Monday, January 24, 2011

GW drops three straight -- why is there always a big conference losing streak??

Every year it seems like GW has a nice winning streak early in the season, then a not-so-nice losing streak in conference play. Things are seeming to go well, then the proverbial wheels fall off. This year, unfortunately, seems no different, with a 5 game winning streak followed by losses to Harvard, Richmond and Bonaventure.

Let's look at past years: last year GW started the season 4-0 and won the first conference game, then dropped the next 4 in a row and 7 out of 8. In 2008-2009, the good guys started 7-2, then lost 11 in a row, including the first 7 conference games. In 2007-2008, the team was 4-6 OOC, won the first conference game, and lost the next 7.

Why does this always happen? Is it the weak conference schedule not preparing the team for conference play? Or something else?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mike Hall: still good at basketball

From the article

GW alum Mike Hall (of the great 2005-2007 teams) is doing well in the NBA's D-League for the Dakota Wizards, scoring 27 with 11 boards plus going 4/8 from three in the last game. In fact:
"He's the only one that's carrying us," a frustrated Wizards coach Rory White said. "If you look across the board - Anthony Goods, Chris Johnson, Mike Anderson, Renaldo Major - we're not getting anything."
Nice to see this. Let's hope he gets picked up by the pros. He played for the Washington Wizards in the past, plus in Italy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tony Reali spotted at GW-Fordham

ESPN's Tony Reali, who hosts Around the Horn, was at the Fordham game last night. Reali went to Fordham and apparently some GW fans chanted at him to stop texting during the game -- pretty funny.

H/T to GWHoops for this one.

GW beats Fordham by 20, starting to feel it?

GW: doing the bull dance, feeling the flow, working it, working it.
The good guys won their fifth straight and third straight in A-10 play, clobbering the Rams of Ford-Ham 72-52. The game was 26-21 GW up at half after some sloppy play by both teams -- 33% shooting for GW and 27% for the Rams. Thankfully just before the half, Tim Johnson hit back-to-back threes. In the second GW exploded for 46 points on 54% shooting.

Interestingly, the Colonials didn't really rely on their usual scorers, as Tony Taylor only got on the board late in the second half, and finished with 12 to lead GW scorers. Dwayne Smith added 11 and Katuka had 10, though he missed some close ones (as usual). Bynes was 3/10, but made some key shots to light a spark (although also some bad ones) while Nemanja Mikic got 10 boards, but only 6 points -- including a dunk! Dan Guest added 7 and Daymon Warren had 6 and I liked what I saw from both of them -- energy and smart play. Also nice to see that Warren can actually score a bit and not just rebound off the bench.

The team made some bonehead plays, namely bad passes, but thankfully overcame them due mainly to scoring runs. And Fordham missed a lot of open threes, going 6/28. Make 4 more of those and it's a much different game.

The student turnout was great, and after a quick sequence where Smith dunked it from the side and Bryan Bynes hit a three, the crowd went bananas. Loudest I've heard it all season. As the game wound down and GW pulled away there were a bunch of alley-oops, which further energized the fans. Let's hope that many students keep coming to games, although the rest of the stands were still pretty sparse.

Here's the GWSports recap (and good video) and box score plus a Post article. Whoa!

In other random game notes, the Air Force drill team performed, which was cool, a crazy flailing dude won the Pita Pit dance contest, finally tearing the title away from the usual flailing little kid, and it was armed forces appreciation day, which included segments on GW Vets, a cool student organization for military vets.

Watch the new Karl Hobbs TV show online

Karl Hobbs has a TV show on MASN now, which is pretty cool. It's also available on GWSports.com so you don't have to DVR it. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

GW vs Fordham tonight at 7: Can the Colonials go 3-0 in the A-10?

And get a 5th straight win? Let's hope so. Ford-ham is 6-7 and just got beat by Temple. They're 1-2 on the road and their best win was a surprise over St. John's. They also lost to GW opponent Hampton and future opponent Harvard. They have four guys scoring in double figures, including Chris Gaston with 14.9 points and a whopping 12 boards a game, which might make it tough on GW, so we'll see.

Here's GWSports's preview.

Awesome sign on Academic Center: DC's Newest Nemanjament

This is so great. Love that GW is doing this sort of thing. Spread it around!!!!

Via the GWGeorge twitter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

D-League team loses Leemire Goldwire, picks up Maureece Rice

Talk about fate. NBA D-League team the Sioux Falls Skyforce just picked up former GW star Maureece Rice after Leemire Goldwire left for Italy

If you recall, back in the 2006 season GW was ranked #6 in the country. The last game of the season was against Charlotte at the Smith Center, and GW was trying to go undefeated in the A-10. The game was on ESPN and the hype around it was huge, players and fans gathered hours beforehand for a cookout and pep rally.

Fast forward to the end: the game went into overtime. With 5.7 seconds left, GW was down 2.

Maureece Rice missed a three and then GW's Mike Hall and Charlotte's Leemire Goldwire got tangled up, with some pushing and pulling, and apparently Goldwire throwing elbows at Hall. The officials looked at the replay monitor for awhile to see if Goldwire threw a punch, which would mean he'd be kicked out. They ruled he didn't,
Goldwire was called for a technical and Hall was called for a regular foul, giving GW possession.

Charlotte's DeAngelo Alexander (brother of former GW player Xavier) made 1 of 2 foul shots and Hall made both of his, putting the Colonials down 1. Hobbs designed a play for Maureece Rice to shoot, but he passed it to Noel Wilmore, who threw up a three that missed the rim altogether. Carl Elliott jumped up, caught it, and tossed it in as time expired, giving GW the win. Pandemonium ensued (see above).

Pat Forde of ESPN wrote a nice piece on the game. And I took a ton of photos at the game.

Pretty awesome, intense game. And now Goldwire and Rice are back in the news. Weird how things come full circle.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Karl Hobbs hype video

Spotted this over at the Fire Hobbs blog, it's a video put together by GW about Hobbs and the team's success. Say what you want about Hobbs recently, but it's good to see GW making some cool, professional videos like this. Spread it around!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nice article about DC Mayor Vincent Gray's time at GW: prez of a Jewish frat!

At yesterday's win over La Salle (more on that later) new DC mayor Vince Gray (class of '64) was honored at midcourt, where he was surprised by some of his fraternity brothers, including Garry Lyle, who was the quarterback of GW's football team and later played for the Bears.(GW had football until 1966.)

The story gets more interesting though, and there's a Post article about it. Gray was the head of Tau Epsilon Phi, a Jewish frat, and his frat had an awesome intramural (and integrated) basketball team. Of course, Gray is African-American and not Jewish. He was also the first African-American member of a GW frat.

At that time, the varsity basketball team wasn't integrated (the football team was) so Gray, who was apparently scouted by pro teams, couldn't play for them.

The team played at the old Tin Tabernacle gym, which used to be located on the quad, and when Gray and his frat brothers were announced at the game there was a cool graphic on the Jumbotron that had the gym and said "Tin Tabernacle All-Stars" on it (which would make an awesome t-shirt, by the way).

Very cool that the University put this all together.

But don't take my word for it. Read yourself.

At right is a picture of the Vince Gray in younger days and the Tin Tabernacle in 1965. The gym is the white building, and behind it, I believe, is Stockton Hall, the law school building.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Regis in the house


Regis Koundjia, GW class of 2007, has been around lately, attending both the Holy Cross (pictured) and Howard games. Regis was one of the faster GW players I've seen and was an important part of the great 2005-2006 team. After graduating he played for the Vermont Frost Heaves of the USBL, plus overseas a bit.

There was also an interesting Post article about him. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but I hope he's doing well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Random thoughts about Burr Gymnasium and the Howard game

This was my first away game in a long time, not counting the BB&T or NCAAs. I saw GW at American a couple times (including a loss when AU was bad, a short dude hit a ton of 3s and we refused to cover him -- sounds familiar) plus a win at Towson.

First off, Burr Gym is small. There's only one tier of about 12 rows of seats and nobody was there. Maybe 150 people total. It was also free -- we walked in, and there wasn't a ticket booth. We walked around a bit and didn't see any, so we just went in and sat down. Everybody else did the same apparently. Kind of weird they don't charge something. I'd have paid $10-$15 or so, GW prices.

It was also a good 85 degrees in there, maybe more.

There was a DJ during the breaks in the action, which was cool, though sometimes there'd be really loud static when the music started or stopped. I don't know if the school band usually plays and this was a temporary thing since school is out or if they always have a DJ. But he played some pretty good stuff, like "Atomic Dog" by Parliament and/or Funkadelic.

The small crowd made it an interesting game, as you could hear everything -- Hobbs' advice to players, their own talking and play calling, fans yelling at the refs, and more. You're also really close the action, there's not much space from the court to the seats like at the Smith Center. This made for some funny moments, like when Hobbs begged Mikic to take a shot fake, and if he did that one time he could shoot as often as he wanted. At one point Pellom (I think) let out a loud groan after he missed a free throw too.

There were about 30-40 GW people there, and we were much louder than any Howard fans. There seemed to be very few, most of the people just seemed like passive observers or were kids teams that brought those inflatable noise-makers you hit together. Random.

All in all, a fun time. I should go to more road games.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

GW runs past Howard, wins 85-50: game plan for A-10 season?

It was a close one until the second half, when GW turned it on and blew past the Howard Bison in a very warm Burr Gymnasium. Maybe 150 people were in attendance as GW shot 54.4% from the floor for the game, and 57% in the second half.

Howard kept close until GW shut them down in the second, when they got only 6 baskets. The good guys forced 30 turnovers and got to the line 27 times, though they shot a GW-like 63%.

It kind of seemed like Hobbs got an actual, sensible rotation going, which is good. Starters Smith, Taylor, Bynes, Mikic and Katuka were the only players with more than 20 minutes, and all but Bynes scored in double figures.

Bynes only shot 4 times, which is good considering he's shooting 33% from the floor and has shot more than anybody on the season. He did get 7 assists, so let's hope that continues. Daymon Warren had 16 minutes and grabbed 8 rebounds while everybody who got into the game scored. Here's the box score and recap.

So maybe we have a game plan going into the A-10 season? Dwayne Smith has been more aggressive lately, which is good, and has been scoring in double figures consistently, both driving and taking some outside shots. Tony Taylor is also slashing more, and he's great at that. Nemanja Mikic may be one-dimensional (three pointers) but the team is finding him when he's open. Hopefully those three form the core, with Katuka, Bynes, Guest, and Pellom next most as role players, and maybe Warren if we need more boards.

I've liked what I've seen of Guest as a distributor, and Pellom can rebound and score from close in, while Katuka sometimes plays well, and Bynes can be a good point guard if he doesn't take crazy shots, as he's been doing. It doesn't look like Tim Johnson will get in much.

Then again, Howard is not a good team. We'll see through the rest of the season.
You can get college basketball tickets here.