Thursday, August 30, 2007

The University Responds

GWhoops.com poster (and Colonial Hoops commenter) Thinker called the athletic department about the season ticket change - upper end zone seats are becoming general admission, so no reserved seats for season ticket holders. Here's Assistant Athletic Director Dom Perno's responses.
1) They should have explained the ticket policy change earlier and better;

2) Dom will propose to [Athletic Director Jack Kvancz] that a letter explaining things go out now;

3) The seating change was not done with the intent of raising money;

4) Hobbs and the school's main goal is to have people in all of the seats;

5) Because very few games are that crowded, they felt people would get to sit in their regular seats 90% of the time any way;

6) They couldn't reserve the first rows or any particular seats in the end zone because different people like to sit in different places - so there was no ideal place to reserve AND the Ticketmaster system makes it impossible to split sections up like that;

7) If people don't show, they want the students to be able to get into games - they felt there were too many games where students had to be turned away;

8) They do a number of group sales promotions - Gen Admission seating allows bigger groups to sit together - the reserved seating is like a checker board making it harder to get groups in;

9) The last thing they wanted to do is piss off loyal fans and they recognize that they did do so by not being more thoughtful about making the ticket policy change.
Most of those seem fair, though I don't agree with the change. Your thoughts?

People are pissed at the new seating plan

I've written about it a few times, and people are not pleased. Many are talking about being angry and about not renewing their seats. Probably not the response GW was looking for, and, I think, a symptom of GW's lack of openness.

--GWHoops.com poster JK says "I am actually furious about this change. What I find most distressing is that GW didn't bother to inform its endzone season ticket holders in advance." and "I am now on the fence about whether I renew or not."

--GWMan says his tickets more than doubled in price.

--Chrisw says "What GW is going to lose is a lot more than the 320 I paid though. They will lose my loyalty."

--Buff End says "Here's one family of four that's not happy. End zone season tickets and hardly missed a game. Now we're supposed to come an hour early? Or sit in the last row? Is it really $260 for section 201? And more for other sections? I may have seen my last UMBC game."

--Lonniebeale says "Yeah, as an endzone season ticket holder, I'm really leaning towards not renewing." and "However, this bull$#it "first-come, first-serve" seating policy is just unacceptable. As a college Bball fan (and non-GW alum) who fell in love with the Pops/Hall & Co.-led GW teams, I may have to quit on this program for good. Its a shame too."

On the other thread,

--Thinker says (and I agree) "I'd be happy to pay more for the endzone tickets, but I want a reserved seat."

--Mailvan says "Regardless of the price of the tickets, if I understand this correctly, the athletic department is asking you to commit to being a season ticket holder but in exchange for this commitment, you are not receiving a reserved seat? Therefore, the "quality" of your seats will be contingent upon how early you arrive to the game? That does not seem right."

--Al says "I am more than willing to pay a lot more for my season ticket if it means having a reserved seat in the endzone where I like to sit."

--Alumnus says "It is pretty amazing that we're being asked to subscribe without a schedule, even one that has one or two lines marked TBD or tentative."

--Long Suffering Fan says "You buy a seasons ticket, you get a reserved seat. I cannot believe that there are so many season end zone tickets that they can't reserve a few rows for the season ticket holders with the rest going to general admission."

--Although Blue Seats supports the plan (big surprise) he does make the valid point that "GW has too few loyal fans and anything that creates unrest even among a few is not desirable."

--And Longing for Oscar gives his guess as to why GW instituted this plan:
[AD] Jack [Kvancz] believes :
1. he's going to sell the Blue seats;
2. he can now squeeze some of the loyal end zone folks into more expensive and reserved yellow seats;
3. that the endzone seats have basically been free (what did it work out to last year $3 per game?);
4. that the OOC home games are so bad that they are basically worthless...so why not try to squeeze the loyal endzone customers into a more expensive (yellow) seat;
5. For the conference games, he can increase the walk-up gate

If the OOC home games were better and the program had been well marketed over the past several years, he wouldn't be doing this. Instead, he'd be raising the prices of the tickets (and rightly so).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Jerseyites join women's team

How about some non-ticket news? Two players from Absegami High School near Atlantic City will be at GW next season, Tara Booker, who I guess is a forward and averaged 17.3 points and 11 rebounds last season, and Sara Mostafa, a 6'5 center, who averaged 16.6 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks last season. The team is a powerhouse in Jersey, winning the state title in 05-06 and three consecutive region titles.

And for some reason, the article on Booker also adds the GW tuition numbers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If I were Athletic Director, Part 1


Thoughtful
Originally uploaded by Mountainbread
I think that GW's basketball program has a lot of room for improvement - off the court. On the court I couldn't be happier. So I'm going to start a regular series on what I would do if I were the A.D., and this is the first installment. I'll address one topic each time, so stay tuned.

Transparency

Call it transparency, openness, glasnost, whatever. GW lacks it. People like to know what's going on, and GW doesn't tell them.

Just this off-season, we've had no announcement about season tickets until I asked, unannounced major changes to those tickets, no word on recruits coming in, and no word on the out of conference schedule. And many of these things happen every year with no announcement until the very end.

These are all things that GW fans and other people follow and either need to know (in the case of tickets) or would really like to know (all the rest). Telling the GW community, and hopefully the press, would keep people interested. Especially in the case of the schedule and recruits, it would help build hype for the program in the offseason - it would get people excited for the season to start. And when it comes to telling fans about ticket changes and such, it's a nice thing to do and could also get the fans more involved in the process, which would benefit everybody.

And it's not like everybody else keeps quiet - see Charlotte, which has news about a recruit and news about the schedule, both in and out of conference. Their OOC schedule came out in June! Temple has similar articles, as do most schools in the A-10.

So what do you think about openness and GW?

Email from the ticket office

I emailed GW's ticket office, and this was the response from Gilma Cockram, the GW ticket person. I haven't gotten my renewal yet so i don't know what the letter says.
Hi Andrew, I hope by now you have received your renewal package where you will find a letter explaining the changes.

As a summary I will tell you that ALL endzone seats are now general admission and the "gold" seats are split into two parts Lower Gold - seats include BB&T, Upper Gold - seats do not include BB&T. VIP and Blue seats are the same except now for the Blue seats the AD's membership is $1,000. I hope this will help.

UPDATE: chrisw at GWHoops.com says you can still buy season tickets in the end zone, but they aren't reserved - first come, first served.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Season Ticket Shenanigans?

I just got an email from reader Frank L., who says his season tickets are being converted into general admission, thus no more season tickets for him and his group. Not sure why GW is doing this, but I will look into it.

He sits above the basket on the east side of the stadium (i.e. the side that isn't above the cheerleaders). So if you have tickets on that side, it may be a good time to call the ticket office at 202-994-6050. And you may want to ask about the tickets on the west side, where I sit. They're $60 or $80 or something.

UPDATE: Per Gilma's email, ALL end zone seats are general admission.

11 Guys at the Basketball Court

Not GW related, but I figure a lot of people play pickup hoops, and it's the offseason.


11 Guys At The Playground - Watch more free videos

I think a corollary would be "The Cherrypicker," which is me. I'm slow, I stand there and rebound then pass it to somebody, and that's it basically.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pops for England

When I think of basketball, I think of the United Kingdom. Ok, I don't. But England is trying to upgrade their nascent national hoops team before the 2012 Olympics in the UK, and Pops is playing a role in that. British Basketball, which is a merged England-Scotland-Wales team, is getting press all over the UK, from the Beeb to MTV to some other places.

Luol Deng is the big star, as well as a couple other English born cagers, like Kieron Achara from Duquesne, Nick George (from VCU), Joel Freeland, and Eric Boateng, who transferred from Duke to Arizona State and I think was a GW recruit at some point. Pops and some of those above guys won't be on the team for the European championships, but I assume they'll be playing otherwise.

Plus they have pretty snazzy unis. And note Pops' D-League headband.

A-10 Win-Loss record

I found this browsing the A-10 message board. It's a breakdown of the Win-loss record by A-10 teams since 1998-99. Not sure if it includes 2006-2007 or not. Anyway, food for thought.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big George Gone Crazy

Found this video on Youtube of George dancing with an umbrella and I guess some music in his head. Plus you see the guy in the suit briefly.



UPDATE: the more I watch this, the weirder it is. Why does he crash into the wall? What was this for?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mike Hall signs Wiz nonguaranteed contract

Mr. Hall signed a non guaranteed contract with the Wiz a few days ago, meaning they have his rights, but he only gets paid if he makes the team.

So far the Wiz have 13 players under guaranteed contract, with Hall, Brian Chase from Va Tech, and Donnell Taylor coming to training camp. The team has 15 roster spots.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pops to Italy?

Rumor has it that Pops Mensah-Bonsu may be heading to Italy. Eurobasket says Benneton Treviso, one of the top European teams, is looking at Pops.

DraftExpress says the Mavericks don't have any open roster spots so he may be cut, and they also mention Treviso.

A bunch of former and current NBAers played for Treviso, like Andrea Bargnani, Vinny Del Negro, Toni Kukoc, Bostjan Nachbar, and Tyus Edney (remember that guy?) Currently DerMarr Johnson and one Lionel Chalmers from Xavier play there.

I hope that Pops stays in the NBA, but if he goes overseas I hope he makes big dollars (or euros). Unfortunately I can't make a zillion lira joke anymore.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

According to Rivals.....

It's time for a Pop(s Mensah Bonsu- man I can't get enough of those puns!) Quiz, Folks!

(A) Is a phrase you often hear from someone without inside information of their own who wants to advertise their understanding of college basketball by attempting to convey their excitement about their respective teams' upcoming seasons during the 6 dreary, barren, college-basketball-less months between April and November.

(B) ... Basketball recruits that are 1 or 2 star candidates when on the GW radar, magically improve overnight to become 3 and 4 star athletes when the major conferences come knocking.

(C) ... Karl Hobbs is 102 years old.

(D) All of the above.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Colonial Breakfast Bits for 8-16-07


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to cereal manufacturers. Here's your GW breakfast.

--The DC Sports Bog notes that Richmond released their schedule, and has a bunch of local games. He also notes the Munson shenanigans. GW's schedule...?

--Fox Sports talks about Hobbs being cautiously optimistic about this year's team.

Wow! Hello new viewers!

Looking at the stats, Tuesday was the biggest day ever for Colonial Hoops traffic (at least, Colonial Hoops on Blogger, not the old ColonialHoops.com, RIP). 526 visitors came to the site, and I'm not sure why. I'm guessing it was because we were linked from the Technorati page of the Post's Recruiting Blog about the Munson situation. Pretty wild.

The record for good ol' ColonialHoops.com was 697 on March 13, 2006 and about twice as many page loads, which I'm pretty sure was during the NCAA tourney.

You can see the stats for yourself on the lower right of this page.

Top Pops plays

A little old, but a poster at GWHoops.com found these highlights from the Rocky Mountain Revue, two of which are Pops Mensah-Bonsu throwing it down. Check it out.



Pops finished the league scoring 11.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Pretty solid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hobbs hits the links with UConn bigs


Hobbs still very much part of the UConn family.

Perhaps this lends some additional credence to the "Hobbs'll be around until the UConn job opens up" bit of logic.

More chatter on Munson

Apparently Tech fans are pissed about Nigel Munson coming to GW, but Colonials fans are saying there was no tampering (i.e. contacting another school's player, which is not allowed under NCAA rules).

The usually very reliable Blue Seats says
There was no tampering. Nigel's people say he wanted out of Va Tech and to return to the DC area. When I first heard the story from lock solid AAU sources more than a month ago it was that he approached GW not the other way around. Greenberg is playing with fire locally if he pursues this further.
Let's hope so!

UPDATE:
The Post blog has some people giving a rhetorical smackdown to VT fans claiming there was tampering.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Munson to GW in a year

Finally some good news on the ridiculous Nigel Munson situation. Virginia Tech coach/jerk Seth Greenberg allowed Munson to transfer to any school except GW, and Munson appealed to Virginia Tech. His appeal was denied, but the Post reports he's leaving anyway to transfer to a junior college before coming to GW for the 2008-2009 season. The Post says he'll probably have three years of eligibility left. Good news, though disappointing that it'll take an extra year.

The Post's Josh Barr notes that there is speculation that GW somehow tampered with Munson's decision to transfer. So stay tuned. Then again, it could just be that after one Virginia Tech player transferred to GW (Wynton Witherspoon), Greenberg didn't want a second to go the same route.

And Kleos at GWhoops.com makes the point that this probably won't help VT's recruiting in DC.

I also learned that Munson broke the career assists record at DeMatha High School, which has a long basketball tradition. Pretty cool.

Jarvis's Colonials karate chop foes

I've seen this before, but GWHoops.com poster gdubbnc posted this video of former coach Mike Jarvis having his basketball team learn hapkido, a Korean martial art. Hiiii-ya. Pretty funny/weird/cool.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Season Ticket renewals: August 20

Just talked to Brad Bower, the GW sports info director. He is told that season ticket renewals will be mailed August 20. So stay tuned to your mailbox.

The tickets start really cheap, $60-$80 where I sit, above the basket on the end. Read more about tickets here.

And as commenter Frank L noted, there are no bad seats.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

GW extends McKeown's contract until 2014


sjtmckeown
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Women's coach Joe McKeown's contract has been extended until 2014. Good news for the women's team and the University, as coach Joe has been extremely successful in his 19 years at the helm. He's brought the team to 14 NCAA tourneys, including last year's Sweet 16 and an Elite 8 in 1997. He's also the winningest coach in A-10 women's basketball history.

If you haven't been, I recommend a GW women's game. They're cheap (or free) and the team is good and usually wins. Plus you can usually sit practically in the first row, and if you choose to heckle (hopefully respectfully and not calling anybody "ugly face") everybody can hear you. I usually make fun of the opposing coach.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pops in a Ghanian newspaper

It's a slow day (week/month/what have you). So here's Pops mentioned in a Ghanian newspaper.

The article is pretty crummy, and Dootie Bubble at GWhoops.com, who used to live in Ghana, has some interesting things to say about it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Update on Mike Hall dorm

As promised, I got on the horn to see what GW officials thought about changing the name of New Hall to Mike Hall. And GW folks, being good sports, responded.

When asked about New Hall's generic name, GW's media person Tracy Schario said "You’ll notice that many of GW’s new buildings are referenced by an address (1957 E St.) or more general name like Potomac House. However, a benefactor for a building name is desirable."

Sports information guru Brad Bower called the idea "interesting and amusing" and said "Mike Hall is certainly a catchier name than New Hall" but that he guessed there'd have to be a "sizeable donation at the very least." Both Mr. Bower and Ms. Schario also noted Mike's so far brief career.

So maybe some other time. Or students could always just start calling it Mike Hall rather than New Hall. And fellow Colonial Hoops blogger Max noted that when he visitied Guthridge, where most athletes lived, a few people put up signs that said "Hall of Mike."

What say you, readers? New Hall is a lame name anyway.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Danilo in Panama

Danilo (JR) Pinnock did pretty well playing for Panama's national team in the Pan Am Games. The team went 2-3 and knocked off the USA.

Danilo accumulated 17.2 points per game, second best in the tourney, 3.2 assists, good for 5th, and was also in the top ten for field goal percentage, steals, and free throw percentage, although he turned it over a lot. Not a bad tourney. The stat leaders are here and full stats here. Note that the team has a guy named Reykjavick Degracia. That's the best name ever.

Danilo also got some mentions, like when the team beat the USA, and in some photos here, here, and here.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another GWer in the pros

GW has another pro in the NBA - specifically the Wizards Dance Team.

After a lot of extremely difficult research (namely looking at photos of dancing girls in bikinis) I discovered that Meg, aka the redhead from GW's First Ladies dance team, made the Wizards Dance Team. She's in the middle in this link, and in the back row of this photo to the right.

Congrats to Megan, it's always good to see some more Colonials in the pros. Sometimes it's a really tough job to be a blogger.

Rename New Hall for Mike Hall

New Hall is a great building with a dumb name. The dorm, which I lived in junior year (we always had Tecmo Bowl on in the window) has no name, and supposedly GW is waiting for a donor to rename it. I offered $100 to name it after me but never heard back. So my suggestion for the name: Mike Hall.

Mr. Hall is a credit to GW, a good student, a good athlete, and a good guy who's made the NBA, the pinnacle of his profession. And what better reason to name a dorm after him? We have dorms named for alums like Fulbright, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Billy Mitchell, and the Marquis de Lafayette (ok, so he didn't go to GW.) So why not Mike? It's a lot better than "New," especially considering New Hall isn't even that new anymore.

So I'm starting the campaign. I'm going to write the athletic department, incoming University prez Knapp, the housing people, and so on. Stay tuned for their responses.

(I think Pops Mensah-Bonsu Hall would be good for Ivory Tower or International House of Pancakes Hall, but that's another campaign).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Pops on Youtube

Mr. Mensah-Bonsu is carving out a little niche on Youtube as people post his highlights from the D-League and the Summer League. For example, this video shows him blocking a shot and dunking. And there's more where that came from, like him blocking #6 pick Yi Jianlin and some other stuff.

You can get college basketball tickets here.