Friday, October 31, 2008

Dwayne Smith, two others give GW verbals

The Hatchet has the scoop, Canadian Dwayne Smith, who was rumored to not be eligible, has given his verbal commitment to GW, as well as two new guys I haven't heard of, Daymon Warren and David Pellom. Coach Hobbs must like guys whose first names start with D. They'll be freshmen next season.

Warren plays at Worcester Academy, which is where Albert Roma and other GW players came from, is 6'9" and weighs 230 pounds - good to see some weight. The rest about him sounds good too.

Pellom is a 6'8" 200 pounds. The GWhoops thread on him is a little slim on details, other than serving a suspension for an altercation with the coach. Hopefully that's solved, but uh-oh.

And Smith I've written about a lot before. He's a PF from Canada, sounds pretty solid.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chat with Jack Summary

On Friday October 24th, Jack Kvancz and the athletic department hosted a gaggle of dedicated Colonials fans from 6-8pm. Jack spent most of the two hours explaining to the 20 odd GW diehards the myriad of challenges GW basketball faces. It was clear from the frank and, at times, frustrated tone of discussion that the AD office has heard and hoped to address a growing chorus of concern. Jack at times appeared reluctant to divulge specifics and often spoke without mentioning schools by name instead alluding to them with nods and winks. The overall message was clear: Jack's hands are tied. It was less clear, other than through the Smith Center Renovation efforts underway, how they plan to creatively loosen them.

Notes after the jump.

I lack a photographic memory. If I have distorted any of the statements from the event or read between too many lines, please comment below.

Scheduling and "Majority Rules" in the A-10

-According to Jack, the the A-10 rules are the major impediment to GW scheduling. Jack stressed how a majority of ADs voted for the 3 tiers. Presumably he was not one of them.
-Jack dislikes the RPI stipulations by tier.
-Jack dislikes that teams can only schedule Home and Homes.
-Now that the A-10 expressly forbids Buy games, the AD cannot accept one-off games against opponents, like UCLA, who would pay GW to visit. As Jack put it, "When I can't get bought, that's a problem."
-BCS teams WILL NOT play at the Smith Center. Thus, Home and Homes are impossible with those types of schools.
-Jack is unsure, other than financially, how the A-10 might punish GW for scheduling teams outside of their tier's RPI range.
-Jack defended the game against Harvard on a number of grounds. Large number of former and potential GW student from Massachusetts, Harvard's academic acumen, number of local DC metro basketball products on the Crimson including Coach Amaker.
-GW keeps its commitments even if other teams don't. USC and Clemson dropped out of Rainbow, GW cannot afford that leisure. Providence may not return the game in DC, but GW will honor the 2&1 agreement with Longwood.
-The AD is on board with scheduling Colonial Athletic teams next season such as Mason, VCU, UNC/W, and ODU and date-matching should become easier next season as current contracts expire.
-Mason sounds like its going to happen. Approximate Jack Quote: "How many CAA teams do you want? 5, 8, 2? I'm with you."
-Jack subtly alluded to trying to schedule a game with the brother of a notable potential presidential spouse but that given A-10 scheduling rules pegged to last years RPI figures, GW would not have been allowed to schedule Oregon State. Makes you wonder who might be in attendance when the Beavers play their first game of the 08-09 season against the Bison off Georgia Ave...

TV & Media Exposure

-GW would have to pay a local station to pay CBS College Sports to play a GW game. Maryland gets paid to have it's games on TV.
-It has become harder and harder to field good teams in the BB&T. Kansas wanted $1M to participate. The BB&T has historically been a clever way to bring a BCS team to DC and then return the game away the following season. As Dom put it, the BB&T usually means 3 games: 2 at the tourney and then a return away game with the previous BB&T opponent. Sounds like another hole to fill next season.
-President Knapp values athletics, and specifically GW basketball, as an important part of the University. First question he was asked by a Washington Post reporter during his first interview. Rough paraphrase: What will it be like to move from a Lacrosse School to a Basketball School? "It will be easier to see the ball."

The Team
-Jack and Dan Rocha and others others reminded fans about the bottom line: GW Student-Athlete stand out Nationally in their academic achievements.
-Universal excitement about Tony Taylor.
-Travis is still a ways away from full health. He's '70%'

Smith Center Renovations
-Dan Rocha, Knapp's man leading the Smith Center renovation fundraising efforts, updated fans on the progress.
-The Board has ponied up for $4 Million of the required $10 Million to match the Kogod and Smith families' generous contributions.
-With a couple million already in hand from the first few months, Rocha and team expect to exceed the necessary $10M by June 30.
-Along they way, they want to continue to encourage donors at all levels who are interested in contributing.

Andrew has written extensively on this Blog about the need for greater transparency within the Athletic Department. This meeting was a good first step, one that allowed Jack, Dom, and others to articulate (vent) their frustration with the constraints of being GW. Now armed with a better understanding of the constraints, the Colonial nation would love to hear more about creative solutions and how they can help realize those goals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hatchet: Kvancz unconcerned about unsold season tickets

The Hatchet has a piece today about athletic director Jack Kvancz being unconcerned about unsold season tickets - the $375 blue seats (plus $500 you have to pay to join the AD's Club in order to get the seats), which are the best seats in the house. He blames it on the economy, which seems pretty bogus to me - most of the bad economic news came out recently, and people have had a long time to renew their tickets.

To me, this problem comes down to two issues - crummy out-of-conference teams visiting the Smith Center, and a lack of publicity/hype about the team over the last few years. This was a team that was ranked #6 in the whole country, and now can't even sell its best season tickets. GW failed to capitalize on those great seasons of a few years ago, and they're reaping that now.

And really, who would pay $875 to see GW play such lowlights as Binghamton, Harvard, and UMBC? That, with American, are the only home non-conference games at the Smith Center this year. That's crummy. The A-10 schedule is ok, but that's going to be basically the same every year. I'll compare other A-10 teams' schedules soon -- in short, GW plays fewer home games than every other school in the A-10, aside from Temple (which plays two games at the Palestra).

To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the schedule, stupid."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Talk with the AD on Friday

This sounds like a cool event, it's "Chat with Jack" (Kvancz) on Friday from 6 to 8 pm at the Smith Center. You have to RSVP by Thursday.

I hope people take him to task about marketing and scheduling. I'm going to be out of town, so I can't go. Keep me updated about what happened!
On Friday, October 24th, from 6pm – 8pm, Jack Kvancz, Athletic Director, will be providing an opportunity to GW Season Ticket holders, alumni, and friends to “Chat with Jack” on the following topics:

* GW Athletics
* GW Basketball scheduling and the A-10 Conference
* Prospects for the Charles E. Smith Center Renovation
* Colonials Athletics Club
* The Future of Athletics at GW

This “Q and A” session will take place in the AD’s Club in the Charles E. Smith Center. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Francine Smith at (202) 994-6650, or frsmith@gwu.edu by October 23rd, 2008.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New commitment: Kinley Branch

Sort of a surprise - Karl Hobbs got a verbal commitment from Kinley Branch, a 6'5", 200 pound power forward from Georgia. He graduates in 2009, which means he'd be a freshman next year. Rivals and Scout don't have much, and while a 6'5" PF isn't very big, Tamal Forchion was a 6'6" power forward and (when he was healthy) he had some awesome low post moves. He was also 50 pounds heavier, but hey.

Stay tuned for the updated scholarship list.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hatchet, other folks want Midnight Madness back

Can't say I blame them. While Colonials Invasion sounds fun, Midnight Madness is awesome. The Hatchet has an editorial on it, and there's a GWHoops thread.

Your thoughts? I know Hobbs said he didn't like Midnight Madness, and they spent a lot of money on it, but I think a simple event would be fun.

Egg-savier ranked in top 20

I think they're crawling back up the A-10 Teams I Hate ranking as well. At least Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell are gone.

Article

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Colonials Invasion set for October 23

Colonials Invasion is back again, scheduled for 8:00 pm on Thursday, October 23. Doors open at 7:30. Should be pretty awesome, there's going to be a "special-effect filled" introduction of the men's and women's team, and they're introducing the new, cool looking mascot and "decommissioning" the old one.

There's a tailgate before starting at 6 pm at a "the newly renovated student lounge at 2145 G Street and Veteran's Park, adjacent to Smith Center." What is that?

And there's also a contest for fans to make a one-minute pump-up video which will be shown at home games all season. Sounds pretty cool.

Here's the GWSports article on it.

GW ad in the Express newspaper

Today I was reading the Express commuter paper and saw a half-page ad for GW season tickets. Pretty cool, I'm glad to see they're doing some advertising this year.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not much playing time for Johnny Lee?

I heard a secondhand rumor from someone affiliated with the team that Tony Taylor is so good, Johnny Lee won't see much playing time this year. I like Johnny, as does everybody else, but I'm excited by the hype around Tony Taylor. Can't wait for the season!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mo Rice waived by Sixers

It was kind of a long shot anyway, but Maureece Rice was waived by the Sixers. Hope he catches on somewhere.

Friday, October 3, 2008

"The best dunk contest you've never heard of"

Senor Pops Mensah-Bonsu was mentioned in ESPN the Magazine this week, for their article about the ACB dunk contest - the Spanish basketball league, where El Rey Matador de Ballenas (king whale killer) plays now.

Here's the video of Pops and otros jugadores.

You can get college basketball tickets here.