Monday, December 22, 2014

Great GW holiday video features George, Smith Center, Colonial Army, Knapp & Knapp's dog Ruffles

The holidays are here (and the good guys play at 2:30 pm today!) and GW made a nice holiday video with cutouts featuring, among other things, the Smith Center, the Game Day balloons, and a game complete with the Colonial Army and their flags for the international players. Check it out.

Find What Makes You Happy in 2015: The GW Holiday Video from The George Washington University on Vimeo.

They also did a making-of video:

The Making of the GW Holiday Video from The George Washington University on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

School up the Street fans do clever thing: Duck Hunt-inspired tifo (fan skit)

Now, far be it from me to praise Georgetown about something, but this is pretty awesome: they made a Duck Hunt-inspired tifo (fan choreography, basically) showing a light gun shooting down a Kansas Jayhawk, then the bulldog retrieving it, like in the game.

Pretty clever. Colonial Army, got any funny ideas?

A video posted by Pam (@reddusfoximus) on
Of course, Georgetown lost, so there's that. Some players wore "I can't breathe" shirts as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baby steps towards GW vs Georgetown in men's hoops?

GW vs Georgetown, 1923
It's been more than 30 years since the Colonials played those guys up the hill, the Hoyas, but a hopeful article from CSN's Ben Standig hints that maybe our two teams might actually play at some point in the future. Perhaps.

Standig talks to both coaches, who aren't opposed -- Lonergan is excited about while John Thompson III said he was "not opposed." Patrick Nero hinted on Twitter that he'd like to play, but it's not clear if the Georgetown athletic director, Lee Reed, is opposed or just didn't comment.

The two teams have played each other 94 times, which until a few years ago was the most for each against any opponent -- since then, Georgetown has played conference rivals St. John's and Seton Hall more. It's still the most for both schools against any non-conference team, however, despite the last game being in 1981. The other guys lead the series 54-39, but old timers on will argue that Georgetown stopped the series after a few GW wins.

Standig also notes the 2.1 mile distance between schools and the long, long time since the game, and mentions ultimately unsuccessful chatter about Georgetown facing GW at the BB&T Classic, or making it a truly local tournament. It's great that the Hoyas are at the BB&T, facing Towson, especially considering it benefits Children's Charities, but a GW-Georgetown game there would be incredible -- both for the fans and for the charity. It's also too bad Maryland left after losing to GW -- it was a great rivalry, and again, it's for charity! (And I almost forgot the BB&T is this Saturday, more on that to come this week.)

Anyway, let's hope.

(Also, that great photo is GW-Georgetown football game in 1923, from Shorpy. The "Hilltoppers" as they were then known beat the "Hatchetites" 20-0.)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

GW trounces Bloomsburg 89-47, freshmen look good

GW vs Bloomsburg (exhibition)

It was an exhibition game against a school I hadn't heard of before, but 89-47 is never a bad thing.

Despite big problems with turnovers (GW had 21) the good guys played well offensively and pretty good defensively, with six players in double figures and long looks at the many freshmen on the team.

Freshman forward Yuta Watanabe impressed especially -- the big man from Kagawa, Japan (via St. Thomas More School in Connecticut) was fast, passed well, shot well from midrange and outside, and on one tremendous rebound, showed he can leap out of the gym. He finished with 12 points and 8 boards, including a three, and hustled: at one point he tossed a half court pass on a fast break then ran to be in position for the rebound. He also blocked three shots. He is pretty skinny, however, and was occasionally manhandled down low -- he'll need to work on that. I'm excited to see more of him.

The other freshmen impressed in places too: Darian Bryant, a 220 pound 6'4" guard (my friend said he was built like Carl Elliott) was fearless, attacking the rim and making some nice moves to score. He finished with 13 points and 4 boards. Point guard Paul Jorgensen is very quick and has a good handle, but occasionally dribbled himself into trouble. He also dribbled himself out of trouble again, and finished with 3 assists and 5 rebounds, only shooting once. Anthony Swan, a lanky 6'7" forward, didn't play a ton but was efficient: 10 points in 7 minutes, including an impressive, acrobatic layup on a break. Matt Cimino, the 6'10", 213 pound forward, collected 10 rebounds but had some trouble on inbounds plays when Bloomsburg pressed. He also looked a bit confused occasionally, but then again he's a freshman in an exhibition game, that's to be expected.

That wasn't just Cimino though, the team as a whole struggled with inbounds plays, often passing from big to big and turning it over. They'll need to work on that. The team was a bit cavalier with the ball, sometimes making ill advised passed or dribbling into the corners, but they also attacked the passing lanes for 9 steals.

As for the rest of the team, they looked like last year, which is to say pretty good. Kevin Larsen was the KevLar we remember, making a lot of nice post moves to score 11, and also had 4 rebounds and 5 assists, mostly on nice passes out of the post or to an open player when he was double-teamed. Patricio Garino delivered a couple of nice dunks and scored 16, plus 4 assists and 3 steals, as he is wont to do. Joe McDonald had a quieter game, only scoring with a couple of minutes to go, but did have 6 assists. Kethan Savage had 10 points and 4 boards, but also 5 turnovers. John Kopriva, who will need to step up this season as the only other non-freshman big man, had a sold game, a quiet 11 points and 7 boards.  If he does that every game, it would be fantastic.

The team as a whole shot 66% from the floor versus 24.2% from Bloomsburg, but only some of that can be attributed to GW's pressure. Often it seemed the Huskies' offense was running the Colonials all over the court for open looks, just failing to knock them down. GW only shot 2 for 8 from three, which may be a problem all year, and was 17/28 (61%) from the line -- something else that we hope improves. That said, the good guys also had 21 assists on 35 made baskets, which is nice to see. Here's the box score and recap.

It's an exhibition game, and there's a lot of room for improvement, but considering it was the first game for half the team, I'm pretty pleased.

The team starts their regular season on Friday at 7 pm against Grambling.

Other notes:

30-second shot clock: The game was played with a 30-second shot clock, something the entire Atlantic 10 is doing during their exhibition games.

Concessions: There's now a small third snack bar on the main level selling drinks, chips, candy, a few hot dogs. The downstairs snack bars have upgraded options, including a pretty tasty southwest turkey wrap, nachos (with optional pulled pork), a grilled chicken sandwich, pulled pork BBQ sandwich, waffle fries and more. I look forward to trying the nachos -- the waffles fries were tasty, but it's hard to go wrong with waffle fries. They also have some fancier candy and chips, like gourmet chocolate and chips, along with the usual Snickers, Skittles, etc.

Pops on the radio: Pops Mensah-Bonsu is now the color man on Federal News Radio, along with main commentator Byron Kerr.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Colonials Invasion is tonight! Kickoff GW's season at the Smith Center

It's time again, all -- the season is starting. Tonight is Colonials Invasion, when the good guys have a big party and hold a dunk contest. Here's more info! Go!

Click on Live Events tab above video player, then GW Colonials Invasion on right side of video player

Join the GW men's and women's basketball teams, gymnastics, Capital Funk, Bhangra, the Spirit Program and more at the Smith Center as we kick off Colonials Weekend and get the 2014-15 basketball season underway. The night will be filled with performances, giveaways and more.
Doors will open at 8 p.m. and all fans can enter through the main entrance of the Smith Center on 22nd Street, between G and F Streets NW.


All Colonials fans are invited to attend Colonials Invasion and it is a FREE event for all! We encourage students, parents, faculty and staff to come out to the Smith Center to help us celebrate GW Athletics and school spirit.

What To Expect

  • Introduction to the GW men's and women's basketball teams
    Performances by:
  • The GW gymnastics team
  • The Cheer Team and First Ladies
  • Capital Funk
  • GW Bhangra
  • The Voice Gospel Choir
  • GW Band
    Contests and Giveaways hosted by the Colonial Army
  • The annual men's basketball dunk contest
  • Fun, music and more!
For questions or more information, please call 202.994.7670 or email

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet the men's basketball team on Oct. 25, scrimmage, Q&A

This is pretty awesome: GW is hosting a Meet the Team event on Saturday, October 25, with a lunch with players and staff, a scrimmage, and a Q&A with Coach Mike Lonergan and his staff. And it's free! Click the image for the full version and you can RSVP here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quick (literally) video of GW practicing -- 56 days to go!

It's 56 days until GW starts their season! And the athletic department posted a quick video of practice, sped up just a little bit.

I'm excited! How about you?

Hat tip to GWHoopsters for the video

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Atlantic 10 tournament coming to Verizon Center in 2018!

Well, this is pretty awesome! The Atlantic 10 announced that the men's conference tournament will be at the Verizon Center in 2018. It's in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center until 2016, then Pittsburgh in 2017. Here's the link to GW's press release about it. That means we not only get to see lots of basketball, there's presumably a home court advantage for the good guys.

AD Patrick Nero and coach Mike Lonergan are pleased (for good reason!)
"The announcement of the 2018 men's basketball championship coming to D.C., just days after the news of our record number of national television games ahead in 2014-15, is yet another sign of the strong, upward trajectory of our program and conference, and should be very pleasing to our fans both locally and across the country," said George Washington Director of Athletics Patrick Nero. "This is an incredible city to live in and to visit, and we're thrilled that D.C. will play host to this marquee event."

"Having grown up locally I have great memories of watching basketball games at the many venues around the city and in the area," said Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Lonergan. "To have this opportunity to compete for a championship at Verizon Center in front of our loyal fan base, family and friends will be very special for me. I've always thought that the best high school basketball in the country is played in the DMV, so having the A-10 Championship here should aid our efforts to recruit locally and be attractive to players who can now try to win a championship at home."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Get to know you interviews with incoming players Jorgensen, Cimino and Bryant

GW has three great videos on incoming players Paul Jorgensen, Matt Cimino and Darian Bryant -- interviews by GW players with the newbie. Pretty cool stuff and a good idea. Check them out. I, for example, learned that Cimino is pronounced like "SIM-inno" rather than "sim-EENO." One thing I like is that everybody talked about academics and the location as a reason for choosing GW.

John Kopriva interviews Jorgensen:

 Nick Griffin interviews Cimino:

 Patricio Garino interviews Bryant:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whoa, is Woodrow Wilson the Nats' new racing President? (Update: Nope)

Update: I'm told this guy wear the head at local races to promote a Woodrow Wilson Bridge race. Too bad, it would be awesome if the Nats added Wilson. It's a cool head, anyway. Now back to your regular off-season GW stuff.

First off, my apologies for non-GW basketball related stuff, but this was pretty cool (and it's a president, so that sort of counts?)

My friend tagged me on an Instagram photo by Pacers, a DC running store, of what looks like a Woodrow Wilson Nationals racing president running on a track.

The style and size of the head looks similar to the others, but the runner is only wearing the head, so maybe the Nats are testing out a new one to see how it works? If you recall, folks who ran complained about the Teddy head being exceedingly difficult to run in, which is why Teddy always lost (until they rigged it.)

Here's the link to the picture on Instagram. It's not clear where it is (and of course, could just be some other random racing president, but I find that hard to believe.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wake Forest forward Tyler Cavanaugh transfers to GW -- learn more about him from a Wake blogger

You may have seen that 6'9" forward Tyler Cavanaugh announced he was transferring to GW the other day -- a great get for GW and Coach Mike Lonergan. Cavanaugh started 22 of 30 games as a sophomore at Wake and averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 boards a game.

Cavanaugh has to sit out this season due to transfer rules, but that didn't stop former GW athletics department communications and outreach guru David Earl from talking to Wake Forest blogger Robert Reinhard about Cavanaugh. Earl is starting a new podcast called Hail the Buff, and this is the first episode. Good stuff. I'll be looking forward to more.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maurice Creek signs pro contract (we're not sure where yet, though)

This is pretty awesome news: today on Twitter Mo Creek posted a picture of him signing his first pro contract with his mom. Creek, a transfer from Indiana after multiple injuries, led the Colonials in scoring this past season and helped bring the good guys to the NCAA tournament.

I couldn't be happier for him, and hope we find out soon where he'll be playing!

Here's his GWSports profile -- he was named third-team all conference last season.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Men's basketball opponents announced: 2 games vs VCU, Davidson, Mason, Duq, Rich

Basketball! It's almost here (if you consider fall 2014 almost.)

But to wet your whistle for the season, GW released the home and away opponents for the good guys: home-and-home with new conference member Davidson, plus VCU, Richmond, George Mason and Duquesne. There are also home games against UMass, Dayton, St. Bonaventure and St. Louis, and away games with the rest, Fordham, La Salle, Rhode Island and St. Joe's.

Seems like a pretty good schedule, most of the better teams the good guys will face at home.

The dates are TBD.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

In the Interest of (hopefully) Burgeoning Rivalries

The court case between Maryland and the ACC has had its share of ugly moments, but this just might make the whole ordeal worth it. The ACC submitted the following document during the proceedings. The document, filled with errors, simplistic phrasing, and rampant Clip Art, reads like something a student would put together at 3 A.M. the night before a presentation. Also, the entire thing is in caps. I feel like I'm being yelled at. 







Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Contract extension for Mike Lonergan

No April Fools joke here! Head coach Mike Lonergan has had his contract extended through the 2020-2021 season.

The Post has an article about it, as do most other major news sources, citing the team's 24-9 record and 14-1 record at home as part of the reason.

I couldn't be happier about this, I think Lonergan is a really good coach, shown by this year especially. I hope he stays here for a long time (and for a very cynical viewpoint, the long extension may mean teams would need to pay more to hire him away. He's a local guy, from Bowie, and has said GW is his dream job, but I suppose you never know.)

That said, the GWSports article about the extension has some great quotes from Lonergan, like this one:
"When I was hired at GW three years ago it fulfilled a career-long dream to coach at the highest level of college basketball," said Coach Lonergan. "Having had the opportunity to return to my roots and once again coach in the area where I grew up, it's now my truest hope that this will be where I retire. I'm very grateful to be able to coach this proud program, and I want to thank President Knapp, Patrick Nero, my family, friends, players, assistants and staff who have helped to make this possible."
Pretty cool!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

GW falls 71-66, but a good game and a great season

All good seasons must come to an end. It was a close game, but in the end, shooting, fouls and bench play gave Memphis the edge. That said, the entire time was a lot of fun and it was great to see the Colonials in the tournament after a few years and hanging with their opponent. The team definitely deserved to be there, and I'm proud of the team, the university, and the fans.

Memphis led the entire game, but it was back and forth with an average difference of about 5. The Tigers were never able to pull away and the Colonials have a few opportunities to tie or take the lead late in the second half.

With 2:40 to go, GW brought the game to within two. Memphis kept answering with clutch shots, but the Colonials kept coming back. Nemanja Mikic had a chance to tie up with an open three with 58 seconds to go, but he missed. Then with 15 seconds to go, Joe McDonald made an acrobatic layup to bring the game within one. After a couple of fouls and then two Memphis free throws, Maurice Creek had an opportunity to tie it with 5 seconds left, but he airballed. After that, Memphis made free throws and that was game.

For the game, the good guys shot 44.6%, while struggling at the line (14/24) and from three (2/13). If GW makes a few of those, it's a different game. Memphis were hot from outside, hitting 5 threes in the first half, and then shot 66% in the second half from the floor. Creek had some good driving moves but didn't shoot well from outside, going 2/8 from three. That said, he also proved his toughness: he was hit in the face on the first possession. The team took him to the locker room, he got 10 stitches, then returned to the game.

GW played well inside though, with Kevin Larsen and Isaiah Armwood scoring seemingly at will, with 37 points between them. However, this is where the refereeing really took effect -- the stripes called GW very closely while allowing Memphis to get away with a lot more. Colonials on offense kept getting hit under the basket when going up for putbacks, with no call, but then on the other end the good guys were called a lot. Memphis actually had more fouls, but it seemed like the more important ones went against GW -- or at least the ones that hurt their style of play the most. (CSN's Chick Hernandez and Baby Lonergan didn't like it either.)

Bench play hampered the good guys too, with GW getting outscored 25-3 off the bench. John Kopriva had the 3 points, playing well in 10 minutes.

That said, with all the negatives, it was a fun, exciting game. The team hang close and played hard.

The fans were also amazing. GW fans outnumbered the Memphis fans and were exponentially louder. The lower student section stood the whole time, as usual, and kept the volume up and the crowd engaged the whole time.

Athletic Director Patrick Nero deserves special praise too -- the stadium ushers kept hassling the GW fans (mostly students) close to the court, and Nero constantly defended them. At first, an usher came down and was questioning the girl who leads the Colonial Army cheers. They actually kicked her out, but she returned shortly thereafter. The ushers came back 4 or 5 times, asking students for their tickets, kicking a few out (who returned shortly thereafter,) and most bizarrely of all, trying to get them to sit down. Nero defended the students to the ushers and in the end prevailed, the ushers left, nobody was kicked out and everybody kept standing. A very strange scene, and lucky that Nero and other staff were sitting next to the students. (Also in the section was women's coach Jonathan Tsipis and the Lonergan family, and I got on the jumbotron going nuts for like a minute straight during a break.)

The pregame events and fun were also well-done by GW. The first event, a send-off for the team at the Hilton, had a huge crowd. The team got a great reception as they boarded the bus, with the band, cheer team and tons of excited fans. The second event was an alumni event in the box overlooking NC State's football stadium, with free drinks and food. Nicely organized all around.

It was also great to see some of the crowd in Raleigh. On Thursday I hung out with Igor... not Yegor, Totti and Bigfan, and at the Friday events I ran into founder Herve, plus BCD and a few other guys. I also saw a lot of my friends from school and fellow season ticket holders. Great to see that kind of turnout and camaraderie.

So while the Colonials didn't win in the end, the game was fun and the experience was great. I look forward to next year and I'm proud of everybody -- the players, the team, the staff and the fans.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Putting the College in College Basketball: Your Drinking Guide to GW's Second-Round Game

Not making the trip out to Raleigh to see the Colonials play the Memphis Tigers? Need some pre-game ideas for your Friday night? Throughout GW’s March Madness run, Colonial Hoops will provide some info on each upcoming match-up, presented, of course, in the form of some, uh, recreational activities. We remind you to drink responsibly/don’t sue us.

Level 1, Freshman

Yeah you've had a few months of liver damage under your belt by now, but tolerance, like most things, is relative. Let’s pace ourselves a bit.

Drink if:
Patricio Garino records a steal. Garino has averaged 1.6 of them per game this season, and his length at the top of GW’s 1-3-1 zone disrupts the opposing offense and forces turnovers. Memphis really plays through their guards, and Garino’s effort at the top of the zone or in man will help dictate the flow of the game on that end.

Joe McDonald pulls down a rebound. Possibly the A-10’s toughest player, McDonald has played through a hip injury for most of conference play. At 6’1”, McDonald also records 4.6 boards per game, third on the team behind the Larsen-Armwood front line. McDonald is going to find himself matched up with Jackson or Dixon, Memphis’ leading scorers, for much of the night. Neither is especially stout defensively, but will be difficult to contain on the other end. With Savage’s health up in the air, McDonald will draw a tough assignment Friday night.

Chug if:
Memphis does something ridiculous on a fast break. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Memphis is a good defensive team, and GW does have a bad turnover habit. Add some creative passers and athletic forwards, and baby, you've got a stew going. Don’t let that dishearten you if it happens, Colonial faithful. Just drink and forget.

Level 2, Second-Semester Senior

Alright I get it. You have three classes this semester, and you couldn't care less. You've been at this whole drinking thing for a while.

Drink if:
Either team misses a free throw. I’m not sure if anyone else caught that NC State-St. Louis game, but it was a clinic on missing shots that are completely unguarded. The teams were a combined 32-63 from the charity stripe, an abysmal 50.8%. For comparison, the much-maligned Dwight Howard is a career 57.5% foul shooter. That means two teams of Dwight Howards would have probably shot a higher percentage. Things may be even worse in Raleigh. GW and Memphis shoot a cumulative 65.1%, but a perfect storm of ineptitude could create an even worse display Friday night. Approach this with caution.

Mo Creek hits a three. Besides the maturation of last season’s freshman class, the most important aspect of GW’s turnaround this season lies in its much improved three-point shooting, which has increased to 36.9%. Nemanja Mikic has returned to form, and McDonald has nearly shot 40% from beyond the arc in limited attempts. But the story of the season has been the play of Indiana transfer Maurice Creek. Creek attempts over six threes per game and hits them at a rate of over 40%. This improved floor spacing has allowed Larsen and Armwood more room to work on the block, and also helps create space for McDonald and Garino to attack the basket. The Colonials are 17-1 when they hit over 35% of their threes. They’re only 7-7 when contained below that mark. Outside shooting has become a huge part of this team’s identity, and the ability to make the three will play a huge role in GW’s prospects on Friday and, hopefully, the rest of March.

Chug if:
Armwood pulls down a contested rebound. Watching Zeek around the basket has been a treat. The guy sort of devours rebounds. He has these long legs that fly in two different directions when he jumps. He uses the full length of his wingspan to grab the ball and corrals it in his chest. He’s an agile, long force at the rim that perfectly characterizes the team’s defensive identity.

I am become Zeek, destroyer of boards

Deciding if a rebound is in fact contested is difficult, as it has a specific definition. However, it’s hard to tell from your couch if an opponent is within 3.5 feet of Zeek when he grabs a board. Instead, let’s go with the Potter Stewart approach: “I know it when I see it.”

Level 3, Grad Student

Am I boring you? I’m sorry if I’m boring you. The only thing higher than your debt is your tolerance. You look down on the neophytes drinking Natties around you. You’ve been playing this game so far with what appears to be pure ethanol. You make Jim Irsay look like a child. How are you even alive?

Chug if:
The announcers mention any mid-major vs. major drama. This includes Coach K’s comments on the A-10, Shaka Smart’s response, and anything related to the A-10 over-performing. After Thursday, the A-10 is 2-1 in the tournament, with only St. Joe’s losing in overtime to a dark-horse UConn team. VCU should avoid everyone’s favorite 12-5 upset, though UMass has a tougher assignment against Tennessee. Regardless, the A-10 deserved to have six teams in the tournament, and the media will milk Coach K’s comments for all they’re worth.

The camera cuts to Coach Lonergan wearing his patented “bemused-but-also-disappointed-dad” look. Coach Lonergan has been known to don this visage in the event of a botched call, a correct call, or an unforced turnover. Players and referees alike cannot escape his half-smirking face and biting remarks. 

More angry than bemused, but this is also an acceptable time to drink. Other acceptable times to drink: any and all

In all seriousness, Coach deserves a ton of credit for turning this program around, though he would be the last to accept it. He built a core for sustained success the past few years and has engaged in creative lineup tweaks to keep the team competitive through injuries this season.

GW wins. This is for everybody actually. Everyone should drink if GW wins.

How cool and appropriate is this picture? Credit to this man

Friday will see two equally matched teams go against each other. Both teams are poor from the free-throw line. Both teams turn the ball over too much. Both teams are aggressive defensively. This is going to be an ugly match-up. This is going to be close. Fortunately, GW has grown accustomed to playing ugly, close games. Should be fun. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Obama picks Memphis over GW!

Boo. How about some hometown (sort of) loyalty. I am definitely not voting for him for another term!

POTUS has a Final Four of Florida, Arizona, Michigan state and Louisville. Here's his full bracket. He does have Harvard over Cincy and North Dakota State over Oklahoma.

Maybe we should ask FLOTUS instead.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two great videos about GW: NCAA tourney and being an awesome guy

GW put out a video for the NCAA tourney, which is great. However, it's hard to beat this classic video by Brad Neely about our first president being 100% awesome.

Here's George Washington dunking over Kim Jong Un

Because why not? And note that Abe Lincoln is boxing out Stalin. Thought it was a nice inspirational piece before the game.

Click it for a bigger version. Print it out and put it on your wall, or your car, or your dog. The amazing painting comes from Reddit user I_may_be_dead, who apparently is awesome. I would buy any item with this on it. I want to commission him (or her) to paint other awesome stuff.

You could argue that for us, Memphis in Kim Jong Un -- an evil dictator we must vanquish.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Raleigh Bound! Info on travel, tickets, lodging, and GW events in NC and elsewhere

So, Raleigh is upon us. GW faces the Memphis Tigers at 6:55 PM on Friday and a fair number of folks from and people I know are headed down (me included.) Here's a start at looking into ticket, lodging, and GW events in Raleigh and elsewhere. Next I plan to look into fun things to do in Raleigh. Will post about that soon.

Airfare looks to be pretty pricey headed down, but Amtrak seems to be a good option. It's about 5 hours from DC to Raleigh and the morning train, leaving at 10:55am and getting into Raleigh at 4:42 pm, is only $89. Otherwise, renting a car might be a good option, or finding somebody on GWhoops who is already drining.

Tickets (updated)
The first tranche of GW tickets have gone out, as myself and my friends who requested them all got theirs. However, you might be able to get more from GW -- I'd suggest calling the box office at 202-99-GWTIX (more info on the tickets website.)

In addition, has some folks who have extra tix or are looking for them. The tickets get you into the "session" which is two games in a row, so you can watch another game before or after GW, which I'm guessing is the 9:25 game between 1-seed Virginia and 16-seed Coastal Carolina.

There's also, a good secondary marketplace for tickets.

The tickets will be distributed at the Hilton Midtown at 3415 Wake Forest Rd in Raleigh from 12-4 pm. That's also the same place hosting GW's pre-game team send-off party. More on that below.

Events (updated)
GW is hosting a number of events, in Raleigh, in DC, and elsewhere. So there are two parties in Raleigh -- the team send-off at the Hilton Midtown, which is also where you get your tickets, and the Alumni Association party. The sendoff party starts at 3 pm, while the Alumni Association party starts at 4:30, info is below. I say go to both!

Here's the link for all the other official GW watch parties all over the country. In DC, it's at Stoney's at 21st and L Street, with the time TBD, while other cities already have all the details.

To register for the Raleigh Alumni event, click here.
4:30pm: Pre-Game Reception
Dail Club in Vaughn Towers
Carter-Finley Stadium, NC State University

4600 Trinity Road, Raleigh, NC

(5-10 minute walk from PNC Arena) 

6:55pm: GW vs. Memphis
PNC Arena1400 Edwards Mill Road,
Raleigh, NC 
Hopefully it's not too late to find a place to stay. Downtown Raleigh is pretty close to the arena, as is Cary, NC. I'm staying in downtown, as are a few other folks. I've heard the Glenwood South area is pretty good for hotels and for nightlife.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

We're going! GW faces Memphis in Raleigh on Friday

Woo! It's been since 2007, but GW is going dancing, with a 9-seed against Memphis in Raleigh. A 9 is basically what most people predicted, but at the same time, UMass got a 6 and SLU got a 5, so you might think GW would be a little higher.

But hey, we're going! I am 100% in. It also sets up a matchup with David Pellom, the forward to transferred to Memphis from GW, and potentially a matchup with Virignia in the second round.

Here's GWSports' article about the tourney, and here's ticket information.

So what are the best bars and BBQ places in Raleigh?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A10 Quarterfinals: A Team Plays in Brooklyn

Much has been made of GW's "monumental" home-court advantage this season, and the Colonials' success at home trumped their inconsistent play on the road. Moreover, a 67-61 loss to U. Mass stood as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect season in D.C. Friday night, GW had the opportunity for revenge against the Minutemen. In an A-10 tournament that has already seen its #1 seed St. Louis fall, the #3 Colonials rallied behind a team effort to defeat #6 U. Mass, 85-77. 

Six players scored in double digits as senior Nemanja Mikic added some early outside shooting off the bench. As has been the case all season, GW's defensive presence won the game. The Minutemen made 43.1% of their shots, even with a late rally, and turned the ball over 17 times. It was certainly refreshing to see GW's 1-3-1 zone, which had been exploited in the few games coming into this game, look so effective again. I can't imagine why U. Mass kept passing to the corners, unless they really enjoyed getting trapped there. 

(Brb, adding "PhotoShop skills" to my résumé)

GW had jumped out to an early lead that was cut to 35-31 late in the first half. A three-pointer by Nick Griffin , a quick steal by Creek (who showed deft hands all night with four steals), and a lay-up by Armwood swung that all-important momentum back in GW's favor. 

Tomorrow the Colonials take on #2 VCU in the Semifinals. Despite the victory today, GW turned the ball over nineteen times and only hit 64% of their free throws. VCU's Havoc defense has been discussed ad nauseam, and such an aggressive defense has a proclivity to foul.  With guard Kethan Savage seemingly delayed until the NCAA tournament and Joe McDonald (bothered by a hip injury for most of conference play) on the second day of a back-to-back, the Rams will prove a difficult test at the Barclay's Center. 

The game is being aired tomorrow at 4:00 on NBCSN. I'm not a gambling man, as I'm in college and can't wager negative money, but I'd wager that whoever wins the contest between GW and VCU will end up winning the A10 title. Raise High. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kangy the Kangaroo is back, and he has A-10 tourney Brooklyn bar recommendations

Kangy the Kangaroo has surfaced at last.

If you remember, Kangy the inflatable Kangaroo was a mascot used by some fans during the magical 2006-2007 NCAA tournament run. he came to home games, then to Atlantic City when GW won the tourney, and Greensboro for the NCAA tournament games against UNC-Wilmington (the awesome comeback from an 18-point second half deficit, started when Mike Hall fired up everybody else on the team) to the loss to Duke.

After that, Kangy disappeared. He left a note in 2009 that he was safe and sound, and then posted on GWHoops that he was waiting for the right time to come back to the world -- kind of like Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl. (Of course, the Aztecs may have thought Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, and that didn't end very well.)

But anyway, Kangy is back. He just posted a hilarious screed about his whereabouts -- he was in Tijuana then Atlantic City in a mistaken quest to find the A-10 tourney -- and then provided a list of 15 bars to check out near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, complete with a Google Map he made himself (supposedly along with Ukraine Train Alex Kireev, who I hope is safe these days in that country.)

The bars are all rated on a scale of 0 to 5 Technical Fouls for Pregame Dunking, which happened a few times during the Karl Hobbs/Pops Mensah-Bonus/Mike Hall/JR Pinnock/Omar Williams/Carl Elliott era.

Here's a small sample of the great note from Kangy. Please do yourself a favor and read the rest.
Have you ever stood at the end of an Atlantic City pier and contemplated your own death? Rocked your feet back and forth on a bed of broken Miller Lite bottles and imagined your lungs filling up with the brackish water? Have you stared out at the horizon and tried to see across to the other side of existence itself?

If not, I highly recommend it.
As I mentioned to you all a few weeks ago, I recently returned to the East Coast after seven years of self-imposed exile in Tijuana. Sure, fighting bulls during the day and slinging drinks in a Russian roulette lounge at night was fun, but God damn did I miss my GW basketball. Rest assured, not a day went by where I didn’t think about my boys in buff in blue—I even began a daily meditation routine in which I imagined I was the rim in the west end of the Smith Center, methodically bobbing up and down, up and down, as Pops and JR thundered through the lay-up line. I always knew the day would dawn that would see me return home.
We're glad you're back, Kangy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GW's Sopranos takeoff A-10 tourney video is great

Watch it.

The good guys' first game is Friday at 9 pm against the winner of Thursday's UMass-Rhode Island game. Are you going?

Here's the full bracket.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Check out GW incoming freshman Paul Jorgensen hit a Maurice Creek-esque buzzer beater

This is awesome. Jesse Hooker spotted this on Twitter: GW signee Paul Jorgensen knocking down a buzzer beater.

Jorgensen is a point guard from Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey and has been having a great season, averaging about 16 points, 6 assists and 4 boards a game, and his team is in the state semifinals. He also eats two slices of pizza before every game, buffalo chicken and cheese. And you can't help but like plays like this.

Monday, March 10, 2014

This year's senior videos are awesome

I have been remiss in not including these earlier, but they are great. A nice reminder of what good guys and good players Armwood, Mikic and Creek have been. I'll miss them all.

Nemanja played all four years here, and I remember that game, maybe his first as a freshman, when he just started knocking down shots. The fans went bonkers. The Ser-bi-a chant started soon after, and while he was slowed a bit by injury, he was a big part of the team.

Isaiah Armwood has to be argued as one of the best transfers ever to come to GW. He was a fantastic big man and a real spark, both offensively and defensively. And he was a lot of fun to watch.

Also in that best transfer conversation (and we might as well say it's a two-way tie for first place) is Maurice Creek. He started hot and stayed hot this year, and I'll probably never forget the buzzer beater to beat the Terps. So glad he came here. It's been a great season and a great story.

Let's hope these guys all get a bunch more games this year!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So, is GW going to make the tournament? The current bracketology

UGA vs GWU 1/3/14

The end of the season is nigh, and the Colonials have been doing a good job of helping their tournament chances by winning the should-win games lately. Of course, another win over VCU or beating St. Louis or UMass would have been huge, but still, this team is 21-7 with no bad losses and good wins over Creighton, Maryland, Miami, VCU and Georgia.

So, is GW in? The odds look good, with most prognosticators thinking an 8 or 9 seed is in the offing.

USA Today has the good guys as a 9 seed against Arizona State in St. Louis, meaning the next game would be against the 1 seed, in this case undefeated Wichita State --  yikes. NBC has the same, a 9 in St. Louis, but against Iowa, while the 1 seed is Kansas.

Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi says a 9 seed in Orlando, again versus Arizona State. The 1-seed there is Florida. Lunardi also said the team dropped since his last bracket, which is important to note -- this is just the current seedings, so the good guys still need to make sure they finish out the season against Fordham, the current conference cellar-dwellers.

CBS Sports varies from the script a little, putting the Colonials at an 8-seed against Stanford in Buffalo, with the 1-seed being Syracuse. Sounds chilly and tough.

Fingers crossed, of course, as I'm a GW fan and used to seeing the worst, but maybe there are some glimmers of optimism here. It's also nice to even be talking about this, and to seeing GW's name in all sorts of different places.

Something else cool is that most brackets have 5 or 6 Atlantic 10 teams in the dance, which is always good.

Photo by Michael Smith-MLS Photography

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Maurice Creek gets the New York Times treatment!

UGA vs GWU 1/3/14 If you're like me, you can't get enough media coverage of GW -- especially this year. And the good guys are blessed with some great stories, like that of Maurice Creek.

As you probably know, Creek was one of the most electrifying freshman in the country with Indiana in 2009, scoring 31 points against Kentucky. But then the injury bug got him -- three injuries in three years cut short his seasons, and when he returned, he was down the depth chart. He transferred to GW, and awesome stuff has happened since.

And now the New York Times has an article about Creek, talking about his earlier connection with GW coach Mike Lonergan, who saw him as a high school player but figured he wouldn't have a chance to coach him because Creek was too highly-rated.

Funny how things work out, and I'm thrilled to have had Maurice this season. He's playing great and it's a great story (and that's not even counting the buzzer-beater to defeat Maryland.)

This is the latest in a series of big articles about Creek, who's also been featured in the Post, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the Indianapolis Star and a lot more.

Photo by Michael Smith - MLS Photography

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GW alum Elana Meyers wins silver in bobsled at the Olympics!

It's a good time to be a GW alum or fan -- the good guys won their 20th game, GW joined with the National Gallery of Art to take over the Corcoran College of Art, and now alumna Elana Meyers has claimed her second Olympic medal, winning the silver in the 2-person boblsed in Sochi.

Pretty awesome. Meyers graduated from GW in 2007 and was a softball player here. When the Olympics cut softball Meyers switched to bobseld, winning a bronze in 2010 at Vancouver. She's a member of the GW Athletics Hall of Fame and holds many records in softball at GW.

She shares her sled with three-time Summer Olympics sprinter Lauren Williams. They were beaten by the Canadians by 0.1 second and third went to another American sled.

Pretty awesome to see this. If Olympic medals were part of the A-10 commissioner's Cup, GW is probably leading.

You can also tweet her at @eamslider24!

USA Today has more on this race, and GW Magazine has more on Meyers.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Guest post: Havoc, Shmavoc -- a VCU preview

By Endrit Demi

Look, I get it. On paper and in practice, VCU’s suffocating “Havoc” press has been intimidating and incredibly effective. But my feelings on this vaunted defensive tactic resemble those of McKayla Maroney during the last summer Olympics.  I’m not trying to insult VCU, but rather their opponents, who have failed time and time again to adequately prepare for what they know is coming.

I’ve always advocated that all teams find ways to incorporate at least a few minutes of Havoc-style press during games, and not at the end.  Generally, when teams go to the press, it normally comes due to desperation and is too little, too late.  If you press early, and successfully, you can help pad a lead rather than try to climb back in the waning minutes of the game.  The only teams that I really give a pass to for passing up on this tactic are those without deep benches.  That is truly VCU’s biggest advantage, game-in, and game-out.  Not only are they incredibly well coached, but they have a battalion of guys ready to cycle in and out, almost as fast as Coach Lonergan’s substitutions, to tire you out.

GW is unfortunately not as deep as VCU, and in my opinion this is really their only Achilles heel, exacerbated by the recent spate of injuries.  However, I also believe that those injuries have been a blessing in disguise in that they have gotten valuable playing time for our limited bench, beefing up their on-court resumes and exposing them to pressure situations. This experience will be crucial in facing the Havoc on the road and without Kethan Savage this Wednesday at 7pm.  The injury situation has also exposed Coach Lonergan’s true genius: to get the best out of his players, no matter who they are and no matter what the circumstances. 

Back to my earlier argument: why I don’t find the Havoc, or any other press, that intimidating.  My primary rationale is that simply put, full-court presses leave huge gaps in defenses that well-prepared teams should easily be able to exploit.  Case and point, the first gif in this article (below).  Writer Luke Winn is using it as an example of how good VCU’s defense can be. But where Winn sees a good defense, I see a poorly-prepared offense. 

Without even looking at any VCU tape, every opponent has to know that the Havoc is their main asset.  And yet where is Kevin Dillard’s help on that play? Jogging away from the trap at the moment of impact.  You can’t do that against VCU.  Every play, you have to know that it’s coming, and you have to be prepared to respond.  Well-positioned players and fundamentally sound passing can and should beat the press every time.  GW proved that when they hosted VCU at the Smith Center in January, and exploited it to get easy points in the paint, over and over.  This is aided by fresh legs, which Coach Lonergan has been able to provide consistently due to his unique roster management, despite the relatively thin bench.  While GW did commit 21 turnovers that day, it beat the Havoc more often than not, and rattled VCU on the way to a 10 point victory.

I give all credit to VCU for building up the roster and stamina to execute the Havoc well and for extended periods of time.  But I think that this GW team has the ability to break this press the way that any press should be easily broken.  They have a young, but experienced team of fundamentally sound players, who play well together and have already seen and beaten the Havoc.  This team also continues to step up big in the face of great adversity – as is evident in the lack of a losing streak greater than 1.  And I haven’t even gotten to the fact that GW is shooting nearly 48% from the floor, compared to VCU’s 41%.  While I do think this will be the hardest of the remaining games on the Colonials’ schedule, barring any extreme deviations from both teams on the above stat, I see GW taking this one 78-70.

Editor's note: I wish I shared Endrit's optimism

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Revenge! GW tops La Salle, brings win streak to 5

The good guys got mad and got even, topping La Salle 69-47 a few weeks after the Explorers beat GW to open play. However, Joe McDonald injured his hip and missed the second half, making a big win a bit less sweet. I haven't heard about his status, but he was on the bench, so maybe that's a good sign.

I wasn't able to make this one, but from the looks of it GW dominated and La Salle was ice cold -- the Philadelphians shot 27% for the game while GW topped 52%. Zeek Armwood had a huge game with 16 points and 14 boards, and three other Colonials scored in double figures -- Maurice Creek and Kevin Larsen with 15 each and Patricio Garino with 10 plus seven boards, two blocks and three steals.

The bench, however, wasn't too impressive -- Nemanja Mikic played 24 minutes but didn't take a shot, though John Kopriva added 4 points and 5 boards. We still haven't seen much from Nick Griffin, and I've been hoping his minutes would go up since Kethan Savage's injury. Griffin only got 4 minutes, while Miguel Cartagena got 10 and finished with as many points as fouls (3.) The team also had 19 turnovers, though they outrebounded La Salle 42-30.

It's nice to get this big win over an A-10 foe who beat GW earlier, but the injury and bench play make me less happy.

That said, the good guys are 17-3! That's crazy!

Today was also Social Media Day, and GW's all-time leading scorer Chris Monroe was the guest tweeter. Pretty cool.

Here's the box score. GWSports game article to come.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Help GW win $100,000! Vote, tweet, Facebook and more for the 6th Fan contest

If you haven't already seen on Twitter and Facebook, the NCAA has a contest underway called the 6th Fan, where fans vote for their school on the NCAA website, by Twitter or Facebook, and the top school with $100,000. That's no small amount of money, and so far GW faithful have done well for the Buff and Blue, getting the good guys to #1.

However, in the past few days the Colonials have tumbled the 4th place, so that means us fans need to get to work! You can vote one time per day, per method, which actually means three votes per person, per day.

And thankfully it's easy to vote. You can go to the website and click "vote now" for GW, then enter your email. You can also vote from there via Twitter and Facebook, but there's actually an easier way to vote via Twitter and Facebook: just tweet and post anything you'd like and include the hashtags #6thfan #gwash.

It's easy! So get to it, and help GW get back to #1 and win those big bucks.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Statement Game: VCU 66 GW 76


Wow. The best of the A-10 took the floor Tuesday night. An established VCU team, accustomed to success, faded against the "New Money" Colonials. The Smith Center was rocking. My ears continue to ring an hour later. Despite a hot start from three and turning the ball over seven fewer times, VCU just couldn't keep up. This win really had everything. A Savage throw-down? Check. Timely threes? Check (Thank you Pato). Stifling defense? G-Dub forced 14 turnovers and held the rams to 36.8% from the field. 

Patricio Garino had a career high 25 points with 7 boards and three steals. Kevin Larsen also notched a career high 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting. Zeek posted a double-double (11 points 14 rebounds) 4 (!!) blocks and 2 steals. We want UMASS. We want Arizona.

Full recap tomorrow. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

A10 Preview: The VCU Rams

GW opened conference play with a disappointing loss at LaSalle, followed by a rout of Rhode Island at home. Tuesday night, the Colonials continue to battle a tough A10 conference at the Smith Center against Virginia Commonwealth.

Over the last five seasons, the Rams have risen to national prominence under Coach Shaka Smart. With the new emphasis on hand checking this season, many wondered if VCU’s aggressive style of defense would suffer. The Rams lead the NCAA in steals and are second in turnovers forced. Moreover, the team has not fouled at a higher rate. A defensive rating of 89.8 points per 100 possessions is good for 11th in the country. The Rams have not slowed down. Though two losses to unranked Florida State and Georgetown saw the Rams fall out of the Top 25, VCU will still sit among the top teams in a strong A10 conference this season. Here are some matchups to keep an eye on:

Joe McDonald/Kethan Savage vs. Briante Weber
Though overshadowed by the addition of Mo Creek and the emergence of Kethan Savage, McDonald has had himself an excellent season so far. His assists are up only slightly, but he’s averaging fewer turnovers per game. He’s taken on more minutes and more responsibility and his efficiency has only increased—a good sign for the future. After coming off the bench last season, Savage has averaged more points per game than anyone on the team save Creek. McDonald and the Macho Man defend the ball well with both players averaging 1.9 steals per game.
Briante Weber is dangerous. The VCU junior averages four steals per game. That’s an absurd number. In fact, someone felt the need to rank his best steals. Props to the pun in that title. Though his energetic and occasionally unnecessary, especially late in games, play has won him few fans outside of his Alma mater, there’s no mistaking that Weber embodies VCU’s Havoc system and style of play. Plus, he leads his team in assists. It will be interesting to see how well Savage/McDonald contain him on one end while taking care of the ball on the other end.

Havoc full court pressure vs. Press break
Here’s a fairly comprehensive look at how Havoc works. Note the article is from last season. As with most trapping schemes, you want to keep the ball in the middle. Getting caught in the “coffin corner” often leads to turnovers. The ball has to move quickly in order to force number advantages, i.e. if one guy is trapped one guy is open. Typically, forwards and centers make for worse passers and ball-handlers than guards. Fortunately, sophomore Kevin Larsen has soft hands and the ability to bring the ball up and pass effectively. The team also utilizes Zeek at midcourt to help break other presses. Speaking of Zeek…

Isaiah Armwood vs. Juvonte Reddic
If the Colonials hope to beat VCU, they need to win inside. VCU is more vulnerable on the interior. Reddic is a solid defender but he is not much of a rim protector, averaging .9 blocks per game and blocking 4% of opponents’ shots when he’s on the floor. Armwood averages 2.5 blocks with an 8% block percentage. His defense and rebounding need to be on point, and contributions from Larsen on the block will help the Colonials inside.

Mo Creek vs. Finding an Open Look
Of course, it’s easier to attack in the paint if VCU respects GW’s outside shooting. Mo Creek has been conspicuously quiet the last few games. He’s a bit cold from three, but he needs to have a solid showing against a VCU team that holds opponents to 31% from beyond the arc. In Georgetown’s upset of the Rams, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera made 5 of his 6 three point attempts. Running a press runs the risk of leaving shooters open. Creek can make VCU pay if and when he gets clean looks from three.

GW Making Free Throws vs. GW Missing Free Throws at Inopportune Times  
GW has made an abysmal 67.4% of their free throws this year. It hasn't hurt them badly yet. Teams tend to shoot poorly at the stripe against GW, for whatever reason. There’s potential for VCU to run into foul trouble, and GW needs to capitalize on free throws.

Tip-off is Tuesday at 7:00. Pre-game tailgate (free food for college students so definitely recommended) starts at 5:00. Come out and #RaiseHigh. Also these uniforms are cool, though I’m pretty sure there’s no number 4 on the roster. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lots of love lately for Lonergan, 'lonials, 'lantic 10

Like that alliteration? The media is giving lots of love to the Colonials, Mike Lonergan, and the Atlantic 10.

To wit, Sports Illustrated has an article about how transfers have become more important, starting with a photo of coach Mike Lonergan and talking about Maurice Creek and Zeke Armwood. The article begins:
WASHINGTON -- A few blocks from the United Nations D.C. offices on K Street, George Washington University has emerged as the free-market face of college basketball. A program picked 10th in the 13-team Atlantic 10 has catapulted out to a 12-2 start and is on the cusp of the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007. 
The dim expectations appeared justified. The Colonials stumbled to a 13-17 record last season, and two of their top players transferred -- Lasan Kromah to UConn and David Pellom to Memphis. But thanks to Indiana transfer Mo Creek and former Villanova captain Isaiah Armwood, George Washington has defeated Creighton and Maryland and become an archetype for building a modern college basketball program. 
"We're Transfer U," said GW assistant Maurice Joseph, who fittingly jumped from Michigan State to Vermont as a player.
No idea what UN offices they are talking about, though, and how that actually applies to this argument. Maybe they are confusing the UN with the IMF and World Bank, as in they support free trade? I dunno -- and also this is a very GW discussion to be having. In any case, nice to see such praise in a big article. There's actually a lot more too about how Lonergan worked to find these guys, how well they fit in here, and how they're building national prominence.

CBS's Jon Rothstein points out Maurice Creek as a player not getting enough national attention, while also arguing that the A-10 might get more NCAA bids than the Big East

Then, ESPN has an article about how good and wide-open the A-10 is this season with a nice mention of GW.

Great to see the good guys getting this much press this year. Let's hope it continues, and keeps leading to bigger things!
You can get college basketball tickets here.