Friday, May 28, 2010

Mike Hall and Chris Monroe on the same team in Italy

Cool to see this: both Mike Hall and Chris Monroe now play for Armani Jeans Milano in Italy. Monroe has been all over Europe in his career, including Greece, Hungary (where his team won the championship) and France.

Mike Hall also has quite the following on Facebook, which makes sense, considering he's a very nice guy -- I ran into him once near the Verizon Center with my parents, and we had a brief chat about how things were going. I had never met him before, but afterwards my parents both assumed we were old friends.

Good to see two GW guys having success and playing together.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This year's A-10 schedule released

Looks pretty good! GW will face Charlotte, La Salle, and Richmond twice, which is a decent draw. Here's the press release.

At home, GW plays Charlotte, Dayton, Fordham, La Salle, Richmond, Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, and Temple, while the away games are and Charlotte, Duquesne, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph's, and Xavier. Too bad to see Xavier away, though I can live with Dayton at home.

The news item says the team will release its full schedule in September. Hopefully they'll do it with some fanfare.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Travis King sits on stage with Michelle Obama, will transfter to UMBC

Nice to see this story in the Hatchet: Travis King was chosen to sit on the Commencement stage with First Lady Michelle Obama, thanks to his community service at Miriam's Kitchen, where he cuts hair for people. Here's more on the graduation ceremony, which was also written about in USA Today and elsewhere.

And something I missed, he graduated but still has eligibility left, so he'll be transferring to Maryland-Baltimore County to play and to pursue a master's in sociology.

Too bad to see him go, and I wish him good luck in his future endeavors.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Damian Hollis works out with Wizards

Following in the footsteps of Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Mike Hall, and Omar Williams, Damian Hollis works out with the Wizards. Here's hoping he makes the cut. Post-workout interview video:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kvancz, Hobbs haven't talked about Ellerbe's replacement: symptomatic of a lack of desire to push GW athletics?

This is kind of odd. In the Hatchet's article about Ellerbe leaving, athletic director Jack Kvancz said he hasn't yet talked with Hobbs about finding Ellerbe's replacement: "I don't know what the hurry is at this time," he said. "But that's just me."

Maybe there isn't any hurry, but wouldn't earlier be better than later? It's not the most confidence-boosting quote I've heard.

I don't want to call out Kvancz, who by all rights is a good guy and I don't know the office politics or anything, but I just don't get the sense that the athletic department has a burning desire to push GW basketball and athletics. It seems like everything positive that happens comes after everybody asks for it for years: the Smith Center upgrades, getting better outreach and marketing from the sports information department, selling better merchandise, and so on. The school is making steps to improve (like having the sports information department doing a lot more and the GW-Mason game) but change comes slowly and there's a general lack of creativity.

One anecdote that I remember is from years ago when GW didn't sell basketball jerseys. I was asking around to see why not, and eventually I got a hold of a high-ranking person at the bookstore (this was also before they sold merchandise at games, another missed opportunity). I asked why they didn't sell jerseys, and the response was something along the lines of "why would you want a jersey? You'd have to ask the players for one of theirs." No one saw the potential to sell these things? Where's the creativity, the desire to do more? Eventually they started selling jerseys, and years later started selling merch at the games. Another example is how the school didn't do much to market the team after the fantastic 2006 season, it just sort of faded into the ether.

Yet another is when Scott Van Pelt used to talk about Pops Mensah-Bonsu on ESPN all the time, apropos of nothing. I emailed the department saying they should send him a foam hat, and they then did that. He wore it on the air and later came to a game at the Smith Center. I'm not trying to toot my horn, but a random blogger shouldn't need to come up with these marketing ideas. Of course, there has been some good news: the Obama visit got a lot of press, as it should. But there's still room for improvement.

And when changes do come, there isn't much transparency of them -- they don't get much publicity and cause confusion, like the various student section changes and the proposed change to the seating plan back a few years ago. That's improved, but still, transparency is lacking: some schools have a lot of hype when the schedule is released, or when new recruits are signed. For GW, the news sort of comes out piecemeal and late to and nowhere else, always after GW fans have been asking about it for months. Why not have a big event for the schedule, or for the recruits? Build some excitement?

Anyway, this turned into quite a rant. I'm not questioning people's loyalty or anything, I just think more could be done. I believe GW can be more.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brian Ellerbe leaves for DePaul

Doh. Looks like we need another Xs and Os guy. Maybe, like Ellerbe, a former big time coach who's fallen on some hard luck or was fired unfairly? Providence/Hofstra's Tim Welsh? Former UVa coach and Hobbs homie Dave Leitao? Hopefully not Kevin Broadus!

Here's the story from GWSports. He'll be an assistant there. Good luck to him. Not sure it was all his doing, but the team was markedly better and more together this last season.
You can get college basketball tickets here.