Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Zeek and Creek Show Part 1: Mo Creek, Mo Problems (and other thoughts)

by Giovanni Scarcella

…For the rest of the A10, that is. Plus, random thoughts from this week.

Indiana transfer and DC-area native Maurice Creek has so far proven himself a huge addition to the team. Last season, the Colonials made 27.9% of their three-point attempts, one of the worst marks in all of college basketball. With so much focus dedicated to Kevin Larsen and Isaiah Armwood in the paint, something had to give along the perimeter. Yet the team only attempted ten threes per game (second lowest in the NCAA) and made those perimeter shots at the aforementioned low rate. The team’s best three-point shooter, Dwayne Smith, was set to graduate in 2013, and Nemanja Mikic, recruited for his sharpshooting, posted a career low three point percentage. Simply, the team needed shooters if it wanted to compete in the coming season.

With the recent commemoration of what would have been the fiftieth birthday of Len Bias, we are reminded that the great sports stories are highlighted by what could have been, as much as they are by what occurred. In those endless barbershop and barstool discussions, for every tale told of some larger-than-life accomplishment, there is an equally interesting but more somber one told of a different kind of a player. A player with limitless potential who never reached his peak. A player who suffered adversity but unfortunately succumbed to it. For some, like Len Bias, one fatal mistake ended their careers. After all, sports at the professional level are filled with athletes who were children just a few years earlier. That’s what kids do. They make mistakes. For others, they just don’t “get it.” They get their paycheck and that’s the end of it. That’s fine. That’s their choice, but we still dislike seeing it. For others still, injuries hamper and in some cases ultimately end what would have been a productive and successful career. Maurice Creek is determined to avoid that final scenario.

A highly ranked prospect out of the Hargrave Military Academy, Creek started as a freshman for Indiana. He led the country in scoring through his first nine games. He dropped 31 points against Kentucky. These are the early makings of a successful college and professional career. However, the sports gods had other plans. That’s a weird phrase when you think about it, especially since it is so common. But how else do we explain misfortune? Injuries are both unfair and uncontrollable. Genetic predisposition may have something to do with it, but by and large players are struck with injury for almost inexplicable reasons: they landed weirdly, they collided by accident, they hurt themselves in a typical workout. Creek suffered three major injuries in twenty-two months. With his eligibility at Indiana expired, Creek looked local to continue his college career. George Washington couldn’t be happier to have him.

Through the first four games of the season, Creek is leading the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game and shooting 62.5% from three. He has already cemented himself as the best perimeter shooter in the A10 conference. In fact, Creek is ranked 12th in 3P% in the country among those attempting four or more threes per game (he’s averaging six). I could keep changing the criteria and inflate his already impressive numbers, but four attempts per game is a solid benchmark in determining a three-point specialist, and it still accounts for plenty of talented players such as Jabari Parker. Even more importantly, his presence on the outside spreads the floor. Kevin Larsen has been one of the most efficient offensive players in the A10. Mikic has seen a return to form. In Saturday’s game against a tough Manhattan team, the Zeek and Creek Show dragged GW to victory.

The season is only three games young, but there’s plenty to be excited about. Not only are the Colonials undefeated, but their offense looks completely revitalized to complement its already solid defense. With an absolutely dominant home victory over Delaware State, the Colonials are set to face their toughest test so far at the Wooden Legacy Tournament. The play of Maurice Creek will help set the tone for a possible tournament berth in March. Already, GW has received a vote in the Top 25 poll. It’s not much, but it’s a start. How will it finish? Regardless, Creek has been talked about and will continue to be the topic of those passionate sports arguments. Here at GW, though, he has the chance to change the conversation.

Random Thoughts

-Free Throw shooting is going to be especially important for this team going forward. Against Manhattan we saw a bit of a regression to last year’s numbers. Zeek gets fouled a lot, and it will be interesting going forward to see how his shooting from the stripe affects the team.

-Larsen just seems like a more patient player this season. He functions really well within the flow of the game. Takes a quick hook shot from the post. Has a good mid-range shot. Finds the open man. Just pleasant to watch.

-The Colonials run a ton of different looks on defense. Against Delaware State, not exactly top competition, they played some man, 1-3-1 zone, 2-3 zone, and a little full court press until it started to backfire on them a bit. The rotations looked sharp and the defense forced a lot of long two’s on Tuesday in addition to creating seventeen turnovers and eleven steals.

-At one point in the second half, Zeek almost pulled a Javale McGee (in a good way), nearly snatching a jump shot in midair. Add in that nasty alley-oop from Maurice Creek and the big fella had another great night.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GW beats Delaware State 94-50, improves to 4-0

That was fun. In a festival of dunks and three pointers, the Colonials clobbered Delaware State 94-50. While it was a little sloppy at times, GW dominated every facet of the game.

The good guys outrebounded the Hornets 41-24 and also shot extremely well, knocking down everything -- 60.3% from the floor, 58.8% from three (10/17) and 73.7% from the free throw line. It seemed like whenever a guy was open, he was making the shot. That's something I don't remember seeing from a GW team in a long time, and it's pretty exhilarating to watch.

The team played also tough defense against a weaker team, causing a few shot clock violations plus 11 steals and 17 DSU turnovers to go along with 25 GW assists.

It was dollar hot dog night, which was also fun. I asked the snack bar staff what was the record so far, and apparently somebody bought 6 hot dogs. I choose to believe they were all for that one person, and I congratulate you, hot dog fanatic. Coach Mike Lonergan also bought a bunch to give to the student section, which was cool.

Speaking of sixes: six Colonials scored in double figures. Freshmen Nick Griffin scored 14 on 4/4 shooting from three, while Zeek Armwood led all scorers with 17. Patricio Garino, Kevin Larsen, Maurice Creek and Paris Maragkos also scored in double figures. Garino played pretty well, which was great to see, including a really nice around the back dribble during a fast break to avoid a defender. Plus you know it's a good game when Kethan Savage only needs to take 4 shots.

The game got out of hand rapidly, which allowed Lonergan to give everybody some time. All the players got between 13 and 21 minutes, aside from walkon Skyler White who got 7 minutes. He managed to knock down two free throws and deliver a big block to the delight of the crowd. He's definitely the new Mark Lund, the beloved walkon.

It's hard to say anything bad about a game where the good guys win by 44 points, but being an occasional pessimist I found a few things. For one, the turnout was pretty poor. The student section had an ok turnout, but the other side of the stands were virtually barren (see right). Pretty sad to see. I don't know if it's fans that have tickets but aren't showing up, or just that GW needs to figure out some more marketing ideas for those seats. I have a few quick ones: GW law, medical and grad students; local schoolkids; youth leagues. I'm sure it's easier said than done, and more fans will come with more wins, but still: blech.

The game was also a bit sloppy. GW played good offense but there were occasional brain farts and strange plays, like one where John Kopriva drove into three Delaware State players and got stuffed. The Colonials stripped the ball a fair amount but also got it taken away egregiously a few times as well.

Still, GW won by 44 and is 4-0. That's pretty awesome. Up next is Miami (FL) on Nov. 28 in Fullerton, California -- part of the Wooden Legacy tournament. Definitely a good test, and I'm excited to see how the guys handle it.

Here's the box score and recap from GWSports.com.

Fan of the game, Banana Suit Kid.
He also won the dance contest, for good reason.

Weekend recap: men beat Manhattan, women beat #10 Cal, both get votes in top 25

Well, it's been a while. The men's team got its first vote in the AP top 25 poll since the 2006-2007 season after beating Manhattan. The men's vote came from local writer John Feinstein, who is one of the people who helped organize the BB&T Classic tournament. I wouldn't say he's a fan of GW, but he is sympathetic. Anyway, awesome to see that.

And speaking of awesome, the women's team beat #10 Cal on Friday, earning them 16 votes in the AP top 25, the first time since 2008-2009. They face #8 Maryland today, which is definitely a big test.

As for the Manhattan game, the guys pulled out a tough one, overcoming a 9-point halftime deficit to win by 6. Isaiah "Zeek" Armwood and Maurice Creek combined for 47 points each. GWHoopsters said a lot more on the game. One negative thing -- poor free throw shooting, only 61.5%. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Awesome video on the Zeek and Creek Show

GW put together an awesome video on the Zeek and Creek Show: combined, Isaiah "Zeek" Armwood and Maurice Creek are averaging 34.2 points and 14.4 rebounds through three games, including 47 points and 14 boards against Manhattan -- yowsers. 

This is almost getting to the Chris Monroe and Sir Valiant Brown level from the early 2000s, where the two were leading scorers almost every game for GW, both averaging around 20 a game.

Cool stuff. And fun to see Coach Lonergan going old school with the Ernie and Bernie Show reference, when Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King were stars at the University of Tennessee in the mid 70s. (Grunfeld is now the Wizards general manager and King is a Hall-of-Famer.)

Free throw distraction strategy: sing bad songs

At the recent game between Belmont and UNC, a Belmont fan belted out Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" while UNC's James McAdoo was shooting free throws. McAdoo missed, and UNC lost. Coincidence? I dunno.

Get on it, Colonial Army, learn some crappy songs! (Hat tip to Deadspin and FTW for pointing it out.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Don’t Swallow that Whistle: hand-checks and the referees this year

By Giovanni Scarcella

The new hand-check rules benefit college basketball, even if we hate them right now.

            Back in 1982, the Tar Heels defeated the Ralph Sampson-led UVa. Cavaliers in the ACC Championship by a score of 47-45. UNC utilized their now-infamous four corners offense and retained possession for the last twelve minutes of the game. They cut, passed the ball around the perimeter, and ate up time in what must have been an enthralling experience to witness live. Thankfully, in 1985 the NCAA finally caught up with the times and adopted an NBA-style shot clock. The three-point line, considered a gimmick even at the professional level, was added a year later.

The pace of the game picked up considerably. Per Basketball Reference, in the 1981-1982 season, Tulsa notched 80.2 points per game, the highest of any AP Top 25 team. Fast forward to the ‘87-‘88 season to find 15 AP teams topping that rate. Real progress towards a more exciting game had been made.

      In the midst of this change, the Chicago Bulls drafted a promising prospect out of UNC with the third overall pick of the 1984 Draft. In Dean Smith’s rather team-oriented system, the intriguing athlete put up solid numbers at UNC, punctuated by a game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game. Of course, few predicted that Michael Jordan would go on to become the greatest player of all time.

      Guarding him one-on-one was impossible. The end of Jordan’s career correlated with the rise of Shaquille O’ Neal, yet another dominant player that required a team effort to defend. In the interest of parity, the league gradually reduced its previously long-lasting restrictions on zone defense, culminating in the total elimination of illegal defense guidelines in the 2001-02 season. Opposing defenses breathed a collective sigh of relief.

      If you love seeing the success of physical defensive teams, you probably reminisce over the NBA period from the mid-90s to 2004. You’re also probably an accountant because you love the job security. You enjoy a lukewarm bowl of oatmeal every morning before work. On Saturday nights, you crack open a cold one (just one), sit in a recliner, and catch up on nature documentaries to let out your wild side. You’re boring. That period of basketball was boring. The Pistons won the title over the Lakers in 2004. That season, only two teams averaged over 100 points per game. On average, the league shot 43.9% from the field. The following season, the league introduced new rules to “curtail hand-checking, clarify blocking fouls and call defensive three seconds to open up the game.” It worked. Last season, twelve teams (40 %!!!) averaged 100 points per game or more. The average field goal percentage also increased to 45.3%.

Teams did not instantaneously adjust:

Avg. FTA per game

      Immediately after the rule changes, NBA teams got to the line at an increased rate, as expected. But over time the number of free throw attempts lessened as defenses adjusted to the new rules. Notice how free throw percentage did not change much either. You would expect teams to emphasize free-throw shooting to take advantage of the new rules, right? Perhaps it illustrates stubbornness among the players. Who wants to look like Rick Barry at the line? Maybe players were by and large comfortable in their free-throw shooting process at that point in their careers. Maybe it should have been higher, but Dwight Howard did enter the league in 2004-05.

      What does this mean for the Colonials? As usual the NCAA is a few years behind its professional counterpart. The new rule changes this season are, for all intents and purposes, the same as the changes the NBA made in ’04-’05. Anyone who watched Tuesday night’s Duke-Kansas game can attest to the increase in the frequency of foul shots. Last season, GW made 65.7% of its free throws. That was remarkably low last year and certainly won’t cut it this season in light of the recent rule changes. GW’s interior style of play will elicit a greater increase in trips to the stripe. Through two games, the team has gone 77.2% from the line. Kevin Larsen deserves special mention for hitting 90% of his free throws after shooting a below-average 67.1% last season. The sample size is far too small to make any predictions, but this is a positive sign. Only time will tell how the defense responds to the rule changes. The defense did not look great against Maine, but then again, they were playing with a significant lead for most of the game, a blowout by all standards. Let’s wait and see how the defense performs against better competition before making any judgments.
      This college basketball season, especially early on, will be painful to watch. Games will seem to go on forever, but this is a necessary evil. In the NBA, once teams adjusted to the change in defensive rules, some impressive basketball took place. Mike D’Antoni’s 7 Seconds or Less offense revolutionized the NBA. Gregg Popovich transformed his Spurs from a slow Duncan-centric offense based on post-ups to a Tony Parker-led whirlwind of cuts, screens, and open threes. More teams are playing small ball, forgoing an extra traditional big man in favor of more firepower. Defenses evolved as well. Those highlight reel fast-break plays from Wade to LeBron are a direct result of the Miami Heat’s aggressive ball trapping and turnover-based scheme. The professional level has simply become better and more entertaining to a wider audience. Let’s hope college follows suit, even if it takes a while.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yowsers: GW 108 (!) - Maine 81


As you can tell by the score, there wasn't a ton of defense in this game, but then it's hard to complain when the good guys score triple digits and win by 27.

For the second game in a row, GW shot well and blew the game open early hitting threes. Early in the first half Maurice Creek had 3 and Nemanja Mikic had 2 from behind the arc, and only rarely did GW look back (the two shooters finished with 5 and 4, respectively.) For the game, the Colonials were 11/28 from three, on 39%, shot 54% from the floor overall and 75% from the free throw line, taking 28 foul shots. Those are some nice numbers. Another nice number: 1-0. That's now GW's all-time record against Maine. Suck it, Orono!

KevLar with a ghostly dunk
Of course, the worry comes that these two good shooting games have come against weaker competition, but then again, maybe GW is just a good shooting team this year. It's certainly nice to see players take and hit open shots over and over.

For a while I thought this might be the most points ever for GW in regulation, but that was actually 119 versus Howard in 2000. (Thanks to voice of GW basketball Byron Kerr and Fred on Twitter for that info. Check out the crazy box score for that game: 20+ points for Chris Monroe, Sir Valiant Brown and Mike King.)

Maine for their part took advantage of some lax defense all game long by driving the lane with relative abandon, though GW did block 9 shots. The Colonials allowed way too many easy lay-ups and putbacks, plus some other defensive lapses.

But those are nits to pick, considering the generally solid game: there were five GW players scoring double figures, led by Creek's 19 and Kethan Savage's 18, and eight Colonials played at least 15 minutes. Rebounding was another big plus for the good guys, with GW outrebounding the Black Bears 49-36. Kevin Larsen, Isaiah Armwood and Savage had 9 boards each! Two games into the young season and Savage is averaging 7.5 boards per game, behind only Armwood's 10.5. Early, sure, but nice to see a lot of rebounding.

And like last game, the halfcourt offense was a little tough to understand but seemed to work: they scored a ton, so we'll have to see what it's like against a more solid team.

It seemed that Coach Lonergan was doing some experimenting with lineups early, doing hockey-style five-man line changes, which was interesting. I guess it's a good game to do it, give the youngsters some time to play. And mostly they looked alright: Miguel Cartagena had seven assists and five points, but all from the line -- he's quick and got to the basket with some nice moves, but had a hard time finishing. Paris Maragkos scored a quiet 7 while we only briefly saw Nick Griffin and Skyler White. White shot it as soon a he got the ball towards the end of the game, with the crowd going "aww" when he missed it both times. He seems to be the guy the crowd loves to see get into the game.

The only main disappointment, however, was that crowd -- official attendance was only 1,448 and the student section, while rowdy, was pretty small. The students who saw GW vs Radford but missed this game really missed out, it's not everyday you see 108 points, and there were a lot of highlight-worthy dunks and blocks by Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen and tons of big threes. It was a fun game to watch.

Can't understand why they didn't
put this one on the jumbotron
However, partially due to the turnout, the fan of the game honor goes to the heckler from Maine. There was a goofy guy in some kind of Maine hockey or lacrosse jersey sitting behind the basket on the west end of the stadium who would yell something during GW free throws, which actually seemed to work. He seemed to do it in good fun though, and when I saw him at the snack bar during the game he was thoroughly enjoying himself, despite his team getting clobbered. So, good for you, Maine superfan. Glad you had a good sense of humor about the game.

Here's the box score and official GW recap with some tweets.

GW's next game is Saturday at Manhattan at 7 pm. It'll be on 1050 am and WFED.com.

Dunk photo by Endrit Demi, other two by me (not of me)

The Good, The Bad, and The Silly from GW's win over Radford

By Giovanni Scarcella

Please welcome new Colonial Hoops writer Giovanni Scarcella! He's a sophomore majoring in International Affairs and Chinese with a real interest in watching, analyzing and writing about hoops. Here's his first post!

Things that worked well, things that need changing, and things that were endlessly entertaining in GW’s home opening victory over Radford

The Good

-Defense. All of it. The team absolutely smothered Radford on the defensive end of from start to finish. Walt Frazier might just describe sophomore guard Joe McDonald’s efforts as “tenacious.” He consistently fought over screens and hounded the Radford backcourt whenever he took the floor. The starters played mostly man defense, but the bench units tended to shift to a 1-3-1 zone. Regardless of scheme, GW’s rotations were impeccable all night. Radford only converted on a third of their field goal attempts and shot an abysmal 23.8% from behind the arc, even with garbage-time scoring inflating those numbers.

-Speaking of three-point shooting, the Colonials were 5-9 from long range. Last year, the team’s perimeter scoring looked downright anemic at times. The addition of Maurice Creek looks to be huge. He hit a couple of big threes, including a half-time buzzer beater that needed some help from the backboard. Good thing he called bank.

-I know I already went over defense, but Isaiah Armwood deserves his own post. Zeke had a rough shooting night but looked like an absolute force in the paint. Two blocks doesn’t tell the whole story. Armwood altered shots all night, to the point where Radford’s guards had to resort to circus shots around the rim. They didn’t go in. He even took a charge late in the first half. His post defense could use a little improvement as he let his man get inside position more than a few times, but overall he played great inside. He also notched twelve boards, but we’ve come to expect that by this point.

-The absolutely savage play of number 11. How many times will I use that pun this season? As many times as he leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals. So no pressure. A pretty eurostep finish in transition highlighted Savage’s stellar performance.

The Bad

-Look, Radford is not going to be the stiffest competition that the Colonials will face this year. All the team really had to do was attack the paint, which resulted in a quality shot, an offensive board, or just one pass to the perimeter as the defense collapsed. The team shot 50% from the field, but there needs to be better ball movement against better teams. The team only managed 12 assists on 76 points. There was some high-low action between Armwood and Larsen that seemed to work pretty well. It’s too early to make any judgments, and the Colonials still managed to score efficiently out of isolation and simple pick-and-roll, but there was too much standing around and not enough movement without the ball. Again, this is a little nitpicky, and I’m willing to reserve judgment until we have a bigger sample size.

-TURNOVERS!!!! 16 turnovers in a blowout win, three more than the Highlanders. No place for that when the team starts facing better opposition.

The Silly

-One such turnover came when Joe McDonald hustled to prevent a deep pass from becoming a backcourt violation. He leapt; spun 180 degrees with a man draped over him and tossed it back to the frontcourt, unfortunately into the hands of a Radford defender. It was a good effort but an unnecessary one. The pass was an inbounds pass. There is no backcourt violation on an inbounds pass. Coach Lonergan could be heard ten rows up reminding his team of that rule. Fundamentals.

-The Smith Center was in rare form Friday night. The crowd, replete with pink gorillas and a deafening student section, really conveyed the home-court advantage. I think we need an award to recognize the best fan of the night. Let’s call it the Patriot Award until I think of something better. The first Patriot Award of the season goes to an older, grizzled fan seated behind one of the baskets. Throughout the night, he led the crowd in chants of “G-DUB.” Once a Colonial, always a Colonial and Old Man Basketball Fan can play for my team any day. GW is undefeated. Raise High.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Recap of GW's big opening win: GW 76-Radford 54

The Colonials opened their season with a bang, shillelaghing the Highlanders of Radford 76-54 to start off the season. GW (the good guys) didn't trail again after going down 4-1 early and gradually got the lead up to 30 before dropping down to the final margin.

The student section was packed and rowdy, which was nice to see. GW organized a big tailgate part beforehand with food, beer and a surprisingly awesome 90s cover band named White Ford Bronco, which was a lot of fun. The students also turned away from the opposing team during their introductions, which I enjoyed and don't remember seeing before. And the guy (or girl) in the pink gorilla suit wins fan of the game, hands down.

It was an interesting game for GW -- I didn't get a good sense of the offense, but the team did seem to play very opportunistically, taking and hitting open shots and making drives to the basket when it was available. My buddy described it as a higher basketball IQ team than he had seen in a while, and the hot shooting helped -- they were upwards of 60% for a lot of the game, finishing at 50% from the floor and 5/9 from three. Also nice to see, especially after some struggles last year, was that the team shot 79.3% from the floor.

As expected, the team dominated down low, collecting 43 boards to Radford's 34, but surprisingly were outrebounded on the offensive glass 15-10. GW's guards rebounded well too, with Kethan Savage and Joe McDonald both pulling down 6, second only to Isaiah Armwood's 12. Savage was a beast out there (get it) with 18 points, 5 assists, 5 steals and the 6 boards. It was sort of quiet though, like Omar Williams a few years ago -- without me really noticing it, he filled up the stat sheet. One friend wanted to call Savage the Quiet Assassin but another friend gave him a much better nickname: Macho Man. GW named his Colonial of the Week for his great game as well.

Kevin Larsen also played great offensively, scoring 16, though Armwood was 0/5 from the floor (he did score 7 from the foul line.) Newcomer Maurice Creek scored 12, including two 3s, and Nemanja Mikic also knocked down two of three from behind the arc. Nice to see that.

New NCAA emphasis on hand checks and other fouls really showed up as it seemed like the refs blew the whistle every 30 seconds. There were 48 fouls called total and the teams shot a combined 50 free throws. Luckily for the good guys, Radford was only 9/21 from the line. The Highlanders were also 5/21 from three and shot 33% overall from the floor, with some of that due to pressure but a lot just missed open shots.

I expected Radford, whose coach was a former Shaka Smart assistant, to play more like VCU with a lot of pressure and speed, which has been a struggle for GW in the past, but they really didn't. They trapped occasionally, which worked a couple of times, but mostly it was a fairly normal game plan from the Highlanders. I thought Miguel Cartagena played ok for a freshman PG in his first game, but he did get flummoxed by the trap a few times. It seemed like a few times, GW dribbled towards the trap rather than away from it. I hope Coach Lonergan learns them good on that one. GW turned it over 17 times, but there weren't too many egregious examples I could spot aside from the traps.

At first it seemed like GW was having a hard time catching with the Radford half court offense, which involved a lot of quick passes, but gradually the good guys got the hang of it and started to pull away. Eight Colonials played double digit minutes, plus 7 and 8 respectively for Jon Kopriva and Paris Maragkos. There was even a brief Skyler White sighting.

GW's all-time leading scorer, Chris Monroe, was in the building too, watching from the sideline for a while. After the game I chatted with him a bit, he said he's playing in Russia these days. I was wearing a #3 Mike Hall jersey and he pointed out that it could also be a #3 Sirvaliant Brown jersey, the other high-scoring guard from those late 90s-early 2000 teams. True that. Monroe is 3 and Val is 21 on GW's list of 100 players to mark the team's 100 seasons.

In short, nice to see this game. I hope for fewer turnovers and maybe more three point attempts, but not a lot to complain about here. The good guys face the Black Bears of Maine on Tuesday at 7 pm at the Smith Center.

Here's the box score and GW's recap (plus a little Storify they put together.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

GW's season starts tonight! Be there, 7 pm @ Smith Center, 4 pm tailgate

Hey you! GW's season opens today vs. Radford. The tailgate starts at 4 pm on 22nd Street. I have excitement. You should too. Here are a bunch of other people who are excited for the game.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Season opener on Friday at 7, tailgate starting at 4 pm!

Do you like basketball? Do you like tailgates? If so, you are a good person and in the right place.

GW tips off its season against the Highlanders of Radford University at the Smith Center this Friday at 7pm. Radford is located in Radford, Virginia (makes sense) which is right off I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley. They're coached by one of Shaka Smart's former assistants, Mike Jones, so look for a lot of high-energy pressing (not the Mike Jones famous for rapping about purple drank and putting his cell number in songs.)

But aside from the game (as if you need more?) there's a 4 pm tailgate where GW is shutting down 22nd street. Free food, drinks and music. Here's more on both events. I hope to see you there! There may be a George Washington sighting -- or at least a guy with a red beard, colonial wig and tri-corner hat.

GW Basketball Fans-

As the GW men’s basketball season kicks off this Friday, November 8, we’re excited to see you back in the Charles E. Smith Center to help our student-athletes Raise High the Buff and Blue! For friends or family who have not yet purchased their tickets seats, ticket specials are available and can be found by clicking on the link below.  Join the entire GW community and help us create a fun-filled home court advantage for the Colonials this weekend.
4 p.m. – Home Opener Tailgate
We’re shutting down 22nd Street for our 3rd Annual Home Opener Tailgate!  Join the Colonials for this spirited event that includes free food, drinks and live music from 90's cover band, White Ford Bronco!

7 p.m. – Men’s Basketball vs. Radford • Tickets
With NBC Sports already talking about the Colonials after this past weekend’s exhibition game win, GW men’s basketball is primed for their first regular season game.  All fans in attendance will get a FREE home opener schedule cup from RCN.

For questions regarding the weekend, visit GWsports.com/tickets or call
202-994-7325. We’ll see you at the game!

Raise High

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Hatchet's basketball preview is out (and nice looking)

Hoops is nigh! After GW's exhibition win versus Bowie State (more on that to come,) the GW Hatchet, our award-winning student paper, has put out its annual basketball guide. They made a nice looking website for it too.

Check it out, good stuff as always. I haven't been around to check out the paper edition, but I bet that's pretty swell too.

And speaking of Hatchet awards, they recently won (again) the award for best non-daily college newspaper in the country, all while focusing more on their online presence (read the New York Times for more on that!) It shows too, they've done a lot of neat stuff online and in their regular emails to readers. Kudos, Hatchet, and hooray for basketball.

(Full disclosure I wrote for the Hatchet for three years, so I am pretty biased in favor of it. But for good reason, they do a great job.)

You can get college basketball tickets here.