to compete. Now, in conference play they are starting to take the next step.

The stats bear out the improvement, too. In conference play, GW is 5th in offensive efficiency, 6th in defensive efficiency.

It will be very interesting to watch this young team. The schedule gets tougher - LaSalle this Saturday, then after @Dukes, they get Butler and VCU back to back. And this is the time of year when freshmen sometimes wear down.

But for a team that ESPN ranked 14th this week, and that several here predicted to win 2-3 games in conference, there is something real happening in Foggy Bottom, and I hope the league is taking note because they are getting to the point where they can compete with almost anyone in the league.
 

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Something very good is happening under Mike Lonergan at GW. The Colonials got off to a rough start, but ever since Mike Lonergan decided to start 4 freshmen (along with the transfer, Armwood), the Colonials are playing very well.

I assume the 28 point smack down of then 16-3 Charlotte, made some take notice, but since there are few GW posters here I thought I would start a thread. In fact, GW is a few blown calls at the end of the Temple game from 5-1 and sole possession of first place in the A-10.

Here's why GW is suddenly a team no one in the A-10 should want to play right now:

- One of the better front courts in the league. Armwood and Larsen give GW a big, quality front court and they have overpowered some of their smaller oppoenents inside. Armwood is playing like an all-league player, Larsen can not only score, but his defense is improving and he's a surprisingly
good passer. He could become Kevin Lyde in a couple of years. It's also a very solid rebounding team, and not just from the front court.

- Patricio Garino is a lockdown defender on the wing. Despite being a freshman, he usually guards the opponent's best player, and most nights has gotten it done. He can score a bit too (10.8 ppg in conference games). Future star, but I'd already put him on the all-defense and all-freshmen teams.

- GW's bench has embraced their new role and provided quality depth. Lasan Kromah is still maddeningly inconsistent, but when he's on, he's one of the better 6th men in the league (since his demotion to the bench). Dwayne Smith is chipping in about 8 a game off the bench. Bryan Bynes is starting to connect on his shots (he's already almost matched his OOC scoring total) and he had a better than 2:1 A:TO ratio, Nemanja Mikic has rediscovered his three point shot (7-13 in conf play) and John Kopriva has given some productive front court minutes.

- Joe MacDonald struggled early at the point, but he's now playing great with 30 assists to 8 TOs in A-10 games. And he hit the game winner against URI and the game-sealer against UMASS. He has good size, runs an offense well, and can make clutch shots. He's already a solid A-10 PG, but he'll be a very good one before too long.


- And lastly, Kethan Savage, now starting, shows very good all around potential. He seems to defend, rebound, get to the rim, and make jumpers all reasonably well - but he needs more seasoning.


The team struggled early in the season, with a couple of bad losses and some struggling play. But they took Kansas St. to the wire and then did the same at Rutgers before losing - and even though they couldn't finish off either game, you could see that GW was finding and identity and figuring out how to compete. Now, in conference play they are starting to take the next step.

The stats bear out the improvement, too. In conference play, GW is 5th in offensive efficiency, 6th in defensive efficiency.

It will be very interesting to watch this young team. The schedule gets tougher - LaSalle this Saturday, then after @Dukes, they get Butler and VCU back to back. And this is the time of year when freshmen sometimes wear down.

But for a team that ESPN ranked 14th this week, and that several here predicted to win 2-3 games in conference, there is something real happening in Foggy Bottom, and I hope the league is taking note because they are getting to the point where they can compete with almost anyone in the league.
La Salle fans have noticed and over at their board:
http://explorertown.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=mbball

They are discussing GW right now.. La Salle is not bad but they are not deep in the front court and GW is exactly the opposite.. If one of La Salle's 2 front court guys get in foul trouble and GW could dominate La Salle on the boards.. A recipe for any upset
 

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Thanks. I couldn't find the discussion on there. Which thread?

As for the matchup, I've been a closet LaSalle fan for two years. I love that back court - it's obviously way better than GW's. Last year, the combo of Pettis and Galloway just killed us, and we particularly had trouble with the pick and roll (was it Weingarten? I'm blanking on the name of the mediocre player who killed us finishing the pick and roll).

This year, I like the way GW matches up defensively a lot. Obviously the Garino on Galloway matchup is the key. If Pato can force a bad shooting game, then I think it falls to Duren to dominate. Mills is solid, but as long as Savage/Kromah/Bynes don't sleepwalk, they do better against jump shooters than against physical slashers. Wright could be a nightmare for us if Armwood gets in foul trouble, but otherwise I like the way GW matches up.


The problem, of course, for GW is taking care of the ball. LaSalle turns their opponents over with ball pressure, GW tends to give it up WAY too much. It's our weakness (along with mostly poor three point shooting).

I also think that GW could look at this as their first chance to beat an NCAA team in a while so the players could (should) be fired up.
 

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I think GW played very well in that Charlotte game, looked like a good team. However, I wouldn't read too much in to the fact it was a blowout. Charlotte has had a tendency to fall apart when the other teams gets a bigger lead (see Miami and Richmond games), and they definitely went far away from their strengths down the stretch of that game. I'm not saying Charlotte would have won or anything, but it probably would've been closer if they continue playing their better-suited style. I think the road win at Umass was the more impressive result, road wins are especially tough. Probably would be getting more accolades if that URI road win hadn't been so close, but again, road wins are tough.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see GW win the La Salle game at home. Don't know if they will keep shooting as well as they did in that Charlotte game, though.
 

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Yeah, I guess great things do happen once you learn to play with only 5 guys on the floor.

And the LORD spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to five, no more, no less. Five shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be five. Six shalt thou not count, neither count thou four, excepting that thou then proceed to five. Seven is right out. Once the number five, being the fifth number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it
 

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GW is definitely better than I thought. The problem with playing that many freshman is they usually hit a wall unless they are really special. If they are still playing well by the end of Feb. beginning of March they could finish in the top half of the league. The future looks a lot brighter the next few years though.
 

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What scares me about GW is that they have a good young team, with a lot of talent. IMHO they gained confidence, having won 3 in a row against good teams. I want to see how they do against Butler, VCU, and LaSalle. It will be an exhibition of good basketball.
 
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