Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama family at the GW vs Oregon State game

In case you were under a rock (or out of town) this weekend, GW faced Oregon State at the Smith Center on Saturday with the President and family in attendance. Michelle Obama's brother is Craig Robinson, the Oregon State coach.

The Smith Center had a big line about 30 minutes before the game, with folks going through metal detectors run by the Secret Service. I got in late due to standing in line, but spirits were high among everybody waiting. The only negative was that a lot of folks in line hadn't been to a game before, even if they had season tickets. But then again, it's good to have newcomers at the games.

The Obamas (Barack, Michelle, Michelle's mother, Sacha and Malia) sat in the first row behind the OSU bench (that's the President leaning forward in the picture) and they and watched GW play pretty badly for most of the game.

GW came out very flat, turning it over and making dumb plays to go down 14-0 to start the game. Finally they snapped out of their funk and improved, closing the gap to 8 at half time, thanks to a 10-0 run to end the half. The team, however, looked a lot like the team of the last two years, passing it around the perimeter and not really doing anything, then making bad passes and taking wild shots. In all, GW turned it over 18 times, including 6 from Tim Johnson and 4 from Damian Hollis and Tony Taylor. Taylor, however, did get 4 steals, 4 assists, and 7 points.

GW looked good only towards the end, where they brought the game from a 15 point deficit with 4:30 to go to 2 points with :33 to go, thanks to the usual Hobbs offense -- steals, traps, and points off turnovers. The crowd, small due in part to the Thanksgiving break, got rowdy. Other than those few minutes, however, there was no sustained solid play.

The team as a whole shot only 36.8% and 23.8% from three, due in part to a lack of actual plays run. The refs were also pretty quick to call fouls. Lasan Kromah played well again, scoring 15 on 6/10 shooting, while Bryan Bynes had an off game, going 1/7. Travis King looked lost, while Damian Hollis scored 13 on 4/13 shooting. Hermann Opoku played pretty poorly, going up soft, losing the ball, etc, and for some reason Joseph Katuka only played 2 minutes.

GW did force 23 Oregon State turnovers, but not many of those got converted into transition baskets, due to quick OSU resets and a pretty weak fast break game from GW.

The president seemed interested in the games, and clapped for good plays and for the half court shot contestants at halftime. He also spoke to folks sitting near him, and the whole fam looked pretty happy. One GWHoops commenter said Sasha or Malia was rooting for GW, which is cool, and all the players seemed thrilled after the game.

After the game, the players shook hands with the President, and Karl Hobbs spoke to the crowd about how great it was for the President to come to the game.

Here's the GWSports article, box score, Post article, and DC Sports Bog. The Hatchet had lots of coverage too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What to do if the Secret Service join us for the Oregon game?

Post by Chris
To answer the previous post by Andrew I thought that I'd give it a shot. First of all if the President of the United States goes someplace (not that he's going to the Smitty or anything) there is significant activity before the event. That should mean that the doors will open early to get everyone in and through security. But they probably won't. That means long lines, and I mean long lines. Just hope that the students are all away for the Holiday.

I would guess that any entry to the Smitty will be manned with metal detectors, and nice guys just doing their job, dressed very nicely. They'll bring you through, and if you buzz, they'll run a wand over you to check you out. When you're cleared, you get to go to your seat. My guess is that there will be a lot of guys and girls around the Smith Center giving you the eye. Don't worry, they aren't looking at you THAT way. Sit down, and enjoy the game.

Now for a couple of do's and don'ts:

If you're one of those funny people who make funny jokes...don't. They don't have much of a sense of humor. You can be locked up for a "threat", and there's no where in the law that gives you a walk because of your sense of humor.

If you are impatient, don't be. You can't make it go any faster than it is. It's one of those situations that you just have to sit back and let it work it's way out.

If you generally carry lots of metal things, I suggest you don't. Leave it in the car, or at home. Don't bring little knifes either. Think of it like a plane trip. You might even want to leave your belt in the car!

If you have anything that is explosive, or had something explosive in your clothes, wear something else. They'll probably have dogs that sniff out gun powder and explosives. If you last wore your GW sweatshirt at the gun range, and forgot to wash it, you probably shouldn't wear it.

And last (though I'm sure that there's a lot more I could say...but if you're smart enough to be a Colonial fan, you're smart enough to figure it out!), remember if they ask you to jump on one leg and quack like a it. You can never win with them in any way, shape or form. They've got one of the toughest jobs in the country. They don't get the chance to have a bad day. If they do they've screwed up the country and the whole world. Just say, "Yes Sir" or "Yes Ma'am", and do it. And feel lucky enough that you get to see a game with the POTUS or the POTUS's wife.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What if the President or First Lady come to the Oregon State game?

There's a rumor on GWHoops that Pres. Obama and/or the First Lady might come to Saturday's Oregon State game, as the OSU coach, Craig Robinson, is Michelle Obama's brother. The Hatchet blogs quote GW types who say he's expressed interest.

That would be great, but what if it happens? Would people need to get there early to go through metal detectors or anything? Anybody attend the games where Pres Clinton was there?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tonight: Princeton

Hoping to improve to 4-0, GW faces a 2-1 Princeton team tonight at the Smith Center. The Tigers have beaten Western Michigan and Manhattan but lost to Army. They go about nine deep and play a pretty slow game, averaging about 61 points per game. Interestingly, Princeton leads the all-time series with GW 2-1. Let's hope we can even it up today.

If GW plays their game, I think the Princetonians will have a hard time keeping up. Then again, if the Tigers play a disciplined half-court Princeton-style offense, it could be trouble for the Colonials.

I am famous (not really)

Got interviewed by the pretty cool Princeton Basketball blog about the team. Take a look. (Scroll down to see it)

Monday, November 23, 2009

GW now 3-0, clobbers UMBC

The Colonials are off to a good start, winning two road games and crushing UMBC in the home opener, 94-51. The team dominated the Retrievers from the beginning, scoring 9 and forcing 4 turnovers before UMBC even took a shot. Freshman Lasan Kromah had a monster first half, scoring 20 in just ten minutes, including four treys in a row over less than 2 minutes, driving the Smith Center crowd wild. He was 6/9 from three for the game.

The team played the GW ball of old, forcing a lot of turnovers and converting them (27 points off 15 turnovers), getting good transition play and lots of alley-oops, and playing harassing, trapping defense. UMBC shot only 30.6% for the game. All around, it was a great time, especially the first half.

Everybody contributed, with every non-walk on player scoring. The team had 8 blocks and outrebounded UMBC 57-27, with David Pellom leading with 11 rebounds. He added 2 blocks, while Hollis had three. Jabari Edwards played well on both sides, and Kromah had a nasty block from behind, thanks to his speed. The entry passes were good, Tony Taylor controlled the game well, and Joseph Katuka had some nice post moves.

Like the West Georgia game, GW overmatched the opponent, but this time the Colonials had a better idea of their roles on the court. Something else nice to see was that Hobbs had a couple nice moments where he took players aside and taught them something (like with Opoku) rather than yelling at them or yanking them. I wonder if that's due to assistant coach Brian Ellerbe's involvement.

The new Smith Center looks great, and they have cool new player intros. The atmosphere was great too -- the students were loud, they turned off the lights in the upper seats, which was cool, and it was just a good energy. Hobbs even thanked the students in a letter to the Hatchet. Food-wise, I tried the chicken sandwich, which was pretty solid.

Here's the box score and game articles from the Post and two Hatchet articles.

Previous GW Home Openers

After the UMBC win, according to, GW has now won 21 consecutive home openers dating back to 1988. Here's a look back at 12 previous excitement-generating home openers:

Year - GW home opener attendance, Score of game over opponent

2009 - 1924, 94-51 over UMBC - LINK
2008 - 2650, 71-57 over Binghamton - LINK
2007 - 3644, 77-62 over St. Mary's - LINK
2006 - 3261, 94-49 over Dartmouth - LINK
2005 - 2217, 87-42 over Kennesaw St. - LINK
2004 - 2352, 94-70 over Morgan St. - LINK
2003 - 3452, 76-67 over Florida International - LINK
2002 - 2330, 68-54 over Mt. St. Mary's - LINK
2001 - 3216, 69-52 over Binghamton - LINK
2000 - 4289, 94-74 over Texas A&M - LINK
1999 - 3000, 80-74 over Indiana State - LINK
1998 - 3360, 92-89 over Old Dominion - LINK
1997 - 3143, 74-47 over American -

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New GW player intros

GW beat UMBC big time, 94-51. I'll write more soon, but for the time being, here's the player intros from the game. Pretty cool new thing this year, they turn off the lights and played music.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Season opener Sunday afternoon!

It's that time again, GW's season is nearly underway. The Colonials face UNC-Wilmington in Wilmington at 4:30 pm. Wilmington lost to Appalachian State earlier in their season, and this is the first time GW and UNCW have met since GW's come from behind win in the 2006 NCAA tournament. GW was down by 18 points, and thanks to an emotional Mike Hall who yelled at the team to do better, GW came back and took it.

This is not the UNC-W of old, however: they were 7-25 last season and 3-16 in the CAA, and they have 7 newcomers. That alone lets me hope GW will win, but hey, who knows. The Seahawks leading scorer last season is injured and may miss the game as well.

The game will be on 1500 AM, 820 AM and, plus a game tracker on and I assume other sports websites.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recap of the GW-West Georgia game

Well, all in all it wasn't bad. GW's offense was questionable, but having 6 freshmen could do that. I'll write about the game itself, then the Smith Center upgrades.

First off, GW won easily, 78-44, which is good. The offense for both teams was sluggish at first, but towards the second half GW started to heat up and score a lot. GW's defense was solid, getting a lot of turnovers and holding W. Georgia to 22.8% shooting, and it improved as the game went on -- more trapping and such. Damian Hollis, Joseph Katuka, Tony Taylor and freshmen Tim Johnson and Dwayne Smith started, which was a bit of a surprise.

It's hard to judge from one game, especially when so many players are new, but I noticed a few things. Joseph Katuka had some nice moves down low when he got the ball (mainly on high lob passes, some of which were inaccurate). Freshman Lasan Kromah led all scorers with 14 -- he was quick and made some nice moves to the basket and also hit two 3s. Freshman David Pellom played well on the boards and on defense, getting three steals; I liked what I saw from him. Damian Hollis only played 14 minutes but had 9 points and 8 boards. Freshman Bryan Bynes had 8 points and 6 boards, though honestly I didn't really notice him, despite him playing 26 minutes, more than anybody else -- maybe he'll be an Omar Williams type, getting it done but without being ostentatious. Jabari Edwards played, somewhat surprisingly, and scored 8 as well. Tony Taylor was 0/4 shooting, but did have four assists. Travis King was 1/6 and played 20 minutes and looked kind of off. Tim Johnson looked confident, and the other players didn't make too much of an impression on me.

They tried a few different alley-oops and big lobs passes without success, but the transition game was pretty good -- 15 steals and 20 points off turnovers, although GW committed 18 turnovers. The defense seemed to stiffen and play more trapping as the game went on. GW was only 5/20 from three (with Kromah hitting 2/5) and free throw shooting was also somewhat suspect, 13/25. It also looked like new assistant Brian Ellerbee was doing a lot of coaching on the floor.

I'm interested in seeing more, and seeing how the players integrate with the team.

As for the Smith Center, it's nice looking. The new seats look good, the luxury box under the end seats is pretty cool, and the painted the other wall opposite black, so it doesn't stand out as much as the old white wall. It looks like they made the seats above where the student section used to be at a lower angle, so there are more. The baskets are now attached to the wall rather than the ceiling, which means better views for those in the end seats (like me).

Individually packed dogs and chicken sandwiches

Food, however, hasn't improved much. They have chicken sandwiches now, which I haven't tried, but the hot dogs are still kind of bad. The meat was ok (supposedly it's Nathan's, but didn't taste like that) but the buns were simultaneously hard in some parts and mushy in others. It was also $7 for a dog and water, which used to be cheaper. But still, not too pricey.

They also had King and Hollis jerseys for sale, plus lots of other merchandise. Finally, the band played the alma mater at the end of the game, instead of a Karl Hobbs radio interview. Kind of cool to see.

Here's the box score and recap from, and from the Hatchet, plus two Hatchet blog posts.

Friday, November 6, 2009

GW vs West Georgia tomorrow! What I'll be looking for:

GW plays West Georgia tomorrow at the Smith Center at 1 pm, the first exhibition game of the season. Here's what I'll be looking for:

--The freshmen! Who plays where, and how they do. It might be tough to keep track of them at first, considering there are 6.

--The returnees: how everybody fits in. Does the offense run through Damian Hollis? How is Katuka? How about Aaron Ware and Tony Taylor? Does Opoku play?

--Travis King: how does he look?

--What's the story with the updated concession stand? It can pretty much only get better.

How about you? What's on your mind?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You can get college basketball tickets here.